EA, Hasbro enter into casual relationship

Publisher picks up rights to Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Nerf, and more of game maker's famous brands.

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Electronic Arts established its EA Casual label in June, and today the company announced its first major licensing agreement for the division. The game publisher has reached an exclusive worldwide deal to make console, handheld, PC, online, and mobile games based on a slate of Hasbro properties including Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Nerf, Tonka, and Littlest Pet Shop.

Some of the rights were previously held by Atari, which signed an exclusive seven-year deal with Hasbro in 2005 for online and mobile games based on Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, and more. Some of those titles were set to be published by Jamdat, the mobile gaming company EA acquired, which was renamed EA Mobile and is now part of the EA Casual division. However, Atari sold those rights back to Hasbro last month for $19.5 million, paving the way for today's announcement.

Not all big-name Hasbro properties are included in the deal. Atari is still set to publish Jenga on the Nintendo DS and Wii, and Activision has the rights to the Transformers brand. Atari also holds the rights to the role-playing series Dungeons & Dragons, which Hasbro also owns.

The current deal also gives Hasbro rights to turn "select EA franchises" into toys and traditional games, though specific properties were not revealed. The EA-Hasbro deal extends through 2013, but could be extended through 2017 if certain conditions are met. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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