Electronic Arts Inc. announced last night that an agreement has been made to acquire Respawn Entertainment, LLC, developers of the successful Titanfall franchise. The acquisition is said to build upon the successful publishing partnership between the two, with multiple projects currently in development – a new title in the Titanfall franchise, a game set in the Star Wars™ universe and a VR gaming experience.
“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.”
Respawn will join EA’s Worldwide Studios organization, a global creative collective of leading game development studios bringing to life an unmatched portfolio of top games and services across all major platforms.
Under the agreement, EA will pay $151 million in cash, and up to $164 million in long-term equity in the form of restricted stock units to employees, which will vest over four years. In addition, EA may be required to pay additional variable cash consideration that is contingent upon achievement of certain performance milestones, relating to the development of future titles, through the end of calendar 2022. The additional consideration is limited to a maximum of $140 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the calendar 2017 or soon thereafter, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to EA’s net income in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.