Archive for the ‘Company’ Category

Don’t Miss Out! Watch EA Game Changers Live Stream Event!

February 29, 2012

What does it mean to you to have the power to change the world? Would you change the world to make it better for you, or better for everyone else?

On March 6th, our friends at EA are hosting a free live-streamed event where they are asking you to think about these questions and more as they bring three esteemed speakers into the mix. How do these speakers fit with what EA is announcing? The only way to find out is to tune in. What we can reveal are the first two confirmed speakers. Check them out below.

Davis Guggenheim is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning director and producer, whose early work includes many television dramas such as DEADWOOD, NYPD BLUE and 24. He transitioned into directing non-fiction films with THE FIRST YEAR, which aired on PBS in 2001 and won a Peabody Award. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, featuring former Vice President Al Gore, was theatrically distributed by Paramount in 2006, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary. IT MIGHT GET LOUD, featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White was theatrically distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in 2009. Guggenheim also directed Barack Obama’s biographical film for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as well as Obama’s 30-minute primetime infomercial. Guggenheim’s latest film, WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and took home the Best US Documentary Audience Award. It was released in September 2010 by Paramount and has since won the Gotham Festival Genius Award, as well as the PGA Award, Critics’ Choice Award, and the National Board of Review Award. He recently completed FROM THE SKY DOWN, a documentary about the band U2

Scott Harrison spent 10 years as an event promoter in New York City before leaving to volunteer on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, Africa as a volunteer photojournalist. Returning home to New York City two years later, he founded the non-profit organization charity: water in 2006. Turning his full attention to the global water crisis and the one billion people without clean water to drink, he created public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to spread international awareness of the issue. In five years, with the help of more than 250,000 donors worldwide, charity: water has raised over $60 million and funded 6,185 water projects in 19 developing nations. Those projects will provide over 2.5 million people with clean, safe drinking water. Scott was recently recognized in Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and Forbes’ Impact 30 list. His personal story has been featured in more than 400 media outlets, including ABC’s 20/20 and Nicholas Kristof’s column in the New York Times.

So Playfish fans, what do you think? What does an Academy Award-winning director have in common with the CEO of charity: water, and how does this all fit within EA’s Game Changers Live Stream event?  Leave your comments below!

Register for the free live stream at EA.com/GameChangers

Would you change the world if you could? #Power2Change

Coming in 2014: a Playfish amusement park!

April 1, 2011

(Check out the Playfish forums at forum.playfish.com to see what people think of the news!)

That’s right, just twenty minutes north of London, England, we’re building Playfish World, the world’s most spectacular amusement park!

The 140-acre amusement park will be divided into four exciting lands: Restaurant City, Pet Society, Country Island – which will feature both My Empire and Country story amusements and rides – and a mystery land, which we can’t reveal right now since it’s based on a game yet to be announced!

Playfish World will amuse and delight kids and adults of all ages. In addition to all the thrilling rides and attractions, you’ll be able to meet and interact with costumed versions of all your favorite Playfish game characters as they sing and dance their way through the park. And every hour on the main stage of the Playfish Friends Pavilion, park guests can treat themselves to a zany musical revue starring Pet Society’s lovable Mayor and Maggie, the playful hostess from Restaurant City.

Planning to make Playfish World your holiday destination? After a fun-filled day at Playfish World, you’ll be able to relax in your very own luxury suite in one of our very own five star hotels in Hotel City!

Here’s a little taste of what to expect in each land!

Restaurant City
Take a stroll down the real Gourmet Street and find a table at one of the amazing restaurants inspired by actual restaurant designs created by our players! But be careful not to eat too much because you might lose your lunch on the Whirlin’ Waiter Waltzer!

Pet Society
Meet the Mayor in his life size house and pick a crazy souvenir from the many bountiful trees in the Pet Society garden! Feel like relaxing? Grab a rod and fish for something rare in the Pet Society lake. Don’t worry, the fish are just props but there are prizes to be won if you can catch a big one!

