EA has recently revealed that it will be buying Titanfall developers Respawn Entertainment in a deal potentially reaching hundreds of millions of dollars.
The acquisition of Respawn could set EA back in excess of $400 million. The upfront payment of $151 million will buy the studio itself while further payments are due of $164 million in long-term equity and $140 million in performance milestone payments, which effectively means they have to deliver on Metacritic. Gulp.
EA weren’t the only publisher interested in Respawn: South Korean publisher Nexon, who published Lawbreakers earlier in the year and the Titanfall mobile game, were frontrunners before being matched by EA, who had a 30-day window to submit a bid.
As well as announcing the acquisition, EA also revealed that they had Respawn working on three new games, one being a (deserved) Titanfall sequel. The other two are the previously announced Star Wars game and a “super secret” VR game, which is due for release in 2019.
Respawn CEO Vince Zampella:
“We started Respawn with the goal to create a studio with some of the best talent in the industry, and to be a top developer of innovative games. We felt that now was the time to join an industry leader that brings the resources and support we need for long term success, while still keeping our culture and creative freedom […] This is a great next step for Respawn, EA, and our players.”
It says a lot about where EA are at right now as a publisher and in the eyes of gamers that this news was met with alarm. After recently closing Visceral Games and fully embracing loot boxes within their games, they may have a right to be concerned. Still, Respawn are a very talented bunch of developers, and if they can push against EA’ practices as much as they can, they could come out of this okay.
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