Nokia, EA Team Up for Gaming on the Go

Elizabeth Millard,

Mobile communications company Nokia and game developer Electronic Arts have inked a collaboration deal that will see EA becoming a major supplier of games for Nokia mobile devices.

Customers will be able to access video games through a collection of e-stores from their mobile devices. Initially, they can choose from seven EA titles, which include some of the most popular games the company has produced, such as The Sims 2, Tetris, and Doom.

"Casual gaming should grow by leaps and bounds, now that there are more sophisticated games, and this deal gives EA a good opportunity to repurpose some content as well," JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg added.

Currently, only customers who have the Nokia Content Discoverer system will be able to download games. The system allows users to access the e-stores through their handsets, and is embedded in nine Nokia models. The company noted that it will be embedded in six more by the end of 2006.

Queue Factor

The team-up of Nokia and EA will likely boost mobile gaming, an entertainment arena that is already experiencing steady growth from burgeoning consumer interest, according to Gartenberg.

"There's definitely demand," he said. "It's just a different demographic than hardcore gamers. These aren't people who are going to sit on their couches playing games on their phones. Instead, it's more casual gaming, like killing some time while waiting in line."

Phones are ideal for capturing the attention, and discretionary dollars, of these particular game enthusiasts, Gartenberg said. Advances in cell phones in the last few years, with better graphics, higher resolution screens, and Internet connectivity, have made mobile gaming more of an option than ever before for mobile users.

Starting in mid-2007, EA will also support the launch of a new mobile games platform being developed by Nokia by creating some customized, exclusive games for Nokia S60 devices, the companies noted.

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