EA Partners formed

Publisher evolves copub and distribution biz.

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Electronic Arts announced today the creation of EA Partners, a business unit intended to manage its worldwide copublishing and distribution relationships for the product portfolios of smaller, often-independent third-parties. Known previously as EA Distribution, this unit is responsible for generating approximately $300 million in revenue.

EA currently has a relationship with upward of a dozen developers and publishers. These include Buena Vista Games/Disney Interactive, Digital Illusions, Fox Interactive, IO Interactive, Krome Studios, LEGO Interactive, Lionhead Studios, Sunflowers Interactive, and Warner Brothers Interactive. EA also maintains regional publishing partnerships with other major third-parties, including Capcom, LucasArts, Namco, and NovaLogic. Offering an exemplar of the fruits of such relationships, EA cited the critical and commercial success of 2002's Battlefield 1942, which was developed by Sweden's Digital Illusions.

Said John Riccitiello, EA president and COO, in a statement: "The mission of EA Partners is to help develop the tremendous creativity of independent studios and publishers and bring their games to the worldwide market. We've created a business to bring innovative games to new platforms and new markets around the world."

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