Electronic Arts

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Full name: Electronic Arts Limited
Established: 1982
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Electronic Arts, one of the leading games publishers in the world, it was established in 1982 by Trip Hawkins. He was aided by Rich Melmon (Melmon worked in marketing at Apple). Hawkins began working from his home, using his own money. The company was then moved to an office in the headquarters of investment bankers, Sequoia Capital, which was based in San Mateo, California.

The initial name of EA was going to be Amazin' Software, but it was later changed to SoftArt. Neither name was deemed acceptable, so a meeting was held in 1982 between the 12 employees, and Electronic Arts was born.

The First Games
Electronic Arts' first games include Hard Hat Mac, Pinball Construction Set and Archon. These games were released in the spring of 1983. These games were packaged in modern, exciting-looking cases, so they looked similar to rock and pop albums.

Over the 80s, EA had created a wide variety of games and genres; major titles included The Bard’s Tale, Wasteland, Starflight, and Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Trainer. Electronic Arts had even branched out into creating 'Deluxe Paint' one of the key applications for the Amiga computer.

Enter Larry Probst
Larry Probst entered the video game industry with Activision in 1982. In the autumn of 1984, Larry Probst joined Electronic Arts as the vice president of sales. He brought a wealth of marketing knowledge to the company, and organized EA's strategy of dealing directly with retailers.

Mad for Madden
Hawkins wanted to create a football game. So Hawkins recruited John Madden, the Oakland Raiders coach, to learn all the rules of football, to make his game more realistic. Also, using John Madden added another selling point to the game – a celebrity endorsement. All this hard work paid off in 1988 when the game was finally released and lead to EA's longest running franchise. The game was simply called John Maddens Football

Genesis to Revelation
The Mega Drive (Genesis) was released in 1989. The Mega Drive was a 16-bit gaming console by Sega. EA also brought over many strategy and RPG games to the Mega Drive. These games appealed to older players, therefore making the audience of video games wider.

Electronic Arts also formed a partnership with the Japanese developer/publisher Squaresoft to publish their PlayStation titles in North America, helping to bring Japanese-style role playing games to a mass audience. However the Nintendo 64 didn't see very many EA titles.

Online
In 1997, Electronic Arts entered the online market when Origin Systems created Ultima Online, an online fantasy world that could have hundreds of thousands of players across the globe playing it at any one time.

The Pogo.com brand was launched on September 2, 1999 . In March 2001, Electronic Arts (EA) purchased www.pogo.com for approximately $40 million. This site has a variety of free games, subscription games, and games available for download.

PS2 vs Dreamcast
In 1999, Sega released the Dreamcast, although EA could not see a market for it. The Dreamcast was released a year before Sony's Playstation 2. Then Nintendo began a fresh start with its Game Cube, and Microsoft was just coming through with the first Xbox console. EA's tactics were to divide its efforts over the three consoles, so no console could claim dominance.

Electronic Arts had the advantage over other games publishers, because it could publish games across multiple platforms, in a cost-effective way. It could also publish games in multiple languages and deploy games globally better than anyone else.

The Playstation 2 became a showcase for EA games based on movies, such as Lord of the Rings, and The Godfather. EA also secured the rights to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and produced several successful games based on the books. EA's Medal of Honor series flourished on all three consoles where improved graphics enabled the developer to produce an intense, cinematic experience.

The Sims?
EA had always found difficulty in appealing to the female audience. The Sims proved to be an answer to this problem. The game started out as just an architectural idea; designing houses, then adding people, to see how they would work. Then it became apparent that the people were the most interesting things on the screen. EA developed the game some more, then put it out into publishing, and then found that The Sims had a tremendous amount of teenage girls playing. Then EA began to develop more expansion packs geared towards a female audience e.g. Hot Date. To further appeal to girls, EA started buying advertising space in fashion magazines, and on M.T.V television adverts.

Europe! Europe!
Europe has always played an important part to EA. It was 1987 when the European division was set up. In 2004, EA added Criterion Software to its UK studio system. Criterion created the Burnout series of racing games, as well as the FPS, Black. Criterion also produces the RenderWare game engine.

Studios
In 1991, Electronic Arts purchased its first outside development studio, Distinctive Software. This development studio began to work on the EA sports franchise, and it created the long running Need for Speed series. Distinctive was then renamed EA Canada – it's now one of the largest EA studios.

