EA Finally Prepares to Launch a Freemium Mobile Game

Electronic Arts has dragged its feet when it comes to offering mobile games for free, but no more. Homer Simpson will be the company’s point man (not because he’s gullible, but because he’s popular) in the freemium title The Simpsons: Tapped Out, which will be launched soon. Of course, players will be able to buy doughnuts, credits that can be used to speed up play.

Acknowledging the company’s been lagging in the area, the EA’s mobile and social games chief, Nick Earl, told AllThingsD one reason for the delay was a skills gap: It takes a different skill set to build a download as opposed to, say, a console game. Freemium services download the game app once, then require the continuous care and feeding of thousands of users each day.

“Over the last three years, we reengineered the console business,” Earl said. “There were a lot of mediocre stuff and we moved to making a lot fewer good titles. Basically, we are taking that approach to fewer, bigger and better from console to mobile and social, and adapting to freemium.”

Meantime, EA’s also catching up in another area: At E3, it revealed its plans to develop a platform that will allow users to play their games across multiple platforms.

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