Electronic Arts (EA) is up for sale, and while the discrete maneuverings are going on, gamers should think on what impacts this issue may have on them.
The game industry seems to be crashing. One reason I think is because we can't get out of this 7 year old outdated generation of consoles! Nintendo aside Microsoft and Sony need to show there stuff because they're the ones with the power behind them not gimmicks.
Yeah, because these publishers want to spend even more money making AAA games than they already do. That'll help them financially alright. /s
It's a double edged sword. You want to move forward with new technology but you also want to be profitable along the way. Games now cost 10's of millions of dollars, i can only imagine that growing in the future. What i think will happen is episodic content where we get these big games in smaller chunks. That way they can go beyong the $60 threshold. We are seeing that with DLC but they will take it a step further in order to recoup their investment. The gaming industry needs to constantly innovate and evolve, right now they seem to be stuck and thinning themselves way too much. You have so many platforms now that taking a chance on new IP's for new hardware like the Wii U will be a rarity. What did EA show for the Wii U that was unique? How is making Mass Effect 3 going to entice gamers? It's the third part of a triology where the other two were never on Nintendo devices. Of course they will have Wii U interface games but they will be safe games like FIFA and Madden. Ubisoft looks to be taking more chances but again they too have to make games they can port to other platforms because the userbase is too small for just one platform like the Wii U. Especially starting from zero when the Wii U launches. Gamers should care what happens with EA, they are one of the largest game publishers out there so it will be interesting to see where things go. There may not be another videogame crash but chances are there will be a major correction. It simply isn't sustainable at its current moment. Ever since sales for the Wii went down so did profit margins. There's a lull right now and new consoles can shake things up again but those will be huge invesetments and the cycle will continue. The future will be the ecosystem, not the hardware. You can see how things are lining up. You've got Steam. Microsoft's Windows Live, Sony and their online service with the newly acquired Gaiaka, Apple and iTunes, Nintendo now trying to be a serious contender with Nintendo Network, and OnLive waiting to be bought. What will happen with EA's Origin? There will be less focus on the hardware as we move forward and more on getting people into those ecosystems.
@ level head: I totally agree woth ypur analysis/prediction. It's very "Level headed". I dunno why u got those dissagree's, but keep in mind that many of the people on this site are not very bright, and that their abilities to discern the times are just as poor as Pratchert's abilities. The future is gonna hurt games if people get what they think they want...things such as expensive to develope for hardware, which only major corporations will be able to afford to develope on. Cloud is an option Sony and Ms are loking into, because new hardware might not be the best option for software devs who are on a tight budget. Even naughty dog voiced concern about a next gen. People just want another Console anyway just because they expect one every 5 years. But the cost of games rivals or even surpasses the costs of some hpllywood live action or Pixar movies.
@donbear The disagrees mean virtually nothing unless a response is added to them. It's just a cowardly way of saying 'i don't like what you say but i don't have the intellect to actually give reasons to'. Some people on N4G will disagree on anything. You could say game A came out this year and people will disagree. It's ridiculous. perhaps the system should be more open and show who is actually disagreeing? Either way i'm not bothered by it. The old model of creating hardware and hoping exclusives get people to buy that hardware is old ways of thinking. One that will hurt Nintendo more than anyone else. It's also one that isn't helping Sony very much at the moment and for quite some time now. It's no longer feasible to count on that. How much does Apple invest in their own games? How much in return do they make? How about Steam? What i see Microsoft doing is a bold step and one that is going to ruffle a lot of feathers. They look to try and do what Apple is doing, that is control everything on their end. People love PC gaming due to its openess, apparently Windows 8 isn't. Now watch as they create a Windows Live ecosystem much like iTunes while also creating their own hardware (the surface tablet). The profit margin for companies like Dell and HP are null compared to Apple. Apple controls the pricing, the hardware and the software. Who else does that? Well it looks as though Microsoft will try. Now take a look at a company like Sony. They need retailers to push their products. It's not so easy to be like Valve and Steam. A company that doesn't need retailers. Valve doesn't do hardware and Sony also doesn't have an operating system like Windows or OSX that can integrate itself into various platforms and close everyone off like Apple has been able to do. Sony has taken a different appraoch and is now allowing games they own to be on Android devices. Gaiaka will help push those games but they still don't have the leverage that Windows has. A good idea for Sony but one that will devalue the hardware. Nintendo is the odd man out. They only do games and don't want their software on any other hardware than their own. That means they cannot afford to sell that hardware at a loss (game software alone won't recoup those losses) and their vision ends up somewhat hampered because they cannot go all out. Their online service will only work on their hardware as well. That's not an issue for Apple because they don't have the overhead of game studios like Nintendo does. They have closed themselves off way too much and since 3rd party publishers don't work that way they are the least likely to cater to Nintendo's vision. There's a lot of growing pains taking place right now. They are still trying to bridge the gap of getting people connected. Having the consumer apply codes is all about getting rhe consumer educated and to force them online. That's where they want us to end up.
