EA has acquired Titanfall 2 developer Respawn Entertainment in a sensational deal worth close to $500 million depending on performance targets hit by Respawn. For that, read ‘Metacritic scores’.
“We’ve seen firsthand the world-class calibre of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset,” says Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA. “Our longtime partnership is grounded in a shared desire to push the boundaries and deliver extraordinary and innovative new experiences for players around the world. Together, we’ve brought this to life in the Titanfall franchise, and now with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more amazing things in the future.”
It obviously takes two to tango though, and Respawn says it’s similarly pleased with the outcome of the deal.
“While it wasn’t necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense,” said Respawn founder Vince Zampella. “With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn’t interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we’ve always had. We’ve been talking closely with the leadership at EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first.” I’m sure there will be many an eye roll at that last comment in particular.
Electronic Arts MO is pretty transparent these days. It likes to hoover up companies and IPs before the start of a new console generation, freshening up its roster of games before shuttering or downsizing those who came before. It’s textbook AAA publisher business, providing the means to ever expand through acquisitions of new IP.
Ultimately this news has got to prove toughest to Visceral Games, who were shut down by EA only last week. EA’s lack of faith is demonstrable in how it would rather spend half a billion dollars on a new studio than keep Visceral afloat. Conversely, it demonstrates Respawn must be up to something special with Titanfall 3 and the unannounced Star Wars project. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier said, “The contract, which I've seen, includes Metacritic-tied bonuses for Titanfall 3 and Star Wars.”
The EA merry-go-round continues apace then. What are your thoughts? How do you think this will impact Respawn’s future? Let us know!