Electronic Arts reportedly shopping around for a buyer

By on August 17, 2012, 7:30 AM

Gaming juggernaut Electronic Arts is quietly seeking a buyer according to sources as reported by the New York Post. The firm has been in contact with private-equity companies KKR and Providence Equity Partners although discussions are reportedly still in a very early stage.

Share value in EA has dropped 37 percent this year although the stock closed up 5.5 percent yesterday, or 72 cents, at $13.81 following buyout talks.

The company’s market cap is around $4 billion as of writing and one source says they would be willing to make a deal for $20 per share. EA has been buying back stock from investors as of late, possibly as an early move ahead of a deal.

As evident by the dwindling stock prices, EA hasn’t had a ton of success as of late. Gamers simply aren’t buying as many $60 titles as they once were thanks largely in part to mobile and casual games that can be had for free. Furthermore, tablets have been wreaking havoc on handheld game sales which has put more pressure on developers.

Of course, these problems aren’t just affecting EA. Activision-Blizzard was reportedly shopping around for a buyer earlier this year although those talks have since fizzled out.

EA told the Post they don’t comment on rumors and speculation while Henry Kravis from KKR declined to comment. Representative Jonathan Nelson from Providence did not return the publication’s calls for comment.




User Comments: 20

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Just when you think EA have reached the depth of scoundreldom, getting bought out by a private equity firm will really raise the bar.

Guest said:

Apparently not looking quietly enough If you guys found out and ran a story about It.

Guest said:

This has nothing to do with mobile and free games. It's about EA being greedy ******, and now they're paying for it. Taking their games off Steam was the dumbest move they ever made. They're also backing out of their SWTOR attachment, which is a game with massive potential that only needs a bit more development and polish. They just cut and run everytime things start looking down a bit. As a consumer and active gamer, this doesn't exactly fill me with confidence in their products. I didn't even buy Mass Effect 3 after they decided not to put it on Steam, and I'm never buying another EA game again.

Blizzard is losing money because WoW is old, they're adding pandas to it, and they've already ruined the game 10 times over by catering to forum-whiners. Diablo 3 with it's assinine "always online" crap, that sure didn't do them any favors. It's the only reason I didn't buy the game. Well, that and real money auction-house. I keep hearing Diablo 3 isn't exactly as fun as Diablo 2 either, and I've stopped hearing about Starcraft II alltogether. I don't think Blizzard has anything to worry about quite yet though. But I'm really getting sick of all this greedy money-milking that's going on these days.

Blame anything you want, but don't go blaming the competition. That's just dumb. No cellphone game ever made me stop playing real games.

MrBungle said:

"Gamers simply aren?t buying as many $60 titles as they once were thanks largely in part to mobile and casual games that can be had for free. Furthermore, tablets have been wreaking havoc on handheld game sales which has put more pressure on developers."

I tend to think it has a lot to do with most of the games making me yawn more than anything... It's more of an industry than EA specifc problem than anything, but how long can you continue to peddle recycled DX9 crap? how many cookie cutter shooters do we need? how do you keep things interesting catering to the lowest common denominator with things like Diablo III?

Gamers will pay for games you just need to create something that is unique or innovative or that pushes the envelope.

Sniped_Ash said:

This has nothing to do with mobile and free games. It's about EA being greedy ******, and now they're paying for it. Taking their games off Steam was the dumbest move they ever made.
That's the absolute truth. Not selling your games in the store that most PC gamers have open all the time because you want all the profits is a really dumb move. I got rid of Origin when I uninstalled Mass Effect 3 because I didn't have any other EA games that needed it so a fat lot of good that's doing EA.

Renrew Renrew said:

Good job EA you're reaping what you sowed,

No amount of smoke and mirrors can disguise the fact that your company took the low road and thought you could screw the consumer forever.

We voted with our wallets and that's why were not buying as many $60.00 games from you.

fteumer said:

The comments here have said it already: EA, we vote with our wallets and guess who's not winning the popular vote right now, YOU. You have continually screwed us, your loyal consumer for so long that we refuse to lay down $60 for a game that *might* be good. Even if the game is good, your DRM and other BS with DLC that you pull is just atrocious. Time to get back to business with us, the consumer and stop worrying about the $60 you might lose to some pirate...

Guest said:

No matter how amazing a game is, I will not touch it if it requires Origin.

Jawshh Jawshh said:

People don't buy $60 games because there are no $60 games! Most games nowadays cost around $80-$120. That's because of the DLCs.

