Reports over the weekend have claimed that EA has been in negotiations for a potential sale or merger.
That’s according to Puck (via Kotaku), who claim the publisher has been in talks recently with NBCUniversal boss Brian Roberts. Though the two parties didn’t reach an agreement, the outlet claims that EA is still looking for suitors. The report also claims that CEO Andrew Wilson has had talks with other big names in recent months, including Disney, Apple and Amazon.
Puck’s reporter, Dylan Beyers, cites “sources with knowledges of these talks” as those who spoke to him about these claims. “EA has been persistent in pursuing a sale,” Beyers’ report says. “And has only grown more emboldened in the wake of the Microsoft-Activision deal”. Microsoft announced their intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion USD back in January.
According to the report, the NBCUniversal deal got the furthest along the process. Apparently, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts intended to spin off the entertainment company into a separate entity with EA, of which Wilson would be in charge. However, the two sides apparently could not agree on price, and the deal fell through. Beyers reports that EA then approached Disney as recently as March. He claims that these talks were “in pursuit of what sources described as ‘a more meaningful relationship’ than licensing deals”.
EA refused to comment on the reports in a statement to Kotaku, so we’ll have to take this with a pinch of salt for now. It’s been a busy year for gaming businesses though. Just this year, we’ve also seen Sony snap up Bungie, 2K buying Zynga and Embracer Group nabbing a big chunk of Square Enix’s Western studios & IPs.