GDC11: EA expands Partners scheme to mobile and social

GDC11: EA expands Partners scheme to mobile and social

By Rob Crossley in San Francisco

March 1st 2011 at 8:01PM

Playfish and Chillingo to broker publishing deals for App Store, Android and Facebook

Electronic Arts has opened its publishing partnership deal to both mobile and social game developers, the company has announced.

The dramatically widened scope of the Partners initiative will mean Android, App Store and Facebook developers can use EA’s publishing muscle in the mobile and social games spaces. In return, developers will give EA a slice of its revenues.

Electronic Arts has appointed its specialist arms in both mobile and social gaming to drive the plan forward. EA’s Playfish will handle social games partnerships, while Chillingo will deal with mobile games.

The EA Partners Program has proved popular in the independent studio world. Triple-A developers such as Valve, Epic Games and Crytek have used the service to launch their biggest retail titles.

However, mobile and social platforms already take their own revenue cut for hosting games – with Apple and Android both claiming 30 per cent, and Facebook digging into revenues with its player Credits system.

In light of this, EA’s cut – which hasn’t been publicly announced – could be central to whether the scheme will fall or fly.

“The EA Partners program has proven to be a phenomenally successful model,” said EA Partners general manager Bryan Neider.

“It is an all around win-win situation. The program allows EA to partner with some of the world's best console, PC and digital developers while providing those independent developers with a global distribution/publishing partner.”

Neider stressed the importance of using both its social and mobile games studios to broker deals, as opposed to EA executives.

“We're excited to be able to offer partners the mobile and social expertise of Chillingo and Playfish,” he said.

“Like EA Partners, Chillingo and Playfish work with the best development talent in the mobile and social gaming space,” he added.

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