EA, Glu Mobile forge game developer alliances

Two of the mobile gaming segment's premier publishers, Electronic Arts and Glu Mobile, are launching new programs designed to strengthen their respective ties to the independent developer community. Electronic Arts will expand its EA Partners program to its Chillingo and Playfish units, enabling independent mobile and social game developers to leverage the company's international publishing and distribution network. First established in 2003, EA Partners connects Electronic Arts with studios like Epic Games, Vanguard Games and Paramount Digital Entertainment, expanding the company's slate of available titles for console, PC and digital platforms; EA Partners will now target platforms like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Facebook as well.

Electronic Arts acquired Chillingo in October 2010, reportedly for under $20 million. Chillingo works with a global network of independent development studios, leveraging its marketing and publishing channels to distribute games across operating systems including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone--marquee partners include Rovio Mobile, the startup behind the blockbuster Angry Birds, and ZeptoLab, the firm responsible for the iPhone smash Cut the Rope. The Chillingo acquisition followed almost a year after EA snapped up social game creator Playfish for approximately $275 million in cash and roughly $25 million in equity retention arrangements.

Also last week, Glu Mobile unveiled gPartners, an effort to expand its third-party development resources via partnerships with independent game creators. According to Glu, the gPartner network will develop and deliver original content optimized for mobile and social gaming platforms--in addition, the firm will source and publish independent content across regions including North America, EMEA and China. Developers Barking Lizards Technology, Escalation Studios, Flying Wisdom Studios, Hitpoint Studios and Machine Works Northwest have already signed on.

For more on the EA Partners program:
- read this release

For more on gPartners:
- read this release

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