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EA to Invest in Asian Online Games

by Rainier on March 20, 2007 @ 12:46 a.m. PDT

Electronic Arts plans to make an equity investment in Korea-based online gaming company, Neowiz Corporation, and expand the existing co-development and publishing relationship with that company.

In 2006, EA and Neowiz partnered to launch one of Korea's most popular games: EA SPORTS FIFA Online, a game with more than 4.4 million registered subscribers.

Upon completion of the investment, EA will own approximately 19 percent of common stock equivalents (excluding treasury shares) comprised of 15 percent of common stock and four percent of preferred stock of Neowiz which could be converted into common stock at a later date. The aggregate investment made by EA will be approximately US$105 million. When the deal closes, EA will be Neowiz' second largest shareholder after CEO-founder Sung Kyun Na. Additionally, EA and Neowiz intend to co-develop an additional four online games for Asia. Neowiz has the rights to publish two of the four online games in Korea and Japan.

"Our partnership with EA has been a tremendous success in Korea," said Neowiz CEO Sung Kyun Na. "EA has a rich portfolio of game franchises and we look forward to partnering with them on bringing new titles and in new markets in Asia."

"We are extremely happy with the expertise Neowiz showed in launching FIFA Online in Korea last year. We think they will be a great partner for bringing other EA franchises to the rapidly growing market for online games in Asia," said EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst.

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