EA is no stranger to the realm of online gaming, serving as a developer or publisher to some of the biggest online franchises around. They want to extend their influence in online gaming, focusing more on the "social" aspect, getting involved more in the development side and less on the publishing side of the growing portfolio that make up "social" games. To that end, they have acquired Playfish, a company that specializes in the development of many social games.
For $300 million in total assets, EA is taking charge of Playfish's entire library, which is already well-connected with social networking platforms like Facebook, MySpace and the iPhone. As such, all of Playfish's software is based around those sites. With a claimed userbase exceeding 60 million people, EA believes it can use Playfish's existing infrastructure to expand the world of social gaming in general.
There's certainly room for improvement and growth in the social gaming world. It's not something that interferes with the realm of traditional console or PC gaming, and is currently composed of dozens of different developers, many of them independent. Hopefully EA's acquisition won't discourage those developers from continuing to push forward.