EA has purchased Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the development of the Titanfall franchise, for $455 million. That deal includes $150 million in cash, $164 million in long-term equity, and additional considerations that can come into play in the long-term.
In an official statement regarding their recent acquisition, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson stated that “We’ve seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset. 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.”
As Wilson noted, EA has worked with Respawn in the past when they published the first two Titanfall games. However, Respawn was still an independent studio at that time and not officially under the EA corporate umbrella. This sizeable purchase changes the nature of their business relationship quite drastically.
“We started Respawn with the goal to create a studio with some of the best talent in the industry, and to be a top developer of innovative games,” said Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment. “We felt that now was the time to join an industry leader that brings the resources and support we need for long-term success, while still keeping our culture and creative freedom. EA has been a great partner over the years with Titanfall and Titanfall 2, and we’re excited to combine our strengths. This is a great next step for Respawn, EA, and our players.”
We already know that Respawn is working on a virtual reality project for Oculus Rift, some kind of Star Wars game, and possibly Titanfall 3. Given that Titanfall 2 was published for all systems, there is no reason to believe that Respawn’s future non-VR projects won’t be available on all consoles and PC.
Of course, the timing of this announcement is somewhat strange given that EA recently shuttered Dead Space developer Visceral Studios. EA has a somewhat checkered history as it concerns the long-term propositions of their high-profile acquisitions.