EA for sale?

Sources says publisher "quietly exploring" sale, with private equity firms KKR and Providence Equity reportedly interested; EA shares surge on the report; analyst calls deal "low probability."

Electronic Arts may be for sale. According to unnamed sources speaking to The New York Post, the Mass Effect, FIFA, and Battlefield publisher is "quietly exploring" a sale.

EA sale discussions are reportedly in "early days."

EA has reportedly been approached by private equity firms KKR and Providence Equity Partners, the latter of which owns a partial stake in Bethesda parent company Zenimax. The discussions are supposedly in "early days."

EA shares surged by more than 8 percent this morning to over $14 per share, representing the highest intraday gain since February 2, according to BusinessWeek. One source reportedly familiar with EA said the publisher will "do a deal" when the company's share value rises to $20.

An EA representative told GameSpot, "We don’t comment on rumors and speculation."

Asked about the likelihood of EA being sold, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told GameSpot, "It's a low probability. I don't believe it."

EA is not the only major game publisher that could be sold. Media conglomerate Vivendi is actively interested in selling its stake in World of Warcraft and Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard, though the firm is facing a tough sell.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

213 comments
Dreamagus
Dreamagus

He should've divulged the link on eBay

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

i just have to say i'm baffled. the 2 biggest 3rd party publishers are trying to sell their stakes in gaming? am i missing something here? do they know something we don't?

csward
csward

Hallowed be the day the Activision and EA sell off parts of their companies like General Motors did with Saturn. The gaming industry is way too consolidated with control in too few hands, even despite digital content.

 

That's why all we see is reskinned games every year and very few innovative titles from the big 2, just cash in attempts. Anyone remember the days when game development was an art form and game developers were encouraged to take the time to get it right? When games didn't play like they came out of some programming factory?

 

The hilarious thing is that EA and Acivision did this to themselves. There are more entertaining things out there for less money. You can't just charge $60 for an average experience like you could in the PS1 days and earlier. 

MrDouglas
MrDouglas

EA sells...but who's buying?

Kjranu
Kjranu

Now is a good time to invest money in EA stock...

topsemag55
topsemag55

If anyone bought EA, would they be as willing to finance companies such as BioWare, or would they sell some of the devs off? That could doom some devs, possibly.

rey2
rey2

Hope anyone who buys EA turns it into something not involved in video games anymore.

valdarez
valdarez

EA has been a pump and dump company for nearly a decade, buying up companies to keep it's revenue growth going so people will continue to put money into it.  It's LONG overdue for a crash.  EA folding would be one of the best things that could happen for the gaming world.  Think of the developer creativity that would be unleashed through new company creations when not under the thumb of EA's (voted worst company to work for in America) rigid control.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Interesting thought - can't see it though......

brynhyfryd
brynhyfryd

EA, Why don't you just take your company and your anticompetitive "digital only" future and flush it down the toilet.

 

The gaming world would be better off without you.

NoelXYeul
NoelXYeul

Why don't they merge with SquareEnix? SquareEnixArts....

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Hmmm picture bethesda absorbing Ea's powers... it would be perfect.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

EA desperately trying to get their shares up again. LOL!

GryphonICD
GryphonICD

Can't resist; EA are for sale, but only the main bulk. The other departments will be released every few months, starting with the HR and mail department add on packs released 3 days before the main company is. If you purchase EA from the date of sale, be warned that the maintenance will be shoddy and the cleaners neglectful, but over the years of owning EA they plan to tidy it up a bit, perhaps after 6 months or so (athough they may forget to fix the issue with the front door opening entirely).

 

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

I get it, they see the future as free to play, which can't sustain their money hungry business practices, so bail before everything goes to shit and leave it in someone elses lap... Good morals EA.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"I hope EA goes out of business!" "Acti-Blizz is so bad they should go bankrupt!" Has the combined effort of all whining had a real effect on these companies or is it just coincidence that two of the largest and most-hated game companies are about to be sold (if the rumours are true)? I don't think things will become any better if they're sold, so I'm not eagerly anticipating it, nor do I hate them that much. I show my displeasure by not buying their games if they're not good enough and that's enough for me.

tgwolf
tgwolf

I'm sure glad this Providence Equity doesn't, to my knowledge, have any direct relation to a government entity such as RI, since that would be a very scary thing, especially after all that about people killing themselves over EA games and the kid who Blah blah blah passed out a whIle aGo. No, that would be very Bad, haRbinger fOr THings likE 'the game that watches you' oR something to that effect...

