Hoping to snag hard-core six- to 12-year-old gamers, Lego has signed a three-year co-publishing agreement with Electronic Arts. As per the deal, EA will handle sales and distribution of Lego Software titles, as well as providing quality assurance testing for all future Lego games, which Lego will continue to develop through its software division in Slough, England.
‘In the past, our focus was on creating PC-led family games for four- to eight-year-olds. We’re no longer in that business, and that represents a significant directional shift,’ says Tom Stone, global VP of Lego Software. Stone promises that the games that come out of the deal–particularly the first wave of titles it will release for Nintendo’s GameCube next year–will focus on action-adventure elements rather than the point-and-click discovery type of experience that Lego games have become known for.
With EA’s dominance in the gaming aisle at retail, Lego will have a better shot at cracking the console games market, where its presence is currently all but non-existent. In total, EA will distribute 30 titles, starting this spring with the release of Lego Football Mania, followed by Lego Island: Extreme Stunts in September and Lego’s Racer Dome in November. All three titles will be available for the PS2 console.