EA Acquires Mobile Game Developer Chillingo - InformationWeek

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EA Acquires Mobile Game Developer Chillingo

"Angry Birds" for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is Chillingo's best known game; the company's titles also include "Cut the Rope," "Helsing's Fire," and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs."

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Electronic Arts has acquired mobile game creator Chillingo, giving EA a number of popular titles for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

EA announced the deal on Wednesday, but did not disclose financial details. However, The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital website reported that the price was less than $20 million.

Chillingo, based in Macclesfield, U.K., is best known for its popular "Angry Birds" game for Apple's mobile devices. Other Chillingo titles include "Cut the Rope," "Helsing's Fire," and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs."

EA is hoping Chillingo will help it expand the reach of EA Mobile by incorporating Chillingo's "expertise in cultivating the ideas of independent developers," EA said in a statement.

The deal is just the latest in a string of acquisitions in the gaming industry, as vendors expand the number of games they have on not just Apple devices, but on smartphones based on Google's Android operating system and on social networks, such as Facebook.

Walt Disney Co., for example, bought in July Playdom, a fast-growing online social gaming company, for $763.2 million, which included $200 million in performance-linked incentives. Earlier that same month, Disney bought iPhone game developer Tapulous, best known for the game "Tap Tap Revenge," which is one of the most popular games offered through Apple's App Store.

Other recent acquisitions include Japanese social game maker DeNA buying iPhone game creator Ngmoco for $400 earlier this month. In addition, Zynga, creator of popular Facebook games such as "Mafia Wars" and "Farmville," acquired Unoh, a Japanese creator of social games.

EA also develops mobile and social games. In September, the company released Madden NFL Superstars, a National Football League-based game that's free to play on Facebook.

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