Generation: Gamerz EA to buy Bioware and Pandemic Studios

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This just hit my desk and so I pushed it out as fast as I could for you. Electronic Arts is buying Bioware and Pandemic Studio by acquiring VG Holding Corp, the owner of those studios. This acquisition gives EA a strong competitive position in key
genres in interactive entertainment: action, adventure and role-playing
games. The two studios have been recognized for creating some of the
highest-quality games in the industry. Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars:Battlefront, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect Destroy All Humans, the list is longer than my leg.

 BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios have ten franchises
under development, including six wholly owned games. BioWare Corp. is
currently developing the highly anticipated Mass Effect, which will be
published by Microsoft in November, and is in the early development stages of
a massively multiplayer online game. Pandemic Studios is redefining open-world
games with its upcoming Mercenaries 2: World in Flames and
Saboteur, in addition to several unannounced projects.

Pandemic Studios and BioWare Corp. employ roughly 800
people across four studios located in Edmonton,
Canada; Los
Angeles; Austin; and Brisbane, Australia.

“These are two of the most respected studios in the
industry and I’m glad to be working with them again. They’ll make
a strong contribution to our strategic growth initiatives on quality, online
gaming and developing new intellectual properties,” said John
Riccitiello, EA’s Chief Executive Officer. “We also expect this
will drive long-term value for our shareholders.”

Pandemic Studios is led by Andrew Goldman, Josh Resnick
and Greg Borrud. BioWare Corp. is jointly led by Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka.
These teams will join the EA Games Label run by Frank Gibeau,
President of EA Games.

“Pandemic Studios remains focused on attracting the
best talent and creating blockbuster action games,” said Josh Resnick,
President and Co-founder of Pandemic Studios. “As a worldwide
publishing leader, EA represents the ideal partner to bring our titles to
market as global entertainment events.”

“We are truly excited by John Riccitiello’s
new vision for EA,” said Ray Muzyka, Co-founder and CEO of BioWare
Corp. “This vision is consistent with BioWare’s focus on crafting
the highest quality story-driven games in the world. It will enable us to
further the careers of the passionate, creative and hard working teams at
BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Austin.”

 EA will pay up to $620 million in cash to the stockholders
of VG Holding Corp. and will issue up to an additional $155 million in equity
to certain employees of VG Holding Corp., which will be subject to time-based
or performance-based vesting criteria. EA will also assume outstanding VG
Holding Corp. stock options. In addition, EA has agreed to lend VG Holding
Corp. up to $35 million through the closing of the acquisition.

 The deal is expected to close by January 2008 provided approval is granted by all regulatory bodies. As if EA wasn't huge enough already!

 

In : PC

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