The year 2022 seems set to be the year of takeovers in the video game industry. Intentions to buy Activision by Microsoft last January, buyouts of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal by Embracer Group earlier in the month and rumors of Ubisoft buyouts at the end of April, now another American publisher would follow suit.
towards a takeover of electronic arts?
For several weeks, gossip has been suggesting that Electronic Arts, the publisher behind cult franchises like Battlefield Where Fifa would be willing to sell or merge. Information signed Puck, which advances three interested companies: NBCUniversal, Disney and Apple.
“Over the past few years, as media companies have taken a closer look at the rapidly growing gaming industry, Wilson and Electronic Arts have held discussions with a number of potential suitors, including Disney, Apple and Amazon, according to sources with knowledge of these discussions“, explains Dylan Beyers, journalist for Puck. “Several sources familiar with these discussions say EA has been persistent in pursuing a sale, and has only grown bolder in the wake of the Microsoft-Activision deal. Others say EA is primarily interested in a merger deal that would allow Wilson to remain chief executive of the combined company..”
According to this first information, it is an agreement with NBCUniversal which would have been privileged at the time. An agreement which has since been abandoned. Only, three giants would still be in the race, with a new kid: Amazon. And according to the new information from the 9to5Mac site, it would be Apple who would be best placed to get their hands on Electronic Arts. A buyout or merger that would allow Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, to keep his job. Especially since several elements tip the scales in this direction. To start, Apple has been making efforts for several years now to establish itself in the global video game landscape, in particular with Apple Arcade.
Moreover, since the creation of EA in 1982, the two entities have been linked. And for good reason, Trip Hawkins, founder of EA, is none other than a former director of strategy and marketing at Apple. Of course, this information should be taken with a grain of salt. Nothing is set in stone yet and the two giants have not bothered to comment on these assumptions. Worse still, EA spokesman John Reseburg called rumors of a potential takeover “false”. It remains to be seen whether the American publisher will find takers. Answer in the next few weeks, probably.