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EA has been deep in merger talks with NBCUniversal

EA CEO Andrew Wilson smiles as he dreamed of getting richer.

picture: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

The video game market is being integrated like never before, and Electronic Arts crowds out like no one else. The battlefield And FIFA The manufacturer recently sought a merger with NBCUniversal, and has also held potential acquisition talks with Disney, Apple and other companies, according to New report from demon. While no deal is currently in the works, it doesn’t look like EA is planning to abandon it anytime soon.

“In recent years, with media companies interested in the fast-growing game industry, Wilson and Electronic Arts have held talks with a number of different potential suitors, including Disney, Apple and Amazon, sources familiar with those conversations told me,” he wrote. demonVeteran media reporter Dylan Byers. Several sources familiar with these conversations say that EA has been persistent in pursuing the sale, only getting emboldened in the wake of the Microsoft-Activision deal. Others say EA is primarily interested in arranging a merger that would allow Wilson to remain as CEO of the combined company.”

But it was clearly a deal with NBCUniversal that got the farthest. According to Byers, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts was looking to separate the entertainment conglomerate into a separate entity with EA, while leaving one copy of the deal in place. Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA Responsible for new mega business. But negotiations eventually collapsed because of the price.


“We do not comment on rumors and speculation regarding mergers and acquisitions,” EA spokesperson John Riesburg said. Kotaku in the current situation. “We are proud to operate from a position of strength and growth, with an amazing portfolio of games, built on a strong IP, made by incredibly talented teams, and a network of over half a billion players. We see a very bright future ahead.”

Read More: Privately eyeing Ubisoft as the next gaming acquisition

Over the past year, there’s been a bout of video game studio acquisitions, which were sent into overdrive in January after grand theft auto Publisher Take-Two announced that it will buy Zynga For 12.7 billion dollars Microsoft announced that it plans to buy Call of duty Activision Blizzard Maker For 69 billion dollars. Sony followed up weeks later with a deal to buy the studio behind it Fate 2bungee for $3.6 billiona price that some analysts have deemed too inflated and perhaps a sign of a new crazy rush to merge among the biggest players in the gaming industry.

On an earnings call in February, Andrew Wilson indicated that the company is focusing on acquisitions rather than acquisitions. As a guide, EA 5 billion dollars spent Over the past year, they have purchased studios to increase their size. But it now appears that the publisher is aggressively seeking other ways to expand. Byers reported that Wilson reached out to Disney as recently as March “in pursuit of what sources described as a ‘more meaningful relationship’ than licensing deals.”

This news comes as EA has lost or abandoned some of its biggest current licensing deals. While the publisher recently revealed Three new star Wars Games are currently in productionincluding file Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order This It is rumored to be released as early as 2023The exclusive deal with Disney for star Wars The license will not be renewed when it expires in 2023. This has allowed competitors such as Quantic Dream and Ubisoft to advertise their large companies star Wars projects. EA also revealed last week that it is ending its similar 10-year exclusive deal with FIFA, starting in 2023. Rebranding the popular soccer franchise EA Sports FC.

Whatever EA’s future holds, one of the big concerns about consolidation is how it will ultimately affect employees at these companies. Even with EA announcing another profitable year, Kotaku I recently learned that estimated 200 customer service employees have been laid off. According to four affected employees, their work is being outsourced to cheaper third-party vendors in Romania and India.

Comcast, Disney and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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