Will Windows 8 Prevent Electronic Arts from Going Bankrupt?
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is turning to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) at a time when the game maker is faced with declining sales and a plummeting stock price. Can Microsoft help EA turn the tide? Or is it too little, too late for the publisher of Battlefield and Madden NFL?
According to Bloomberg, EA COO Peter Moore has confirmed that the company is "in talks" with Microsoft to bring mobile games to the next version of Windows.
"We're working very closely with Microsoft to understand what their views on gaming navigation are," Moore told Bloomberg. "Anything that allows more platforms to be adopted quickly that have a gaming element is good for Electronic Arts."
EA will reportedly unveil new Windows-based versions of SimCity, FIFA Soccer, Medal of Honor, and Need for Speed this week. However, the company did not specify which Windows platforms will receive those games. While Microsoft designed Windows Phone 8 to be compatible with standard Windows 8 development, the power of the average smartphone cannot compare to that of a high-end PC. This could make it difficult for EA to successfully develop the same version of Medal of Honor for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
If EA finds a way to pull this off, it will be a major win for Microsoft, which needs to build a powerful gaming lineup for its mobile platform to be successful. Without it, the Windows 8 app store may not be able to compete with similar offerings from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).
This could also be a big win for EA, but only if users embrace both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. If they do, EA could save money -- and sell more games to a larger audience -- by choosing to develop new titles for both of Microsoft's platforms instead of (or perhaps in addition to) iOS and Mac OS.
There is one problem though. For EA's venture to achieve any real degree of success, the company will have to develop games people want to play. Thus far this year, EA seems to have failed to do enough of that, which may be why shares of the company have declined.
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