EA's BioWare/Pandemic buyout official

Publisher's $860 million purchase of acclaimed RPG- and action-oriented shops finalized; former studio heads named VP, general managers under EA Games label.

With the Federal Trade Commission giving Electronic Arts the go-ahead in November to acquire VG Holding Corp.--owners of acclaimed development studios BioWare and Pandemic--it was only a matter of time before the $860 million deal announced in October was official. The clock hit zero on the massive buyout today, as Electronic Arts has finalized the sale that brings BioWare and Pandemic into the fold under its EA Games publishing label.

Former BioWare cofounders and presidents Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will now hold VP positions at EA and have been named co-general managers of BioWare. Likewise, Pandemic's Andrew Goldman and Josh Resnick have been named EA VPs and co-general managers of Pandemic Studios. Greg Borrud, former director of production at Pandemic, has also been appointed to EA VP and will take on the role as chief production officer at Pandemic.

Though the jury is still out on whether the economics of the deal warrant the purchase price, the buyout significantly bolsters EA's presence in the action, adventure, and role-playing game markets. BioWare brings to the table a number of highly acclaimed RPG properties, including Mass Effect, Jade Empire, and Dragon Age, as well as an unannounced massively multiplayer RPG rumored to be based on the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic franchise. From Pandemic, EA has secured the Full Spectrum Warrior, Saboteur, and Mercenaries franchises, as well as rights to collect royalties on the Destroy All Humans! and Star Wars Battlefront games Pandemic developed.

While the buyout at the time further solidified EA as the largest third-party publisher in the world, the massive deal was trumped in December on news that French megacorp Vivendi would be merging its games division with Santa Monica-based Activision in a deal valued at $18.9 billion.

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Discussion

93 comments
darthfanta
darthfanta

Bioware just died.... I can't believe it....Why.....how did you get consumed by that greedy rip-off...... E.A sucks, it's all about ripping money and no content.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Man, gaming is big business.

Space-Q
Space-Q

idunno why so many people cry about EA sure they release a bunch of remakes over and over but most of them are sports games...HOW DIFFERENT CAN MADDEN GET? seriously... they release a new burnout every two years...each one very different from the last...traffic checking...crash mode. no crash mode...more emphasis on racing...more on crashing....open world... and people complain that it's too different every time it comes out. "IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME! IT'S TOO DIFFERENT THE WATER'S TOO WET THE ICE IS TOO COLD! WAAAAA!" medal of honor airborne took an old and crusty genre and breathed new life into it by being able to enter the stage any where and take any path. the simpsons game...funnier than the show has been in years orange box...5 games in one crysis rock band army of two aint looking too bad either they release a lot of crap but that crap pays for the good stuff they do release.

prioritymail
prioritymail

With EA's cash and BioWare/Pandemic's talent, we should see some great games!

lotusmaster
lotusmaster

great there go's all the great games cause ea likes to delay the best ones the release crappy ones

URUCAN
URUCAN

EA stil make some good games ,,,, but i hope they dont do anything bad to MASS EFFECT and KOTOR

shinchy
shinchy

Shouldn't something be done about EA at the fair trade groups.

eJay13
eJay13

Great, so now some of my favorite series can endure the Medal of Honor/Sims/Need for Speed treatment: We can get increasingly lackluster yearly installments for increasing prices and decreasing budgets every 12 months. Mass Effect, KOTOR, Baldur's Gate, Jade Empire, MDK. You can expect about 100 increasingly bad and recycled games from good series that EA is just too damn cheap and greedy not to cash in on. EA just over-produces and over-markets everything they get their hands on. I swear, its like "Here, we bought out all your favorite companies. So now bend over a little bit farther and we'll demonstrate our marketing strategy."

Icehearted
Icehearted

Oh, the Jedi are going to feel this one!

upstartrex
upstartrex

Such a business arrangement as this buyout awaiting FTC approval of the deal is an example of a way in which America's government keeps capitalism an alien practice.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

OMG I hope not Steam is already a pain in the @%#.

BlueBirdTS
BlueBirdTS

I just hope EA never gets a hold of Valve...

meganscheetah
meganscheetah

that would be funny if EA got bought out by some random rich dude.

Tokyo90
Tokyo90

Good , I hope the games goes multi so everybody could get a chance to try them. hope they bring the games out for the Wii too.