Country Island
Take a boat ride to the 20-acre island in the middle of the fishing lake but beware — the Roman Rollercoaster can conquer even the toughest countryman! And while there, you won’t want to miss out on the country farms. You’ll be able to strap on a pair of authentic farming overalls and till up the soil to see what you can find. If you’re really lucky you might uncover a tree spirit and walk away with your very own magic

Mystery Zone
You’ll have to wait and see!

Excited? So are we!

And if getting to England is difficult for you, don’t worry! We have plans to build more parks and we might just open one near you!

We’ll be back with more details about Playfish World soon! See you in 2014!

Join Playfish in Helping Survivors of Japan’s Earthquake

March 16, 2011

Hello Playfish friends,

Please join Playfish in helping Japan’s earthquake and tsunami relief efforts by donating to Mercy Corps. All donations will go directly to Mercy Corps, who with its longstanding partner, Peace Winds Japan, will provide immediate and long-term needs to those affected by this devastating tragedy. To donate to Mercy Corps and for more information, please visit: http://www.mercycorps.org/fundraising/playfish0

Players also can donate to Mercy Corps through the “Garden of Hope” in Restaurant City, the “Japan Elite Transfers” in FIFA Superstars, and the “Red Pagoda” in Monopoly Millionaires – and on Thursday through the “Support Japan” bundle in Pet Society. Playfish will donate 100% of the purchase price of these items to Mercy Corps.

Thanks for your support!

~ Your friends at Playfish

Playfish is Hiring: Come Swim in Our Pond!

September 15, 2010

At Playfish, our mission is to change how the world plays games by creating more social and connected experiences. From our first game “Who Has the Biggest Brain?” to our most recent hit, “Madden NFL Superstars,” more than 250 million Playfish games have been installed and played by millions of people worldwide. It’s no surprise that the social gaming industry is exploding in growth and is here to stay!

But, success doesn’t happen over night. The major force behind Playfish’s creative, innovative and technical excellence is the outstanding team of artists, developers, engineers, product managers – the list goes on and on – who collectively create games that are consistently amongst the most acclaimed and popular on Facebook. And, we’re looking for more high energy, intelligent and motivated individuals with a “get it done” attitude to join the Playfish team!

If you thrive in positive and creative work environments that encourage ownership and autonomy, visit our job board here for available employment opportunities across all our offices in London, San Francisco, Beijing and Tromso, Norway.

But first, check out this fun video to hear first-hand from Playfishers about what it’s like to work at Playfish, the opportunities they’re given, and all the fun they have swimming amongst all the other Fishes in the pond! Click here to see the video!

Playfish Kicks Off EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars with London Football Match

June 23, 2010

The recent launch of Playfish’s EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars was a great success and the game is proving to be a big hit worldwide.  We are especially pleased to be able to bring the beautiful game of football to Facebook and to Playfish fans everywhere – especially just as the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa has gotten under way.

To celebrate the release of the game, Playfish hosted a FIFA Superstars “friendly” – a spirited football match featuring several members of the London media at a pitch in Battersea Park. The teams hit the pitch wearing exclusive FIFA Superstars blue and white kit made especially for the match.

At kick off, Team White came out with guns blazing and shots hitting the mark, building a quick lead over Team Blue.

Though down, but definitely not out, Team Blue found itself on the short end of a 7-2 score at the end of the 20-minute mark.

In a lively second half, an undaunted Team Blue stepped up the pace, outscoring Team White 5-3.

Alas, it was too little too late and Team White ultimately prevailed 10-8.

Nicely done, lads! And a special congratulations to Michael Sawh of Team White, who was awarded Man of the Match.

With the match over, but players still hungry for more football, everyone headed to a nearby pub for FIFA Superstars demos from members of the game’s production team. Playfishers Henrique Olifiers, John Earner, Raf Keustermans, Andy Watson and Tom Sarris were on hand to provide our special guests with valuable tips for claiming ultimate victory in FIFA Superstars. In all, it was a great afternoon and a fun way to kick off FIFA Superstars!

LONG LIVE FOOTBALL!  LONG LIVE FIFA SUPERSTARS!

Exclusive Interview with Henrique Olifiers, Producer of FIFA Superstars

June 15, 2010

Get the ball rolling during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and check out EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars, only on Facebook. Here’s an exclusive interview with Playfish’s Henrique Olifiers, the producer of the first official FIFA football social game.

