With rumors shouting that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is on sale, gaming giant Electronic Arts has commented on its overall approach to studio acquisition. As part of the company’s most recent profits conference, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen – who controls the company’s money – said EA is “more interested than ever” in buying the studios. He declined to comment specifically for Warner Bros. but he stressed that EA – as one of the largest gaming companies on the planet – is usually in the mix when studios go on sale.
“It’s very rare summer that we do not have a chance to see everything that is for sale,”; Jorgensen said. “You can imagine … people call us and say we’re thinking of selling the business or we’re thinking of selling ourselves. We’re a place that a lot of people want to come across as a long – term home if they decide to sell the business. we have to see almost everything. “
Jorgensen said he “could not comment on any specific acquisitions”, but he stressed that EA’s acquisitions in the past have come from long-standing partnerships. EA is not necessarily interested in looking for a studio to get its gaming portfolio – rather, it wants to invest in talent. All of this sure sounds like EA is not going after Warner Bros.
“As you have seen in the past, where we have done our best is where we have long-term relationships with people and we are really trying to buy great talent versus games,” he said. “I think Respawn is a classic example of this. We were able to bring them in and give them tremendous support and it was all driven by the fact that they have tremendous talent. It was not about Titanfall – “No offense to Titanfall. It’s an amazing game and maybe you’ll see Titanfall some time on the road. But it was really for the team.”
EA worked with Respawn for years on the Titanfall franchise before buying the company in 2016 for hundreds of millions of dollars. Respawn has continued to perform well in recent years, releasing the popular royal battle game Apex Legends and the massively successful Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Looking ahead, Jorgensen said EA will “always” look at new creatively driven teams to deal with. However, EA may not make any purchases soon, due in part to the way the global pandemic has led to companies enjoying great luck and may be less likely to sell.
But overall, Jorgensen said EA is “more interested than ever because we see talent, and building new big franchises is essential to long-term business growth.”
Except for EA, Take-Two, Activision and Microsoft have all reportedly expressed some level of interest in exploring a WBIE acquisition. The company publishes titles like Batman: Arkham Knight, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Mortal Kombat 11, among many others.