EA is acquiring the studio for $151 million in cash and a further $140 million if they reach certain milestones outlined in the deal. There will also be $164 million in long-term equity in the form of restricted stock units to employees.
“We’ve seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “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.”
“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.”
This purchase is likely to add more fuel to the fire of anti-EA sentiment that a section of the industry harbors. EA recently closed down Visceral Games, the makers of Dead Space, to a lot of fan dismay. And given that EA has a tendency to absorb talent and then shed weight in pursuit of profit, it’s unlikely that this will be the last major purchase or closure for Electronic Arts during this generation.
A lot of people are expecting Respawn to join the ranks of Bullfrog, Maxis, Pandemic and a bundle of other studios closed down by EA. Although Respawn is currently working on a new Titanfall game, a game set in the Star Wars universe and a VR title. Hopefully these games are very profitable and can stave off EA’s ravenous hunger for closures. Whoever is taking bets on a year, I’ll take 2019.