In what is a first for the videogame industry, publisher Electronic Arts has opened a digital music store on its Web site, dubbed EA Trax. The store is limited to music found on the company's various videogame soundtracks.

Instead of operating the service itself, EA teamed up with Apple -- linking to iTunes to sell soundtrack songs licensed from major labels. For original soundtrack music that EA owns the rights to itself, EA is working with partner Nettwerk Music Group to sell those tracks directly, without DRM. EA and Nettwerk formed a joint venture in 2005 called EA Recordings, an imprint designed to distribute and sell music created specifically for EA games. The site will sell ringtones of EA Recordings' owned tracks as well.

EA worldwide executive of music Steve Schnur said the lack of DRM is an essential element to attract the gamer crowd. "We believe in mobility," he said at Billboard's Music & Money conference today (March 1), where the announcement was first made. "Our customers, gamers, are very tech savvy. They're from the digital generation and we know from our research that what they want is (no DRM).

EA will promote the store in all EA videogame user manuals and in-game screenshots. It will also feature links to the service on both the EA.com and Pogo.com websites -- which attract 6 million and 11 million visitor a month, respectively. Schnur says the site will eventually expand to include local concert information and other related information.

Look for a deeper examination of the EA Trax music store in this week's Digital Entertainment section of Billboard Magazine.