Welcome, Henrique. Tell us about yourself.
Hi, as producer of this exciting game, I’m responsible for coordinating the original concept for FIFA Superstars. I work with a very talented team and determine what each person’s role is. If you like, think of me like a movie director.

What experience do you have ‘directing’ games?
Well, I’ve been doing this for about 10 years and I started working on games 20 years ago, back on the ZX Spectrum computer, which some of you may or may not remember. So yeah, I bring some good experience to FIFA Superstars.

What about experience working on football games?
I worked on two football titles prior to FIFA Superstars. Both posed similar challenges: finding the delicate balance between providing the player with an abundance of information and features, and making it all accessible and manageable.

Give us the score – what is FIFA Superstars?
It’s a really fun game to start with if you’ve never played a football game. It’s been created with the novice in mind. You start by building and managing your own team around the players you like. You’ll be able to play your friends and others around the world or face the virtual version of real world teams. Can you imagine scoring 5-nil against Man U? Or bragging about scoring a 3-nil victory against a friend or a random FIFA Superstars player? I think that’s pretty cool.

What inspired the look of FIFA Superstars?
First… it’s FIFA – it deserves the same level of polish and quality that all Playfish games and the FIFA series give our players. Second, I had several images of what it would look like in my mind. I saw what it could be as an action game, or a simulation like FIFA 10; or what it could be as a fantasy game where players buy and sell members of their team. It could have been a managing game, where players build a team from scratch and train, the list goes on…

What kind of game is FIFA Superstars?
All three: it’s a simulation, a fantasy and a managing game rolled into one sweet package available from anywhere you can log onto Facebook. It’s really unlike any football game that’s come before. I’m really proud of that. However, I find myself frustrated that I couldn’t put everything into the game from the day of release. But the really great thing about FIFA Superstars – and social games in general – is that we will be adding a lot of really cool features as the game grows, so I’m really looking forward to its evolution.

How likely is it that everyone will pick the same players for their teams?
It’s very unlikely that you will have the same team as someone else; FIFA Superstars has more than 15,000 football players from which to choose. They range from players who have not played for a long time to living legends virtually everyone knows of. As you start winning matches you can afford to hire more experienced players for your FIFA Superstars team.

What was the most challenging aspect of bringing FIFA Superstars to life?
I’d say the usability of the game – that is, how easy or difficult it is to understand what you should do with the information presented to you in the game. As there is a simulation aspect to FIFA Superstars there is a ton of information involved in bringing that to the gamer. It was about looking at how to consolidate all of that into easy and relevant statistics per player on your team.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?
The players are definitely my favourite aspect. I’m a massive football fan – I scour the statistics of each player like a hawk before making my choices for my team. Each one of the stats used for a player – be that shooting, pace, energy – all goes into making a unique player. And I’ve got to have the best.

The best, huh? What did you call your team?
Zombies – it was a total no brainer – no pun intended! It’s in homage to the team of people I work with at Playfish, the Zombiefish team.

You didn’t name your team after your favorite football team?
My favorite real-world football team is the Brazilian Flamengo FC but the Zombies definitely come first, without a doubt. The entire Zombiefish team was just outstanding in pulling together, especially the last month of development, which was a big stretch. I’ll always be their biggest fan.

How are you feeling now that the FIFA Superstars is out?
Super excited. We already broke the first day record for number of players to start playing the game, beating both My Empire and Hotel City – both of which are currently very popular. That’s a very positive sign.

What new features will you be bringing out and when?
What you’re seeing is about 20% of the game that we’ve already planned out. There’s a lot for us to add. For example, expanding the stadium styles and setting up more training facilities. These will have a bigger impact on the game as more people play.  Essentially, if you want it, it’s more than likely we’re already working on it.

EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars Brings the ‘Beautiful Game’ to Facebook

June 10, 2010

Have you ever dreamt of managing a football team comprised of the world’s greatest players? Now, just in time for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM, we’re pleased to announce EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars!

