EA, one of the biggest video game publishers in the world, will support Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile phone platform with Xbox Live-enabled games starting this year.
The first titles EA Mobile has announced include The Sims 3, Tetris, Monopoly and Need for Speed Undercover.
All of these franchises appear on existing mobile platforms so the content isn’t exclusive, but Windows Phone 7 owners will have the advantage of the Xbox Live online gaming network. Though Apple has begun offering something similar with Game Center, it’s arguably the most unique feature about Windows Phone 7 and it will make the platform more appealing to game developers and gamers.
All of EA’s games will support Xbox Live Achievements — special badges and goals awarded for accomplishing in-game tasks. The Achievements will add to your gamerscore, which is shared between Windows Phone 7, Games for Windows and Xbox 360 games.
Windows Phone 7 is a slick mobile operating system, but even as it was launched today, the perceived wild card was developer support. To compete with the iPhone and Android, Windows Phone 7 will need a strong library of third-party apps and games.
This weekend, Microsoft was caught using graphics from Rovio’s Angry Birds to promote Windows phones. Angry Birds is one of the most popular mobile games in the world right now, but Rovio was quick to tweet that it has not committed to supporting the platform — a potential blow to developer perceptions.
Rovio went on to say that it will support “all relevant platforms” moving forward, so if Microsoft plays its cards right, Rovio games on Windows Phone 7 aren’t of the question.