How do you like your industry consolidation? We’re not convinced it’s in the best interest of gamers for a handful of conglomerates to own every major developer and publisher, but that’s the path we’re quickly hurtling down – and it looks like even EA is on the market. A report by Puck claims the juggernaut recently pursued a merger with NBCUniversal, but has also held discussions with Amazon, Apple, and Disney. While all of these talks eventually broke down, the Madden and FIFA maker has not given up.
According to “several sources familiar” with the matter, EA has been “emboldened” by Microsoft’s buyout of Activision, and is “persistent in pursuing a sale”. However, some claim that the firm would prefer a merger, with current bigwig Andrew Wilson eager to remain as CEO of a hypothetical combined company.
Apparently, this came close to occurring with the aforementioned NBCUniversal conversations. Puck reports that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts was looking to spin-off the entertainment conglomerate into a new business with EA, which would see Wilson occupy the top seat. Negotiations broke down due to price, but it sounds like the publisher has not given up on the idea at all, so don’t be surprised if some kind of acquisition or merger is announced at some point down the line.
The industry is on a bit of a buyout frenzy at the moment, spearheaded by Microsoft’s mind-numbing $69 billion purchase of Activision-Blizzard and $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda. That’s over $75 billion from one company alone! Sony has responded in kind, snapping up Bungie for $3.6 billion, meanwhile the likes of Take-Two have purchased Zynga for $12.7 billion. Fast-forward five years, and the landscape is going to look very different.