Electronic Arts will open a development studio in Korea to focus on online games in the region, planning to hire Korean game developers as a first front of expanson into the Asian market.
Korean publication Digital Chosunilbo reports that EA will create "three or four" new online games from the Korean studio, which will be headed by senior producer Danny Isaac. EA is expected to invest at least 20 billion won ($23.3 million)in the new studio.
Earlier in 2007, EA invested $105 million in Korean developer Neowiz, with the aim of expanding its publishing and development relationship with the studio. The two companies partnered previously for 2006's FIFA Online, a PC-specific online version of EA's officially licensed soccer franchise only available in Korea. The title has earned more than 4.4 million registered subscribers in the region.
At the time EA announced its new investment in Neowiz, it revealed plans to co-develop four Asian online games with the company, with Neowiz owning the rights to publish two of the four titles in Korea and Japan.
According to Digital Chosunilbo, an EA source said, "The size of the studio hasn't been decided yet. First we plan to recruit dozens of workers to develop the NBA Street and Battlefield online games, but if we have more applicants than expected we may increase the size of the studio and develop another game.”