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EA signs Verizon, Sprint for mobile games

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US mobile carriers Verizon and Sprint have inked deals to sell Electronic Arts games to their subscribers.

Verizon, part owned by Vodafone, will offer the likes of Madden NFL, NBA Live, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, FIFA and The Sims to subscribers of its V-Cast high-speed service.

Sprint will offer Tiger Woods PGA Tour and Pogo.com.

EA has said it will ship 20-25 titles for mobile phones this year, yielding around $25m in sales. The games publishing giant wants to make big inroads into mobile gaming, the fastest-growing segment of the games market.

In the US, EA is someway behind market leader Jamdat, with a share of under five per cent of the market to its rival's 15-20 per cent share, according to analysts cited by the Reuters newsagency.

Jamdat offers the likes of Scrabble, Bejeweled, Tony Hawk's Underground and Jamdat Bowling. It has the rights to develop a mobile phone version of Tetris.

It has been suggested that EA wants to buy Jamdat, and yesterday's deals with Sprint and Verizon may make that easier - EA's shares were up 43 cents at $57.89 this morning, while JAMDAT was down $1.24 to $27.76. Both stocks are traded on Nasdaq. ®

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