Electronic Arts makes a move into social gaming

ELECTRONIC Arts (EA) has acquired privately-held social gaming firm Playfish for $275m (&pound;170m) in cash plus $25m in share options.<br /><br />EA said the acquisition of Playfish &ndash; which makes games for people to play on computers with friends, unlike traditional videogames that need dedicated consoles &ndash; strengthened its focus on the transition to social gaming.<br /><br />Playfish&rsquo;s hits include the game show-styled &ldquo;Who Has the Biggest Brain?&rdquo; and virtual pet game &ldquo;Pet Society&rdquo;, which boasts some 21m users a month. The games are free, but players can purchase or give away virtual goods, such as flowers, clothes, furnishings and weapons.<br /><br />The deal comes at a challenging time for the videogame market, which has seen sales slump thanks to a&nbsp; dearth of big-hitting blockbuster titles and cash-strapped consumers that are not buying games due to the recession.<br />

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