The thought of an EA acquisition could have been a part of the discourse surrounding ongoing video games trade consolidation, however behind the scenes, it appears that evidently the developer has truly been working in direction of a sale. A brand new report by Puck’s Dylan Byers (paywalled) gripped headlines final night time because it claims that EA has been “persistently” pursuing buyout affords, and virtually merged with NBCUniversal till talks fell by means of simply final month.
EA acquisition grew to become extra probably after Microsoft Activision deal
Puck claims that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had been eyeing varied acquisitions since way back to 2018, reportedly failing to cease a takeover of Fox in addition to the WarnerMedia merger, each of whom he needed. Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, grew to become emboldened as soon as once more and began eyeing an acquisition when Microsoft introduced its buy of Activsion Blizzard as Roberts continues to be trying to increase, particularly into the gaming world. In response to Puck, he approached EA CEO Andrew Wilson within the wake of the Microsoft Activision deal, and talks truly progressed. With EA additionally on the lookout for a means out, each corporations spent weeks negotiating. Sadly for Roberts and EA, these talks fell by means of final month.
Apparently, EA and Comcast didn’t see eye to eye on the phrases of acquisition, particularly when it got here to cost and firm construction. Each corporations refused to reply to Puck when it reached out for remark. The publication’s sources declare that whereas EA’s deliberate merger with NBCUniversal fell by means of, the writer continues to be fascinated by a sale and has been speaking to different corporations together with Disney, Apple, and Amazon. All three corporations additionally declined to remark, which is par for the course on the subject of such stories.
As lately as March, EA was nonetheless speaking to Disney and hoped to be supplied extra than simply licensing offers, however for some purpose, Disney doesn’t appear fascinated by pursuing something.
So far as the standard suspects Sony and Microsoft are involved, a sale to both of the 2 appears out of query as they’re each within the technique of being scrutinized by the FTC following their high-profile purchases of Bungie and Activision Blizzard, respectively. However there are various extra gamers out there, together with the likes of Tencent. An EA acquisition seems prefer it’s solely a matter of time.