When we tell you that 2022 will be the year of consolidation in video games. The takeover of Activision-Blizzard marked a major turning point for the industry, and it is now closely observed by the various players in the market, starting with the big publishers. If the rumors are rife about Square Enix, Ubisoft and others, it is ultimately on the publisher’s side Electronic Arts that the next major acquisition could happen, since the publisher was almost bought out a few weeks ago by NBC Universal.
Who to buy Electronic Arts?
It is via an article by journalist Dylan Beyers from the site puck that we learn thatElectronic Arts has been in contact with several companies with a view to an acquisition, or rather a merger. An important difference, because it would allow EA to be more autonomous, but also and above all to keep Andrew Wilson as CEO.
The article reports that the publisher is currently very inclined towards the idea of a takeover or a merger, and that this has been accentuated with the takeover of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft. And NBC Universal (Comcast) and EA were very close to closing a deal some time ago according to the site, with the possibility that Wilson manages the entertainment part of the group, which would then have absorbed Electronic Arts. However, the agreement fell through, in particular because of the price.
But NBC Universal is not the only big group that Electronic Arts has gone to seduce. The article mentions that Wilson reportedly approached Disney last Marchand that this exchange was not only intended to get closer for licensing deals (like Star Wars).
In sum, Wilson would have tried to approach Disney to see if the group was interested in the idea of buying EA, but apparently nothing happened. EA has also reportedly been in touch with Apple, Amazon and other companies about a potential acquisition..
Contacted by Kotakuthe representative of EA, John Reseburg, did not want to comment on the rumors and then declared that the publisher is in a comfortable situation, with a buoyant catalog and talented teams.
Discussions that have yielded nothing, for the moment
In light of this article, we can ask ourselves several questions. For example, isn’t this desire to be redeemed also related to the separation between EA and FIFA? We know, for example, that the deal with NBC Universal fell through and that the price is one of the causes. The brand Fifa is very expensive, in addition to being restrictive, and we imagine that this can be a hindrance for a potential buyer, even if the income generated by the games is colossal.
Next, we can notice that EA seems to have (still) gone to seduce companies that are not part of the major video game players. No Sony in sight, no Tencent… Microsoft’s absence is understandable, given their current deal with Activision-Blizzard. If Apple and Amazon both have a foothold in the video game market, nothing compares to the behemoths of the industry. A detail that would make it easier for Wilson to stay in his post?
Yes none of these discussions have succeeded, EA’s desire to find a buyer is in any case there. The publisher’s actions will therefore be scrutinized throughout the year, and it should come as no surprise that the publisher finds itself in the middle of the industry’s next big acquisition.