Posts Tagged ‘London’

Playfish – landing funding, defending microtransactions, and winning awards

Friday, November 7th, 2008

It’s been a rather good month for London based, social games (quickly becoming) giant Playfish.  From late last month’s delivery of an extra $17M in the bank, to winning a 7th place slot in the Library House’s MediaTech 100, to CEO Kristian Segerstrale’s excellent reasoning as to why microtransactions are (relatively) recession proof at late last month’s Casual Games Forum.

In case you missed it, here’s our coverage of Playfish’s recent influx of $17M in VC via Accel Ventures and Index Ventures.  In a quick summary, Playfish has rapidly become the one stop shop for top casual games on the well-known facebook social networking platform.  4 out of 5 of Playfish’s offerings are consistently ranked in the top 10 facebook games.  Combine this with Playfish’s interest and inclusion as first testers of the upcoming Google AdSense for games, and it looks like Playfish is truly one to watch.

Fast forward only a few days, and we’ve got Playfish CEO Kristian Segerstrale speaking at the Casual Games Forum to the topic of microtransactions and how and why they’re (relatively) recession proof:

“One of the nice things about the microtransaction model is that you don’t have a big charge up front, you only buy the things you want – which will appeal to those tightening their belts.”

“It will be harder to be a startup for sure, and it will probably be harder to secure advertising dollars. But is it really going to be tough times for the market as a whole? I find that difficult to believe, but I don’t think it’s time to get into the bomb shelter yet.”

Really nothing to add to this.  Segerstrale hits the nail on the head by describing what everyone with a wallet wants to hear: I’ve got to rethink how and what I want to spend my money on, but I still don’t want to give up things that I enjoy, i.e. casual gaming.  Solution?  Microtransactions.  Well said sir, well said.

If that wasn’t enough, happy Friday to you Mr. Segerstrale, as Playfish just landed 7th place, out of a possible 100 companies reviewed, surveyed and awarded a spot on Library House’s Mediatech 100.  The Mediatech 100 supported by Kemp Little and NMA represents the hottest 100 private mediatech companies in Europe.  The winners are selected via a stringent review using Library House data filters, and a cross section of expert panelists.  This panel of experts includes top mediatech investors from Europe, Microsoft UK, Amadeus Capital, Kodak External Alliances and Advent Venture Partners.   Using growth and market impact potential, Library House selects the top 100 movers and shakers in the MediaTech industry.

All in all, I’d say it was one heckuva past 30 days (or less even) for Playfish.  Clearly setting a strong example of what free-to-play, microtransaction based social gaming can and should be, Playfish is truly on the right track, and a hot ticket to watch.  From all of us here at fatfoogoo: Outstanding work Playfish!  Keep on keepin’ on.

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Social Games developer Playfish lands $17 Million in Financing

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

If the recent Gordon Gecko inspired article regarding why harsh economic times are good for the gaming industry wasn’t enough for you, playfish has recently received a huge vote of confidence from Accel Partners and Index Ventures to the tune of $17 Million.  Their mission?  Simple.  Become the leading company in social games.

Playfish is an industry leader in social gaming, with over 10 million monthly users of their services.  These games allow people to play games with real-world friends across various social networking media platforms.  Playfish is directly responsible for some of the most popular facebook application games including Bowling Buddies, Pet Society, Who Has The Biggest Brain? and Word Challenge.  Not a fan of the facebook, and prefer staying with the good ol’ standby MySpace?  No problem, playfish has got you covered with a select number of apps now available on the MySpace platform as well.  Playfish plans on releasing a number of additional titles for MySpace in the near future.  And if being at the top of the facebook/MySpace social gaming ladder wasn’t enough for you, Playfish has recently made waves via their commitment to in-game advertising as well.  They’ve recently committed to participation in Google’s in-game advertising platform, AdSense for Games.

“This has proven to be an outstanding year for the Playfish team,” said Kristian Segerstrale, CEO of Playfish. “Four of our five games are now on Facebook’s top-10 games list, which is unmatched by competitors. We’ve launched our in-game transactions platform and worked jointly with Google to help define in-game advertising. We’ve opened offices in San Francisco, Beijing and Norway and have now closed a round of funding with two great investors, Accel Partners and Index Ventures. We look forward to expanding our studios, growing our user base and continuing to develop new ways for people to play games together.”

“Social gaming is a significant evolution in gaming and is in some ways a return to the roots of games,” says Segerstrale. “Our games are designed around social emotions — people play our games with the same people that they would play cards, play board games or go bowling with in the real world. Sharing the game experience with friends makes it more compelling and fun and results in more play time, viral distribution and better monetization potential over time.”

Accel partners was founded in 1983 and is dedicated to partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class internet and technology businesses.  Some of their successes include BitTorrent, Brightcove, ComScore, Facebook, Gameforge, Macromedia, and Real Networks.

Index Ventures was founded and 1996, and is a leading European VC firm.  They’re dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams in the Information Technology and Life Science sectors build their companies into market defining global leaders.  With offices in London, Geneva, and Jersey, some of their successful ventures have included Skype, MySQL, and

“We are immensely impressed by the creativity of the Playfish team and also by the methodical and disciplined approach to development and commercialization they have adopted,” said Ben Holmes of Index Ventures. “They are clearly focused on building a great company as well as great games and we look forward to work with them on achieving this.”

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Fatfoogoos off to Londontown

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen, fatfoogoo is heading to the land of fish and chips, one seriously big clock, and drivers on the wrong side of the road.

Last year over 450 attendees from 23 countries descended upon the Virtual Worlds Forum Europe in London. With over 80 speakers, 2 days of workshops, conferences, expos and networking functions this was THE conference to be at.

This year’s event looks to meet and exceed expectations. With over 600+ professionals interviewed regarding content, take home podcasts, demo and keynote theatre as well as tech developer streams, that’s enough alone to make one shout ‘Blimey!’. But wait….there’s more! Building upon the overwhelming success of the expo area, this year’s Forum includes stands from 25 exhibitors, a shell build scheme, previously mentioned demo and keynote theatre live and in person on the demo floor, live tech developer streams, and 400+ expo only passes.

Direct from Virtual Worlds Forum:

VWF 08 helps you harness the power of virtual worlds to engage with clients, suppliers or customers, connecting brands, corporations, digital and virtual worlds agencies, entertainment and games companies, technologists, academics, regulators and VCs.

We are working on bringing you a bigger expo, more great content and workshops, and parties. We like to party.

Funny…we like to party too!

Our beloved fatfoogoos are raiding London this 6-7 October, are already registered as Associate Sponsors, and our very own Martin Herdina has applied for a speaker placement. Alas, the VWF hasn’t gotten back to us quite yet, but if placement if based on knowledge, experience and all around ‘He’s a good guy to listen to, and knows his stuff’; Herdina’s headed to the podium mighty fast.