Take a look at Mass Effect 3 for example. Mass Effect 3 for PC retails for $59.99 or something. However, people also buy the From Ashes DLC because it's such a "must" for the story like I did. So, the game is now $69.98. Some people even prefer to get the collector's or Deluxe edition instead for $79.99.

In a couple months, you'll see a flood of DLCs that you'll spend money on. So, yea, games are damn expensive these days! I could feed a family in Africa with that kinda money.

Personally, I don't buy games on day 1 anymore. I wait for a sale and then buy the game only if it's 50% off no less than that. That way I can also get the DLCs without spending more than that "$60"

Guest said:

I have to agree with the other comments here, EA simply didn't care about the end users game experience. They thought we're EA so people will just buy our stuff. Yes we understand a business has to make money however just look at Valve, they manage to make money and care about the people who buy their products. I saw so many companies that made great games be bought out by EA and then just go down hill. It was if they sold their souls to the devil...

Guest said:

Considering how atrociously EA has treated it's customers and it's developers over the years, I would expect things to get much worse and maybe even blow up epicly in EA's greedy corporate face like Krakatoa.

That's karma for you

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

EA could read every post in this thread with all the various reasons why the public thinks they are failing, scratch their heads, and come up with the conclusion that piracy is to blame. This is how short sighted some of these companies are. They can't accept the fact that their stupid ideas got them in the situation they are in.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Why EA is failing

-BF3 great game with huge potential. They partition the game and sell each partition as an expansion.

~Solution. Don't partition the game ans sell it as an expansion. Make it a massive game and delay it if possible. And please listen to your community. This game would have rocked if they would have included a map editor, which would have been endless hours of replay value.

ON a side note blizzard is doing fine although they delay their games way to much. They made all that money on WOW and can't seem to hire more people to pump out the games faster. I been waiting for sc2 expansion for 3 years and waited 10 years for sc2/wc4 ect.

Activison is doing the same thing EA is which is. Why in the world would you saturate a game like guitar hero. If you ask me they deserve to be bankrupt for their stupid business decision.

ShadowDeath said:

That's not why I'm not buying games Mr Article Writer. I'm not buying games because of how they acted towards Valve and because I seriously hate origin and don't want to run Steam by valve and Steam v1 by EA.

Ethan Ethan said:

Here's a thought ea, stop being greedy bastards and make some quality games.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Why EA is failing

-BF3 great game with huge potential. They partition the game and sell each partition as an expansion.

~Solution. Don't partition the game ans sell it as an expansion. Make it a massive game and delay it if possible. And please listen to your community. This game would have rocked if they would have included a map editor, which would have been endless hours of replay value.

YES!!! Map editor would be awesome. I'm not paying $50 for a "Premium map pack" of which only 1/4 exists to date!

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

EA collapsing would be amazing. I'd feel bad for those who lose their jobs, but the company isn't exactly as highly regarded as it used to be. Personally I feel like with games, 2 out of 10 are actually worth $60 and paid DLC is just ridiculous unless it adds a significant amount of new material; even then anything over $10 is greedy imho.

howzz1854 said:

This is probably a marketing strategy to drive up their stock prices to gain investor interest to inject more cash into the company. either case, they can dream about $20 a share, I wouldn't pay $8 a share for their stock consider their slumping track record. $20 a share is a wet dream, that EA can forget about.

they need to start listening to their customers (gamers), and what they want. as oppose to shuving down people's throat what they don't want, like Origin, and countless recycled titles like COD that's without any added value.

keep it up EA.

Guest said:

It sucks that blizzard was bought by Activision. It used to be a company that just made good games and didn't try to squeeze every penny out of customers.

Remember when starcraft had a campaign for every race? Remember when Diablo was actually different and fun because it was made by Blizzard North and didn't have super DRM?

Man...some of my best times were spent with friends in D2.

Activision doesn't need Blizzard though, they have COD.

EA....they can suck it with all of their online codes so you don't get the full game when you buy it used. I mean they even cut out single player content...greed. Dragon Age 2 was a horrible game, sorry I ever played it. They turned it from a tactical RPG into an Action RPG...I can still play DA 1 though...great game.

I hold ZeniMax doesn't ruin Bethesda....it seems like one of the remaining company's that cares about their customers still...and maybe Valve. Though the whole TF2 hat thing is ridiculous, you can safely say they are purely aesthetic and offer no gameplay advantage.

Guest said:

Really? They are blaming tablets and free games? How about the fact that they don't listen to the customers? They never listen. They don't give us what we want. They are experts at ruining games.

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