EA Creates Casual Games Unit

The video-game publisher aims to grow share in the quick-and-easy computer games market.
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Video-game publisher

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

said Tuesday that it has created a new division, EA Casual Entertainment, to develop and publish games for the fast-growing casual games market.

EA appointed Kathy Vrabeck, former president of the publishing division at

Activision

(ATVI) - Get Report

to lead the new unit at EA. Vrabeck headed worldwide studios for Activision but resigned from the company last year.

The new Casual Entertainment group is likely to include EA's successful casual games venture, Pogo, and its mobile gaming unit, which is set to release the

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

mobile game this summer.

"We want to grow our share in casual entertainment whether that be through platforms, certain franchises or PC gaming," said Vrabeck.

Vrabeck is the first and most senior executive hire by EA's new CEO, John Riccitiello, who

took the top job at EA on April 1.

Casual games is a fast-growing category of quick-and-easy-to-play electronic or computer games that are targeted toward a mass audience.

JupiterResearch estimates the casual gaming market could grow to $1 billion worldwide by 2008.

Shares of EA closed the regular session up 59 cents, or 1.2%, to $50.10.