MapleStory maker offers to buy EA - Report

Korean free-to-play firm Nexon supposedly contacts Battlefield publisher with purchase offer; EA shares surge on the rumor.

Korean free-to-play game company Nexon (MapleStory, Combat Arms) has reportedly made an offer to purchase FIFA, Battlefield, and Mass Effect publisher Electronic Arts, according to a Bloomberg video report.

Is EA for sale?

The Bloomberg report cites an unnamed South Korean newspaper with the news and does not elaborate on the potential deal in any way. An EA representative told GameSpot, "Only comment here would be that we don't comment on rumors or speculation about our business." Nexon chimed in on the matter, too, telling GameSpot, "Nexon's policy is to never comment on rumors."

EA's shares are responding positively to the rumor, as the company's single-share value opened today at $15.76, well ahead of the $15.01 it closed at yesterday. As of press time, EA is trading at $15.81 per share.

Last week, a report indicated EA was planning to lay off as many as 1,000 staffers after underwhelming Star Wars: The Old Republic sales and an expensive Battlefield 3 postlaunch marketing campaign. EA's fiscal year ended on March 31, and the company will report its full-year fiscal results on May 7.

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

274 comments
neuroboy
neuroboy

I think Mojang should offer to buy EA. Or maybe Wadjet Eye Games :)

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

RofL....I hope this happens, seriously.

dg3215
dg3215

LOL it swtor's fault even though subs are steady and it is one of the most successful mmo launches in history. I really don't play the game a lot as I am still wrapped up in Skyrim, but I do find it amusing how it's cool to hate on SWTOR, which holds really true on this website.

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

[quote="Electronic Arts"]...we don't comment on rumors or speculation about our business.[/quote] [quote="Nexon"]...policy is to never comment on rumors[/quote] I believe what they meant to say is that they never comment unless it's true. Firms are all too willing to dispel false rumors, but they can't say something that true is not. We can, therefore, infer that there is probably an offer on the table. Since EA is public, they are compelled to consider the offer on behalf of shareholders.

Tora_Kuo
Tora_Kuo

Gah, Soulafein (sorry 'bout the misspelling there). Also, yes I think I derailed on a personal hot-spot or something. I really do think the relationship has come backwards somehow with publishers having the reins when they've apparently forgotten what it's like to be in the grinder developing these games. Profit has become the primary goal when delivering solidly flawless game play within the scope of the game, coupled with that polish you spoke about, is so much more important to the client side of this whole equation. Without client side, you really don't have a product. It's like any communication: If communication is sent out, and none hear it, then there is none.

Tora_Kuo
Tora_Kuo

@Souaufein: They have issues too. Hey, let's take an RTS franchise that was very solid, turn it into an MMO that actually has something of a learning curve and applies significantly to mature players and turn it into a 12-year-old-attracting casual gaming experience! Yeah, that's a winner! Nice one Blizzard. I do however, agree. In EAs rush to market with every game in the last decade they've screwed the pooch on nearly every single franchise. I hear Mass Effect 3 was actually good though. But I'm not going to blame the developer here... Developers develop gaming experiences and base their decisions on deadlines set by Publishers (such as EA/Blizzard/Activision et.al). 99.99% of the problem to gamers? PUBLISHERS not strictly tied to the development process. Developers whom are independent don't have *nearly* the issues with bugs, server strain, half-baked story-game play mechanics as those that are dependent on some third party jackwagon like EA. Developers... Tell publishers to eat a bowl of ***** and let you do what you do best while they do what they do best. You develop, they market, that's how it is, and should be and they need to do it on YOUR time frame. After all, it's really YOUR product, YOUR portfolio.

Soulaufein
Soulaufein

What is funny is that right below this "news" there's an article called "SWTOR is not loosing subscribers". I feel sorry for the people being layed off, but the day EA falls is a good day for gaming everywhere. They've destroyed every single developer they've touched. Bioware used to be a solid, trustworthy brand. Dragon Age 2, SW:ToR and the disaster that was the ME conclusion has pulled a brand that took so long to build up way down to the dirt. Im not touching - as in, paying - for any other Bioware EA product EVER. Blizzard is greedy, but at least they deliver endless quality and polish.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

Well, as long as it's not being bought by a first-party. company.

luckjon
luckjon

After what you did to Bioware, please go away EA.

Noisician
Noisician

The only thing worse would be Zynga buying EA.

Tora_Kuo
Tora_Kuo

@jubdeidamasta: Also, not as bad as Nexon. Nexon... Really??? Were it true it would be the most laughable news I've heard all week.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

Everyone hates on EA, but the company has been around a long time. Still isn't as bad as Activision..

AntiH3ro97
AntiH3ro97

Oh my God. anyone who's ever played a Nexon game knows how absolutely mother******* terrible this would be to every single game owned by both of the publishers. They are the worst companies in gaming.

jmrwacko
jmrwacko

lmao, I can't believe SWTOR is actually going to sink EA. That's what they get for forcing Bioware to develop that stinker and then throwing a hundred million into advertising it.

