Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is actively looking for a potential buyer or merger. Apple is said to have been in talks with the company about the acquisition of EA under Puck. Disney and Amazon are also in talks to buy the video game company.
The Redwood City-based company has published hits like Apex Legends, Madden, and The Sims Franchising. The idea of an acquisition or merger comes after Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard for $68 billion earlier this year. Soon after, Sony bought Bungie, the studio behind Life for $3.6 billion. Based on PuckThe EA would ideally want to merge so that Andrew Wilson can remain CEO of the combined company.
The origins of EA actually go back to Apple. Back in 1982, Apple’s then-Chief of Strategy and Marketing, Trip Hawkins, left the company to found EA. However, the acquisition is not Apple’s first venture in the gaming space. The Cupertino company unveiled its Apple Arcade game service in 2019. Through Apple Arcade, users can play ad-free games across their iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices.
EA spokesman John Reseburg said the company would not comment on any “rumors and speculations regarding M&A”. Reseburg added, “We are proud to be operating from a strong and growing position, with a great portfolio of games, built on strong IP, made by incredibly talented teams and a network of more than half a billion players. We see a very bright future ahead.”
Apple has not yet commented on a potential deal with Electronic Arts.
I have a hard time thinking about what a deal between EA and Apple would look like. Puck mentions that EA’s ideal candidate for a merger is Disney, as it was contacted in March seeking a “more meaningful relationship.” However, the entertainment company hasn’t pursued those conversations, likely because it’s focused on building its Disney+ subscriber base. Alternatively, a potential ESPN merger could happen as Disney owns the sports network.
EA seems to be in a hurry to finalize a deal, so we may hear more information soon. However, I would imagine Apple and EA’s relationship is now just “negotiation”.
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