EA has apparently decided to throw some of its best minds (like former Electronic Arts Los Angeles general manager Neil Young and director of artist and repertoire for Electronic Arts Alan Yu) behind a new division called 'EA Blueprint.' The point of the division? To help out smaller developers and get games — both extensions of existing EA franchises as well as new IP — out on various platforms, with a strong emphasis on social networking platforms like Facebook. They've tried something like this before, though not on such a scale:
Blueprint games will leverage the growing online communities of social networks—to use Facebook, for example, as a pipeline to consumers. Young tried something vaguely similar with 2001's Majestic, a title that connected with gamers with the title's story through e-mail, AIM, phone, online, and fax. The subscription-based game was discontinued less than a year after its launch due to limited consumer interest.
Sources say talent agency Creative Artists Agency is also participating in the efforts of Blueprint, contributing its substantial resources of talent as well as its connections with funding sources to ramp up the division's output.
I guess this means we have more crap to look forward to in Facebook news feeds and application requests. Joy! More announcements about this secretive little division will be made at a later date, but it looks like quite a lot of talent and funding are going towards a segment of the market that is getting increasing attention from both inside and outside the industry.