The_AI
The_AI

Some filthy rich guy needs to buy EA and see how they like it.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

TMontana1004: Tasty_Ninja: Blacklethedog: Halo is a game made by Bungie, but Microsoft owns the franchise itself. Even though Bungie split, it's still owned by Microsoft. Bungie could make a new Marathon game for PS3 and 360, but anything with the Master Chief on it comes in two flavors: PC and 360. Same deal wtih Mass Effect. If Bioware announced a new franchise tomorrow, they would have the rights for it unless Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft had a say in it. Just like the film industry, there are directors and producers. Directors make the films, provide cast and set, etc, but the Producers provide the money and the means to make it possible. Microsoft is the producer in this case. Even Sony Computer Entertainment could buy Bioware but Mass Effect is still a Microsoft exclusive.

alberto2045
alberto2045

so is this good or bad am thiking it is good from the things I read

0678
0678

shortyman920 thatd be like buying a new toy and not playing with it. lets keep our fingers crossed tho...

BraindeadRacr
BraindeadRacr

Goddamnit. It's for real... ...Electronic Arts is a conspiracy.

Tasty_Ninja
Tasty_Ninja

"BioWare was an independent company that choose to only make games for the Xbox" It could have also had a little something to do with Microsoft publishing it. Who knows what will happen now with EA as a publisher though. Then again, it isn't like Microsoft hasn't made enough money this past year to try and buy it exclusively (an attempt will happen for sure, since the game sold so well for the 360).

Karaam
Karaam

take me back to when the PS1 was born.

Zalzargahoughan
Zalzargahoughan

Way to go Bioware. I'll probably play your next game, but forgive me if I don't go to your funeral.

xatman911
xatman911

They shall consume everyone...

blackiethedog
blackiethedog

MS never owned the rights to mass effect. BioWare was an independent company that choose to only make games for the Xbox

shortyman920
shortyman920

I don't see what's bad about this. As long as EA doesn't interfere, everything will be fine.

TMontana1004
TMontana1004

Just out of curiosity, does MS still own the rights for the Mass Effect trilogy?

TMontana1004
TMontana1004

EA blows. Hopefully they can put all of that money to good use when they are making Mass Effect 2.

Agreb91
Agreb91

I was hoping this would not happen. EA if you ruin anything that BioWare ever made, you are on my list for a terrible publisher.

infestedcyborg1
infestedcyborg1

Hope there games will still be good, EA tends to screw things up a bit.

CannibalFerox
CannibalFerox

Well, there goes the neighborhood. Get ready for Jade Empire '09 starring Carmen Electra and Paul Walker. Tagline: "Half-assed development and advertising - it's in the game!"

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Hooray for mega global corporations!

mattcake
mattcake

@SuperBlueMonkey, did you not notice all the side missions seemed to take place in identical looking buildings, with identical floor textures, with identical room heights with identical crates in... no I didnt expect it to last forever but I dragged it out as long as I could and it took 21hrs. You do the first level, you do the 2 other planets and then its the final level... poor. Kotor took me 50 hrs first time thru, 30 the 2nd time thru. Why are all the planets in ME just a big square of random terrain? With the same gravity? And the same layout? Its a "good" game, but I wanted more than good. If you are satisfied with ME then you are a publishers dream come true, an easy to please customer. ME was a fantastic game turned into an average game by sloppy QA. Cmon please, an inventory in an RPG that doesnt stack identical items? Do me a favour!

ramok2k
ramok2k

damnn not EA just hope it still good

osxgp
osxgp

comthitnuong statement: I'm not too bothered by this. Crysis was able to come out fine despite being published by EA. This is the best positive point I've read so far. I never even thought about that. Good job. I forgot about Crysis. Now if only I had a PC that would be able to play it.....

Psyfon
Psyfon

Eh, I'll have to see where this leads.

darthzew
darthzew

@zaokamura: Would you prefer something slow or do you want me to get it over with quickly?

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

I hope Bioware maintains the same work ethic. I cain't wait for Full Spectrum Warrior for the new gen (X360/PS3). I love the first game on the Xbox. It'd be great if they'd add full customization with XBL Vision a la R6V.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

Madbhal402: "Mass Effect= dead" Same with Bioshock...if they make it multi platform it'd better be good, which sadly I'm doubting...who knows...maybe in some sadistic way, this is a good thing?

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

I'm not too bothered by this. Crysis was able to come out fine despite being published by EA.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

[quote="VolcanoMan001"] The hatred I have for EA is beyond words. As long as they (EA) do not screw up any plans for the next two Mass Effect games then I will tolerate them.[/quote] Remember, it takes two to tango. The owners of Bioware are also to blame since they obviously wanted to be bought up. They could've easily said no and continued to be separate companies. Isn't greed great?

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

@neonblueshadow microsoft is the best publisher!