In 1992, Richard Garriott's Origin Systems joined EA. Origin systems developed many games, and the first instalment in the Jane's Combat Simulations series. However, despite its successes, Origin had difficulty integrating with EA, and in 1999 (after the release of Ultima IX) Richard Garriott left the company. Later, several of Origin's high-profile projects were cancelled, and the company was finished in 2004.

EA acquired Peter Molyneux's UK studio, Bullfrog in 1995 . Electronic Arts had already published Bullfrog’s Populous, Theme Park and Magic Carpet. As a division of Electronic Arts, Bullfrog went on to produce Dungeon Keeper and its sequel. Bullfrog was absorbed into EA UK in 2004.

EA bought Maxis in 1997, however Will Wright had already created SimCity in 1989. And when EA bought Maxis, Wright began work on a new project that would become The Sims – one of EA's best-selling computer games.

Westwood Studios was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1998, and the studio produced Command & Conquer : Tiberian Sun, a new sequel, built with an improved game engine. Over the next few years, Westwood continued to produce titles for the Command & Conquer series.

In 2005, Electronic Arts acquired JAMDAT (A successful mobile phone company founded by former Activision executives. Now re-named EA mobile, it has been able to use the knowledge of EA to create mobile versions of games such as SimCity and Tetris.

By acquiring these studios, the company gained many important skills and talents.

Trip Leaves... Enter John Riccitiello
When Trip Hawkins left Electronic Arts, he left Larry Probst in charge of EA. And then Probst made John Riccitiello CEO of EA. On the 2nd of April 2007.

Electronic Arts has 4 divisions, EA Games, EA Sports, EA Casual Entertainment, and The Sims.

Software Highlights from Credited Titles

Electronic Arts's first work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1981 title, "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (C64).

The company has been involved titles released on the PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, 3DS/2DS, PSVita, Wii U, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, DS/DSi, iPad, PS2, Power Mac, PSP, Xbox, GameCube, GBA, N-Gage, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, N64, Game Boy, Saturn, Sega 32-X, Sega Megadrive, SNES, Amiga, CD32, ST, Mac, 3DO, Game Gear, Sega MegaCD, Sega Master System, NES, C64, Spectrum 48K, Amstrad CPC, Apple II and Atari 400/800/XL/XE. Of these, "Mirror's Edge" (Xbox 360), "Mirror's Edge" (PS3), "The Sims 2: Free Time" (PC), "Dead Space" (PS3), "The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff" (PC) has been a best selling title.

The company is currently involved with the forthcoming 2019 release "Anthem" (Mac).

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Timeline

FIGHT FOR THE RESISTANCE OR JOIN THE FIRST ORDER IN STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II: THE LAST JEDI SEASON

Free* Content Inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Now Available Adding Finn, Captain Phasma, New Locations and More in Multiplayer.

13 Dec 2017

NEED FOR SPEED RETURNS IN AN ACTION DRIVING EXPERIENCE THAT UNITES THE CULTURE OF SPEED

Deep Customisation, Authentic Urban Car Culture, Open World, and Immersive Narrative All Feature in the Reboot of the Famed Need for Speed Franchise

21 May 2015

EA, BioWare and LucasArts Usher in a Force in Online Games as Star Wars(TM): The Old Republic(TM) Goes Live Today

From Midnight Store Openings to the Opening Bell of the NASDAQ, Gamers and Star Wars™ Fans Celebrate the Start of their Personal Star Wars Saga Online Today

20 Dec 2011

FIFA 12 Scores with Unprecedented Opening Sales

Highest Rated Sports Videogame Of This Console Generation, Record 3.2 Million Units Sold-Through In Less Than One Week, Almost 350,000 Fans Connect To FIFA Ultimate Team Early Web-Start

05 Oct 2011

EA to Acquire PopCap Games

Leading Provider of Casual Games for Digital Platforms Accelerates EA's Digital Transformation

13 Jul 2011

EA and Insomniac Games Reveal New Four-Player Co-Op Action Game Overstrike

Award-Wining Developer Makes its Worldwide Multiplatform Debut with an Explosive Spy-Fi Adventure

06 Jun 2011

Ea To Showcase Highly Anticipated Titles For 2010 At E3

Games Feature EA’s Multiplatform Leadership with Something for Every Genre of Gamer

