The announcement builds on EA’s strategy of partnering with proven regional operators to bring online games to Asia. Following EA SPORTS FIFA Online and EA’s announcement to bring Warhammer® to Asia, Battlefield expands EA’s presence in the rapidly growing Asian online gaming market.
In 2006, EA and Neowiz partnered to launch EA SPORTS FIFA Online, now one of Korea’s most popular games with more than 4.9 million registered subscribers. In March 2007, the companies expanded their relationship to include the co-development of an additional four online games for Asia. Battlefield is the first EA franchise to be announced as part of that agreement.
The franchise creators at EA DICE in Stockholm, Sweden and the development teams at Neowiz Games in Seoul will team up to create the Asian offering. Gamers can expect to see enhancements that build on the rich community element of existing titles in the Battlefield franchise such as social networking and clan support, as well as all new features to deliver an always-fresh, online in-game experience.
Patrick Soderlund, General Manager of EA Dice, said, “We’ve seen the success of the Battlefield community in Europe and North America, and are excited to start working with the talented team at Neowiz Games to develop the game for Asia. This is a great opportunity for the Battlefield franchise to create a new online experience with rich, streamlined game play and mass market appeal.”
“Our partnership with EA continues to bring exciting possibilities to Korea,” said Neowiz Games CEO Kwan Ho Choi. “Online gamers in this region have high interest in the first person shooter genre and the power of the Battlefield franchise is sure to be a big hit with Korean players.”
Hubert Larenaudie, President of EA Asia Online, added, “Neowiz Games is a great partner to help us expand our rich portfolio of games in Asia. FIFA Online has seen fantastic response from Korean players and we’re looking forward to future success with Battlefield and other popular EA franchises.”
EA owns an approximate 15 percent share in Neowiz. Availability of the Battlefield online offering in other Asian markets including China, Japan and Taiwan will be announced in the coming weeks.