EA buys Pandemic BioWare
Industry giant Electronic Arts has announced an agreement with Elevation Partners to acquire VG Holding Corp.; the owner of BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios.
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. Look out for our review of the first Mercenaries soon
The deal is thought to have cost EA a total of around $860 million US, and the companies will be joining the EA Games label currently run by Frank Gibeau.
EA CEO John Riccitiello had this to say:
“These are two of the most respected studios in the industry and I’m glad to be working with them again.
“They’ll make a strong contribution to our strategic growth initiatives on quality, online gaming and developing new intellectual properties. We also expect this will drive long-term value for our shareholders.”
Mass Effect, which was originally to be a trilogy on the 360, will likely go multi-format come the sequel
Pandemic are currently working on free-roaming Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, already to be published by EA, as well as Saboteur, a third-person stealth game where you play a member of the French Resistance
BioWare are in the finishing stages of guaranteed winter smash hit, Xbox 360 exclusive Mass Effect, to be published by Microsoft. They are also working on long-time-coming PC adventure Dragon Age, which should hopefully be ready for release next year.
It will be interesting to see how the feelings are in Microsoft Game Studios at the moment, after three of their closest development studios have effectively jumped ship recently (BioWare, Bungie, Bizarre). This acquisition was nothing if not a surprise, and it seems like independent premier development studios are dropping like flies at the moment. In particular, EA have made an unbelievable number of buyouts in the last three or four year – are they working on their own console in secret? Watch this space…