Electronic Arts Plans Facebook Version of ‘Madden’ (Update1)
(Updates shares in final paragraph.)
By Michele Steele and Adam Satariano
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — Electronic Arts Inc. will introduce “Madden NFL” on Facebook Inc., bringing the video game to the social networking site’s 400 million users, said Peter Moore, president of EA Sports.
“We have to make ‘Madden’ more accessible,” Moore said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “You’ll see us on Facebook going forward.”
Electronic Arts is looking to capitalize on the surging popularity of games played on Palo Alto, California-based Facebook. The world’s second-largest video-game publisher purchased Playfish Inc., the maker of “Pet Society” and “Restaurant City,” for $400 million last year. Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello has said the company aims to generate more sales from games played online and on mobile devices.
A version of “Madden NFL” on Facebook would be a “simpler experience” than the console version, Moore said. An official announcement or release date hasn’t been decided, said David Tinson, a spokesman for EA Sports.
Games played on social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace are free. The makers of the titles generate revenue by selling virtual goods, such as a tractor in Zynga Inc.’s “FarmVille,” that help players advance. Sales within the games are projected to reach more than $2 billion by 2012, according to Atul Bagga, an analyst at ThinkEquity LLC.
Electronic Arts, based in Redwood City, California, rose 28 cents to $17.26 at 4 pm New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares fell 7.7 percent in the past year.
–Editor: James Callan, Rob Golum
To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco at +1-415-617-7204 or email@example.com