EA denies paid relationship with Apple, brands Plants vs. Zombies 2 debacle an 'unfortunate misunderstanding'
Gibeau's comments 'taken out of context'
Electronic Arts has issued an official statement via its public relations agency in Europe denying that it has a "paid relationship" with Apple, despite claims the Cupertino giant paid to keep Plants vs. Zombies 2 off Android.
The statement follows a report by Giant Bomb quoting EA Labels head Frank Gibeau as claiming Apple had paid EA a "truckload of money" to delay the Android version of the game at an internal town hall meeting.
Despite the fact the site claims "several sources" confirmed the quote was genuine, EA has claimed no such arrangement between itself and Apple exists.
"A comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding," says EA's statement.
"Reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA are factually inaccurate, and we apologise for any confusion."
That's not a denial that Gibeau ever said the words, then, but rather that his words were taken out of context.
It's hard to see what other context they could have been given in – there's a possibility Gibeau may have been joking, perhaps responding to questions as to why the game hadn't yet hit Android. We have contacted EA for clarification.
Apple also issued a short statement following the publishing of the original story, simply labelling it "not true".
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Jack Zahran | 20:38 - 25 September 2013
All smart vendors highlight exclusive features on their platform. That's not really news. The reality is that any App that is featured on the App Store is going to make a boatload of money. It's really mistake for developers to develop for Android...
Glenn Corpes | 17:40 - 25 September 2013
It works both ways. I know of cases where developers have raised the price of iOS versions of games because they believe that "Google don't feature apps that are cheaper on iOS" and, like everyone else, I know developers who have downplayed the existence of planned Android versions because they believe exclusivity will get them a better feature. I imagine that this EA bloke was standing in a company meeting, justifying his existence by bigging up how much money his personal relationship with Apple was worth. Probably had to answer a question from an Apple hater wanting to know why PVZ2 wasn't out for Android yet and worded his explanation badly.
jon jordan | 12:13 - 25 September 2013
That said, a "truckload of money" is different to a "truckload of marketing support"
Fraser Ross MacInnes | 12:04 - 25 September 2013
It may not be as explicit as actual payments. I suspect Apple's play is, we'll guarantee your game get's prominent featured placement on the app store in X territories for X months - or in other words, a marketing advantage that money can't buy.
Apple wouldn't even need to be explicit about a deal where the marketing is dependant upon exclusivity - it could be easily understood by both parties that launching on another platform would mean the pulling of featured placement slots, which may be generating thousands of free installs a day.
So it's not like there has to any actual money change hands here or any actual black and white agreement about exclusivity, but the benefits and conditions for both parties can still exist.
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