October 11, 2007

EA Purchases Bioware

Holy fuck, EA To Acquire BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced an agreement with Elevation Partners to acquire VG Holding Corp. -- the owner of both BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios. This acquisition gives EA a strong competitive position in key genres in interactive entertainment: action, adventure and role-playing games. The two studios have been recognized for creating some of the highest-quality games in the industry.

BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios have ten franchises under development, including six wholly owned games. BioWare Corp. is currently developing the highly anticipated Mass Effect, which will be published by Microsoft in November, and is in the early development stages of a massively multiplayer online game. Pandemic Studios is redefining open-world games with its upcoming Mercenaries 2: World in Flames™ and Saboteur™, in addition to several unannounced projects.
This one is completely out of left field. This really makes me want to run and grab that tinfoil hat I tossed in the closet. The main question I have, did EA buy them for their upcoming online games or for their ass-kicking single-player games?

6 comments:

Aaron Miller said...

A complete surprise here, too. This coverage of a conference call with EA and Bioware explains it best: http://kotaku.com/gaming/liveblogging/eas-bioware-pandemic-conference-call-309944.php

It definitely makes sense for EA, since they're not known for RPGs yet. EA's a strong marketer and financial resource for Bioware, though I'm not sure this will turn out great for them in the long run. Bioware has a reputation similar to Blizzard's, so jumping in bed with a publisher who doesn't only focus on quality might dim that reputation somewhere down the line.

Don't get me wrong. EA publishes a lot of great games (including the upcoming Spore), but they're also the publisher of a lot of crap... film games, in particular.

Anonymous said...

Aaron obviously hasn't seen Ultima Online, which has been going for 10 years (so yea, they are known in the MMORPG space). They bought Bioware to shut down competition - From a business point, it makes sense. Look at the other 4+ companies EA has bought out and shut down.
just my opinion, and I seriously hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Aaron obviously hasn't seen Ultima Online, which has been going for 10 years (so yea, they are known in the MMORPG space). They bought Bioware to shut down competition - From a business point, it makes sense. Look at the other 4+ companies EA has bought out and shut down.
just my opinion, and I seriously hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and SIMMS online - another EA MMORPG project they have...
EA publishes a lot of great games? umm... ok.. Sports come to mind, which have been done after the last x amount of years, basically the same stuff. The car MMO (can't think of the name offhand) and Earth & Beyond both got canceled.
Hey, what have they put out lately that was original again lately?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and SIMMS online - another EA MMORPG project they have...
EA publishes a lot of great games? umm... ok.. Sports come to mind, which have been done after the last x amount of years, basically the same stuff. The car MMO (can't think of the name offhand) and Earth & Beyond both got canceled.
Hey, what have they put out lately that was original again lately?

Cow Nose the 50 Pound Cat said...

I think this move makes a lot of sense.

My reasoning is that EA does a lot of.. uhm what do you call it... franchise games? Licensed games? Where one company comes to them with an IP and says, "Make a game for me." anyways I forget the right word but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Well, on that note Bioware does a lot of the same thing for their games! Sure they are well known for making some solid RP games but they have don the same IP thing, and done it really well.

I just hope bioware still has a lot of control over its products, but with TES3 and its consoleness (ie: too easy, RPG lite as a friend put it) I fear for the end of the old-school RPG even more then I did before.

We'll see what kind of games come out of this marriage!