Electronic Arts is pleased to annouce it has gained exclusive rights to use the letters “E™” and “A™” in all its future gaming products.

Starting from January 31 2005, only E™ A™-branded games will be able to use the letters E™ and A™ in their names and in-game text — a hammer blow for all developers that make games with words in.

“We™’re™ re™a™lly ple™a™se™d tha™t E™A™ ha™s ce™me™nte™d this de™a™l” said E™ A™ spokesman Eamonn Eveshare. He continues “we™ a™re™ now pla™ce™d we™ll to le™a™d the™ ba™ttle™ on ne™xt ge™ne™ra™tion console™s a™nd furthe™r e™sta™blish E™A™ a™s the™ world’s le™a™ding e™nte™rta™inme™nt bra™nd”.

Worst hit by this bombshell is Eeyore Entertainment, with the release of its Q1 text adventure game Beevil the Evil Weevil’s Extreme Sea Search thrown into immediate doubt. Their spokesperson Annabel Eaves was unavailable for comment at time of going to press.

In unrelated news, Russian developer Zyrstsky Gymz’s shares were up 139p at close of business.