Here’s your chance to take control of the ‘beautiful game’ to see if you can do a better job than the pros. FIFA Superstars lets you build a team of real players and compete with the whole world on the football pitch.

First, you’re assigned a set of football players to develop your team around. Players are rated on their shooting, control, stamina and strength, with the ratings based on real world statistics. So if you’re lucky enough to have, say, Cristiano Ronaldo on your team, he’s going to have much higher stats than a less accomplished player.


So you’ve got your team lined up, but what if they’re just not all that hot? Well, that’s where the game starts getting really fun! Buying Bronze, Silver or Gold transfer sets gives you a random group of players of roughly similar skill range. Bronze players are international quality, Silver players are star footballers and Gold players are the football world’s superstars – the best of the best.

Once you’re happy with your team you can take them to the pitch to play some games with other players. You can play each of your friends once a day, earning cash and building experience. You also can play league games, climbing ever higher to face better and better players around the world. The more cash you earn, the more you can spend on transfers and taking your team to the big time.

You’ll also need to ensure your team has a consistently high standard of training and fitness, which improves its abilities on the pitch. Additionally, stadium upgrades increase your team’s revenue and training levels.

FIFA Superstars features four modes of exciting play: Friendly matches, League matches, Premier League (and more of the world’s top leagues to come soon), and 2010 FIFA World CupTM.


You can win some amazing prizes in 2010 FIFA World CupTM mode. Just predict the scores for upcoming games, and if you guess the winner or the score correctly you’ll earn points which add up to Coin prizes, Match Credits and even Gold rated players! Even better, the more friends who play the 2010 FIFA World CupTM Mode, the better your chances at winning prizes – so remember to get everyone involved. Not only will you earn more together but you can finally prove once and for all who really knows football best!

Just like the start of your favorite team’s professional league, this is only the beginning for EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars. There’ll be all kinds of amazing new features to try in future and much, much more. So step onto the pitch, make wise training and transfer choices, and you’ll have the chance to take your team all the way to the top of the world! Do you have what it takes?

Take a VIP Tour of Hotel City with Stian Hansen

April 1, 2010

This week we take another exclusive look at Hotel City. We spent a few minutes with Stian Hansen, the game’s producer, to find out what it was like to bring Playfish’s latest game to life.

Hi Stian. Let’s start with your role in Hotel City.  Is it fair to call you the “proprietor”?
Hi everyone. Yes, I suppose it would be fair to call me that. But my official title at Playfish is producer. I’m responsible for all aspects of Hotel City, from the concept to getting the game launched, and ensuring the game is packed with all the fun and social features our players expect. In my role I work with a wide range of people at Playfish, which is really cool.

How did the idea for Hotel City come about?
Since everyone at Playfish is involved in making our games, the hotel management theme came up quite a few times. After putting the idea down on paper and getting some feedback, it really felt like the beginnings of a fun and very social game. When players see the name of the game I believe they’ll understand right away what this game is about, namely building and running your own hotel. We’ve managed to make it very easy to get in to. In fact, my 4 year old son got to play it during development and he absolutely loves it!

What’s the aim of the game?
Hotel City is about building and decorating your very own hotel. You’ll need employees, so you hire your friends. Your guests want to enjoy their stay at your hotel, so you can build them fun rooms that include a swimming pool, a restaurant, arcade, and many other fun things. It’s entirely up to you! I can’t wait to see what cool hotels are created by our players.

That sounds fun! How about a cool Hotel City tip?
I would suggest not spending all your money on just one thing.  Hotel guests can be pretty demanding, so I recommend listening to them and the watching the speech bubbles that pop up. Those will give you plenty of direction.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of creating Hotel City?
Narrowing down the amount of features in the game, for sure. When people play the game they’re inspired and come up with all these fun things they’d like to see in the game. Filtering out the best ideas and deciding what goes into the first version of the game is tricky and you don’t get a second chance of doing that once the game is live. Of course, we’ll keep adding things, but we wanted to give players some really great features to play with in their first session so that they can start having fun straight away.

What’s been the most fun aspect of creating Hotel City?
Honestly, the whole thing has been one big joyride, even to watch the game develop. The Hotel City team is so full of energy and good spirits and that shows in the game. I keep hearing how Hotel City is the Big Buzz in our other studios right now, and that really is a great inspiration to me and the team.

