If you play games, chances are you have played an EA game. Having published Dead Space, Mirrors Age, Mass Effect 2 & 3, Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic and not to mention myriad of FIFA, NHL, and Tiger Wood’s games, EA have been in the industry a long time. In fact, EA was founded in 1982 putting them in the business for more than 30 years. Games companies have been born, changed hands, undergone re-structuring, and died in the time that EA have been making and publishing games, and now it maybe the dawning of their time.
Yesterday (Thurs 16th), rumours started circulating around the internet that EA were actively looking for a buyer. It’s never a good thing when a company start’s actively looking for a buyer, companies that may interested will usually wait until an opportune moment to snap them up cheap.
EA have been, on and off, the largest games publisher in the world but this year EA have seen a 37% drop in value of market share, still have a net income of $76 million for 2012 and an equity of $2.4 billion so quite why EA are looking for a buyer is a wonder.
It’s possible the issue is that more and more games are based on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, not to mention browser-based games having a recent surge in popularity, primarily via Facebook. With interest moving more to mobile gaming the console popularity has waned, in addition both the Xbox 360 and PS3 are due a reboot in order to both garner interest and excitement, but to also give developers something to aim for.
KKR a private equity firm and Providence Equity Partners are rumoured to be interested in purchasing EA. With such an impressive portfolio of games, it would certainly be an excellent addition, especially to Providence, who also happen to own Bethesda, developer of Skyrim.