Video game developer and publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is in talks with Microsoft to bring mobile games to the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. According to Bloomberg, EA sees the next version of Windows as central to its handset strategy.
“We’re working very closely with Microsoft to understand what their views on gaming navigation are,” Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. "Anything that allows more platforms to be adopted quickly that have a gaming element is good for Electronic Arts”.
EA is hoping to use tablets and phones along with Internet-based titles to reduce Microsoft’s reliance on boxed products. Microsoft needs to have a strong developer base for Windows 8, so that it can go neck and neck against Google's Android and Apple's iOS.
EA is joining hands with Microsoft
According to an earlier report, Electronic Arts expects revenue from digital downloads of its games to overtake sales of boxed game software within a few years, and is focussed on expanding its array of mobile and free-to-play products. EA and major rivals Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software are struggling to sustain revenue growth as gamers migrate to casual and social games on the Internet and on mobile devices.
EA's business model is evolving as it increases revenue from online and mobile gaming, Moore said in an interview. The California-based company publishes games such as Battlefield, Star Wars and FIFA Soccer. "There will come a point, whether it is two or three years from now, when we say. 'We are doing more in digital media now than we are in physical media,' and it's clearly ... not far away," Moore said, citing the rise of EA's digital revenue for the trailing 12 months to $1.3 billion.
EA plans to show the latest version of the popular city-builder SimCity, along with updates to its FIFA, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and the reboot for Need for Speed: Most Wanted franchises at the upcoming Gamescom conference in Germany.
“It is important to attract the gamers and due to Windows Phone 8’s relation to the classical Windows PC programs, it is a good platform for game developers,” said Robert Jakobsen, an analyst at Jyske Bank Denmark. “This is clearly a step forward for Microsoft’s mobile operation system”.