Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) is not just trying to buy big (efforts to buy Take-Two, for example) but extending its M&A mandate to smaller online players: it has bought a relatively unknown social gaming service called ThreeSF, the company announced in a rather brief release this evening. ThreeSF, whose first product was gaming social site Rupture, was started by Shawn Fanning, the founder of Napster (NSDQ: NAPS). The sale price was around $30 million, according to LAT blog, citing sources. EA said that more information about EA's plans for ThreeSF "will be available in the weeks ahead". EA has been working on a social gaming incubator with CAA, so would be interesting to see if this ties in with that effort.
This marks the first time Fanning has made a substantial amount of money: Napster certainly didn't, and then his second startup Snocap needed up selling its entrails to Imeem earlier this year.
By Rafat Ali