A few weeks ago, after many many months of development by Playfish and the EA Sims studio, The Sims Social was released. When Playfish was acquired by EA in 2009, part of the thesis was that with EA’s strong game brands and the Playfish understanding of social gaming, a winning combination could be forged which could give Zynga a real run for its money.
There is a lot to admire about Zynga as a Company with its highly disciplined marketing and product development processes and the incredible ability it has shown to scale and release new and bigger hits on a regular basis. However on an emotional level I have always felt that Zynga were the “bad guys” often borrowing heavily on others innovative ideas and in their early days using questionable methods to monetise. By contrast the Playfish team were always the “good guys” – creative, fun, hard-working and respectful of other companies IP and innovations.
Source: DAU Comparison from Developer Analytics
While am sure Zynga has many great titles in the offing, at least for now the hot game seems to be the Sims Social, recently overtaking Farmville on DAU and with a shot at catching Cityville over the coming weeks. So congratulations to the Playfish team on all their hardwork post the acquisition. Congratulations also to EA for identifying the best Company to acquire, persuading them to sell and then realising the synergies. Nothing is healthier for the VC ecosystem than happy and satisfied acquirors and everyone loves to see the “good guys” still thriving at the end of the movie…