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Mobile is key to uniting multiple formats, says EA

EA Mobile boss Javier Ferreira has told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that the phone is essential to uniting communities of players and the home consoles they currently play.

EA Mobile boss Javier Ferreira has told GamesIndustry.biz that the phone is essential to uniting communities of players and the home consoles they currently play.

After establishing a real presence in the mobile market during 2006, EA Mobile's focus for 2007 centres around using the handset to bring together consumers playing titles over multiple home formats.

"It's about how to take advantage of an evolving platform to deliver better games," said Javier Ferreira, VP of European publishing for EA Mobile.

"There's a lot of work to be done by all the players in this industry towards unleashing the connectivity which mobile can offer us — and from EA's perspective to link franchises and different versions of a game across formats."

"The community focused component is going to be about how the consumer is playing The Sims on mobile, and how they communicate and speak with the people playing The Sims on DS, PC or PlayStation 3," detailed Ferreira.

The publisher is keen to take advantage of mobile's unique strengths rather than simply rely on the basic idea of porting popular franchises to yet another format. Key to this, says Ferreira, are the opportunities provided by community features.

"For Electronic Arts, mobile is a gaming platform but it's also a media channel. And that's an exciting thing," commented Ferreira.

"It's about empowering the base. Historically, especially in the telecomms industry, people have tried to build a community from the top — stating that this is what the community is going to be about, telling them what they are going to do."

"But consumers don't like that. The key to a community is aggregating a number of people around a common interest — something simple like The Sims or Battlefield — these properties that generate a lot of community interest, and then giving those people the tools and ability to build the house that they want."

Ferreira pointed out that providing community support is difficult technically, and that it has to be built from the ground up in order to evolve.

"From a technology and development point of view it's much more complex, because suddenly I don't have to worry about building one house but a number of different people building their own house exactly how they want it."

"But if you look at the communities that are working in the internet space, those are the ones that are successful. It's about building things from the bottom," he concluded.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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