Electronic Arts said this week that it has acquired independent mobile and social game maker Bight Games, developer of "freemium" game Trade Nations
and other titles.
The acquisition of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island-based Bight represents EA's increasing focus on free-to-play, microtransaction-based business models, as the publisher continues to adopt emerging business models and gaming platforms.
Barry Cottle, EVP of online-focused EA Interactive said in a statement, "The freemium game model in mobile is here to stay, and it’s growing fast. ... Freemium games give players the flexibility to control more of the game -- how fast they progress, how much and how often they want to spend to enhance their experience.
"The Bight team will help us to bring more freemium games to our chart-topping lineup of mobile titles this year," he said.
In Bight's iOS game Trade Nations
, players begin with a small village, and raise that village to become a sprawling city. Since its launch late last year, the game has been a regular in the top 50 grossing game charts on iPhone and iPad. The game also recently launched on Facebook.
EA and Bight have worked together in the past on several mobile games, including an iOS version of EA Sports' NBA Jam
. Other Bight titles include Bigtop 10
, Fleeced! Shear Terror