Electronic Arts is cognizant of its “spotty” track record when it comes to acquiring studios.
In the past decade, the mega-publisher has purchased high-profile developers including Mythic, Bullfrog, Origin, Pandemic, Black Box, and Maxis Emeryville, which were all shuttered after varying stints of production. Acknowledging that there’s still room for improvement within the company’s strategy, CFO Blake Jorgensen offered new insight into EA’s partnerships and geographic expansion while speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference earlier this week.
“Clearly, geographic expansion is very important for us and we’ll look for ways to do that as efficiently as possible. In markets where it’s really hard to operate as a standalone business, like China, having a partner like Tencent is very powerful there because you can leverage their reach and their client base. But in markets where we can go it alone, we’ll certainly try to go it alone.”
In terms of the publisher’s global reach, it’s understood EA is currently working in tandem with Tencent for FIFA Online 3, angling the soccer simulator for a release in China. For Jorgensen, this is part of the publisher’s more considered approach to acquisitions, noting that EA is “going to continue to look for these opportunities.”
“[We’re also] always looking at potential acquisitions. Our history obviously with acquisitions has been spotty at best, so I would say there is an extra level of caution around that. We also believe we have the ability to do it ourselves in many cases, or hire people to do it. So we’re careful about acquisitions. But we’re going to continue to look for those opportunities and having a strong base globally allows us to be able to do that.”
Maxis Emeryville, development house behind The Sims franchise, was the most recent studio to close its doors under EA back in April.