Electronic Arts is a game development and publishing company founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins. As of 2008, the company is organized around four operating labels (EA Games, EA SPORTS, The Sims and EA Casual Entertainment), and an additional group that works closely with the labels: Global Publishing.
The EA Games label contains the largest number of EA's studios and development teams, which together create a diverse portfolio of games, such as action-adventure, role playing, racing and combat games, marketed under the EA brand. EA Games also develops MMORPGs, like Warhammer Online. The EA Games portfolio includes several long-running franchises such as Need for Speed, Battlefield, Mercenaries and Burnout. EA Games titles are developed primarily at the following studios:
- Bioware (Edmonton, Canada and Austin, Texas)
- Black Box (Vancouver, Canada)
- Criterion (Guildford, England)
- DICE (Stockholm, Sweden)
- EA Los Angeles
- EA Montreal
- EA Redwood Shores
- Maxis (Emeryville, California)
- EA Mythic (Fairfax, Virginia)
- Pandemic Studios (Los Angeles, California and Brisbane, Australia)
- Phenomic (Ingelheim, Germany).
EA Games also includes the EA Partners group, which teams with external game developers and third party companies for development, publishing, and distribution. For example, in fiscal 2008, through a co-publishing agreement with Crytek, EA Games released Crysis on PC, and signed a distribution agreement with Harmonix to distribute Rock Band.
The EA SPORTS label markets a wide collection of sports-based games, with a gameplay ranging from arcade to simulation. Many of the EA SPORTS titles are re-iterated on a regular basis (often annually), in connection with the commencement of a sports league's season or a major sporting event when applicable. The EA SPORTS franchises include notably: FIFA Soccer, Madden NFL Football, Fight Night, NBA Live, NCAA Football, NCAA March Madness, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NHL Hockey, Nascar and Rugby. EA SPORTS games are developed primarily at the following studios:
- EA Canada (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- EA Tiburon studios (Orlando, Florida)
- to a lesser extent, several EA Games studios also contribute to the EA SPORTS label
EA Casual Entertainment
The EA Casual Entertainment label is focused on creating casual games for a mass audience of core and non-core gamers. EA Casual Entertainment is responsible for a portfolio of games designed for consoles, handhelds and PCs (including Pogo.com, an online casual games and community website), as well as cellular phones (through EA Mobile). In August 2007, EA Casual Entertainment entered into a strategic relationship with Hasbro through which EA can create digital games based upon a significant number of Hasbro's classic board games and toys, including Monopoly, Scrabble (North America only), Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Nerf and G.I. Joe.
The Sims label
The Sims label focuses on life-simulation games and online communities belonging to The Sims series.