EA undercuts iPhone indies again

EA undercuts iPhone indies again

By Rob Crossley

February 8th 2011 at 12:42PM

Publisher drops price of 27 App Store titles to just $0.99

Electronic Arts is again making daring moves to expand its brand across the mobile games market, though again it may rile the App Store’s indie scene.

The publishing giant has cut the price of 27 iOS games to just $0.99, in a new 48-hour promotion it calls the ‘I Love 99c Sale’.

The deal is only available in the US, though could still expand to Europe.

It is the same tactic EA employed in the run up to Christmas, where the increasingly digital publisher slashed iPhone game prices to $0.99 and £0.99 in the US and Britain.

That previous deal got EA closer than any other company to holding a monopoly on the App Store charts. Days before Christmas EA had seven of its titles ranked in the Paid Games Top Ten. Only Angry Birds had a similar presence on Apple’s games chart.

The fierce cost-cutting has angered a number of indie game developers competing in the space, some of which believe a low price-point once distinguished them favourably from the publishing giants.

Ray Sharma, founder of Canadian mobile developer XMG Studio, recently said at a panel discussion; “I think Electronic Arts really screwed the industry at Christmas time, and it's unfortunate, because of what Apple did to support them.”

EA continues to talk up the importance of digital entertainment for the future of the business. Last week the firm reported losses of $322 million for the final three months of 2010, though its mobile division generated $59 million.