EA buys Flight Control creator Firemint, combats Zynga on mobile

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Firemint on iPhoneFor even the most powerful of publishers, taking the fight to Zynga on its home turf has proved ... ineffective. In turn, EA has decided to beat the FarmVille creator where it's just started: mobile. TechCrunch reports that EA has acquired Firemint, the Australian creators of the popular iPhone game Flight Control, for an undisclosed amount.

The 60-strong team of Firemint, founded by CEO Robert Murray in Melbourne in 1999, will join Playfish, Pogo and EA Mobile in the publisher's EA Interactive division, or EAi. This marks the company's second purchase of a major mobile games company--EA gobbled up Chillingo, the American publisher of Angry Birds, for an easy $20 million a few months ago.

EA previously bought Playfish for $400 million, though even with that team the publisher can only muster a fraction of Zynga's numbers at 34.5 million monthly players, according to AppData. The number is certainly impressive in its own right, but as long as it's not close to Mark Pincus and his crew, EA will likely keep pushing.

What other choice does it have? Perhaps with another 60 talented designers and developers, the company can beat Zynga as it starts to focus on mobile and maintain a lead. Perhaps indeed.

[Image Credit: iPhone Spaz]

What do you think this buyout will do for EA's crusade against Zynga? Does this publisher have a chance to beat the others in the mobile race? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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