Could Sony Buy EA In Response To Microsoft's Deal For Activision? Analysts Weigh In

Analysts discuss how EA, Take-Two, and Ubisoft might be potential acquisition targets by big tech companies.

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The recent big gaming buyouts--including Take-Two's proposed acquisition of Zynga for $12.7 billion and Microsoft's impending $68.7 billion deal for Activision Blizzard--have spurred some analysts to believe that other major acquisitions could be on the table.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes analysts outlining their thoughts on potential acquisition targets, including Electronic Arts. Analysts at the research firm Enders said Sony might see EA as "likely to be the favorite" for an acquisition. The piece mentions how EA currently has a market cap of around $37 billion, so Sony might look to buy Ubisoft or Take-Two for a "far cheaper" price.

Another research company, Handler, said Disney might look to purchase EA. "A great way for Disney to build upon its digital future and for [CEO] Bob Chapek to step outside Bob Iger's shadow would be to buy EA," Handler said. "Combining EA Sports with ESPN could create a lot of unique opportunities, like a real sports metaverse."

Handler went on to say that Disney has an existential question to consider: "Does Disney want to be old or new media? Video games is a $200 billion global industry and growing."

Disney no longer directly develops games itself but instead runs a licensing business for video games. Recently, Disney announced three more games from Titanfall and Apex studio Respawn. Additionally, Ubisoft is developing its own new open-world Star Wars game, while Zynga is making a free-to-play shooter called Star Wars: Hunters. A Knights of the Old Republic remake is also in the works for PS5 and PC from Aspyr Media, while Quantic Dream is making its own Star Wars game, Eclipse.

The piece also cites Clay Griffin of MoffettNathanson, who told THR that gaming companies overall are attractive candidates these days for acquisitions given the growth in gaming overall. Not only that, but big tech companies with deep pockets might want to scoop up gaming publishers as part of the rush to create a metaverse.

"It's not an unreasonable position to claim that game publishers are attractive M&A candidates for big tech companies that have the financial brawn to make the metaverse happen, but perhaps don't have ready-made IP or core competency in producing gaming content that will be required for mass market acceptance," Griffin said.

This is all purely speculative for now, but for Sony in particular, many are wondering how the company may respond to Microsoft's proposed buyout of Activision Blizzard, if it needs to at all. Sony's stock price took a huge hit after Microsoft's deal for Activision Blizzard was announced, knocking $20 billion off Sony's market cap.

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