Sony has $8.4 Billion waiting to be used for acquisitions. Sony should buy EA Sports and the EA division that owns the Battlefield and Medal of Honor IPs.
Yeap despite this very long console generation a lot of the smaller, and medium publishers will probably be pretty slow in supporting new consoles because they cannt afford to invest the money in new consoles that will be have very low userbases to start with.
Plus, they want to start again with a smaller number of game systems. Less potential customers = happier publishers. /s
And include the increase in competition and the constant 24/7 harassment from gamers, and it isn't as simple as many think it is. We look back at EAs decisions and they were trying to be profitable. Unfortunately, the days of big games being made for niche gamers is over. And it is sad. Hopefully Sony and Microsoft are able to compete too. It looks bad for Sony right now. Microsoft will be fine. They are attempting to lead the charge of OS in the living room. But, when apple makes more money off the iPhone than Microsoft makes with it's entire company, it becomes very difficult for companies to continue spending millions and taking risks when shareholders just want a return. EA has mentioned their desire to make mobile games. Remember when video killed the radio star. We are watching mobile games kill console games. It is sad but the world is reeling as a whole and while entitlements and government help have helped to hide the dying gaming industry, it will come to a head. But, so will everything else. Hard times are coming, the only choice is whether we structure it or let it take us by surprise. The games we love are made by corporations and corporations have been deemed evil to hide the atrocities being committed by frightened governments. I just hope I am wrong but all indicators point in a scary direction.
@BattleAxe Really???... obviously Sony isn't going to be able to make many large purchases for awhile. If you haven't heard they have been looking at a very large negative trend in their cash flow!
@DragonKnight I guess according to you we should never move forward since it will cost developers more money? Next gen hardware makes people eager to get the new consoles and the amazing games with them especially if the games have that WOW effect. So yes it may cost more but Unreal Engine 4.0 is sitting there waiting along with 1st party Developers.
The cost of moving into the next generation would not be much higher for publishers. Engines are getting way better. They do a lot of the work for you. Plus, publishers already spend as much as they're going to spend on music and voice acting...we've already plateaued on those costs. it's a very small-minded way of thinking to assume that just because the leap in costs in the last generation was high that it will be the same in this generation. it won't even be close. increased graphics is a function of the engine quality..engines are more sophisticate and actually reduce development time. as for the industry "crashing." well, the economy in the west is crashing in general thanks to horrible economic/political policy. there is going to be a massive economic crash in the next 12-24 months (if not sooner).
@Marcus_Fenix: And I guess according to you people will go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a new console with a limited launch line up of games they potentially don't want so publishers/developers/investor s should risk the money they already apparently don't have (thanks to the industry "crashing") on the risk that people will want to buy that new console right away right? PS3's launch doesn't ring a bell for you does it? "So yes it may cost more but Unreal Engine 4.0 is sitting there waiting along with 1st party Developers." Oh right, because developers never create their own engines for games or use anything other than UE. And also because UE is free. Oh and also because first party devs don't typically spend more money on developing games than third party developers since they have the funds of the console maker behind them. Right. /s @CommonSense: It's naive to think that increased quality doesn't equal increased costs no matter what technology can do for you. You say engines do most of the work for you? Well guess what; it costs money to create and/or license those engines. Plus developers do tend to make their own engines and spend money upgrading them over time. Just because epic is content to let UE float for an entire generation without updates doesn't mean everyone else will do the same. Oh and, sound quality increases as well. With new ability to make better sound comes new equipment that costs more money. Voice actors don't have a "going rate" that publishers can constantly pay for the way you imply. And finally, please give me the winning lottery numbers with that financial crystal ball you seem to possess. I love people who think they can predict the future.
