Electronic Arts recently acquired Playfish, the second most popular independent social games developer on Facebook. The acquisition of Playfish was for a reported $300 million and rumors surrounding EA’s interest in acquiring a social game developer included the possibility of a Zynga buyout as well. Zynga’s currently the top social game application developer on Facebook with its games currently attracting over three times as many monthly users as Playfish.
Playfish’s most popular game thus far on Facebook is Pet Society – a virtual world simulator in which you are given your own pet to customize, nurture, and interact with your friends’ characters.
Playfish found success creating gaming apps for social platforms such as Facebook, with great titles like Country Store and Restaurant City. It is these original titles along with Pet Society, that may have attracted EA to Playfish over Zynga, giving EA a new opportunity to further infiltrate the lucrative social gaming market.
For EA, the game developer has previously marked its presence in social gaming by creating games for established companies such as Hasboro and bringing classic games to social platforms like Facebook and Apple’s iPhone. A need to remain competitive in the gaming industry has driven EA to expand into the realm of social gaming or fall by the wayside.
So what does all this mean for the gaming industry?
1. EA will become an even more dominating force in the overall gaming space. Playfish has a large presence on Facebook and this acquisition instantly gives EA a significant social gaming market share.
2. The pressure for other independent game developers has increased, as Playfish now has greater resources for future development of its social games. Companies such as Zynga and SGN have also had a good amount of success, having taken advantage of Facebook’s platform very early on. The bar has been raised in order for these companies to stay competitive with the likes of Playfish.
3. Casual gaming that is implemented on a large social scale has been reinforced with EA’s acquisition of Playfish thereby validating the social network gaming industry. Social gaming within platforms such as Facebook has been a driving force for the success of both the platform itself and independent developers, helping to create additional marketplaces for the rejuvenated gaming industry.
4. Revenue opportunities for social platforms and gaming platforms may increase as a result of the continued interest in the industry. With larger game companies such as EA taking this much interest in developing for social platforms such as Facebook, the opportunities for these large companies to eventually work together for a more standardized approach to generating revenue through these platforms are increased.
5. Cooperation between social gaming platforms may be further encouraged, as larger companies seek to increase their access points in order to reach consumers. Seamless integration amongst these platforms, for mobile and PC, means that large companies with pull can help in furthering the cooperative process along. In the end, consumers are able to enjoy their social games on a greater scale without losing out on their integrated gaming experience.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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