Playfish.com is a social networking gaming company. The company has to this date created 9 different games which can be played primarily on Facebook. Some of the games can also be played on MySpace, Google, Bebo, iPhone and Android. Currently available games include Country Story, Crazy Planets, Restaurant City, Bowling Buddies, Geo Challenge, Minigolf Party, Pet Society, Who Has the Biggest Brain? and Word Challenge. The games are primarily Flash-based. The most popular game to date is Pet Society, with over 11 million players. The Playfish site has links to all of the games on the different social networks. Clicking on a link takes you to the game, which is hosted by the social networking site.
The Playfish site also includes a Community section, where you can view pictures of Playfish users from around the world. In addition, the site has a number of social networking features, including a forum, friends, contacts, avatars and messaging. The forum is the center of activity on the Playfish site, and has a large number of users. The site also features a Support section, where a number of FAQs and a knowledge base are available and users are able to open a support ticket.
London-based Playfish.com was founded in October 2007 by Kristian Segerstrale, Sebastien de Halleux, Sami Lababidi and Shukri Shammas. Currently, Kristian Segerstrale is CEO Sebastien de Halleux is COO, Sami Lababidi is CTO and Shukri Shammas is CFO. The company also has offices in San Francisco, Beijing and Tromso, Norway. The site has undergone continuous growth since launch, and currently serves millions of unique monthly visitors. The site has an Alexa page rank near the 1,500 mark.
Competition to Playfish comes from sites such as Zynga and Social Gaming Network. Zynga is much larger than Playfish, with over 10 million unique monthly visitors. They also offer more games on more social networking platforms. Social Gaming Network is smaller than Playfish and concentrates on sports type games like Bowling and Baseball. Social Gaming Network serves hundreds of thousands of unique monthly visitors.
Much of the site is done in Flash, and the user interface is quite intuitive. Navigation is obvious and page loads are responsive, although some of the Flash pages take some time to load. There is a convenient top menu bar for navigation, with tabs including Games, Forums, Support and About. The Forums are where most of the activity takes place on the site. Once the user enters the Forums, they have a convenient side menu bar for navigation to links such as Friends and Contacts, Your Profile and Messaging. There is no advertising displayed on the Playfish site, but there are ads displayed by the social networking sites when playing the company’s games. These ads are relatively unobtrusive.
Registration is not required in order to play games from the Playfish site. Registration is required in order to participate in the Forums, and have friends, a profile and messaging. The registration process asks for username, password, email address, date of birth and timezone. Validation of the email address is required. Users can optionally connect their Playfish profile to their profiles on Facebook and MySpace.
Playfish is free and there is no premium membership offered to the Playfish site.
Playfish is recommended to social networking users who would like to play games with their friends and families using the major social networking sites. The site brings together the social networking platforms with the social gaming world. Rather than joining many different game sites with closed communities, Playfish allows users to play a number of games with the people they are already in contact with.