EA announced today that their “EA Partners” group will be offering publishing services to independent social and mobile game developers. In a nutshell, small devs will now be able to sign up with EA and access their marketing and development resources.
The advantage here for smaller developers is that they can leverage EA’s publishing might to get their games onto platforms like the Apple App Store, Android and Facebook with the additional push of EA marketing and branding. Small developers will also be able to access resources from Chillingo (Angry Birds) and Playfish (Restaurant City), two of the top mobile/social developers around. From the EA press release:
“As a social gaming pioneer, Playfish helped shape the face of the Facebook platform through original titles and classic EA franchises such as Pet Society, FIFA Superstars and MONOPOLY Millionaires,” says CJ Prober, Vice President of Publishing and Product Management for Playfish. “Playfish is looking forward to continuing a tradition of innovation and quality by extending our publishing framework to a select group of independent game developers. Partners will be able to leverage Playfish’s deep experience and expertise – as well as EA’s vast third-party publishing resources – to enable them to achieve unprecedented success for their games on Facebook.”
This is an interesting move by EA, and one that many social games pundits predicted. In the Facebook gaming world, small developers have great ideas and talent, and it’s in the best interest of a gaming giant like EA to try and recruit them to share some of their profits in exchange for a little push for the indie developer. This gives EA an outside shot to catch a few viral hits that would normally pass right under their radar and go right to consumer.