Playfish: In-game objects may be coming to real-world retail

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Think games like Restaurant City and Pet Society are taking over your life now? Just wait until you can buy items from those games in the real world. Speaking to trade magazine MCV recently, Playfish co-founder Sebastien de Halleaux said his company would like to bring virtual items from the company's line-up of social games to real world, brick and mortar retail locations.

"We've decided to experiment a bit more with physical components to our games," he told the magazine. "There may also be objects coming in the future that will form a bridge between retail and the online world. Many of our users have expressed a need to get more and more from their game beyond the online component and this could be anything from virtual currency to a six foot robot from one of our games."

In the interview, De Halleaux also said he was encouraged by the success of Playfish cash cards in retail locations, including Walgreens in the U.S. and Sainsbury's and WHSmith in the U.K. "You can't underestimate the power of the retail distribution channel," he said. "In casual games, cards like these can totally replace boxed product – look at what Apple has done with the iTunes cards. You can buy iTunes cards almost everywhere and they have a higher value than a traditional CD. In the music industry, they've created a big dent in the influence of boxed versions."

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