Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) announced today that it has signed a deal with IDW Publishing to expand two of its intellectual properties, Army of Twoâ„¢ and Dragon Ageâ„¢, into comics under a new EAâ„¢ Comics imprint with IDW beginning in January. EA and IDW will launch monthly, ongoing series for both Army of Two and Dragon Age. Each issue will be published in print and distributed nationally at comic book outlets, with digital versions released for iPhoneâ„¢ and iPodÂ® Touch and other emerging digital platforms.
â€œWeâ€™ve seen an increasing number of video game tie-ins with comics over the last few years. This marks another step in our strategy for extending EAâ€™s wholly-owned game properties to new media. It is exhilarating to be working with the comic book creators directly,â€ said Mike Quigley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, EA Games Label.
Under terms of the agreement, EA will fund and manage the creative aspect of the comic book series, while IDW will be responsible for printing and distribution. IDW is the leader in digital comic book distribution and the nationâ€™s third largest comic book publisher overall.
â€œThis is a great opportunity for IDW to work with a worldwide leader in video games,â€ said Greg Goldstein, chief operating officer for IDW. â€œWe look forward to bringing a tremendous amount of great content into the comics market.â€
Written by veteran comic book writer Peter Milligan (X-Men, Batman, Hellblazer), Army of Two is being published as a comic starting in January 2010. Rising star Chester Ocampo is the cover artist while the interior artist/penciler, Dexter Soy, is a â€˜hot newcomerâ€™ on the comic scene. Soyâ€™s work suggests influences from well-known comic artists such as Whilce Portacio and Leinil Francis Yu. The first story arc, â€œAcross the Border,â€ follows ex-Army Rangers Salem and Rios as they form their own Private Military Corporation: Trans World Operations. The story of the comic follow the events of the first Army of Two game but takes place before the deadly invasion of Shanghai by The 40th Day initiative in the videogame sequel. In the comic, Salem and Rios get more than they bargained for as they are unexpectedly caught in a brewing war between the Mexican Army, drug cartels, and The Maras â€“ one of the most powerful street gangs in Mexico.
Inspired by the highly-anticipated BioWareâ„¢ RPG, Dragon Age: Origins, the Dragon Age comic book series will be written by award-winning fiction writer Orson Scott Card (Enderâ€™s Game, Ultimate Iron Man). The cover artist is the critically acclaimed Humberto Ramos. Story details and the interior artist are expected to be announced shortly.