No buyout? A distribution deal throughout Asia instead? Interesting.

Nexon Co. (3659), the Tokyo-based pioneer of free-to-play computer games, is in talks to distribute Electronics Arts Inc.’s next “FIFA Online” title in Asia, rather than to buy the U.S. company, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Electronic Arts, based in Redwood City, California, is considering using Nexon’s online servers and developers in Asia, particularly South Korea, for the game, said one of the people, who sought anonymity because the matter is private. The goal would be to apply Nexon’s expertise in persuading players to spend real money on virtual items such as team jerseys and player-experience points, the person said.

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Source: Rincon Del Simmer