Playfish Raises $17 Million

Playfish, a social networking game developer based in London, has raised $17 million in financing in Series B financing led by Accel Partners and Index Ventures.

Press Release

London – October 28, 2008 – Playfish, a developer and publisher of games for social networks, announced today that it has completed a new round of funding led by Accel Partners and Index Ventures. The $17 million Series B investment will be used to continue Playfish’s mission to become the leading company in social games, a sector which promises to play an increasingly important role in the future of the gaming industry.

“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.”

With more than 10 million monthly active users, Playfish enables people to play games with their real-world friends and family on the infrastructure provided by social networks. “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.”

“Social gaming is the new frontier for the gaming industry and is rapidly becoming a major focal point for social networks,” said Kevin Comolli from Accel Partners. “The Playfish team has established a position of leadership in the space, hosting more than two billion monthly minutes of play time.  As an early and continued investor in Playfish, our goal continues to be to support the company as it continues to grow, and help the team to build upon its current momentum.”

“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”

Playfish’s recent news has included participation in Google’s in-game advertising platform, AdSense for Games, which launched on Oct. 8, 2008 (http://adsense.blogspot.com/2008/10/get-in-game-with-adsense-for-games.html).  Select Playfish games are also now available on MySpace’s application platform, and additional titles will continue to be made available there in the near future (http://apps.myspace.com/).
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Playfish also announced today that Kevin Comolli, from Accel Partners and Ben Holmes from Index Ventures, will both join its board of directors.

Playfish’s portfolio of games currently includes:

Bowling Buddies (http://apps.facebook.com/bowlingbuddies/gameinfo?pf_ref=x1024,

http://apps.myspace.com/pfbowlingbuddies?appParams=%7B%22pf_ref%22%3Ax1024%7D)

Players will enjoy a game of bowling with their friends and show off their style through customizable 3D characters. Launched May 8, 2008, this interactive hit allows single player mode, or gives players the option of going head-to-head with one of their friends in challenge mode. Getting into the game is easy with the intuitive natural mouse controls, players use their mouse to literally pick up the ball and bowl it.

Geo Challenge (http://apps.facebook.com/geochallenge/gameinfo?pf_ref=x1024)
Launched on DATE and currently in beta, Geo Challenge offers three games testing the players’ knowledge across three key areas: identifying flags, identifying countries by geographical shape and finding cities on a world map.  With Geo Challenge, players find out which of their friends it would be best to bring on their next international excursion.

Pet Society (http://apps.facebook.com/petsociety/gameinfo?pf_ref=x1024)
Launched Aug. 8, 2008, this social and interactive game allows players to create and care for their own pet and interact with pets of friends. Players can play games with their pets, customize their homes, and even purchase clothing and accessories.

Who Has the Biggest Brain?  (http://apps.facebook.com/biggestbrain/gameinfo?pf_ref=x1024)
Launched Dec. 18, 2007, this fun and engaging brain training puzzle game offers eight mini games spread across four key areas: logic, calculation, memory and visual processing. After each round category scores are added up to give the player his or her total brain size.  Players also have the opportunity to access advanced features by joining the Who Has The Biggest Brain? Pro Player Club for $9.99 per year.   Players compete with friends and determine once and for all Who Has The Biggest Brain?.

Word Challenge (http://apps.facebook.com/wordchallenge/gameinfo?pf_ref=x1024)
Launched May 1, 2008, players are given 6 letters, the objective is to create 3-6 letter words from the letters provided as fast as you can. There are 40,000 to find in this fast and rewarding word game! You can go into a head to head battle of words with one of your friends in the ‘Challenge Mode’.

About Playfish
Playfish develops and publishes video games on social networks. Responsible for some of the most engaging games on Facebook including top-10 hits Bowling Buddies, Pet Society, Who Has The Biggest Brain? and Word Challenge, Playfish is committed to creating the highest quality, most compelling social gaming experiences. Playfish is headquartered in London with offices in San Francisco, Beijing and Tromsø.

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About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983 and with offices in Palo Alto, London, Bangalore and China (via the IDG-Accel Partnership), Accel Partners has a history of excellence and innovation in the venture capital business. Accel is dedicated to partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class internet and technology businesses. Category-defining companies  backed by Accel include Admob, Actuate, Agile Software, Alfresco, Arrowpoint, BBN Technologies, BitTorrent, Brightcove, Brightmail, ComScore, Facebook, Foundry Networks, Gameforge, GlamMedia, Infinera, Interwoven, JBoss, Kayak, Macromedia, metroPCS, Polycom/PictureTel, QlikTech, Real Networks, Redback Networks, Remedy, Riverbed, SupportSoft, UUNet, Veritas, Walmart.com, Wily Technology, XenSource and Zimbra. For more information, please visit the Accel Partners website at www.accel.com.

About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading European venture capital firm active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams in the Information Technology and Life Science sectors build their companies into market defining global leaders. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey and focuses on investments from seed through growth stage companies. Recent exits include Skype (the pioneering communications company acquired by eBay); MySQL (the world’s most popular open source database recently acquired by Sun), Last.fm (the world’s largest social music platform, recently acquired by CBS) and BioXell (BIOX, floated on the SWX in 2007). For more information, please visit www.indexventures.com.

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