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Playfish Ltd
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games, social network service
FoundersKristian Segerstrale
Sebastien de Halleux
Sami Lababidi
Shukri Shammas
FateAbsorbed into Electronic Arts
Number of locations
London, San Francisco, Beijing, Oslo (former headquarter)
ParentElectronic Arts (2009–2013)

Playfish was a developer of free-to-play social network games. Playfish was founded in 2007 by Kristian Segerstråle,[1] Sebastien de Halleux,[2] Sami Lababidi, and Shukri Shammas.[3] It closed in 2013.[4] Playfish in the past had attracted up to 55 million users a month, with over 37 million users coming from Facebook users.[5] In October 2008, they secured US$17 million in venture capital funding from Accel Partners and Index Ventures.[6] The company was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2009, with the last of Playfish's games being retired in 2013.


Who has the Biggest Brain? was the company's first release.[7] It was one of the first Facebook games to attract millions of daily players,[8][7] and allowed the company to raise the funding necessary to produce other games. The company made money by selling virtual goods inside its games.[9]

On Monday, November 9, 2009, Electronic Arts announced their acquisition of Playfish for $400 million. The acquisition was initially for $275 million cash and $25 million in equity—with a further $100 million in performance-based bonuses available if the company hits targets set by EA executives.[10][11] As of February 2013, all four of the original founders have left the company, with Lababidi and Shammas setting up educational developer Mindshapes,[12][13] and Segerstråle returning to the world of startups.[14]

On June 14, 2013, all of the Playfish-developed games have been retired while Madden NFL 13 Social was retired on September 2, 2013, and can no longer be played on Facebook. The last 3 games to be retired (Pet Society, The Sims Social, and SimCity Social) were retired on June 17, 2013.[citation needed]

List of games[edit]

Title Platform Released Retired
Who Has The Biggest Brain? Facebook December 18, 2007 September 30, 2011
Word Challenge May 1, 2008 September 30, 2011
Bowling Buddies May 8, 2008 September 30, 2011
Pet Society August 8, 2008 June 14, 2013[15][Note 1]
Geo Challenge September 22, 2008 September 30, 2011
Minigolf Party January 27, 2009 January 27, 2010
Restaurant City April 28, 2009 June 29, 2012
Crazy Planets July 1, 2009 December 1, 2011
Country Story July 29, 2009 December 1, 2011
Quiztastic! August 14, 2009 March 4, 2010
Poker Rivals December 7, 2009 June 7, 2011
Gangster City January 26, 2010 June 7, 2011
Hotel City March 26, 2010 September 30, 2011
My Empire June 1, 2010 September 30, 2011
EA Sports FIFA Superstars June 10, 2010 March 31, 2013
Pirates Ahoy! August 10, 2010 June 7, 2011
Madden NFL Superstars August 31, 2010 May 14, 2013
Monopoly Millionaires January 31, 2011 August 17, 2012
World Series Superstars March 30, 2011 December 31, 2012
The Sims Social August 9, 2011 June 14, 2013[16][Note 1]
NHL Superstars October 5, 2011 May 14, 2013
RISK: Factions January 11, 2012 March 31, 2013
SimCity Social June 25, 2012 June 14, 2013[17][Note 1]
Madden NFL 13 Social (also available on iOS) October 5, 2012 September 2, 2013[18]
Pet Society Vacation iOS July 18, 2011 August 29, 2012
Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition August 22, 2011 August 29, 2012

Notable games[edit]

Restaurant City[edit]

In Restaurant City, players own a restaurant in a set environment. The goal is to run an exceedingly popular restaurant and increase in restaurant level and dish quality. A restaurant needs at least two employees to function; a chef and a waiter. Through popularity, a restaurant can attract more customers. As a restaurant attracts more customers, it needs more employees. A restaurant gains the ability to hire more employees as it rises in level. The restaurant also grows in size as it gains levels, and can serve drinks and grow certain ingredients in a garden.

At its peak, Restaurant City had more than 18 million monthly active users. This number dropped to 1.8 million by 2012, and the game was retired on June 29, 2012.[19] During the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated Restaurant City for "Social Networking Game of the Year".[20]

Pet Society[edit]

In Pet Society, players own virtual pets in a "neighborhood." Players can dress up their pets, decorate their homes, go fishing, cook dishes, and dig for treasures. Gaining "paw points" allows players to eventually level up to Level 100. Players can also send gifts and do a crafting challenge to make an item. It was announced on April 15, 2013, that the game would be retired on June 14, 2013, however it was retired on June 17, 2013, instead.

Madden NFL Superstars[edit]

Madden NFL Superstars is a spin-off of the popular Madden NFL American football video game series. Players create a team out of current real-life NFL players and compete in 3 different types of games: league games against computer generated teams, scrimmage games against friends, and scrimmage games against real NFL teams. As players progress they collect coins to purchase upgrades to their stadiums, collect fans, hire NFL coaches, and purchase tiered rating level card packs of NFL players to add to their rosters. It was retired on May 14, 2013, while replaced with Madden NFL 13 Social, which retired on September 2, 2013.

The Sims Social[edit]

The Sims Social is a Facebook addition to The Sims franchise. This game took place in a fictional town called Littlehaven. In The Sims Social, players create their own Sim, or character, which they can customize. They can then interact with the Sims of their friends, decorate their home, advance their Sim in their dream job and develop romantic relationships. The game often taking some inspirations based on famous public figures such as Lady Gaga and Elvis Presley. Unlike other The Sims games, only one NPC was introduced and can interact with player's Sim, Bella Goth.

On February 9, 2012, The Sims Social won the Social Networking Game of the Year award at the 15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards and February 15, 2012, the game was nominated for best online browser game by the British Academy Video Game Awards - a subsidiary of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. It was announced on April 15, 2013, that the game would be retired on June 14, 2013, however it was retired on June 17, 2013, instead.

SimCity Social[edit]

SimCity Social is a city building game which allows the player to build city. This is the Facebook game version of the SimCity franchise. It was announced on April 15, 2013, that the game would be retired on June 14, 2013, however it was retired on 17 June 2013 instead.

Playfish Cash[edit]

Players were eligible to buy "Playfish Cards" at Walmart, Walgreens, and Toys "R" Us stores. Once redeemed on the Playfish website, players earn "Playfish Cash" (PFC) to spend on virtual goods in games.[citation needed]

Prior April 19, 2011, all active Playfish games used a uniform premium currency called "Playfish Cash", and among players it was often called PFC. Playfish Cash could be used for all Playfish games in one. Later, the premium currency was changed into individual cash types for each game.[21]

Game Playfish Cash
Pet Society Pet Society Cash
Madden NFL Superstars Football Cash
The Sims Social SimCash
SimCity Social Diamonds
NHL Superstars Hockey Cash


In August 2011, Playfish was confirmed as the official shirt sponsor of the newly formed, supporter owned English football club AFC Rushden & Diamonds.[22]


  1. ^ a b c While it was announced to be retired on June 14, the game was actually retired on June 17, 2013.


  1. ^ "Business big shot: Kristian Segerstråle, computer games entrepreneur". The Times. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Sébastien de Halleux, me encanta et 30 millions de joueurs". Trends Tendances. Archived from the original on 28 August 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  3. ^ "About Playfish company & founders". Playfish. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ "EA shutting down Playfish games". 15 April 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  5. ^ Eric Caoili. "Playfish Social Games Reaching 55 Million Monthly Players". Gamasutra. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Playfish Completes $17 Million Financing and Continues Success as Social Games Leader". Playfish. 28 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Playfish raises $17 million for Facebook games". VentureBeat. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Playfish gets its hooks into social gaming". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  9. ^ Chiang, Oliver (23 February 2010). "EA's Playfish: Big Real-World Sales In Virtual Goods Game". Forbes.
  10. ^ Johnson, Bobbie (9 November 2009). "Playfish sells to Electronic Arts in deal worth up to $400m". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^ "EA to Acquire Playfish for $275 Million". The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Stuart Dredge (16 March 2011). "Mindshapes wants to up the quality of apps for toddlers". The Guardian. London.
  13. ^ Nick Clayton (31 May 2012). "Mindshapes gets $4 Million to Develop Learning Games". The Wall Street Journal.
  14. ^ Kim-Mae Cutler (27 February 2013). "EA's Digital EVP, Playfish Co-Founder Kristian Segerstrale Departs". TechCrunch. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Pet Society has been retired|EA Help". Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. ^ "The Sims Social is being Retired|EA Help". Archived from the original on 23 April 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  17. ^ "SimCity Social has been Retired|EA Help". Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Madden NFL 13 Social is being retired|EA Help". Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  19. ^ Squires, Jim (1 May 2012). "The Last Supper: Restaurant City closing its doors on June 29th". Gamezebo. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  20. ^ "2010 Awards Category Details Social Networking Game of the Year". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  21. ^ "FAQs - Game-Specific Currency". Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Club Sponsors". Retrieved 30 January 2016.

External links[edit]