Third price cut since Christmas as publisher pushes ahead on mobile

EA slashes iPad 2 game prices

Electronic Arts is once again demonstrating its willingness to muscle out the App Store competition, this time by cutting its iPad games by 70 per cent.

The discount offer applies to “every EA game optimized for iPad”, the publisher said, and will only last over the weekend.

EA has planned for its discount deal to run during the first weekend the iPad 2 goes on sale. Apple today launched its second-generation iPad in the US.

The discount deal will be seen as another assault on the increasingly lucrative mobile games market.

It is the same tactic EA employed in the run up to Christmas 2010, where the increasingly digital publisher slashed iPhone game prices to $0.99.

That got EA closer than any other company to holding a monopoly on the App Store charts. Days before Christmas EA had seven of its titles ranked in the Paid Games Top Ten. Only Angry Birds had a similar presence on Apple’s games chart.

The fierce cost-cutting has angered a number of indie game developers competing in the space, some of which believe a low price-point once distinguished them favourably from the publishing giants.

Ray Sharma, founder of Canadian mobile developer XMG Studio, recently said at a panel discussion; “I think Electronic Arts really screwed the industry at Christmas time, and it’s unfortunate, because of what Apple did to support them.”

EA continues to talk up the importance of digital entertainment for the future of the business. The firm recently reported losses of $322 million for the final three months of 2010, though its mobile division generated $59 million.

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