EA, THQ takeover rumors spur stock

Rumors of bids by Microsoft, Warner send Madden and UFC Undisputed publishers' share prices skyward.

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A new wave of consolidation has hit the game industry since the economic downturn began last year, with Square Enix picking up Eidos, Tecmo merging with Koei, Warner Bros. snagging Midway out of bankruptcy, Namco Bandai buying D3Publisher, and most recently, ZeniMax purchasing id Software.

"Get me Riccitello and Farrell on the phone!"

The wave may not have broken just yet, as rumors of takeovers of THQ and Electronic Arts are pushing the publishers' share prices higher this week, Reuters reports. According to the wire service, rumors are circulating that Microsoft is pondering an acquisition of Electronic Arts, and a major media company is preparing a takeover bid for THQ. Last year, EA was in the suitor's seat, as it spent months pursuing an ultimately unsuccessful hostile takeover of Take-Two Interactive.

As an acquisition, EA could instantly bolster Microsoft's Xbox 360 effort by making franchises like Need for Speed, Medal of Honor, and Skate exclusive to the system. EA also has a number of big-name licenses, including Harry Potter and the exclusive gaming rights to the National Football League, although change-of-ownership clauses could prevent those titles from becoming Xbox 360 exclusives. In addition to its original and licensed titles, EA also runs the EA Partners program, which offers various publishing and distribution services to developers and covers titles like Rock Band, Brutal Legend, and Crysis 2.

The Reuters report doesn't single out candidates to make the THQ bid, but a Dow Jones Newswire article specifies MTV Games owner Viacom and Warner Bros. parent Time Warner as potential suitors. THQ recently enjoyed a significant hit with the chart-topping UFC 2009 Undisputed on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. THQ's stable of franchises also includes wholly owned properties like Saints Row, Red Faction, and the soon-to-debut Darksiders, as well as series based on licenses like WWE wrestling and Nickelodeon TV shows.

In both cases, the rumors have driven the supposed targets' stock prices higher. THQ opened the week with shares at $6.51, and by press time, the price had jumped roughly 15 percent to $7.47. EA shares are up nearly 8 percent from $18.55 to $19.95 in the same span of time.

Discussion

316 comments
final_kaoss
final_kaoss

Actually midget the only thing I see that sucks is you & your fail attempt at flaming.

themidgethotel
themidgethotel

EA sucks, THQ sucks, Microsoft sucks, Apple sucks, everything sucks. Google will be all that remains and will piss on everyone else's ashes like a real man.

sunnyxsniper
sunnyxsniper

Could be good or bad, depends on how smooth the "takeover" goes and how well Microsoft manages its new toy, EA. Being an Xbox fan I would prefer this happens, but really... either way doesn't really matter to me as long as the quality of the games doesn't go down.

booty56
booty56

i new something is up Microsucks created the deathbox and now they will ruin EA. God if ur up there, strike Bill Gates down with a FORCE!!!

MasonChaos
MasonChaos

Just so you know EA= Brutal Legend, Need For Speed, Left 4 Dead, Dragon Age: Origins, Dante's Inferno, C&C, 95% of sports games. Activison= Modern Warfare, Crappy Tony Hawk games, Crappy Guitar Hero Games UbiSoft= Assassin's Creed Winner= EA

MasonChaos
MasonChaos

@ Rygarr I would definatly buy EA before Activision and Ubisoft. Although, I would try to buy infinty ward from under activision.

Rygarr
Rygarr

I don't care about MS buying EA if Sony buys Activision and Ubisoft.

issizots
issizots

oh yea and a few more things to add to the OBSCENENESS of MICROSOFT trying to HELP out people in our bad economic times just LOOK at the PRICE TAG of Windows??? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

issizots
issizots

every single Operating System they've released since um... Windows 95 has literally had something substantially wrong with it when they could have easily fixed it WHILE BETA was in effect, and i'm "not sure" if M$ knows what beta means, but it's the process where you "FIX EVERYTHING BEFORE IT IS RELEASED SO THERE ARE NO BUGS" like i said the WORLD OF GAMING was BETTER and at its BEST when Nintendo/Sega/Sony ruled the planet, now look, it's "ALL" about exclusives... And DO NOT say sony are just as bad IF you count the number of exclusives on the 360 compared to the PS3 YOU WILL SEE that sony HAD to literally have Exclusives just to keep it's market because Micromoney just tried to HOGG it all. just think how much microsoft is helping our country right now, what contributions have they gave our country/planet except excess HIGH prices and lame (_(_) ways to monopolize everything they see FIT. I H_A_T_E M_I_C_R_O_S_O_F_T_ and i'm SURE Bill Gates is even SICK with it... the world is going to turn on microsoft soon, iand they'll wish they were more rewarding, I just wish another Operating System besides MAC and Linux were available to ACTUALLY blow Windows out of the competition, then their SUPER HIGH PRICED OE wouldn't be making them billions, they'd only have their overrated/overcharged xbox 360 and network to make money from....amongst other things...monopoly potentials

