EA has been in the mobile gaming industry for quite some time now, and it has been very profitable for them. It seems the company is now planning to expand further on the smartphone front, recently acquiring “Playdemic Studios” from WB games. EA is forking out $1.4 billion for the acquisition, and this might seem like a big sum for a mobile studio.
Playdemic might not be a well-known studio, but they certainly have a big footprint with hundreds of millions of downloads on mobile across their games. The studio specializes in developing arcade-type sports games, and this expertise can help EA port many of its strong sports IPs to mobile. The press release also reinforces this vision with EA stating:
“Playdemic’s experienced executive team has worked together since 2014, with strong expertise in mobile games and a proven track record of success in clash games. Playdemic’s expertise in building mobile games beloved by players around the world, combined with EA’s industry-leading IP, presents opportunities to expand the clash mechanic to other franchises and for future growth in mobile experiences.” – EA Press Release
Another interesting aspect of the story is WB Games. So, AT&T owns WB Games, and they were looking to sell the entire division, and this is not because the gaming division is struggling, but more of a bad debt situation for the telecom giant. There were rumors last year of a potential deal with Microsoft, but that didn’t materialize.
This year AT&T announced the formation of a separate entity, wherein WB Games and Discovery, Inc will merge into a new venture. Again there were rumors of AT&T selling some of the studios under WB Games before the merger. EA’s acquisition shows the rumors were not baseless, but now it seems the sale was limited to Playdemic, and all the other studios will remain with WB Games for the Discovery, inc merger.
“The remaining Warner Bros. Games portfolio is included in the recently announced WarnerMedia-Discovery transaction and will become part of the combined media and entertainment company after the expected close of that transaction.”
WB Games own a ton of prominent IPs, and in 2020 it was rumored a potential sale could fetch AT&T approximately $4 billion. Surprisingly this year, a single mobile game studio under Warner Bros. got acquired for a whopping $1.4 billion. The Covid pandemic resulted in a huge boom for the gaming industry, and this could have promted AT&T to revaluate its decision.