EA Exec Admits Company's Acquisition History Is "Spotty At Best"

As such, EA CFO says the company is "careful about acquisitions" going forward.

34 Comments

Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen has admitted that the Battlefield and FIFA company's history of acquisitions has been "spotty at best." Speaking this week at the UBS Global Technology Conference, Jorgensen provided new insight into EA's take on partnerships, geographic expansion, and acquisition opportunities as a means to grow its business.

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"Clearly, geographic expansion is very important for us and we'll look for ways to do that as efficiently as possible," he said. "In markets where it's really hard to operate as a standalone business, like China, having a partner like Tencent is very powerful there because you can leverage their reach and their client base. But in markets where we can go it alone, we'll certainly try to go it alone."

EA is working with Tencent for FIFA Online 3 in China. On the subject of acquisitions specifically, Jorgensen said EA is approaching this cautiously in the wake of some deals that didn't go well.

"[We're also] always looking at potential acquisitions. Our history obviously with acquisitions has been spotty at best, so I would say there is an extra level of caution around that," he said. "We also believe we have the ability to do it ourselves in many cases, or hire people to do it. So we're careful about acquisitions. But we're going to continue to look for those opportunities and having a strong base globally allows us to be able to do that."

Jorgensen did not provide any additional details around EA's "spotty" acquisition history. However, it's likely he's referring to the number of studio buyouts that didn't work out for one reason or another. Kotaku has a roundup of all the studios that EA has purchased and then shut down; these include teams like Mythic, Bullfrog, Origin, Pandemic, Black Box, and most recently Maxis Emeryville.

For more on Jorgensen's presentation this week, check out the stories below.

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Avatar image for nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Ain't it cute, EA is recognizing flaws about themselves and they'll never fix them.

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lvsolja

drop the nfl exclusve license u gimps

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chimekolover88

now Battlefront is next on there list of franchises to **** up. well seems they are doing a great job of it too.

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Thanatos2k

Screw you, EA.

Avatar image for nl_skipper
NL_Skipper

Next great developer to be axed by EA is DICE I bet, if they don't drive Bioware into the ground first. They'll have DICE work on endless Star Wars Battlefront sequels for the next 10 years (that's how long their SW contract is... 10 freakin' years), and everyone will just get burnt out, the quality will suffer, and EA will do what they do best :'(

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BobaFettHatesU

"EA" may mean Electronic Arts in the trademark and copyright offices but everyone really knows it just means spotty.

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Moonco

@bobafetthatesu: I thought EA meant "Evil A**holes" Learn something new every day lol

Moderator
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Huglyone

" Spotty at best" ???

in your dreams !!!!!

EA destroyed entire studios and all their work ...

Avatar image for quothage
QuothAge

Although it says that Jorgensen did not name certain developers, that they got EA'd is a travesty, hey EA, its just part of the reason people hate you. To say that it was the acquisition that was wrong is hardly a reason. As a consumer it feels to me like game designers and creators with ideas and principles were screwed over in order to improve your bottom line.

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iTz_SiNZ

Rather than make acquisitions I'd like to see that money go towards further development for titles they already have, instead of Copy / Pasting everything in their portfolio with the addition of a "few extra tweaks".

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pboontap

These people managed to utterly destroy Maxis. Its gone now, how many here realized PC gaming could be awesome because of SimCity? In 2013 DICE could do almost nothing wrong, look at them now. They aren't ever gonna have that level of trust again. With BW we got a Promethean as a preorder bonus, a kotor mmo, and an mmo-lite in the last DA. Being bought by EA is the death knell of your game company.

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gamingnerd121

EA is pretty much where studios die a very slow death. It's a gurantee for every company they've aquired, and some people got the hell out before it crashed down on them.

Even if they picked up the ''greatest'' developer of all time, i would most likely just avoid their future products entirely, mainly because of the ways they do business and the drop in quality games.

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EdwardNygma

If I could choose just one gaming company to go out of business, it would be EA.

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illage2

Yeah its a very spotty history right there.

http://i.imgur.com/NWKPnWL.png

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Moonco

I pray every night that someone buys EA and shuts them down for good

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berserker66666

EA's strategy is buyout, merge and destroy for maximum nickel and dime.

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ShimmeringSword

Spotty acquisitions? On the contrary I'd say they've had a track record of picking up some of the most promising devs in the industry. Then... they run those devs into the ground, choking them with anti-consumer features and unattainable release schedules.

If they simply picked up great devs and said "have this money and advertising, make something good" they'd be crapping all over Activision/Ubisoft and wouldn't have a reputation as the devil that devs should avoid working with.

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pboontap

@ShimmeringSword: Exactly, i cannot think of one game dev acquired by them that actually improved. the bio-whore acquisition broke my gaming heart.

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borgking1234

EA KKnD

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xcollector

EAs strategy is buyout and destroy.

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ahpuck

Spotty? Try disastrous.

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Barighm

It's not really their acquisitions of the companies that is the problem.

It's the fact they chewed them up and then shit them out afterwards.

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Chr0noid

Satan: "I have a bit of...a spotty history with mortals. "

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NoSoul81

Most of the reason I give a sh*t about EA was through their acquisitions of other developers. Bioware, speaks for themselves. Criterion, Burnout is one of my favorite racing series (of course they ruined it and turned them into NFS' and Criterion is no longer with EA) Visceral Games was always with EA and I do like some of their stuff especially Dead Space. That's about it. I don't care about Madden or Battlefield or Plants vs Zombies or Rock Band, and I know there's more I haven't mentioned but I don't care about those either.

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cboye18

Off topic: What happened to the Command and Conquer series? They just stopped making them?

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Thanatos2k

@cboye18: They made it into a F2P trash game, and when gamers rejected it, EA said "Oh, guess no one wants this series anymore"

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pboontap

@cboye18: seems like they tried to bring it back recently (ish) but i don't think the game got out of beta, or maybe alpha, before they pulled the plug on it.

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xcollector

@cboye18: Wasn't that back in '95?

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locke90

@xcollector: early 00's I think

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coop36

Still haven't forgiven them for Bullfrog. Not to mention Maxis of course... they used to make other simulation games until the Sims & EA came along.

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dlCHIEF58

@coop36: Spore and Sim City were both made under EA. But I would love a new version of Sim Earth.