EA wants to pursue a merger or an acquisition following Microsoft-Activision deal

A source claims that EA has already drawn interest from Amazon, Apple, Disney, and NBCUniversal.


You might want to keep your hand near the reset button of the "days since the last video game company merger and/or acquisition" timer.

Despite a few failed releases in recent years, EA still owns a handful of very profitable video game franchises.

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According to Puck, Electronic Arts is the next company eyeing a sale or a merger. The report suggests that EA is "persistent in pursuing a sale", adding that the company has "held talks with a number of different potential suitors," that includes Disney, Apple, and Amazon. To no one's surprise, EA's interest in a merger or acquisition comes after Microsoft made one of the biggest buyouts in gaming history by acquiring Activision for almost $70 billion back in January.

The report details that EA is also interested in a merger that will allow current CEO, Andrew Wilson, to "remain as chief executive of the combined company."

It's not clear if EA is close to a purchase or consolidation. The report hinted that Electronic Arts had made good progress with NBCUniversal only for the deal to fall through. The two parties could not agree on the structure or price.

Acquisitions are hardly new this year.

Take-Two Interactive opened the year after buying Zynga before Microsoft one-upped everyone with its Activision-Blizzard acquisition. Sony also threw its hat into the ring by snatching up Bungie. Elsewhere, Embracer Group got a steal of a deal with Square Enix's western subsidiaries for just $300 million. In addition, Ubisoft has talked about a potential buyout, although this seems unlikely now that the French publisher is reportedly thinking about working with a private equity firm to prevent a hostile takeover.

TLDR; the consolidation era is well underway in the video game industry.

Hot take: EA should probably want to remain a third-party publisher. This way, it can focus on making better games that it can use for leverage when partnering with Sony and Microsoft.

If EA does get bought out, it will be interesting to see what will happen to the company. EA is a juggernaut that owns several of the biggest brands in gaming. Although it's no longer the only one that has the license to Star Wars games, EA is still working on at least three at its California-based subsidiary, Respawn Entertainment. Plus, EA is looking at a big 2023 after breaking away from the FIFA brand.

If we are being honest, this whole merger craze is getting out of hand. At the moment, EA is the biggest third-party publisher in gaming, but if it can be bought, who's next? Square Enix and Ubisoft both have a price. We don't think that Capcom, SEGA, as well as Konami, and Take-Two, among others, are any different.

If this trend will continue, we won't have too many major third-party publishers left.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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