EA has acquired South Korean PC developer J2MSoft (aka J2M), known for its free-to-play online games such as RayCity, TAAN and Debut.
The purchase appears to have been made to advance EA's position in Asia, where it has previously launched versions of existing Western franchises such as FIFA Online and NBA Street Online. The former debuted in 2006, and is still one of South Korea's top-ten most played games.
EA plans to announce additional "popular franchises" in development for online play in Asia in the coming months, expanding its presence beyond the previously-announced Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Need for Speed and Battlefield Heroes.
The acquisition closed yesterday, but terms of the agreement have not been made public. EA has not yet completed valuations of the company, but the acquisition is not expected to have a noticeable impact on the company's full year results.
"This is a significant step in EA's strategic plan for developing and publishing online games in Asia," says Jon Niermann, president of EA Asia. "J2M is an experienced team of developers and we can't wait to have them start creating online games based on new properties and powerful EA franchises."
"Korean developers have created a unique style of online games that is growing in popularity all over Asia," said J2M founder and CEO KyungMin Bang. "We are excited that EA is aligning with our vision for online games."
"Joining EA presents our team with an opportunity to significantly expand our based with players throughout Asia and around the world as well as to be at the forefront of online gaming."