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EA Buys Bioware, Pandemic Studios for $860 Million

Posted Thu, Oct 11, 2007 by Cody Bye

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

This news is huge. HUGE. I'll let it speak for itself. This is from bizjournals.com:

Electronic Arts Inc. said Thursday it agreed to acquire VG Holding Corp. -- which owns both BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios -- from Elevation Partners in a deal valued at $860 million.

Redwood City-based EA (NASDAQ:ERTS) said the acquisition gives it a "strong competitive position in key genres in interactive entertainment: action, adventure and role-playing games."

The deal with Elevation Partners, which has an office in Menlo Park, includes $620 million in cash to stockholders and another $155 million in equity to employees.

BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios have 10 franchises under development, including six wholly owned games. BioWare Corp. is currently developing Mass Effect, which will be published by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) in November, and is in the early development stages of a massively multiplayer online game.

The two companies employ about 800 people across four studios located in Canada, Los Angeles, Austin, and Australia.

EA said it also agreed to lend VG Holding Corp. up to $35 million through the closing of the acquisition.


I really don't know how to feel about this acquisition. Part of me wants to curl up and cry like a little girl. The other part wants to commend Bioware for getting such a huge chunk of change from EA.

On top of all that, we won't really have any idea how this is going to effect the MMOG until more details come out on the state of the acquisition. If EA keeps a good portion of the original staff on board, it shouldn't affect much. Here's to hoping!

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