issizots
issizots

IF EA LETS microsoft buy them it just shows how you become "The worlds BIGGEST SELLOUT" and they will be absolutely CRUSHED with hate and possible crazed gamers trying to assassinate them...who knows, but if microsoft gets EA in it's hands i'll literally BE SICK, and to see microsoft TRY to boycotte the market just for it's console INSTEAD of WORKING TOGETHER to make the gaming market better, shows JUST how stupid, pathetic, and undoubtly the worst company to hit this earth with helping other companies out. all they look for is to help THEMSELVES and in our economic times they DANG sure don't care about anybody else, talking about making titles exclusives that's already out like DLC? that's called breach of contract and i'll be sure to have a class-action law suite sent straight TO EA/Microsoft for some BIG $$. There was a time...

issizots
issizots

I once remembered when Microsoft only had games on the Computer, THOSE WERE THE BEST GAME DAYS EVER, because we didn't have sony and nintendo trying to cut each other off from exclusives and such. now that Microsoft is in the mix everything IS GOING TO CRAP, and i hope microMONEY knows that if they do buy this they will NOT make people like me want an xbox 360 anymore, the console is LAST GENERATION, i'm staying with my "this/next" generation console. Heh If microsoft really knew how to compete they'd throw away the 360 in the garbage and make a NEW console that can ATLEAST keep up with the ps3's hardware and stop slowing games down COUGH "FFXIII" COUGH and makeing things for us people who do nothing BUT give these big corperate jerks their paychecks in the price of buying their games. I just bought dragonage origins and NOW i have to worry that if microsoft buys EA the two year DLC won't be guarenteed for PS3? cuz i KNOW M$ sure would LOVEEEE to monopolize every bit of content just so ppl will literally have to buy their CRAP console but i will not. I hope someone finds some way to sue the CRAP out of M$ and TOTALLY cripple it's line and literally put them OUT of business, GOD that would put the world BACK ON track with gaming liek it USED to be. enough SAID, i'm SO MAD i can't even think straight...

snake3rules
snake3rules

shouldnt monopoly law prevent them from buying EA? That is far too much of a hold on the videogaming world.... Soon all EA games will only be 360 .... Microsoft has already been stopped once (maybe more) for trying shat like this ... they think they can just buy out the competition and use money to win any war....

iwantapepsi
iwantapepsi

is microsoft trying to buy out all the oter compancy this is not monoply at&t tryed it before and it didnt work

DavidRI
DavidRI

Microsux + EA = even more lousy game titles

benjamin385
benjamin385

Well you need to follow the rules of Monopoly Microsoft if you are going to at least try and make an Monopoly. Pass Go collect $200.00 lol But in all seriousness I would Hate Microsoft forever if this happened... I own Both Consoles Xbox 360 is ok same with the PS3 Just if Microsoft Forced EA into an Position to well make games exclusively for X box 360 and windows. Just some games are better on PS3 than 360 and Vice-verca.

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

It would be wise of MS to buy Ea, to extend there exclusive game library because as it stands now I see not too many new exclusives for 360, and I just hate for the 360 to lose fans to the ps3 because of this!!

shavedballbag
shavedballbag

Don't know if MS would get approval for an EA takeover. Definitely might be some monopoly issues there.

capedbear
capedbear

MS wants to rule the gaming world. Too bad they don't spend that money to make better or more innovative games. Fanboy wars are tiring but so is MS need for monopoly.

spyfromspace
spyfromspace

everything in the gaming news spark a fanboy war....hum...except Wii news

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

Big surprise, MS trying to create another monopoly. The guy was sued for billions and yet he has not learned his lesson yet.

Potemkin2005
Potemkin2005

armyof1jjk, I think you're wrong about Microsoft not innovating. I think they would because eventually sales would begin to dwindle and the only way to spur them would be with upgraded hardware. You clearly don't understand your own examples either bro. That or you're so incapable of explaining yourself clearly that I can't understand what you're trying to say. I'm not going to spend time discussing OSes any further because this discussion should be about gaming. Overall though, agree to disagree bro. However, my opinion isn't foolish, arrogant or short-sighted. It's too bad you couldn't argue your point intelligently enough to not resort to personal insults. Have a great day!

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

i am not sure whats worse, for ea to stay in it's owners hands, or to be bought by M$... meh' i guess we'll see in the end...

