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EA Partners expands to social and mobile, as DeMartini moves on

COO Neider takes over, with Chillingo and Playfish to advise on new platforms

EA Partners has seen something of a shakeup, as the firm's third-party publishing label broadens to cover mobile and social games.

Recent EA acquisitions Chillingo and PlayFish will assist with Partners projects, in a move to attract iOS, Android and Facebook developers to the scheme.

Also changing is the division's general manager, with long-term head David DeMartini leaving for a role elsewhere in the publisher.

"I have been asked to take over our e-commerce division at EA and our central technology group," DeMartini revealed at GDC last night, "so I will be passing the torch, or beret as it may be.

"It has been a great opportunity, career, and experience here at EA and to be able to speak with each of you on behalf of our partners."

Replacing DeMartini is EA Games COO Brian Neider, who will perform both duties. "Those are some big shoes to fill," Neider claimed, "and I am going to do my best to continue to do a great job, something David has already done."

Recent and upcoming Partners projects include Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, Portal 2, Secret World, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and APB. Unrevealed projects from former Infinity Ward studio Respawn, Starbreeze and Insomniac are also due.

In a statement on Partners' move to cover mobile and social gaming, Neider observed that "We're excited to be able to offer current and future partners the mobile and social expertise of Chillingo and Playfish respectively. Like EA Partners, Chillingo and Playfish work with the best development talent in the mobile and social gaming space."

Said Chillingo co-general manager Joe Wee, "Spearheading EA's third-party publishing for mobile platforms is a natural extension of our team's seasoned expertise; now more than ever before, developers will appreciate the broader, extensive publishing reach Chillingo can offer for their games." EA acquired the Angry Birds and Cut the Rope publisher late last year, for approximately $17 million.

CJ Prober, vice president of Publishing and Product Management at social dev Playfish, commented that "Playfish is looking forward to continuing a tradition of innovation and quality by extending our publishing framework to a select group of independent game developers. Partners will be able to leverage Playfish's deep experience and expertise - as well as EA's vast third-party publishing resources - to enable them to achieve unprecedented success for their games on Facebook."

EA Partners was formed in 2003, and until now has concentrated almost exclusively on traditional platforms.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.