[UK] In the last couple of days there has been enormous speculation in the games industry that Accel-backed Playfish – the Facebook social games startup which has amassed 60 million users with games like Restaurant City – has been bought by Electronic Arts for $250 million. However, nothing has been confirmed as neither company, or Accel Partners, is talking, leaving news outlets speculating on what’s happened.
A report by Inside Social Games suggests the deal was struck weeks ago.
Playfish’s viral approach to social games has seen its titles spread like wildfire across Facebook, MySpace, Google, Bebo, the iPhone and more. Revenues are put at $75 million this year.
Zynga, another social games company which made the hugely successful Mafia Wars and Cafe World, has also been linked to a possible sale to Electronic Arts, but the price there is put at $1 billion.
So a $250m Playfish sale would mean the firm is selling out surprisingly early. The startup raised raised a whopping $17 million series B round led by Accel Partners and Index Ventures a year ago.
However there are signs that this deal has definitely happened. For starters CEO Kristian Segerstrale has always said he wanted to “kill EA” – a fact which may well have piqued their interest and lead to a deal being struck.
And the venture capital community I’ve spoken to is adamant the deal has been sealed between Playfish and EA.
In addition Accel’s European Fund – despite backing promising big win companies like Kayak (worth $1bn), GameForge, Qliktech, Alfresco, Seatwave – has not yet had an exit. Which leads us to presume that they saw a gift hourse’s mouth and took it, as it were.