LittleDuck
LittleDuck

I don't like EA, but considering the amount of the gaming market it owns and all it's contracts, I don't want to see it taken over.

armyof1jjk
armyof1jjk

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

bumsliepsp
bumsliepsp

I really don't think this is going to happen. I also really hope it doesn't. If Microsoft buys EA I see all their games turning into crap. Madden with the stupid Wii style avatars? Could you imagine? The worst thing is if it does happen then we will have no choice because this would create a monopoly. Oh well games are already a huge rip-off look at this year's Madden. If you rent the game you have to pay to play online. Then after you pay the server is down almost everyday and they still haven't made the updates they said they would. I guess if this happens it will just continue the trend of paying more for less. Maybe thats what they meant by next-gen gaming?

Potemkin2005
Potemkin2005

@armyof1jjk I'm not on crack, but thanks for asking. If Microsoft buying EA would put Sony and Nintendo out of the console manufacturing business and leave us with the Xbox brand only, then I absolutely would love to see a take over happen. Conversely, if Sony buying EA would put Microsoft and Nintendo out of the console manufacturing business and leave us with the Playstation brand only, then I absolutely would love to see a take over happen. Finally, if Nintendo buying EA would put Microsoft and Sony out of the console manufacturing business and leave us with the Nintendo brand only, then I absolutely would love to see a take over happen. And if Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo end up being the only manufacturers of the standardized console then I’m completely comfortable with that because I guarantee you it will always be cheaper to buy the one console that plays all the games in existence then three separate consoles that only play certain games because of exclusivity deals. If you don’t like Vista downgrade to Windows XP. If you don’t like Windows XP buy a Mac. If you don’t like Apple then learn Linux. If you don’t like Linux then I don’t know what to tell you but I’m sure there are other options for OSes out there beyond Microsoft’s, Apple’s and Linux. You also said, “Noooo, theyll make other companies make their own games and new systems…” Dude that’s exactly the system we have in place today.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Uhg... I hope Microsoft don't buy EA. I like Skate, Fight Night, and their NHL series. Not only that, but they've also done some good games for Nintendo's consoles like Henry Hatsworth on the DS. Microsoft don't deserve them. Hell, they didn't deserve Rare, either. They ruined them. :(

Janpieterzun
Janpieterzun

Also, just realized a lot of you guys are morons. No seriously. Forget fan-boy-ism, your just pure, illiterate, morons. 1st learn to spell properly. People can't take you seriously when you can't spell. Second-and it doesn't matter what i say here because most of you are so stupid that you deserve to be euthanized-there are no "good" corporations. M$ isn't worst than Nintendo, or Sony. Do any of you understands what it means to be a corporation? A corporations single purpose is to make money, period. It's why companies go public and have initial public offerings (IPO's) is to raise capital. Last i checked they were all publicly traded companies. With the exception of sony that's also being propped up by the japanese government-too big to fail-roflsocialismnobamarofl- oh wait thats the japanese. Moving on. Saw a moron think scorchgamer or some moronic name like that say "I hate microsoft cuz dey do deals liek dis". Well "mongo" all of them do deals like this. They all, including nin you little pokemon fairies, do deals like this, nintendo is also one of the more sue happy companies. If killing african babies had World of Warcraft numbers, guess what you little encephalopods would be doing with your Wii-motes right now? Speaking of that, most of the parts in your favorite consoles come from strip mining and displacing towns in third world countries, the blood on your hands. Rofl.

Janpieterzun
Janpieterzun

The end of EA as we know it. Amen. Lets hope the shareholders accept the tender offer.

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

Heh, first time in weeks my EA shares did something halfway positive

DivineMeliadoul
DivineMeliadoul

I knew this would spawn a fanboy war...and the ironic thing is that if this came to be it would be bad for both groups.

invictuslemming
invictuslemming

An EA takeover bid? Neato, not that I agree with it or anything... I just never considered EA a possible target for a takeover. As for the PS3 / 360 flame war going on below. Here's my 2 cents... I bought the PS3 slim a month ago, one word, disappointment. I listened to the Sony fan boys and got the system expecting something wonderful. I ended up with what feels like a blu-ray player that had a console stapled to the side of it. My money would have been better spent on a new video card for my PC, why do I say this? Well because in my opinion consoles were meant for multiple users, not one person playing online (thats why we have PCs), but rather multiple users in the same room, at the same time... In that respect the PS3 fails utterly, it simply offers me single player or online multi player games at lower resolutions than my PC. When we go to my friends house we use the 360 to play video games, when we go to my house we use the PS3 to play a blu-ray movie or play a game on the Wii. The PS3 is slow (Almost every game needs 10-15 minutes to install itself on the first run and over a GB of HDD space to boot... THIS IS A CONSOLE??) when the games run, the level loading times drag on and on, its blatantly obvious Blu-ray discs weren't designed for gaming... LittleBigPlanet is awesome, I'll give it that, but outside of this game, local multi player games for PS3 that are at least a little bit interesting don't exist.

