Playfish's Pet Society: 60 Million Valentine's Day Virtual Goods Sold

playfishSebastien de Halleux, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships for EA Interactive, recently told Forbes that they had sold 60 million virtual goods on Pet Society in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. In addition, “tens of thousands” of real-world flowers were sold, up 20% from the same period and same promotion last year. The real-world flowers are one of Pet Society’s innovative features, where users are able to gain virtual currencies by purchasing flowers online from within the game. This publicly reported news also marks a shift for Playfish, who used to hold their cards close to their chest prior to being acquired by EA, a public company.

While these new offers may sound similar to some of the offers that are presented by other offer providers, Playfish has always taken a very strict approach with its offers inside of its games. Specifically, the option for flowers within the game is not part of a massive array of options, as is the case with other providers, but is rather the only visible option, and is highlighted as a special, singular offer. By showing ads for companies like ProFlowers in the background of the in-game shop, the experience feels very tightly integrated and is only available during Valentine’s Day.

The emphasis on number of virtual goods sold and 20% growth in sales also demonstrates a Playfish that is changing from the company they used to be. If we look at Playfish’s initial use of TrialPay as a monetization provider, the only integration with the game was TrialPay’s basic service, with the only payment type being credit card. As they’ve evolved, and faced stiff competition from monetization powerhouse Zynga, they’ve evolved to develop partnerships with other companies like Zong and Super Rewards. We can see this in the image below:

In the interview, Sebastien also talks about the future of social gaming, predicting a dramatic change in the industry: “In the next 12 to 24 months, the top 10 games on Facebook will be dominated by large brands, just like what’s happening on the iPhone”. Certainly, this can be attributed to the fact that EA has recently announced that some of their big brands like Madden will be coming to Facebook. While Playfish’s role in these new brands is still not clear, we can assume they would play a large part in these future releases.

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