Electronic Arts has been in the process of acquiring Digital Illusions CE (DICE) since 2003, purchasing the publisher in chunks here and there. However, the long courtship is set to come to an end soon, as EA announced that the companies have agreed on a final merger proposal.
If all goes according to plan, EA will purchase the remaining shares of DICE in September, "effectively making DICE a fully integrated studio within EA." The merger must be approved by a two-three majority vote at DICE's annual shareholders meeting in May, but that shouldn't be a problem, considering EA already owns approximately 68 percent of the company's shares.
In a statement issued by the Stockholm-based company, DICE chairman Thomas Skoglund said that the acquisition "resolves a stifling and complex situation while at the same time safeguarding DICE's position as a leading-edge game developer in a global and increasingly competitive environment."
Specifically, DICE noted that the current ownership situation has two glaring weaknesses that a full acquisition would remedy. First, it prevents DICE from using EA tools, technology, and financial resources. It also added that it could make it difficult to entice talented employees to join or stay with the company in the future.
DICE is currently at work on downloadable content packs for its Battlefield 2 PC game, and Xbox 360 and PSP versions of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. The company was founded in 1992 and has offices in Sweden and Canada.