TicTac8745
TicTac8745

Microsoft, owning EA? Wow, now that would be something interesting to see .... but I think this will all end in the same way Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo...

Kulcan
Kulcan

EA may receive their own medicine .. who could guess that, I think eventually we will have a negative impact on the industry but this will allow M$ to build a monopoly in this area, which in my opinion is bad bad

Scorchgame
Scorchgame

I think microsoft spends so much money just to get their xbox 'exclusives', i bet they will create a very crappy xbox next time.

Khoo1992
Khoo1992

if MS buys EA, what about other console then?

Scorchgame
Scorchgame

You guys have to really admit PS3 is a good product because it has free PSN, Blu-Ray Drive and Wifi connection. And plus, it saves power and doesn't break down easily. There is no apparent difference between the graphics because the good graphics depend on the guy who's playing. More over, I hate microsoft for having deals with all these gamers, and then later they will wreck everything. And plus they always do co-operate deals with everyone which doesn't boost their image because everyone knows what a PS3 and xbox 360 is anyway. People always know PS3 has BluRay function and that is their advantage.

robx360
robx360

While I am sure microsoft is drooling over the thought of having all those exclusives. I would say a few of them would be multi-platform. Madden of course and Live and Tiger. Wait a minute here. It doesn't matter anyways. All of these games are recycled every year. I am 360 all the way. If microsoft wants to buy ea let them. I think this would hurt both brands in the end. Only the true die hard fans of ea would be willing to trade in there ps3 for a 360. Maybe this was there intention all along. Hey lets send peter moore to ea so he can persuade them to sell to us.

Blackbird34
Blackbird34

@Neo_Sarevok What great Xbox exclusives? I've played all of the BIG 360 exclusives and I didn't really care for most of them. Gears of War 1 & 2 are good but thats about it. Halo is the most overrated game ever, and Left 4 Dead is a pc game (but so is Halo and GoW). So what exclusives are you talking about? Viva Pinata? And just because the 360 has more games doesn't mean it has a better library. Quality is what really counts so don't give me that "we have more games" garbage. The 360 may have a couple thousand games or so but (saying that if I bought a 360) there's only a hand full of games I would want for it. Yea, the 360 has some nice exclusives *sarcasm* The only real advantage to owning a 360 is Netflix.

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

@ Blackbird34: Better system? Yes. Better games? Wrong. PS3 fanboys need to get it out of their heads that just because the PS3 commands an occassionally good exclusive, like MGS4, doesn't constitute it as having better games. There are several X360 exclusives that are also great and since the X360 library is significantly greater, there's better selection too.

Blackbird34
Blackbird34

So M$ is still trying to make up for the 360's lack of good exclusives by possibly buying out EA. They claim their system is already the "elite gaming experience", yet they continue to pour money into the system. The truth is, the PS3 is a better system with better games. Microsoft feels they are behind (but wont admit it) when it comes to customer satisfaction so they throw money out to every game company they can. Pathetic.

johnnyBgood99
johnnyBgood99

@jedi_dad ... Is that not what you should assume Microsoft is aiming to do? If Microsoft aquired EA, you would see the largest shift in the gaming industry probably in history. Console gaming would definitely be changed greatly

supermike6
supermike6

@KoolzKatz Microsoft doesn't really own the PC market right now. They're not really supporting Games For Windows - Live. I personally get all my PC games from Steam, so I would say Valve has a pretty big hand in that pot too. About competition, Ea has virtually no competition for the NHL series, but they keep making it better. I really don't think having no competition is a big deal because if they make bad games, people who know thing won't buy it, no matter if there's competition or not.

KoolzKatz
KoolzKatz

@supermike6 -With no competition for the big-money games and the cost-cutting measures they will have to take up to try and bring in revenue after a big spend, u think they will care wat quality games they release? If this were to happen Microsoft would own PC and console gaming and u will end up buying nothing more than "brand" games. I agree, MS and Sony have bought up lots of developers but EA is perhaps THE crucial delelopment as it has its hands in everything and would totally hurt Sony. Competition is best for us as consumers and this sale would end all that.

zintarr
zintarr

Nothing good would result from this...nothing :(

ChrnoTrigger
ChrnoTrigger

supermike6, Microsoft hardly needs EA, who is losing money, to make profit. It would only be for gaining market share.

Jedi_Dad
Jedi_Dad

What would really send a shock wave through the console community is if Sony sold the farm to buy EA. The number of high profile games they could make PS3 exclusives would have MS in shock.