Playfish relishing EA franchise projects

Playfish relishing EA franchise projects

By Rob Crossley

December 14th 2009 at 7:01AM

Does EAâ??s social games studio have new plans for established IP such as The Sims?

EA’s newly acquired developer Playfish has discussed the opportunities it now has to work on the publisher’s renowned franchises.

But Playfish CEO Kristian Segerstrale said that developer wouldn’t completely move away from making its own games – suggesting it would “mix” work on new IP and existing EA franchises.

Segerstrale told Develop that he was excited by “the opportunity to work with some of the most loved franchises in the videogame industry, and perhaps bringing those onto social networks.”

EA bought Playfish in November for $300 million, with CEO John Riccitiello talking up the importance of social gaming for the publisher’s realigned strategy. Playfish was established less than two years ago and already makes aggressive profits with games on social networks such as Facebook.

Now that the two have joined forces, EA has better options for launching its biggest IP on social networking sites. The Sims franchise has already been cited as a favourite to dominate the social gaming landscape.

“I’m really excited about working on the franchises, obviously,” said Segerstrale, though adding that no projects have been announced since the takeover.

Segerstrale also played down fears that the studio – famed for games such as Pet Society and Restaurant City – would have to neglect its in-house IP as it shifts to EA franchises.

“Well I think there’s a huge opportunity for us to grow with our own IP and EA’s” he said.

“I think it’s going to be a mix, and will continue to be a mix. What we’ve seen on mobiles is how a market can flourish with both new IP and established franchises. There are many opportunities for both.”

Pet Society is played by 12 million people each month, making it one of the most popular games on Facebook and amongst the social utility’s largest applications.

Segerstrale believes that the developer’s continued success lies in diverse opportunities.

“It’s that combination of being able to create fantastic consumer experiences and innovating, but it’s also bringing some of those IPs that people love to new platforms,” he said.

Meanwhile, Segerstrale said he was looking forward to taking the business to new platforms.