EA to Acquire Australian Mobile Game Developer Firemint

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By Kim-Mai Cutler Comment

EA said today that it plans to acquire Firemint, the Australian game developer behind Flight Control and Real Racing. EA said the price wasn’t material, it isn’t releasing terms and that the deal should close within four weeks.

The deal comes shortly after EA’s acquisition of Mobile Post Production Inc., which helps developers create cross-platform titles and port their games for different devices.

While EA has plenty of IP to bring to the table (most recently NBA Jam) and a large mobile game development studio down in Southern California, it isn’t shying away from snapping up emerging talent. Firemint’s Flight Control and Real Racer have both been strong performers since they were released in 2009, with 4.5 million copies in sales and nearly 2 million copies in sales respectively. But the Melbourne-based company hasn’t successfully rolled out any new franchises since then. Firemint¬†announced an upcoming game called Agent Squeek at GDC this year but hasn’t provided new details on a launch date since.

Momentum is gaining behind acquisitions in the space as the iOS and Android charts become more competitive. DeNA recently bought mobile gaming platform OpenFeint for $104 million, while Zynga has scooped up a few mobile game developers like Wonderland and Newtoy. EA also bought Chillingo last October and Reuters reported that the price was less than $20 million in cash.

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