Lego agrees new games console deal with Electronic Arts

Lego has signed a deal with entertainment software company Electronic Arts (EA) for the marketing and publishing of software titles for next-generation games consoles.

The toy company’s Lego Media division already publishes games such as Lego Creator Harry Potter available on PC CD-Rom and Gameboy formats, but the agreement will enable Lego software to be played on PlayStation 2 and the soon-to-be-launched Nintendo Gamecube and Microsoft Xbox machines.

Lego says the deal will increase its foothold among sixto 12-year-old boys, who represent the biggest market for Lego toys. It will also enable the company to benefit from EA’s global distribution network.

Electronic Arts’ vice-president, Tom Frisina, says: “This agreement will bring Lego’s impressive range of intellectual properties to a slightly older and more entertainment-driven market. For EA it’s an opportunity to reach out to younger gamers.”

The deal follows the appointment of Tom Stone, former head of development at EA Europe, as global head of Lego’s software division.

A report published this week claims the British video games industry is failing to market its products effectively. Most are promoted in specialist magazines using ads, reviews or covermounted demo versions of games.

However, research by software developer Eutechnyx reveals that almost half of 11to 18-year-old console owners do not buy or read games magazines.

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