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EA Experimenting With Blueprint

As a way to experiment beyond traditional video games, Electronic Arts has started a new developmental division called Blueprint, VARIETY reports.

EA is not officially talking about the project, but Blueprint will apparently focus on developing (at at low cost) original intellectual property it can spread across multiple types of media.

Neil Young, former head of EA's Los Angeles studio, is head of Blueprint.

EA is the largest video game publisher in the world, and has introduced key franchises like THE SIMS, MADDEN NFL and HARRY POTTER to the world.

However, it has had a lack of new properties in recent years, which has led to a takeover war with upstart Take-Two Interactive -- the company behind GRAND THEFT AUTO.

Blueprint will allow EA to take some chances, akin to movie studio specialty divisions like Fox Searchlight and Miramax, and develop Internet, live events and merchandising projects.

Traditional EA games can take $20 million and upwards of 100 people to create.

Blueprint already has development teams under its jurisdiction, including one working on three Steven Spielberg-created games and Maxis studio, making SIMS creator Will Wright's new game SPORE.