Samsung Apps positioned to get a big boost from EA partnership

Reuters is reporting that Electronic Arts is partnering with Samsung in an effort to bring edgy new mobile games to the manufacturer’s little-known app store. EA’s Chillingo division — which was borne out of this $20 million acquisition more than two years ago — will spearhead the effort, which is dubbed 100% Indie and will launch March 4.

Chillingo, of course, became a dominant pure-play mobile game developer thanks to hits like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. But there are two even more compelling reasons for game developers to develop for Samsung’s app store: 100% Indie will offer an innovative revenue-sharing model that sees developers keep all their revenues for the first six months their app is available, gradually ramping up to the familiar 70/30 split used in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. And Samsung offers outstanding reach for developers, as it proved last quarter by overtaking Apple as the top handset manufacturer in the U.S.

Samsung Apps distributes titles for feature phones as well as Android and Windows Mobile handsets, but 90 percent of its offerings run on Samsung’s own bada platform. Bada doesn’t have the technical firepower of true operating systems like iOS and Android, and it has yet to gain any real traction in Western markets. But Samsung is clearly pushing hard to become a worldwide player in mobile apps. If I’m a game developer, I’m paying keen attention.