Electronic Arts, the game studio, is following in the footsteps of Nintendo and utilising the DS console platform to launch a serious of children’s ebook titles. Nintendo themselves also ready have experimented with ebook titles on the DS with 100 Great Classic Books, which sold 115,000 units in the UK. Electronic Arts are calling the new series of ebooks ‘The Flips’ range and they will feature key children's authors. This attempt at projecting the DS console as an alternative ebook reader has the backing of book publishers Egmont and Penguin.
There will be four releases in the Flips range in December for the Christmas gift market and featured authors will include Enid Blyton, Cathy Cassidy and Eoin Colfer. Here are the scheduled titles for Christmas:
Enid Blyton - The Enchanted Wood®, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk of the Faraway Tree, Enchanted World® – Petal and the Eternal Bloom, Enchanted World – Melody and the Enchanted Harp, Enchanted World – Silky and the Rainbow Feather
Cathy Cassidy – Scarlett, Angel Cake, Sundae Girl, Shine on Daizy Star, GingerSnaps, Driftwood
Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl, Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident, Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code, Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception, Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony, Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox
Too Ghoul For School - Silent but Deadly, The In-Spectres Call, Ghoul Dinners, The Bubonic Builders, Attack of the Zombie Nits, School Spooks Day, French Fright, Terror In Cubical Four.
It was Electronic Arts own Vice President, Harvey Elliot, who first contemplated the idea a year ago following the experiences with his own young children. He brought the idea to the development teams and the Flips range is the result. As yet, no decision has been made on future titles in the range for next year. Each Flip will feature between 6 – 8 book titles.
EA's UK, Ireland and Nordic regions General Manager, Keith Ramsdale, said at the London launch of the Flips range:
‘Harvey and I have been chatting for about a year on this, figuring out what the opportunity could be, and it's a fascinating one for me. If you look at the 9.5 million installed base of Nintendo DS in the UK, if we follow the US, then about half of those are being used by under-14 year olds. Clearly, kids of the right age have got access to a DS. It just makes every sense to bring these two together, for the first time properly aimed at kids - and kids are technology-savvy, so the idea of using a current entertainment device to read books is compelling for them, and also compelling for the parent because we're encouraging kids to read.’
The Flips range will be released in December and retail at £24.99 in shops.
See the Electronic Arts announcement here.