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

FFS "a source" said. That drunk down the pub who thinks the CIA gave him special mindreading dentures is also "a source". Doesn't mean it's reliable. Remember when journalists used to confirm this shit before just regurgitating it for the ratings? It's a struggle I know, but I *do* vaguely remember them days. Can't help but notice that 9 times out of 10 these bullshit "news" stories are attached to Mr. Eddie Makuch as well.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Now lets see.....If EA was truly for sale....Why in the world would anyone with that kind of money, cause you know it would not go cheap......buy one of the worlds most hated companies??? I know I wouldn't do it.......

wexorian
wexorian

Ummm strange days, They sell crap on market even? :O

 

ivan_osorio
ivan_osorio

This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode of 30 Rock... If only.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Will it be a single sale, or will it be something the buyer has to pay progressively more to unlock the entire purchase?

sonicare
sonicare

Some of these private venture firms have massive amounts of capital, so not unheard of.

Xelm91
Xelm91

Bye nfs, bye sport games yay!

Hey_Jay
Hey_Jay

Here's an idea. No sale. No nothing. Just go away.

RZC88
RZC88

i hate this company as well i never liked  few games from them  there  hurting good games for real  

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

I doubt regulators would allow it, but if MS bought it and killed PS3/4 and Wii U versions of all their upcoming titles, it would seriously hurt or maybe even kill those consoles (which is why regulators wouldn't allow it).

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

I wonder if companies float information such as this if only for the slight stock bump it will create. . .

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

EA can happily go f* themselves!To hell with their stupid company!EA along with Activi$ion have been milking dry one games developer team after another ultimately leading to their destruction!I wish Activision shares a similar fate and i hope the new owners  extirpate the current staff and rethink the whole concept of the company...If they start to think about gamers more than they think about their pockets they will actually earn more $$ than they do by trying to rip us off with DAY 1 DLC policies or MULTIPLAYER-AZATION and MMO-AZATION of games.

PublicNuisance
PublicNuisance

I would love it if Valve or Gabe himself bought EA.

strayfies
strayfies

Well yeah I think the bid would have to be quiet by default.  EA is quite a property, nobody's going to approach with ease.  It's unlikely to sell though; most traders already understand that gaming is a volatile industry and the big publishers aren't likely to pay off within five years.

 

Liquidizing them could be an even bigger payoff but I've heard their management structure is labyrinthine, and might not be worth the headache. 

Altair_7
Altair_7

Why so many companies are up for sale .. no money in games..??

Hakkology
Hakkology

New one won't make it any better.

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

Where are you at, Mark Cuban???  Buy EA and do something good with them!!!

KJsmashdude
KJsmashdude

 @mrtrolololoWhile I do agree that EA is... "sucking"  

  to a degree, but isn't this a little far?

kohle36
kohle36

 @NoelXYuel I know right? And then THEY could merge with Activision-Blizzard! Because the games industry could only be better if it was completely owned by one single megapublisher. Think of all the quality titles and deals we'd get, and how much fan feedback they'd listen to with all those pesky competitors out of the way!

zync-
zync-

 @BlackLense or microsft u know this guy's buy everything mostly crap like EA

tgwolf
tgwolf

 @Killer6b9 I think it has to do with the people in charge having committed ritual suicide--and I mean 'ritual' and probably also 'dark' and/or 'demonic'--following the snafus with video games and death etc. and now there is no one (mortal and corporeal) in charge of the company, so...The assumption is that they are in trouble and need bailing out...

McNeelyJ39
McNeelyJ39

 @sieg6529 you sure it isn't free with micro transactions?  That is where the future is heading according to EA.  I'm sure it is something along the lines of:

Congratulations we posted profits...

To see our profits pay $200K.  

 

To take profits without seeing them pay $40MM...(after electing to pay $40MM to take profits) you elected to take profits, you now owe us $800MM (we lost $760MM this quarter).

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

 @Mr_Bodywave What regulators would stop an American company from buying another American company, because it may hurt two Japanese companies?

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @PixelAddict That's what I wondered as well. Stock bumps aren't necessarily (or ever?) based on facts, but on rumours and preconceptions. The stock going up means that the share holders like the idea of EA being sold. I wonder what will happen if EA doesn't get sold, how fast will the stock plummet then and how low will it go? If EA does get sold, it would also be interesting to know if the stock went up or down, how much and how fast.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

 @Unlimax Not likely, Activision themselves is for sale, and the news only resulted in a stock increase for EA.  Hardly a benefit to Bobby.

kreiden123
kreiden123

 @kungfuj0 i dont know what a sports owner would want to do with a video game company but hey maybe good things can come out of it : )

NoelXYeul
NoelXYeul

 @kohle36 Well, at the very least they could handle the Sims franchise.