Will you be adding any new features to Hotel City in the next few weeks and months?
Now that the game is live, we’ll dive right into adding more features. We’ve got small and big features planned – they all go very naturally with the hotel theme of the game. There will be something for those who play the game for the decorating fun and something for those who enjoy the more strategic managing and building aspects. Keep your eyes on the fan page for updates!

What’s your hotel called?
During development I came up with a new name for every time I played the game, but one day my creativity ran out and I got stuck with the name from the day before. It’s simply “Asda Hotel”.

Who have you hired as staff in your hotel?
That’s the fun thing about Hotel City – it’s a small twist on the concept of hiring friends in Restaurant City. You’re not really in control of who gets to work at your hotel. You post up an ad on your wall letting your friends know that you are hiring, and the first of your friends to click the link gets the job! It’s going to be a race to get there first because, as a bonus, your friends will receive coins for working at your hotel and can collect bags of coins from you every time you run a shift. There’s a bonus for you when your friends work at your hotel, too, as temporary staff are more expensive per shift, whereas your friends are far cheaper to employ!

Any final words?

Yes – a big thank you to all of our fans who have already started playing Hotel City! Don’t forget to check out our fan page and the forums for the latest updates from Hotel City. We love hearing your suggestions so please keep them coming in!

Playfish Opens its Doors to the City by the Bay

March 5, 2010

A couple of weeks ago Ken Ward provided some insight about what it’s like to work for Playfish and, in particular, our London studio. This week we’re following up with a conversation with Dan Fiden, who joined Playfish as General Manager of the newly opened San Francisco development studio.

For readers attending the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week, Dan will be speaking on panels at the Flash Gaming Summit, Monday, March 8, and VCON on Wednesday, March 10. Stop by and say hello to Dan if you’re there!

Hi Dan, how’re you doing?
I’m good, thanks! I’ve just got back from lunch, actually. Had a really great sandwich from a nice Italian place down the street.

Awesome. So would you let our readers know what do you do at the San Francisco studio?
I’m managing the studio in San Francisco and taking care of all of our staff’s needs as we expand our offices here, but I’m also doing a little bit of everything, really. We’re expanding fast so I’m interviewing lots of candidates for studio roles here – engineers, artists, producers, product managers – all of whom will be creating social games. I’m even doing a bit of games design in the background.

If you’re interested in working for Playfish, check out our job postings.

Talk about variety – sounds like you’re a jack of all trades!
It’s fun.  I look forward to getting into the office every day. The location is super cool down on the waterfront near the San Francisco bay bridge.  It’s one big open loft space – everyone’s always around. We take plenty of breaks to goof around and crank up the music, chill out in between lots of hard work. I’ve been to Playfish’s London studio too, and it’s the same there. Here, of course, at lunch, we get to walk around the bay. One of the nice things about being at Playfish is the positive atmosphere that is so collaborative; there’s a strong feeling of everyone working toward the same goal.  Everyone has a voice in the creation of games too.

What excites you the most about getting into the office each day?
We’re just getting started on building some amazing game teams. We’ve already got an enormous amount to talent here.  There’s lots of brainstorming and ideas coming from all around the studio. That’s one of my favorite aspects and it’s a really fun part of the game creation process and we encourage everyone to pitch in. We just throw ideas on to the whiteboard and imagine how various ideas would work in a game.

You mentioned you’re interviewing people. What kind of person are you looking to hire?
Above all, they’ve gotta be passionate about games, about making games and making really good games. They’ve really got to love games to do that well – it’s the single greatest criteria in my mind. It’s important that the people we hire enjoy the creative and collaborative environment we have here. The creative process is social – just like our games.

What’s your kind of game?
This is going to sound corny, but honestly, social games – the kind of game where the crowd gets involved and people are shouting to their friends about it in the background. Games people want to huddle around and poke their nose in. Those bring about great memories and are so much fun. That’s what Playfish games are like, too.

What final thoughts would you like to leave us with?
Just a great big thanks to our players! Keep talking to us through the forums and on our fan pages. We enjoy your feedback and love integrating your ideas into our games whenever possible.  We hope you continue to enjoy Playfish games!

