Major publisher and developer Electronic Arts has revealed plans to make an equity investment in South Korean developer Neowiz, as well as expand the existing co-development and publishing relationship with that company.
The aggregate investment made by EA will be approximately $105 million, making EA Neowiz's second largest shareholder after CEO and founder Sung Kyun Na. Once the deal has been completed, EA notes that it will own approximately 19 percent of common stock equivalents (excluding treasury shares) comprised of 15 percent of common stock and four percent of preferred stock of Neowiz, which EA adds could be converted into common stock at a later date.
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 game has enjoyed tremendous success since its release, with the title currently boasting more than 4.4 million registered subscribers.
Following the conclusion of EA's new investment in Neowiz, the companies plan to co-develop an additional four online games for Asia, with Neowiz owning the rights to publish two of the four titles in Korea and Japan.
"We are extremely happy with the expertise Neowiz showed in launching FIFA Online in Korea last year. We think they will be a great partner for bringing other EA franchises to the rapidly growing market for online games in Asia," commented EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst.