Electronic Arts picks up Portal 2

Will publish it in shops.

EA Partners, the division of EA that publishes third-party games, has picked up Valve's mind-bending first-person puzzle game Portal 2.

EA Partners will publish the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title in shops on 21st April 2011.

The 21st April is a Thursday, which is a curious day to launch a videogame. We're checking with EA now.

The press release announcing the deal states it relates to retail Valve's online shop Steam will no doubt publish the digital download version.

In August Eurogamer broke the news that EA was talking to Valve about publishing rights for Portal 2.

EA has a long-standing relationship with the Half-Life and Counter-Strike creator. Since signing a publishing deal with Valve in 2005, EA's put out Half-Life 2: GOTY and Counter-Strike for the PC, and Half-Life 2 on Xbox. And, of course, it published the original Portal as part of the superb The Orange Box.

But eyebrows were raised when Valve announced a 9th February 2011 release - a date that would later slip - for Portal 2 during German expo gamescom without naming a publisher.

Some speculated that Valve was shopping its hotly anticipated sequel around various publishers in an attempt to get the best deal possible.

"We're still talking about it," EA Partners boss David DeMartini told Eurogamer at the time.

"The interesting thing with Valve is they always make great games. They ship them exactly when they're going to ship them. They're a really high quality partner, and they demand excellence from anybody they have a relationship with. You earn their business every single time.

"We're in the process of earning their business yet again for Portal 2, and we're very optimistic because of our close relationship. We do a lot of business on Steam. They do a lot of business with us on the distribution side.

"It's well polished, on schedule for the 9th February release [that, unfortunately, didn't turn out to be true]. Everything is absolutely on track for them.

"I don't have anything signed in blood yet. I'm certainly working on it. They're a great partner and just a great studio. Clearly one of the best in the world. They just know what they're doing. They know what consumers want."

Portal 2 made waves at E3 when Valve boss Gabe Newell confirmed the game for PS3. It features new puzzles, new areas of Aperture Science Labs to explore and, of course, GLaDOS.

What stands out, however, is the addition of a new co-operative mode, which features a unique campaign and characters.

"Portal 2 is Valve's most innovative title in the company's history and will be launched with a first-class launch campaign this April," said Valve marketing boss Doug Lombardi.

"We're excited to be working with Electronic Arts to deliver this title as we expand our platform strategy to include the Mac and PlayStation 3 platforms."

Valve teases Portal 2 co-op

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