10 Jun 2010

Ea Changes The Game, Announces Nba Elite 11

EA SPORTS Set to Re-invent the Basketball Simulation Videogame Experience This Fall

02 Jun 2010

Ea Expands Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with Extra Multiplayer Content

EA EXPANDS BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY WITH EXTRA MULTIPLAYER CONTENT

25 Feb 2010

Ferrari Races Into Need For Speed Shift

Ferrari Racing Pack Features 10 Glorious New Cars and Extended Career Mode

09 Feb 2010

Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins Reaches Triple Platinum Sales

Legendary Studio's Newest Title Wins over 30 Industry Awards, Ships Over 3 Million Units Becoming BioWare's Sixth Consecutive Blockbuster Franchise

08 Feb 2010

Bioware's Mass Effect 2 Hailed As 1St Blockbuster Of 2010

Game Earns Rave Reviews, Sells 2Million Units in Week One

29 Jan 2010

Ea Sports Unveils Free Downloadable Football Game For Pc

Football Fans Will Shape EA SPORTS FIFA Online Content During Development Process

29 Jan 2010

Celebrate The Single Largest Sporting Event On The Planet with The Only Official and Exclusively Licensed Videogame On Wii For The 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa.

Experience an action-packed, easy-to-play football game that brings friends together in their living rooms

27 Jan 2010

Ea Celebrates 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa with Exclusive Release Of Officially Licensed Videogame

Event Game Features First Full and Authentic 2010 FIFA World Cup Online Tournament Mode

27 Jan 2010

Ea Sports Celebrates The Single Largest Sporting Event On The Planet with The Only Official and Exclusively Licensed Videogame For The Playstation 3: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa

Take on the challenge of leading your home nation from qualification right through to a virtual re-creation of the FIFA World Cup Final

27 Jan 2010

Ea Sports Celebrates The Single Largest Sporting Event On The Planet with The Only Official and Exclusively Licensed Videogame For The Xbox 360: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa.

Take on the challenge of leading your home nation from qualification right through to a virtual re-creation of the FIFA World Cup Final

27 Jan 2010

EA LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMAND & CONQUER 4

Next Game in the Best-Selling Real-Time-Strategy Series Will Reveal the Epic Conclusion of the Tiberium Saga

09 Jul 2009

ROCK BAND UNPLUGGED MEDIA ALERT

R.E.M., STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN, DIXIE CHICKS AND MORE COME TO ROCK BAND UNPLUGGED

09 Jul 2009

THE BATTLE FOR THE PACIFIC HAS BEGUN: EA'S BATTLEFIELD 1943 IS AVAILABLE NOW

Full Downloadable Game On Sale For Only £9.99 / 1200 MS Points; Trial Version Available for Free*

08 Jul 2009

The Ten Commandments Rewritten

Brits suggest updated Commandments as they fail to remember, understand or see relevance in many of the traditional ten

08 Jun 2009

Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Ultimate Edition For PlayStation 3

The Ultimate Edition includes everything from last year’s award-winning release of Command & Conquer™ Red Alert™ 3

21 Jan 2009

EA SPORTS UNVEILS WII-SPECIFIC "ALL-PLAY" LINE OF GAMES

New Wii Initiative launches this summer

27 Jun 2008

EA ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF TIBERIUMTM

Tactical first-person shooter set in the Command & Conquer universe due for autumn 2008 release

18 Dec 2007

New Street Media engages Electronic Arts (EA) Pogo UK with new interactive TV game

EA Pogo UK advergame launches on PlayJam on 20 November 2006

16 Nov 2006

EA To Acquire Criterion Software Group From Canon Europe

Electronic Arts Acquires UK Creator of Burnout 3 and RenderWare.

28 Jul 2004

EA Gets Stranger with Oddworld

Latest title in acclaimed character-based action series scheduled for release in 2005

17 Jun 2004

Electronic Arts Invests in Multi-Year Publishing Agreement with Game Developer, Digital Illusions

Developer of Critically Acclaimed PC Game Battlefield 1942 To Get Strategic Investment

27 Feb 2003

Electronic Arts and Looking Glass Studios form Co-publishing Partnership

System Shock 2 and Flight Unlimited III are First Games in Multi-Title Agreement

06 Feb 2003

EA acquires Maxis

04 Jun 1997

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