SCWoodson007
SCWoodson007

@UrbanTracker i'm not a big fan of RPGs or Grand theft autos. i reeeeeeally dont want those to be the only 2 games if that crazy scenario of CDProjekt, Rockstar, and Bethesda were the big 3

Hiraishin
Hiraishin

@Coonfoot "ea worst company in America" now may be true, but no company deserves to fall into the hands of Nexon, now that's just cruel lol

Hiraishin
Hiraishin

Nexon = biggest troll of 2012 they can't afford to buy EA LOL

Coonfoot
Coonfoot

So the gaming community dumps on EA for this long, even calling it the worst company in America (really?), and yet they're defending them from being bought out from what sounds like an even worse company? ...I will never understand gamers.

dre256x
dre256x

WTH, just how much cash are these guys sitting on.. F2P with a cash shop surely pays off..

cytheh
cytheh

if nexon buys EA, battlefield 4 will probably be pay to win... I'd rather have EA merge with activision blizzard and release recycled game every year and charge 15$ for map packs, than play "free to play" games where Cash bought vest can tank bazooka shots.

electronic_eye
electronic_eye

@UrbanTracker - an intriguing scenario indeed. And i would love for bethesda and cdprojectred to be on top! Not sure about RockStar; i'd personally prob take Starbreeze or Gearbox instead. I do love a few of the devs EA is over tho - Visceral and DICE specifically so if EA somehow got bought, those 2 would have to be able 2 still do their thing unhindered.

grgcucu
grgcucu

what the.....? I thought Nexon wanted to BE bought, I mean it's EA we're talking about. They may have a lot of haters, but it's still EA.

maxwell97
maxwell97

It looks like EA is worth about $5.7 billion, Nexon about $3 billion. Sounds more like a potential merger than a real buyout, unless Nexon has some big investors lined up for this deal. I wonder if the exchange rate has an impact on this - the dollar has dropped about 20% against the yen in the last few years (thanks, politicians), so Nexon might be in a stronger position.

J_Money-MOB
J_Money-MOB

@ Urban Tracker If only that were true...

UrbanTracker
UrbanTracker

Nexus buys EA.......as a result the quality gets degraded further.....Nexus goes into buying Activision and Ubisoft....screws them too.....and gets financially destroyed......while 3 studios take over the reigns as gamings warlords....BETHESDA,CDPROJECTRED,ROCKSTAR GAMES......and we get drm free hassle free gaming industry.....with superb games...and gamers live happily everafter.....well dats jst my prediction....wasn't too much was it?

joga257
joga257

Well... maybe if EA falls apart PES may get away with the team licenses... hopefully...

Akijo
Akijo

Holy crap... Even if I hate EA games, I do NOT want to see them purchased by that horrible compagny :o

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

@supertom221 EA is about $5 billions worth, so yes, they can buy it. Also, SWTOR poor sales? It has about 1,5 million players, what did they expect? To reach WoW status in less than 6 months?

Jeremy473
Jeremy473

YAY!! NO MORE EA SAME DAY DLC BS.....

Metallicantera
Metallicantera

it saddens me to see things like "eas stocks responding positively" ... if theres one thing i want to see in the gaming industry during my lifetime its ea crumbling to the ground...

p40tomahawk
p40tomahawk

lookout EA server lagg will follow.......................

supertom221
supertom221

AHAHAHAH, Good joke. Anyone really believing this? Nexon is dumb rich from it's stupid F2P MMOs, but to earn enough to buy out EA? The Mass Effect franchise alone outsold all of MapleStory's profits since the beginning. Combat Arms has many players because it's free, but limited. BF3 sold over 10 million copies, all of them PAYED. Could be funny though.

Renoo27
Renoo27

@Konviktion: Who is this "we" you're referring to?

Konviktion
Konviktion

Please EA, don't sell we love you! :))

OldSchoolPlaya
OldSchoolPlaya

I think Star Wars: The Old Republic's sales were poor because it had no single-player element, which is what everybody really wanted.

sk8oridie44
sk8oridie44

This is like a rumor of how linux tries to buy out Apple or something... lol this is just hilarious

lightningman123
lightningman123

Ea may be terrible but they are nowhere near as Bad as Nexon. Nexon has one of the worst customer survives I have ever seen. If this is true Ea may get even worse.

Szeiden
Szeiden

Ew. Nexon is even worse.

cipo89
cipo89

What the F***!!??

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

NO, just NO. it would be more cost efficient to just come up with new IP than buy OLD IP for way more than those IP will make back. Hire all the Laid off developers out of work and start making games!

DrKill09
DrKill09

"Buch of nobodies offer to buy EA; world laughs" :roll:

fightingfish18
fightingfish18

:O <--- the look on my face when I read this. MY line of thinking is that it can't become any worse of a company!

leimonides
leimonides

Now that, that's a good laugh! How did such a ridiculous rumor spring up? Who would believe this to be true in anyway? ***" Lol. Could this be some under-handed scheme to inflate stock prices?"*** Haha, that could be possible. But then, wonder that that says abouth the company....hmm.

Gruug
Gruug

This while EA itself is looking to swing its own net into the waters (again) and start buying up developers. Rumors are rumors. Nexon.....NO THANKS!

FatmanAB
FatmanAB

@Vu2010 no just reported :D