Tuesday, September 22, 2009

EA Mobile To Handle Namco's Carrier Channel Publishing Outside US & Asia

Following a flurry of reports, rumors and speculation from industry trades and blogs (including this one) yesterday about the future of Namco's mobile games publishing business, EA Mobile issued a press release today announcing that it had signed a distribution deal with the Japanese games titan for Europe, Russia, India, Latin America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia that begins Nov 1st. For now it looks like Namco will retain control of US/Canada, Asia ex India and Africa ex South Africa. In addition, and very significantly, Namco will continue to control its own distribution Worldwide through smartphone app stores (e.g. iTunes, BB App World, Android, Ovi, etc.). This seems like a very smart move by Namco, as it will allow them to focus their attention on those channels that show the most promise for growth and provide the highest reward for innovation.... and feed those smartphone initiatives with mailbox money from EA. For EA Mobile, this should be a good move, since they'll theoretically be leveraging their existing infrastructure in those territories to push a broader selection of high-quality titles. However, it'll take some creative dancing to keep Namco happy, while making sure that these distributed titles don't cannibalize EA's own in these markets, while ensuring they don't get too distracted from their own smartphone strategy.

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