"And finally, please give me the winning lottery numbers with that financial crystal ball you seem to possess. I love people who think they can predict the future." It's called analysis, and if you did the research you could probably come out with the same outcome in terms of our economical system. I hate whenever someone makes a prediction and gets slammed for it. Predictions are good to have in case you need a failsafe. Would you toss out the weather channel if you had the choice? It's pretty good to know when there's a tornado warning or a hurricane impending.
Does the author of this piece realize that Lara Croft is currently the intellectual property of Square Enix? Do your research, bro... Tru_
I'm sorry if I confused you - I did not mean to insinuate that Croft's redesign had anything to do with EA. It's just an analogy. Whoever holds the the intellectual rights to the games (and characters) has complete control over them - so when Eidos fell into Square Enix's lap in 2009, it wasn't a matter of just creating another Tomb Raider game that fits the franchise to a T. The new management undoubtedly had a hand in the redesign (or at least an influence in its direction), despite the fact that the new game was developed by the same company under them. Square Enix needed to show that they can create something better (or different) than what Eidos had been dishing out - but the perception of what's "better" is subjective. This is the analogy I wanted to point out for EA's games and characters if ever it was sold somewhere else.
Image of Lara Croft was being used as an example of remade IP's. Do your reading bro. Stu_
My Bad... Thanks for the clarification. That makes more sense.
I see why EA for sale one of the reasons according to "MOVIEINSIDER.com" movie:
"NEED FOR SPEED" Synopsis: Rumored to involve a cross-county race from San Francisco to New York.
smell like "THE RUN" game was a flop im sure the movie will be as well.
@ Marcus_Fenix Your argument makes no sense. Publishers make more money when the install base is huge, which it it now with the PS3 and XBOX 360... Publishers make more money when the development process is streamlined, which it is right now because devs have experience with the hardware. The beginning of any console generation is a huge investment not just for the hardware manufacturers, but the publishers too. The publishers have to be on board for that investment for the hardware devs to make the big investment.
Um the long console generation is the result of the industry struggling not the cause of it. Console makers can no longer afford to invest tons of money putting out consoles every 5 years, and publishers can no longer afford to invest tons of money, and resources getting used to new consoles.
EA hasn't made a "quality" title in a long time. We are better off with the sports games being picked up by other companies that have more ideas waiting to be implemented.
Somebody needs to get smart and buy the company and strip it down for parts. Selling titles out to different buyers... or something.
IMO Dead Space 1 and 2 are quality Titles. Mass Effect 2 and 3 are quality Titles. NHL games are quality Titles. FIFA Titles are quality Titles. Battlefield Bad Company 2 is a Quality Title. Battlefield 3 is a quality Title. the Fight Night's are quality Titles. Dante's Inferno is a quality Title The Secret World is looking like a quality Title. Crysis are Quality Titles Shank is a quality Title Star Wars: The Old Republic is a Quality Title. It's so easy to hate on a large company simply just to hate on them but for me, I am a fan of EA titles. I think they have lots of quality in their titles and are very diverse with titles.
I don't think is next gen we need Remember it takes a lot of money to produce a next gen console(advertisement, shipping, etc.) What I think the problem relies on is games.people are buying the same game over and over again such as call do duty, halo, gears, etc. and not giving or buying any other games out there. If people don't buy these games the developers are making, they can't make a profit and they lose money.
You guys know what is really funny? Activision/Blizzard is also for sale. I believe Sony and Microsoft might buy into EA and Activision/Blizzard slowly and wait for the price to hit a sweet spot. If one owned Activision and one owned EA it would be a big deal for everybody. EA publishes everything and Activision sells CoD to everybody. What I find really odd is that both of them have more projects coming than ever before. I can see Microsoft and Sony hitting hard next gen. Even if they have to sell at a loss they will be fighting it out for every dollar. Nintendo might grab everyone as well. You never know.
its cheaper for them to make games for this gen now , for the new gen coming would cost the comp more money in dev.
