Redwood City (CA) – The name of the device is still in question as part of a legal controversy, but Apple’s tentatively titled iPhone has already attracted the world’s largest video game publisher, as Electronic Arts has announced initial plans to work on developing games for the new handset, reports Business Week.
EA senior vice president Mitch Lasky said that talks have already begun with Apple about producing exclusive content for the new phone, which was first unveiled at the Macworld Expo last month.
“We see a lot of the technology that we’ve utilised on the iPod side being incorporated into the iPhone,” said Lasky. EA was one of the first major game publishers to move into the mobile space, and became serious about the market when it acquired Jamdat, the genre leader at the time, in the summer of 2005. Reports suggested that the company’s mobile division accounted for about four percent of last year’s $3 billion of revenue, equalling about $118 million in mobile sales for EA last year. Much of that was profit, as mobile titles typically have low overhead costs compared to physical disc-based games.
Though EA has countless PC titles that it is not bringing to the Mac, the publisher has a good relationship with Apple. Last year, it became the first major company to offer games for the new generation of iPods. Cingular, the major service provider slated for the iPhone, carries dozens of EA Mobile’s games, but Lasky suggests that the company is working on titles that will be iPhone exclusives, similar to how it handled the now-defunct N-Gage gaming phone from Nokia.
The name of the iPhone is still under legal scrutiny, as Cisco, who has owned the trademark for the name since before the iPod became a pop culture norm, filed a lawsuit against Apple. The official proceedings continue to be delayed as both companies try to hammer out an agreement without going to court.