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Electronic Arts to buy game studio Firemint

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 9:05am
The Associated Press

Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. is buying Firemint, an Australian mobile game developer known for iPhone and iPad games such as "Flight Control" and "Real Racing" for an undisclosed sum.

EA, whose games include "The Sims," "Madden" and the racing game series "Need for Speed," said the deal is not material to its overall business and will close within four weeks.

The company has been pushing aggressively into mobile and social online games as it faces competition from formidable newcomers such as "FarmVille" maker Zynga and "Angry Birds" creator Rovio.

It bought Chillingo, the publisher of "Angry Birds" and other mobile games, for about $20 million last October. The deal didn't include "Angry Birds."

In 2009 EA, based in Redwood City, Calif., bought PlayFish, a maker of social network games, for $275 million. It said it also recently bought mobile gaming company Mobile Post Production Inc.

Firemint's 55 employees will join EA but will continue to work out of Melbourne, Australia.

Shares of , which reports its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes, climbed 4 cents to $20.34 in midday trading.

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