It would totally F up the game industry if someone like Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo bought EA.
It'll be over if Activision owns them
Except Activision itself may also be up for sale.
No Vendi stock in Blizzard is up for sale. Activision themselves is not up for sale the joint merger is and only 61% of it is.
If that happens, There will be fewer choices for me. I'm gearing up to Boycott Blizzard and anyone associated with them by closing down my wallet to them, their games and sadly, the developers who would be working under them, should this occur.
Nexon already offered to buy EA once this year. So if anyone going to try to get EA it would probably them depending on the price.
It would be a massive shame if Activision or one of the big three bought them. I can see no good resulting from any of them acquiring EA.
EA aren't going to sell themselves.
Since I can't edit my post I will just say that if something ever happened where they did sell, Microsoft should buy them. Complete exclusivity to EA's huge game library and the death of Playstation.
you have such a wide imagination there boy.
yeaaa, no. ea has bin a third party from the begining... and im talking way back so going exclusive NEVER gonna happen
......I'm sorry your comment is so retarded in so many ways that I can't comprehend what you are saying.
If you are a true gamer you should not wish for the death of sony or the playstation brand (even if you are the biggest MS/xbox fanboy in the history of mankind). One of the best things that has happened this generation is the close competition between Sony and MS. If one of these companies had rocketed ahead you would have seen them stop trying to please customers so badly. Healthy competition is what keeps these companies trying hard to impress us and win us over.
It would become a net loss, buying a giant publisher like that and making all of their games exclusive. Their sales would be essentially cut in half, or worse if they also cut PC support.
Which would make EA's profits even less than what they are making the purchase a complete mistake Way to go failed troll
MS couldn't afford them
That's exactly what we need. Sony to get out of the gaming business so that M$ will have a monopoly on the console market.... Great idea. Imagine LIVE going up to 15$ a month, and the ads on the dashboard to increase or better yet, M$ does what they do best, which is systematically closing down studios one by one until none are left. That sounds like a great idea. /s
Well of course gamers care. Do you know how many companies that make franchises we know and love that EA bought out that might be affected by this?
I think EA should sell all of the studios they bought individually and just focus on the sports and casual market. If this does happen I hope MS buys Bioware or Bioware buys back them self but get MS to publish there games. They had a good relationship with MS and Mass Effect one was BOSS compared to 2 and 3.
I don't think so, it should remain independent of console makers. Microsoft and Sony should stay out.
@run bare - I would like that too becuase this would give Bioware more freedom and time to work on a game but the reality is that AAA games cost million of $ to make and Bioware even if they did find the money to buy them selfs back would not be able to afford to publish a AAA game.
It would take somebody with some really deep pockets to buy out EA. It is completely possible to do with some company's such as Zenimax or even Google. I could see a company buying them for just the ip's alone that EA owns not to mention the studios involved. If this were to happen I think you would see a shift in all those development teams.
I'd like to see Google get into the console biz.
They have just recently started building development teams for facebook games so it is possible for them to expand to Consoles at some point if they see profit in it.
what ever happens Sony better better be looking at this
SONY can't afford EA
It is not about afford, it is about the sense! they would be insane to not buy if they can, and even more insane to make them exclusive! buy, and support, gives you both money and edge! but the smart move would be to buy Ip's or studios, if they are up for sale separately that is. But I don't really think anything will happen. They will continue as normal
What is it with you Sony fanboys? Sony buy this, Sony buy that. Its not all about Sony.
Great idea so they can make all EA games exclusive to the PlayStation and destroy the gaming industry /s
NOOOOO just think about all the awesome game studios, what will happen to them?
They can go back to being awesome?
I hope Apple buys them.
I do and don't only if they are going to come out with a console would I want them to buy them.
omg WHAT !?
If EA hadn't foretold of the company leaving a lesser mark in the industry within the next few years it wouldn't be up for sale. Unfortunately, the gaming industry needs to expand even further to sustain itself which may not turn out to be a good thing for us purer gamers.