Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg has signed a deal with Electronic Arts (EA) to work on three original videogames.

The Saving Private Ryan director will act as executive producer on the Los Angeles-based projects, the first of which is already in progress and has been described as a next generation game with mass appeal.

He says, "Having watched the game industry grow from a niche into a major creative force in entertainment, I have a great deal of respect for EA's understanding of the interactive format."

The games will appear on the next generation consoles which will be released by Sony and Microsoft to replace their PlayStation 2 and Xbox machines.

Neil Young, the head of EA's LA studio, says, "No one is more at the centre of understanding gameplay and great storytelling than Steven Spielberg.

"Being able to draw from Steven Spielberg's experience in crafting incredible stories and combine that with our view of interactivity means you will have richer fiction, deeper characters and better sense of immersion."