GamesBeat

How Electronic Arts is chasing Puzzle & Dragons with Tetris Monsters

Above: Some art and screens from EA Japan's Tetris Monsters.

Image Credit: Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts has the rights to one of the most beloved puzzle games of all time, and now it wants to take that property and use it to imitate mobile gaming’s current king of revenues.

Earlier this week, Electronic Arts announced Tetris Monsters for mobile devices. It is a free-to-play puzzler with role-playing elements. Players must stack and eradicate lines just like in the standard Tetris, only that gameplay also interplays with a monster-fighting mode as well.

The game is due out in Japan on iOS later this summer.

EA released the following trailer of Tetris Monsters in Japan:

EA Japan is developing the title, and it’s clear that the studio and the publisher saw what GungHo Online Entertainment was doing with Puzzle & Dragons, which combines puzzle and RPG mechanics in a free-to-play model that rakes in around $4 million every day in revenues.

“EA Japan’s announcement doesn’t come out of nowhere,” Japanese gaming analyst Dr. Serkan Toto wrote on his blog. “The overwhelming success of GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons has triggered a wave of mobile games that combine puzzle and RPG mechanics. Tetris Monsters will not even be the first such game with Tetris-like mechanics.”

Toto noted that an obscure title known as Block & Monster features Tetris-like gameplay with Puzzle & Dragons-like RPG elements. Details beyond the basics are scarce. We’ve reached out to EA, and it confirmed that it doesn’t have any plans to release the title outside of Japan at this time.

Puzzle & Dragons’s primary audience is Japanese. The game has 17 million players in that country. In North America, Puzzle & Dragons only has 1 million — although that’s no small number. It’s possible that if EA decides to release Tetris Monsters outside of Japan, the Tetris brand could help it find a major audience in Western territories. For now, that’s not the case.


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