Electronic Arts, the publishers behind the behemoth Madden franchise and the second largest gaming company in the world announced today that it’s acquiring Playfish for $275 million in cash plus $25 million in equity.
Who is Playfish? They’re the largest maker of social games. Their products for Facebook, MySpace and the iPhone are among the most popular apps for their platforms.
EA has added incentives to the deal based on performance which means that eventually this deal could be worth a cool $400 million.
EA has already experimented with incorporating ads into their games and have had some success. It’s not hard to imagine the company leveraging their new acquisition and the amount of data it can gather from users to begin a new micro-targeted ad program.
Whether this venture succeeds or fails is really dependent on one thing: the games.
As long as EA can maintain and improve the qualities that make Playfish games so addictive and popular in the social/iPhone space the company will be able to chalk this one up in the “success” column.