Electronic Arts is not a small company by any means. However, it appears the higher-ups are looking to take things in a slightly different way than how they are going right now. Namely, a potential merger situation, where another –even bigger– company acquires EA.
Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. But, until then, there are some interesting reports surfacing about potential suitors. Namely, from Puck, which reports that Apple, along with Disney and Amazon, may be tapped to acquire EA at some point in the future. The report indicates that the status of the talks, not just with Apple but with the other companies, remains unknown at this point. And it’s not clear just how far they’ve gone just yet, either. It’s possible that, right now, Apple may have already ducked out of the conversation altogether.
We just don’t know at the moment.
Things didn’t start with Apple, though. EA already has a relationship in place with Disney, thanks to a range of licensing deals (where EA gets to make Star Wars-branded games and such), so apparently EA approached Disney first. The goal was to grow what they already have in place, building on the “meaningful relationship” that already exists between the two companies. Turns out Disney didn’t want to move forward, though, so those talks did fail.
Next, NBCUniversal. And the report indicates that those talks were actually pretty close to finalizing. However, everything reportedly fell apart due to disagreements about key elements, including structure and pricing. One of the sticking points may be that EA’s current CEO, Andrew Wilson, wants to remain the chief executive even after an acquisition is finalized. That may be a road block for many of these other companies that can even make a merger like this happen in the first place.
One would imagine it would certainly be a sticking point for the likes of Apple.
Acquiring EA would be a huge get for Apple, though, especially in terms of picking up existing, and well-known, gaming properties. Franchises like Battlefield and The Sims, for starters. And even though FIFA is moving away from EA (and vice versa), the gaming company is well known for their football (soccer) titles. There are many others, too, including the ridiculously popular Apex Legends –which just had a mobile version release on iOS— that earns a lot of money on a regular basis thanks to in-game purchase options for cosmetic items.
How an acquisition of EA could impact Apple remains to be seen, but the safest bet of all would be something related to Apple’s game subscription service, Apple Arcade. Imagine if Apex Legends Mobile became an Apple Arcade exclusive — and there weren’t any microtransactions to pick up new costumes or weapon skins anymore.
But, we’ll have to wait and see how any of this pans out. It’s just as likely that we hear about Microsoft or Sony acquiring EA at some point. Maybe even more so.
If Apple does acquire EA, what would you like to see come from the deal?