REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment, plans to make an equity investment in Korea-based online gaming company, Neowiz Corporation, and expand the existing co-development and publishing relationship with that company.
In 2006, EA and Neowiz partnered to launch one of Korea’s most popular games: EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online, a game with more than 4.4 million registered subscribers.
Upon completion of the investment, EA will own approximately 19 percent of common stock equivalents (excluding treasury shares) comprised of 15 percent of common stock and four percent of preferred stock of Neowiz which could be converted into common stock at a later date. The aggregate investment made by EA will be approximately US$105 million. When the deal closes, EA will be Neowiz’ second largest shareholder after CEO-founder Sung Kyun Na. Additionally, EA and Neowiz intend to co-develop an additional four online games for Asia. Neowiz has the rights to publish two of the four online games in Korea and Japan.
“Our partnership with EA has been a tremendous success in Korea,” said Neowiz CEO Sung Kyun Na. “EA has a rich portfolio of game franchises and we look forward to partnering with them on bringing new titles and in new markets in Asia.”
“We are extremely happy with the expertise Neowiz showed in launching FIFA Online in Korea last year. We think they will be a great partner for bringing other EA franchises to the rapidly growing market for online games in Asia,” said EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
Neowiz Co. Ltd, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is the nation's leading online game company. Founded in 1997, Neowiz is expected to post revenues of $150 million for fiscal 2007. The company develops and publishes online games. In 2006, Neowiz had over 50 online game titles in service including the most popular online game in Korea called Special Force. Neowiz markets its products under its online game portal www.pmang.com. More information about the company information and press releases can be found on the internet at www.neowiz.com
Safe Harbor For Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements set forth in this release, including those regarding EA's pending investment in, and its co-development and publishing agreements with, Neowiz Corporation, growth in the online games market in Asia, and the expected impact of the investment and agreements on EA's strategic and operational plans and financial results, contain forward-looking statements that are subject to change. Statements including words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate" or "expect" and statements in the future tense are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or actual future results to differ materially from the expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors which could cause results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements include the following: the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and receipt of necessary regulatory approvals; the possibility that the investment and/or agreements will not be consummated or that the consummation of either may be delayed; the effect of the announcement of the investment and agreements on EA's and Neowiz’ strategic relationships, operating results and business generally, including the ability to retain key employees; general economic conditions; and other factors described in EA's SEC filings (including EA's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2006 and Quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 31, 2006). If any of these risks or uncertainties materialize, the investment and/or agreements may not be consummated or may not be consummated on the anticipated terms, the potential benefits of the investment and agreements may not be realized, EA's operating results and financial performance could suffer, and actual results could differ materially from the expectations described in these forward-looking statements. EA assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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