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EA and Facebook sign 5 year deal

Perhaps spurred by the crushing realization that it is getting trounced like the Rangers in the World Series (sorry Texas) by the social network game maker Zynga, EA has decided to jump feet first into the lucrative social network gaming market.

According to the press release sent out from EA, the company will begin to develop a more “simplified, more accessible experience for people who play games and purchase virtual goods on Facebook”.

EA is already touching on the Facebook gaming market through Playfish, the division of EA responsible for the games Pet Society and Restaurant City. EA acquired Playfish last year.

“Since gaming has emerged as the most popular category of applications on Facebook, the natural next step is for EA to broaden its relationship with Facebook and its 500 million users,” Barry Cottle, Senior Vice President and General Manager for EA Interactive said in the statement. “Our goal is to make the best games tailored specifically to the platforms on which people want to play.”

The partnership with Facebook is just the latest move to increase EA’s presence in the social and casual gaming market, where several companies have recently had a great deal of success in mining the virtually untapped industry. Last week, EA also announced the acquisition of Chillingo, the maker of Angry Birds, the hit smartphone game.

Currently, over 200 million people play games on Facebook every day.

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