Stephen S. Wu-- SL: Legal Writer,, (408) 573-5737, 50 W. San Fernando St., Ste. 750, San Jose, CA 95113

Playfish to be Acquired by Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts announced that it will acquire Playfish, which has been pursuing a suit against San Antonio-based hosting company Rackspace Hosting, Inc. and GosuMall Digital Entertainment, a Singapore company. Playfish alleges that GosuMall is selling in-game items in an alleged violation of the Playfish terms of service, and that Rackspace is liable as well for hosting the GosuMall website at which it is selling the products.
The San Jose Mercury News reported the acqusition this morning in a story linked here. EA has been slow to enter the market for casual games, like the ones on Facebook, on MySpace, and for the iPhone. Companies like Playfish are reaching vast swaths of new players who don't have time for complex platform games, and EA is now waking up.

In any case, EA is likely to take over the Playfish case after the acquisition. It probably will continue pursuing the case, since its acquired company's IP rights are at stake. Nonetheless, it may take some time to determine what EA plans to do with the case.