With rumors circulating that Warner Bros. Interactive entertainment is on sale, gaming giant Electronic Arts has commented on its overall approach to buying studios. As part of the latest information on the company’s earnings, 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 on Warner Bros. but pointed out that EA – as one of the largest gaming companies on the planet – is usually in the mix when studios are put up for sale.
“It’s very rare that we don’t get a chance to look at anything that is for sale,” Jorgensen said. “You can imagine … people calling us and saying we̵7;re thinking about selling the business or thinking about selling ourselves. We’re a place that a lot of people want to come in as a long-term home if they decide to sell the business. “We have to look at almost everything.”
Jorgensen said he “can’t comment on any specific acquisition,” but he pointed out that EA’s acquisitions in the past have come from long-term partnerships. EA isn’t necessarily interested in looking for a studio to get its gaming portfolio – instead, it wants to invest in talent. All of this sure sounds like EA isn’t going after Warner Bros.
“As I’ve seen in the past, where we’ve done the best is where we have long-term relationships with people and we’re really trying to buy great talent against games,” he said. “I think Respawn is a classic example of that. We were able to bend them and give them incredible support and it was all driven by the fact that they have incredible talent. It wasn’t about Titanfall – no offense to Titanfall. It’s a game of It’s amazing to see Titanfall on the road for a while. But it was really about the team. “
EA worked with Respawn for many years on the Titanfall franchise before buying the company in 2016 for hundreds of millions of dollars. Respawn has continued to do well in recent years, releasing the popular Apex Legends royale battle game and the hugely successful Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Looking ahead, Jorgensen said EA “always” looks at new teams to acquire creative leads. However, EA may not make any acquisitions soon, due in part to the way the global pandemic has led companies to enjoy large fortunes and may be less likely to sell it.
But overall, Jorgensen said EA is “more interested than ever because we see talent, and building big new franchises is critical to the long-term growth of the business.”
In addition to EA, Take-Two, Activision and Microsoft all reported showing some level of interest in exploring WBIE purchases. The company publishes titles such as Batman: Arkham Knight, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Mortal Kombat 11, among many others.