EA forms Wii-centric studio

Monolithic publisher transforming PC Tiger Woods developer Headgate into internal shop focused on Nintendo's new console.

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In a recent interview with Newsweek, Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst talked about his company's increasing support for the Wii. Besides mentioning the Wii-specific Sims title, the executive also said that the publisher has "some things in the pipeline" that will be exclusive to the platform.

Today, EA threw more of its considerable weight behind Nintendo's new console. The company announced that it has bought Headgate Studios, the developer of the last six PC installments in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise and Madden NFL 07. Now the shop, redubbed EA Salt Lake, will "focus on development for the Nintendo Wii."

As is often the case when it buys independent developers, EA did not disclose the financial terms of the Headgate acquisition. As its new name implies, EA Salt Lake will remain in its Bountiful, Utah, locale, coordinating its efforts with EA's California development teams and the Madden makers at EA Tiburon in Florida. Headgate founder and CEO Vance Cook will continue to oversee EA Salt Lake as executive producer, reporting to Nick Earl, the general manager of EA Redwood Shores and Sims studio Maxis.

No specific titles were mentioned in the EA Salt Lake announcement. Given its resume, though, the shop is presumably working on the Wii edition of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, due out next March. The only EA Wii game currently on the market, Madden NFL 07 was developed by a Wii-dedicated division of EA Canada's Burnaby, British Columbia, studio. EA is also bringing Need for Speed Carbon, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, SSX, The Godfather, and the aforementioned Sims to the platform.

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