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EA Acquires Social Networking Developer Playfish

Today EA announced that it has acquired Playfish, a creator of social networking games, for $275 million (plus $25 million in equity). Playfish will work within EA Interactive, a division focused on web and wireless.

"The industry is undergoing dramatic transformation and joining EA is the ideal opportunity for us to push forward our goals to lead in the social entertainment evolution on a faster and much larger scale," said Kristian Segerstrale, CEO and co-founder of Playfish. “EAi’s vision and entrepreneurial culture are consistent with our own and together, we are in position to be the company that defines new and innovative connected experiences that will change the way people play games.”

Playfish has more than 150 million games that span across Facebook, MySpace, Google, Android and iPhone. Some of Playfish’s more popular titles on Facebook include Pet Society, Restaurant City and Country Story.

“Social gaming, with its emphasis on friends and community is seeing tremendous growth and this is the right time to invest to strengthen our participation in this space,” said Barry Cottle, senior vice president and general manager of EA Interactive. “EAi has been successfully leading the charge for EA, and with the addition of proven expertise from Playfish, their broad consumer base and strong game brands, we’re moving ahead aggressively in our plans to lead in the category of cross-platform social entertainment.”

EAi has a few games on mobile platforms including Rock Band, Madden NFL10, The Sims and Tetris so it will be interesting to see how this acquisition might affect their presence on mobile and social networking platforms.

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