EA Prototyping Game Concepts for Apple Watch

Exec explains how iPhone games can expand onto Apple's new smartwatch; Talks up potential of wearables.

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Two internal research and development teams at Electronic Arts are examining the possibility of creating games for the newly announced Apple Watch.

Frank Gibeau, an executive who oversees EA's mobile content, suggested that certain Apple Watch applications could accompany iPhone games. Apple has not suggested its Apple Watch could function as a games platform, but it hasn't ruled out the possibility either. One app developer is already working on an arm-wrestling game for the device, but it isn't clear if the smartwatch has the potential to support other game ideas.

"We have two teams prototyping wearable experiences that are not only standalone, but also some ideas where you can actually use the fitness component in the watch that can unlock capabilities in the game that might be on your iPhone," Gibeau told CNET.

"Or you could do crafting or some other auction trading on your watch that goes back into your tablet game that you might check out later when you get home. So, we're pretty excited about it. We think it's very early days. But for EA, the emergence of another gaming platform is compelling for us."

Following years of speculation, the Apple Watch was officially unveiled on Tuesday. It will require a iPhone to work, is set for release in 2015 and starts at $349 in North America.

Gibeau also spoke generally about wearables as a platform, with Google Glass and Oculus Rift cited as candidates for testing game ideas.

"One of the things we're intrigued with in the mobile division is seeing wearables emerge as a gaming platform," he said.

"We think we're in the early stages of that, if you look at Oculus and its relationship with Facebook, and Google Glass. Now with Apple's big announcement with the watch, there's a trend here where wearables are going to increase in performance, capability and unique functions over time that we believe will enable gaming experiences."

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