Electronic Arts, the second-largest U.S. video game maker, is in talks with Microsoft to bring mobile games to the next version of Windows as it sees the operating system as central to its handset strategy.
Were working very closely with Microsoft to understand what their views on gaming navigation are, Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said in a phone interview before the annual Gamescom conference kicks off this week in Cologne, Germany. Anything that allows more platforms to be adopted quickly that have a gaming element is good for Electronic Arts.
Electronic Arts is counting on games on phones and tablet computers as well as Internet titles to reduce the Redwood City, Calif., companys reliance on boxed retail products.
With sales of the mobile version of Windows 8 slated for later this year, Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., needs developers to create products for its platform to take on Apples iPhone and devices powered by Googles Android software.
Android ran 68 percent of smartphones sold in the second quarter, followed by iOS, Apples iPhone software, with 17 percent, according to research firm IDC.
That compares with 3.5 percent for Microsofts mobile operating system, which ranked fifth.
Windows also trails the two market leaders in the number of games and applications available. There are more than 100,000 apps for the Microsoft product, compared with more than 600,000 each for Apple and Android.
It is important to attract the gamers and due to Windows Phone 8s relation to the classical Windows PC programs, it is a good platform for game developers, said Robert Jakobsen, an analyst at Jyske Bank in Silkeborg, Denmark.
This is clearly a step forward for Microsofts mobile operation system.
Electronic Arts plans to show a new version of city-building simulator SimCity as well as updates to its FIFA Soccer, Medal of Honor and Need for Speed titles at the Gamescom conference this week.
The company is on the lookout for more acquisitions after purchasing game makers including PopCap Games and Playfish, Moore said.