A letter to our fans.

February 11, 2010
You may have noticed the little drop down banner that appeared on our website a while ago that announced we were hiring. We still are! New faces are always popping up in all the Playfish studios and becoming part of our fish tank. Ken Ward is the “Go-To” guy for all things recruitment at Playfish and here’s what he wanted to say to all of our readers. Enjoy. 🙂

Hi everyone,

When I heard that our company blog was looking for people to write for it, I  couldn’t wait to jump in there and tell you all about how exciting it is that we’re hiring. My name is Ken Ward and I lead the recruiting team at Playfish.  Officially they call what I do ‘Talent Acquisition’ – and that’s not too far from the truth.

We have a great team spread over four studios – London, San Francisco, Norway and Beijing – on three continents, dedicated to hiring the best and brightest talent to join our fishbowl. If you’re wondering how many people we’re hiring, let me put it this way: sometimes I come in on a Monday and think I have walked into the wrong office because there are so many new faces! I know we have found the right people to work for Playfish though when I look around and see everyone huddling together and talking about new ideas and the things they love. What’s even more amazing is that we truly are representative of the United Nations, with staff at all of our offices coming from every corner of the world, all of them working together enthusiastically.

I’ve recruited in many different environments in my career, including banking (it’s on the CV and that’s where it’s staying), and Playfish is a joy to recruit for and by far the most enjoyable. It’s a truly creative and fun environment and, as we expand, it’s super important to maintain that essence as we grow… and it’s a real challenge I enjoy squaring up to.

We focus on giving Playfishers all the tools they need to do their jobs – from providing great equipment and talented colleagues to work with, to an excellent office environment that is inviting to walk into every morning – though I’m still not quite sure where the huge orange space hopper appeared from…!

We’ve got a great variety of positions open at Playfish right now. We’re focused on getting technically gifted Java programmers, super creative game developers, talented artists and excellent product managers, amongst a variety of other positions. It’s really important that people looking to join us have a passion for what we (and ultimately, they) do. At Playfish, we all feel part of the creative process, which is just one of the things that makes it such an awesome place to work. Absolutely everyone in our company is actively encouraged  to make suggestions for new games, new features… and of course everyone has to play our games – a very important part of the gaming development process! 😉

So we’re looking for creative, fun people, dedicated to changing the way people play and enjoy games. Easy, huh? People like that do exist! I should know – I work with them every day. 🙂

I’ve been so impressed with how we connect the offices in such a global environment. The vision is consistent from office to office and it was so cool last year to meet colleagues from all around the world at our annual meeting, Fishbowl 2009, sharing ideas and helping to drive the company forward. Our leadership team (that’s Kristian Segerstrale, Sebastian de Halleux and company to you and me) are instrumental in driving and supporting this connectivity, and our people, regardless of location, really feel at the heart of things. We share videos from each office at our monthly meetings which is a great way of keeping in touch but we also use a whole myriad of communication tools like instant messaging, VOIP calls as well as other more traditional forms such as email and just huddling together over a coffee in our office breakout areas to talk about exciting new possibilities.

Playfish really is a play hard, work hard culture (in that order!), and we’re focused on helping Playfishers achieve their best by maintaining a fun environment for them to create in. It’s evident in the way the office is made as comfortable for staff as possible – simple things like our Monday Brekkies where everyone has breakfast together the first morning back to the office to catch up after the weekend, to those monthly video diaries I mentioned earlier, where we all get together toward the end of every month and enjoy a party with everyone in the office for no reason other than to have fun and enjoy each other’s company! That’s the focus of our day: to create games that our players can enjoy, and to have as much fun as possible doing it! You could say that we hold ‘creativity’ and ‘fun’ as sacred at Playfish. 🙂

I feel very lucky to be here and to be one of the people helping Playfish to grow, not only in size, but in its ability to do what it does – for you, our players – better. And if after reading this you think you can help us to make great social games, too, I’m inviting you to jump right into the tank and let us know!

If you daydream about working at Playfish, check out our careers page or email careers@playfish.com.


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