EA is to buy gaming social network Rupture for $30 million, according to TechCrunch.
Rupture was formed by former Napster founder Shawn Fanning, and produced a social network for World of Warcraft players that never left beta. The company had previously failed to secure many investors, rustling together only $2.5 to $3 million in an angel funding round last summer.
EA is allegedly buying the company not for this product, but for the technology behind it, perhaps to apply to EA Mythic's forthcoming Warhammer Online - although given EA's increasing emphasis on casual and social network-placed games (such as its formation of the EA Blueprint team earlier this year) there are potentially many users for such a technology backbone.
Both Fanning and Rupture's other co-founder, Jon Baudanza, will apparently both become EA employees once the deal is made - which is said to be imminent.