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EA confirms $300m Playfish acquisition

Social games company responsible for hits across Facebook, iPhone and Google joins publishing giant

Electronic Arts has confirmed that it has acquired social games company Playfish for USD 275 million in cash and USD 25 million in equity retention arrangements.

EA also said that the sellers are entitled to up to USD 100 million if they achieveme "certain performance milestones through December 31, 2011."

"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, SVP 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."

Rumours of the deal broke last month – putting the acquisition at around USD 250 million – and the news comes as EA is due to announce its latest financial results this evening.

Playfish has over 150 million social games installed on platforms including Google, Bebo, Facebook, iPhone and Android.. It claims to have over 60 million active players across ten titles including Pet Society, Restaurant City and Country Story – with over 1 billion play sessions every month.

"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," offered 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."

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