The App Store arms race is on! That was the message EA Mobile’s Head of Worldwide Studios delivered at his GDC morning presentation earlier today, where EA announced no less than 14 iPhone games currently in development for 2009.
Boatman opened with a broad overview of EA Mobile’s business, which is still very much built around hitting every single mobile device it can, on a global basis. That’s what’s made EA Mobile the number 1 mobile games publisher in the world, according to Boatman (and depending on who you ask and how you count. Gameloft is somewhere up there too).
In any case, Boatman went on to say that smartphone gaming is the fastest-growing segment of the business. EA Mobile is well aware of this, which is why it’s reoriented its resources towards the iPhone in a big way. Another major focus for the company going forward will be social gaming, where iPhone and online gaming will tie together through technologies like Facebook Connect; EA Mobile mounted a quick demo of the new FB Connect-enabled Scrabble, which just launched via App Store update.
And then it was on to the main event–the game announcements!
The games are:
Command & Conquer
EA SPORTS NBA Live
EA SPORTS FIFA 09
Madden NFL 10
Two more games we know of that weren’t announced are The Sims 3 and Need For Speed Undercover.
EA Mobile and ngmoco are clearly dueling for pole position in the industry’s consciousness; while ngmoco’s Neil Young made some impressive technology and platform announcements during his keynote yesterday, Boatman opted to wow us with EA Mobile’s portfolio, as if to say, “that’s nice, but where are all your popular entertainment brands?” Time will tell which strategy is best.