Friday, 26 August 2022

Amazon possibly lining up to buy Electronic Arts

News broke this morning (via GLHF and USA Today) that Amazon had reached a deal to buy video game publisher Electronic Arts. GLHF then offered a clarification that the deal might not be announced today or, indeed, will happen at all, leaving the video game press in a state of confusion.

Electronic Arts are one of the biggest video game publishers in the world, known for a battery of major franchises including FIFA, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, Dead Space and Battlefield, and, via their subsidiary BioWare, Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Through recent acquisition Codemasters, they also picked up the lucrative Formula One tie-in licence. Until recently they also held exclusive rights to Star Wars, releasing hit games The Old RepublicBattlefront 2, Star Wars: Squadrons and Jedi: Fallen Order. They will continue making Star Wars games moving forwards, but on a non-exclusive basis.

EA have been searching for a buyer as part of a wider consolidation movement in the video games industry, which has seen Bethesda and EA's arch-rivals Activision snapped up by Microsoft. Microsoft reportedly were unwilling to consider acquiring EA whilst their Activision acquisition is incomplete. EA reportedly entered communications with Disney, Apple, Amazon and Comcast/NBC Universal, with Comcast/NBC apparently strongly interested.

Amazon have been making various attempts to enter the video game space, mostly through acquiring video game streaming service Twitch in 2014. Various attempts to launch their own video games label have floundered, apparently due to the company wanting faster results with a quicker turnaround than the industry is really capable of generating. An Amazon-EA merger would make a lot of sense, although it would also likely generate legal concerns over monopolies, and gamers would be concerned over what this would mean for EA's recent tactical alliances with Microsoft and Steam, that saw EA games become available via Xbox Game Pass and the Steam storefront.

Whether this announcement was premature - Amazon and EA have made a deal and are waiting for the paperwork to go through, and GLHF jumped the gun - or if was totally erroneous, is unclear.

1 comment:

Trillian said...

I don't like when Amazon buys entire worlds, regardless of what's happening with Microsoft, etc.

However, I absolutely love the font used for the EA logo. Crisp, angular, elegant. This is how a Sans Serif should feel. Like a sexy Tuesday night.