Monday, October 26, 2009

Where Is EA Hiding Their 8lb Gorilla?

Back in July, gaming behemoth EA (ERTS) quietly opened a small studio called 8lb Gorilla (8PG) to create smaller, casual, cheaper-to-build, cheaper-to-buy (sub $3) games for iPhone and iPod touch. Their first release, "Zombies & me", debuted in the App Store on July 10, 2009 at a 99¢ price point. In a review touchArcade called this initial effort "good, but not great" and to date, on iTunes there have only been 376 user reviews with an average rating of 3 stars. Nevertheless, I think the general perception was that this was a decent first foray and that EA's strategy behind 8PG was fundamentally sound... industry folk were generally eager to see what they came up with next. The plan, according to touchArcade, was that the studio would launch new games (under the EA banner), like a little factory, on a "near-monthly" basis... provided there were no snafus in the App Store submission process., what happened? It's been 3 months and no new games, no updates to their website and no updates to their Twitter feed since the end of August. Has EA killed this initiative as quickly and stealthily as they launched it? If so, why? That's hardly giving a brotha a chance. The only explanations that I can come up with, at my current caffeine dosage, are the following: 1) 8PG's games are getting reject by Apple, 2) EA is reshuffling personnel at the unit or, my favorite... 3) the rumors about Playfish are true and EA is going to use those guys to build their casual mobile games. Any other theories out there?

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