Big name traditional publishers have been pretty skittish about jumping into the new forms of gaming over the past few years, but not Electronic Arts. But rather than try and beat the best in these new arenas, they simply buy the best. It happened in 2009 with their acquisition of Playfish. It happened in 2010 with their acquisition of Chillingo. And now in 2011? It’s the popular Australian development house Firemint.
Best known for Flight Control and their Real Racing series of iOS games, Firemint will be acquired by EA for an undisclosed amount. One can assume that another popular series, Puzzle Quest, will likely make its way to the EA brand too, as Firemint had acquired it’s developer Infinite Interactive in an acquisition of their own earlier this year.
“The Firemint team is remarkable for its critical and commercial success,” said Barry Cottle, Executive Vice President and General Manger of EA Interactive. “Having them as part of EAi will accelerate our position as worldwide leader in game development for mobile devices and online gaming platforms.”
There’s no word yet on what this acquisition will really mean for Firemint’s existing franchises. Will EA want to keep the brand loyalty already built into the Real Racing name? Or will they want to stick Firemint in the creative lead for the next iOS Need for Speed entry? It should be interesting to see how things unfold. We’re just hoping that this deal doesn’t do anything to sideline Firemint’s upcoming Agent Squeak.