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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Telefónica Teams Up With Electronic Arts to Offer Mobile Games

By Nick Clayton

Telefónica, the Spanish-based telco, has signed a deal with games maker Electronic Arts to deliver mobile games to its subscribers. The deal is initially only for U.K. customers, but eventually it will be available in other countries.

Last September Telefónica announced it would be separating content sales and creation from network services in the form of a new division called “Telefónica Digital” which would be based in the center of London. This deal is the most important announcement so far arising from the new strategy.

EA is one of the world’s largest video games companies with titles such as “The Sims,” “Fifa,” and “Monopoly.” The partnership should help Telefónica’s national subsidiaries to differentiate themselves from competitors.

It will also give Telefónica an important route into the youth market. The deal enables Telefónica to offer games which run on cheaper feature phones, which attract younger users, as well as more expensive smartphones.

The service will be launched first though Telefónica’s U.K. subsidiary O2, as explains:

The deal covers Android, BlackBerry and all Java based feature phones. While Google already offers a range of EA games through its Google Play app store, and Nokia has a similar tie-up with EA for its Windows Phone 7 range, Telefónica said that its competitive advantage is in offering users is the ability to find the games that they are familiar with and providing “special promotions” to drive the uptake of mobile gaming, particularly amongst feature phone users.

“We’re not creating new gaming app stores to compete with these but using the existing app channels and allowing customers to benefit from free access to games through these channels,” a Telefónica spokesperson told Telefónica Digital in gaming tie up with EA

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