EA is actively looking for more developers to buy after PopCap, Chillingo

Apr 25, 2012
Finance

Video game publisher Electronic Arts has been looking for a long time to take a dominant position among the game developers of the iTunes App Store, saying that it’s actively looking for new developers to acquire in the mobile space. As Pocket Gamer reports, EA corporate development group associate Carolyn Rohde said during an interview […]

Video game publisher Electronic Arts has been looking for a long time to take a dominant position among the game developers of the iTunes App Store, saying that it’s actively looking for new developers to acquire in the mobile space.

As Pocket Gamer reports, EA corporate development group associate Carolyn Rohde said during an interview with The Beat, EA’s news blog, that the company is always looking for potential developers to pull into its stable.

Whether EA grabs a company depends on a lot of factors, Rohde said, but the publisher often looks to make an acquisition when it wants to expand into a new genre or area of the industry. That’s pretty much what has been going on with EA’s mobile endeavors, with both positive and negative results. Last year, for example, EA published Dead Space, a mobile entry into its console and PC game series, that was considered among the best of the year. But EA struggled more recently with a tie in to its franchise, Battlefield, when it pulled Battlefield 3: Aftershock because of quality complaints.

EA has been working hard to grab a big stake of the burgeoning mobile game space. Last year, it made some very big purchases, grabbing Flight Control-maker Firemint, publisher Chillingo and even PopCap, the extremely popular maker of Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled.

The company has paid quite a bit for those acquisitions, too. PopCap drew a price tag of upwards of $1 billion, according to reports. A price wasn’t reported for the acquisition of Firemint back in May, which recently released a new version of Flight Control called Flight Control Rocket. EA paid $20 million for Chillingo in October 2010, and that company has been putting out tons of high quality titles ever since, with twin-stick shooter Lock ’n’ Load among its recent releases.

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Just how EA’s strategy is working is hard to gauge, but right now it counts several huge names on the iOS scene as among its holdings. The great thing about the mobile space is that it encourages a lot of innovation and it’s possible for just about any developer to break in with a single good idea and a lot of luck. It seems that just about any developer could end up the next target of EA’s acquisition plans.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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