EA Mobile will spend 2007 finding ways to use mobile handsets to bring together consumers playing titles over mulitple home formats, Javier Ferreira, VP of European publishing for EA Mobile, told Mobile Industry Biz. This marks a welcome change in focus from EA, which previously relied on big brand casual games for its mobile strategy. I?m sure it will still offer those games and market them heavily, but the company now wants to have communities for its games spanning different platforms.
?The community focused component is going to be about how the consumer is playing The Sims on mobile, and how they communicate and speak with the people playing The Sims on DS, PC or PlayStation 3,? detailed Ferreira...The publisher is keen to take advantage of mobile?s unique strengths rather than simply rely on the basic idea of porting popular franchises to yet another format. Key to this, says Ferreira, are the opportunities provided by community features..."For Electronic Arts, mobile is a gaming platform but it?s also a media channel. And that?s an exciting thing.?
Ferreira said it?s important to have the communities built from the ground up rather than the top down, which is more difficult but generally more successful. This could be a good way to maintain the company?s customer base in light of the predictions of many industry pundits that simple games will soon be given away free and supported by ads.