by Graham Pierrepoint
Whispers on the grapevine think so..
EA, or Electronic Arts as they were initially known, has grown to become one of the biggest videogames publishers on the planet – and while they have courted controversy over the years from some gamers due to monetisation and security lockout features, they have continued to produce immensely popular titles such as The Sims, Battlefield, Mass Effect, their EA Sports line (which of course includes the likes of FIFA each year) and – for those of us really showing our age – the original Sim City titles, produced alongside Maxis. EA, however, seen as a giant fish in an already crowded pond, is allegedly being eyed up by a whale in the industry – as Microsoft looks set to swallow the firm up.
Microsoft, who has only become a giant in the videogames industry in under two decades, is thought to be feeling hot under the collar as Sony’s rival PlayStation 4 continues to outsell the Xbox One family – leading to suspicions mounting that they may finally be looking for a way to fill the void of exclusive titles for the platform. Microsoft has noticeably shied away from setting up exclusive partnerships and deals in recent years – but rumors are circulating online that Bill Gates’ firm could be looking to buddy up with EA – an event which will send shockwaves across the industry.
Watch: ▶ Microsoft Is Trying To Fix Xbox With A Major Acquisition
EA oversees a revenue each year of around $5 billion – largely thanks to big brands such as FIFA and The Sims – and they are thought to weigh in at a worth of around $35 billion. This will be a slim purchase for the Goliath Microsoft, who are thought to be worth shy of four times this amount – meaning that it’s entirely within the realms of possibility. However, it is still a rumour at present – and anyone worrying that such an acquisition could mean the end of EA Sports titles on the PS4 needn’t worry too much, as Microsoft owns Minecraft – and it has been ported across almost all platforms available, and continues to be updated. The title’s most recent port came to the Nintendo Switch last year.
Speculation over whom Microsoft will partner with in future has always been rife – consider rumors surrounding their supposed takeover of Valve, who operate the popular Steam games network – these have been reverberating for some time, and some whispers are, ultimately, always destined to just be whispers.
Watch: Does Microsoft Want to Buy EA, Valve and PUBG? (IGN Daily Fix)