Big Acquisitions Can Squash Creativity, Titanfall And Battlefield Executive Vince Zampella Says
Big acquisitions can also be great for gaming, the Call of Duty and Apex Legends veteran says.
2022 has been a year full of major acquisitions in the video game space, and Electronic Arts executive Vince Zampella has now shared his thoughts on big buyouts and what they could mean.
Speaking to Barron's, Zampella acknowledged that mergers and acquisitions in 2022 has been a "big trend," and one that he sees both positives and negatives from. Big deals can help studios execute on projects they couldn't have otherwise, but Zampella also warned about creativity falling by the wayside.
"There are benefits to it. There are probably negatives to it. I think we need to be careful that we're not squashing creativity. Mega-franchises are great because you can do all these big things. You can do things you can never do as an independent developer. So there's great opportunities," he said. "But what are we leaving behind in that? We have to be careful we are always innovating and looking for the next thing--not just focused on the things that are right in front of us."
Zampella isn't the only gaming executive who discussed big buyouts lately. Amazon Games boss Christoph Hartmann believes that every business, including video games, will eventually become a monopoly.
Zampella founded Respawn Entertainment after getting fired from Infinity Ward. He has intimate knowledge of a buyout, as Respawn was acquired by Electronic Arts after releasing Titanfall.
Some of 2022's biggest buyouts so far in the gaming space have included Take-Two snapping up Zynga for $12.7 billion and Sony buying Bungie for $3.6 billion. Microsoft is trying to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, but the deal has yet to be approved globally.
The executive now heads up the Battlefield team at EA, and he had some candid thoughts on what went wrong with Battlefield 2042. He told Barron's that DICE "strayed a little too far from what Battlefield is." Some of the studio's ideas, like increasing the player count to 128 in a match, was "maybe ambitious."
"The way they were set up and the way they executed just didn't allow them to find the best thing possible," Zampella said.
EA has a number of Battlefield projects currently in the works, and upper management on the series has undergone a significant shakeup.
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