In what is seen as the largest acquisition in the company’s history, Elecronic Arts is buying cell-phone vidgame publisher Jamdat Mobile for a crisp $680 million in cash. Jamdat CEO Mitch Lasky will head EA’s worldswide mobile game business as part of this new development. Lasky will oversee Jamdat’s lineup, which includes titles such as Bowling, Tetris and Bejeweled and EA titles Need for Speed and Madden NFL Football.
EA already has its own mobile games division, head up by John Batter, formerly the general manager of the company’s L.A. studio. Analysts observe that EA can now leverage Jamdat’s global reach to deliver such popular franchises as The Sims and Harry Potter.
Jamdat went public just one year ago, taking advantage of Wall Street interest in the fast-growing cellular gaming market. Last quarter, it made a profit of $1.4 million on $20.2 million in revenue. Both Jamdat and EA’s mobile business are located in L.A, and the combined division is expected to operate out of Playa Vista. The gaming global market is projected to grow from $1 billion to more than $5 billion in the next few years.