London based social games company, Playfish, announced yesterday that they’ve officially crossed the 100 million installs milestone. These 100 million installs are comprised of the company’s seven different games offerings, and has been achieved in an astonishing 18 months.
To name a few, Playfish is the provider of social games such as Pet Society, Restaurant City, Minigolf Party, and Bowling Buddies. Playfish games are most often played across popular social networks, primarily facebook, bebo, and the other one MySpace.
“Social games are bringing a fundamental shift to video games – away from a single player-focused activity to one in which people play with their real-life friends,” says Atul Bagga, vice president, gaming research for ThinkEquity. “By putting the emphasis on interaction between friends, social games have expanded the potential reach beyond traditional video games to an entirely new, non-gaming audience.”
In their official release, Playfish goes on to point out that they’ve been able to accomplish in 18 months, what two gaming classics have taken 45 years and 8 years to accomplish. The first, perhaps the most well known game in history, Monopoly took approximately 45 years to attract 100 million players, while the best selling PC game of all time, and third most popular video game series globally, the Sims, took 8 years to achieve this number. Fair points folks, but I think you also need to look at the delivery mechanism. Playfish is providing games for free across a readily, almost instantly available mechanism. They’re also comparing a collective number, seven games offerings, against one singular game. So while I’m not going to say that 100 million installations isn’t something to celebrate, I’m also not quite sure Playfish should ready to be put themselves in the same category as Monopoly and the Sims.
With that said, Playfish is undoubtedly raking in some seriously impressive numbers. They currently count over 30 million active monthly users across their portfolio of games offerings, each of which has been in the facebook top 10 at one point or another. Playfish’s flagship, Pet Society is played by 12 million people every month, and their newest offering Restaurant City, has seen over 5 million players since launching only 10 weeks prior.
“When we founded Playfish, our goal was to change the way the world plays games by creating experiences that are social and connected between friends,” says Kristian Segerstrale, CEO and Co-founder of Playfish. “Reaching 100 million installs in such a short time is clear proof of social gaming’s popularity and how loyal, enthusiastic and deeply engaged the Playfish community is.”