January 22nd, 2008

EA to offer ad-funded video game on Internet

By Bloomberg News

Computer game maker Electronic Arts Inc. said Monday that it would offer a free shooting video game on the Internet—the company’s first Web-based title to be supported by advertising sales.

“Battlefield Heroes” will be released for download on personal computers this summer and will feature cartoon-style graphics, according to the Redwood City, Calif., company.

The new product is part of a strategy to fuel growth with online ad revenue. Competitor Activision Inc. is merging with Vivendi’s video game unit—a move that will combine Activision’s packaged-game business with Vivendi’s Web-oriented games division, which makes “World of Warcraft.”

“Battlefield Heroes” will allow players to customize characters and plot strategy for combat with others playing online. The game is designed to match players with equal abilities, the company said.

The share price of Electronic Arts has changed little in the last 12 months.

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