EA refocuses efforts on entertainment partners

Electronic Arts (EA), the video-games maker, is to adopt a marketing strategy based on entertainment, which will see it partner major music and film brands to promote its games to a wider audience.

The move is being spearheaded by Jan Bolz, the new vice-president of sales and marketing, who left music giant BMG Records at the end of last year.

Bolz has been putting together a senior marketing team to oversee the change in strategy, led by former Disney Asia marketer Patrick Olo, who was last week named marketing and communications director.

As well as managing EA's marketing budget, Olo will be responsible for nurturing relationships with some of the world's biggest entertainment brands on both licensing and co-marketing.

'We want to create a more entertainment-based marketing strategy that will go beyond licensing. It's not good enough for us to concentrate 100% solely on gaming, so we want to look into wider entertainment like film and music,' said Bolz.

Some of EA's bestselling games have been based on film licences, such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but now it wants to increase the role of film in games in terms of advertising and content to 'hit new target groups'.

EA has also cut the marketing budget it was to allocate to its online and networked gaming services. It had intended to plough millions of pounds into the promotion of its online gaming hub, EA.com, over the next few years.

Bolz said online and networked gaming were still a massive market for EA but because 'it's not going to open up overnight', the level of investment will now match the demand.

EA will also continue to work with Sony and Microsoft to promote their networked gaming services.

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