The move is part of EA’s plan to dominate the market for mobile games on smartphones and tablets, where it already has a big presence. Mobile gaming is becoming a bigger and bigger battleground, and many view it as potentially a lot bigger than the already lucrative social game market on Facebook. EA is grabbing as much mobile game development talent as it can as it competes with rivals such as Zynga.
Melbourne, Australia-based Firemint has shown that it can come up with repeat hits on the iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) platform. I’ve spent many hours playing Firemint’s Flight Control on the iPad, where you tap and slide your fingers on the touchscreen to guide airplanes in for a landing. The game becomes furiously difficult as more and more aircraft crowd the screen. You become an overworked air traffic controller, but Firemint figured out how to make that fun.
Firemint also had a big hit with Real Racing, a racing simulation game that you control by tilting the device in one direction or another, tapping the built-in motion sensors of the device.
The new studio will become part of EAi, which includes EA’s mobile games business. The deal is expected to close within four weeks. The purchase price was not disclosed, as it is not material to EA, which generates more than $3 billion a year in revenues. EA also recently acquired Mobile Post Production, which has a platform to make cross-platform mobile games. Barry Cottle, head of EAi, said the acquisition will further EA’s push for better quality games.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties