EA’s Not-Good Day

Well, in case you hadn’t heard, EA had it’s stock price drop, probably due to the loss of members of the Star Wars MMO – yes, that MMO lost people.  And, yes, on top of this a restructuring is coming.

So the question arises, is EA a takover target.  Yeah, I’m already seeing articles on that right after the bad news.

As an old gamer, this question has come up a lot.  EA has its highs and lows, and certainly has had a very erratic time of it as of late.  Since I’ve seen so many times EA has supposedly been having a bad time, I’m kind of used to it.

Looking it over, EA does seem to have a lot going for it – it has IP, it obviously has plans for gaming (such as social), so it’s not flailing.  It’s also published some good stuff.  So I get a bit cynical when I hear another story of EA getting bought out.

However, I’d add a few things.

  • First, I don’t think EA is going to get bought out right now.  This is just one thing, and you know – seen it all before.  My one concern is that if EA keeps having problems or has a rapid-fire series of issues . . .
  •  . . . there are players with big money out there.  Remember the wits that suggested Apple just buy into Hollywood?  Think about the other big players out there – and then don’t discount foreign sources as well.  Some have weathered the economic issues well, and could whip out the cash if EA remains vulnerable.  I’m not saying Apple would buy them (I doubt it), but other multimedia conglomerates like Disney or Vivendi.
  • There’s also the chance that EA doesn’t look like a good acquisition.  I mean when there’s so many other ways to get into gaming, if EA actually implodes it might be more trouble than it’s worth to buy, so you wait for a fire sale.  Speaking of . . .
  • I’d also add that a troubled EA might survive by selling stuff off or by partnership or deals.  They have the goods.

In the end I don’t see EA as being taken over in the short term, and it’d take other stumbles for them to be in that situation. It’s something to watch out for, but not panic over.

So if you want to work at EA – beyond the restructuring – I don’t see any reason why not.

Steven Savage