O2's UK customers will get three months free access to EA Mobile games, after the operator signed a new deal with the computer games giant.
The partnership will give Telefónica's global businesses the ability to create gaming promotions using the likes of EA's FIFA, Monopoly and The Sims brands. O2 said it wants customers to find games and drive the uptake of mobile gaming. Among the offers O2 is examining is special gaming subscriptions for customers.
Telefónica Digital chairman and CEO Matthew Key said: 'Our relationship with EA Mobile puts us as the epicentre of mobile gaming – which accounts for the highest percentage of downloaded apps and is the largest paid mobile content market today. By making a differentiated play in this most emotive and immersive entertainment medium we are fostering a much deeper connection with our customers – another significant step in becoming a true aggregator of experiences.'
Bernard Kim, senior VP for global social and mobile publishing at EA Mobile said: 'Our mission is to deliver games that consumers love – anywhere, anytime, and on any platform they want to play. We know that at least a quarter of mobile users in Europe are playing games on their phones. Our relationship with Telefónica helps more people discover our games, and removes barriers for subscribers to enjoy an entire library of our most beloved titles.'
According to research from IHS Screen Digest, the global mobile games market is set to double to almost £8bn by 2015. Mobile media analyst Jack Kent said: 'Mobile games have been driving the wider mobile applications business, with games the largest content category on all leading application stores. As the mass appeal of mobile games increases, consumers are embracing new forms of content and business models, with free games monetised by micro-transactions – such as in-app purchases – driving growth.'
Editor: Graeme Neill