Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is reportedly in talks with multiple companies, including Apple, as it looks for a potential buyer. Big-ticket mergers and acquisitions have been in vogue in the video game industry over the past year, with several such deals having been completed recently. Possibly the most notable M&A activity in the space has been Microsoft‘s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for a whopping $69 billion earlier this year, followed by Sony’s acquisition of Bungie for $3.6 billion a few weeks later.
Headquartered in California, EA is an American company that was founded in 1982 by former Apple employee Trip Hawkins, who is also said to have invited Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to join the company’s Board of Directors. It is one of the leading video game publishers in the world and owns several popular game franchises, including Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Mass Effect, Apex Legends, Star Wars, FIFA, and Madden NFL, to name a few.
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According to a report by Puck, EA has spoken to Apple, Amazon, Disney, and Comcast for a possible takeover that could infuse additional cash into the company and unlock its full potential. None of the companies involved have made a statement on the report, but it makes sense for each of the potential suitors to be interested in EA. For Amazon, Disney, and NBCUniversal, it would help them gain a foothold in the lucrative gaming market, while for Apple, its struggling Apple Arcade gaming subscription service would get a massive boost from EA’s impressive library of popular titles.
What Apple Could Gain By Acquiring EA
Despite the obvious upside in acquiring EA, Disney decided not to go ahead with the talks as it remains focused on growing Disney Plus without getting sidetracked into mergers and acquisitions in an unrelated space. As for the talks with Comcast, the deal was reportedly close to being finalized but fell apart at the last moment following disagreements over price and structure. Not much is known about EA’s discussions with Amazon, but the Seattle-based retail giant is also said to be interested in buying a company that will give it an immediate presence in the gaming market.
That leaves Apple as one of the main potential buyers still in the game to lap up the $36 billion game publisher. The two companies already maintain a decent working relationship – something that’s evident from how they’ve worked together to promote various games like Plants vs. Zombies and mobile versions of Need for Speed on iPhones and iPads. If Apple does decide to go through with the acquisition, it would allow the company to not only bring popular game franchises to the Mac and other Apple devices, but also release some classic games on Apple Arcade. The acquisition could also come in handy when trying to showcase the gaming capabilities of Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset.