Electronic Arts’ Playfish division rolled out its first major sports title under the EA Sports brand a few weeks ago, and the title has now racked up some interesting stats.
This game, a soccer title dubbed FIFA Superstars, is a big deal in part because it’s the first title that tests the value of EA’s $400 million purchase of Playfish from last November. Sebastien DeHalleux, a top Playfish executive who is now vice president of business development at EA Interactive (which includes the Playfish business), told us he expects that major brands will come to dominate the top ranks of Facebook’s games, much like EA’s brands are among the top iPhone games.
In the past three weeks, the title has gained 1.7 million monthly active users, making a decent contribution to Playfish’s total traffic of 51 million monthly active users, according to AppData. That’s good growth, but it isn’t as fast as many instant hits on Facebook. By contrast, Zynga’s new game FrontierVille has grown to 3.5 million monthly active users in just 9 days.
Still, the FIFA Superstars game shows that EA Interactive can launch a hit game on Facebook with a major brand. EA’s FIFA 10 soccer games sold more than 10 million units at $60 a piece on the traditional consoles and the PC. In the FIFA Superstars game, you can pick your players from real soccer stars. You can train them and then play games. The matches are over in just a single click of the mouse, and the game tells you right away if you won or lost.
But those who are playing this simple game have been active because of the attention on soccer around the World Cup. In the past two weeks, more than 3.3 million predictions have been made in the game. 38.3 percent of users predicted the correct winner of the games. And 7.6 percent predicted the right score. Almost 97 percent of users predicted the winner of the Brazil vs. North Korea game, while only 1.6 percent predicted the winner of the Spain vs. Switzerland game. Some 25 percent of folks predicted the exact score of the Netherlands vs. Denmark game, and 0.2 percent predicted the score of the South Africa vs. Uruguay match. In short, the users are pretty engaged and are interacting within the game thanks to the World Cup.
The whole theory with FIFA Superstars is that as the field gets more crowded on Facebook, the games that will stand out are the ones with familiar brand names. If this game picks up a bigger audience, you can expect that EA will continue to roll out more branded games.
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