The game industry has now entered an era of consolidation, with major publishers Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, developer Bungie, etc. all being acquired, so what about EA, the world’s top publisher? In an era where everyone has a price, there are surprisingly few rumors about EA. However, according to a report by Puck New reporter Dylan Byers, the sports game giant has also made a lot of moves behind the scenes.
According to Byers, Comcast recently floated the idea of merging NBCUniversal and EA. The new entity will be managed by EA’s current CEO, Andrew Wilson. Apparently, because of leadership and price issues, the two sides didn’t come to terms. When foreign media contacted EA, the answer was that it would not respond to rumors and speculation.
According to Byers, EA has been looking to sell and has held talks with big buyers like Disney, Apple, and Amazon. EA thinks a deal with Disney is the most tempting, ESPN could be spun off and merged with EA, but that may just be wishful thinking.
EA is understood to have approached Disney back in March with proposals for a “more meaningful relationship” that could go beyond basic licensing deals (EA has already worked with Disney on various Star Wars titles) cooperation in the game), but the “mouse” did not take the bait. Comcast-NBCUniversal remains the party most interested in doing business with EA, according to Byers.
EA’s current market value is $36 billion, but if it were acquired, the actual transaction value would be far more than that. Interestingly, based on the above reports, EA appears to be looking for potential buyers outside the gaming industry, rather than traditional buyers like Microsoft and Sony.