America Online Inc. Monday teamed with the world’s largest interactive entertainment software company, Electronic Arts, for a five-year strategic relationship to create online games and interactive entertainment content for AOL (AOL).
Pledging to pay AOL $81 million over this term, Electronic Arts (ERTS) will become solely responsible for content on AOL’s Games Channel and for all game content on America Online, Inc. The deal extends to brands AOL.COM, CompuServe, Netcenter and ICQ.
The new gaming site will be found at AOL keyword “EA” and is expected to launch in summer 2000 with an offering of products and services for game players of all ages and interests.
Electronic Arts’ proprietary game content will be available to AOL and CompuServe members and to visitors to AOL.COM, Netcenter, ICQ and Digital City.
EA will also provide similar game content with the simultaneous relaunch of its own Web site at EA.com. EA will offer a wide array of online services including the ability to download and play games, find online opponents, obtain game-related information and join chat rooms to discuss games.
“We believe the time is right for us to make a bold move into online entertainment. “We intend to expand our leadership position
in online gaming by creating the most comprehensive online destinations in cyberspace,” said John Riccitiello, president and chief operating officer of Electronic Arts.
“In addition to our own Web site at EA.com, our strategic relationship with AOL will enable us to reach millions of new consumers. We believe we can provide the best, most compelling online entertainment experience in the