Which "Well Known" EA Game Is Playfish Basing Their Next Social Game On?

Electronic Arts LogoThe Wall Street Journal has published recent comments made by Playfish’s CEO, Kristian Segerstrale. They are among the first public comments since Playfish’s acquisition by Electronic Arts late last year. One of the more notable comments made by Kristian was that Playfish plans to release a social game based on a well-known EA brand this year. This brings some meat to EA’s stated plan to transition from their console retail business suffering to a digital distribution model. Specifically, they are tying their existing and well-known brands with the gaming expertise of high-quality social game makers, Playfish.

When EA first acquired Playfish late last year, it ended rumors that EA was looking to invest in the Social Gaming space, and was hailed by the social gaming industry as a big sign that Social Games had gone mainstream. Prior to this, traditional game businesses had trouble entering the Social Gaming sphere, and really were not able to generate success. Ubisoft started a small social gaming team, who released the game “TickTock” on Facebook last year, and has followed up with their Poker Texas Hold’ Em game. Looking at the stats, we see 600 and 5,200 MAU for the games, respectively. The team is also planning creation of a social gaming portal, of which details are sparse.

EA’s move into the space solidifies them as counting on the future potential of social gaming, and of social networking in general. Their other initiatives on social networks have been fairly successful, with The Sims fan pages ranking in the top ten video game fan pages on Facebook. The fit between EA and Playfish is quite good in the sense that EA’s brand name recognition can lend credibility and mainstream appeal to several of Playfish’s existing titles. That may not be the plan as Playfish moves forward into new games, but imagine a few ideas:

These games would appeal to a huge demographic, and the brands may focus on markets that are less inclined to play social games: Think Trivial Pursuit for older users and Godfather for hardcore gamers.

Other divisions of EA are also moving into online and social gaming. The upcoming Star Wars MMORPG is an attempt to dethrone World of Warcraft, and EA has stated as much.