In a not too shocking move this week, EA has announced that they will be purchasing independent developer Respawn in a deal that could be worth over $400 million. Until now EA had been publishing Respawn’s Titanfall games, but the developer remained independently owned. The deal is valued at $455 million and it is based on a mixture of cash, equity, and performance milestones for Respawn’s upcoming games.
The deal apparently came about when South Korean publisher Nexon put in a bid to purchase Respawn. Nexon are the publishers that put out the Titanfall mobile game. EA then had 30 days to put in a counter offer to purchase, which is what EA has done. It isn’t a surprising move, as EA has Respawn tapped to make a third-person Star Wars game, as well as a new virtual reality game. This move has also confirmed that Titanfall 3 is in the works from Respawn, though no time frame has been given for its release. Still, it’s a pretty sudden move for EA to make, especially after shuttering another studio, Visceral Games, mere weeks ago. It has been reported though that EA was very happy with the performance of Titanfall 2, even after it was released in 2016 right in the middle of Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Respawn was formed in 2010 when former Call of Duty designers Jason West and Vince Zampella had very publicly left Activision. They took the opportunity to create the first Titanfall, which was an Xbox exclusive, and was published by EA. The game was popular and had very strong sales for Respawn and EA, however with Titanfall 2 they decided to make the move to the PlayStation 4 as well. The series is known for it’s mix of Call of Duty twitch-style shooting, and the ability to pilot and fight with giant mechs, known as Titans. The games also have free DLC, and make their money by selling assorted cosmetic packs, for weapons as well as Titans. The EA deal is said to still allow Respawn with full control over the Titanfall series, but it will be interesting to see how they handle future DLC and micro-transactions.
The deal is a pretty big one in the gaming world, although one that isn’t that big of a surprise. The biggest piece of news really out of this is the confirmation that Titanfall 3 is in the works. Are you a Titanfall fan, what do you think of the deal? Is it good for the series, or will EA’s ownership of the property now have a negative impact on how you view the series? Let us know in the comments below.