EA purchases Titanfall developer, Respawn Entertainment and their IP for 455 million currencies

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Adios, Respawn. It's going to be real slow and painful to observe unfold.

Mega-publisher EA has purchased a new studio-Respawn, the developer of Titanfall. The news comes just weeks after the publisher shuttered Visceral Games.

EA said in a press release that the deal is worth $455 million, a number that includes cash, equity, and performance milestone payments.

Respawn staff have spent the past few weeks exchanging whispers about a potential sale, two sources said, although there was no concrete news until the studio informed employees about the deal in a meeting today. Earlier this week, one source with access to some of Respawn's forthcoming plans sent us what they said was a version of the acquisition contract, which reveals that EA is paying over $400 million for the Los Angeles-based studio. According to various documents sent by that source, EA outbid the South Korean publisher Nexon, which publishes the Titanfall mobile game and had also made an offer to buy Respawn. EA had 30 days to match that offer, which they chose to do.

Respawn will also receive bonuses tied to Metacritic scores for both its upcoming Star Wars game and the unannounced Titanfall 3, according to that documentation.

Founded in 2010 by Call of Duty designers Jason West and Vince Zampella, Respawn won hearts with its first game, Titanfall, released in 2014 as an Xbox exclusive. The second entry in the futuristic first-person shooter series, Titanfall 2, came out last fall for multiple platforms but didn't quite make sales waves, perhaps because EA released it smack in the middle of Call of Duty and the publisher's other big shooter, Battlefield.

Early last year, EA announced that it had contracted Respawn to make a Star Wars action game, in addition to the Battlefront series and what was then planned as a Star Wars action-adventure from Visceral, which has since been canceled. Respawn is also developing the third Titanfall and a virtual reality game for Oculus.

Respawn, based in Los Angeles, has been independent until now.

https://kotaku.com/sources-ea-is-buying-titanfall-developer-respawn-1820131071

Orrr, may this be the beginning of a beautiful budding partnership...?

Seems EA only bought them to snatch Respawn's IPs away from that Korean buyer. Don't know what the sales for Titanfall 2 were or what plans EA has with the franchise but apparently enough to warrant a 450 million investment. I guess they now own the publishing rights for future phone games as well. Respawn already relied on EAs budget so I guess as far as games go nothing changes much. Unless Titanfall 3 fails and EA does another 'Visceral'. But then again considering this is a company that considers single-player games dead they probably already have an online monetization scheme in place.

So when do we plan the funeral?

I mean, the corpse of Visceral is still warm and another studio just lined up for the guillotine. :s

I'd be sad, but lets face it, Titanfall was never a good IP. Even the vastly improved T-Fall 2 was terrible. The single player was all of 4 hours long, and was just a glorified tutorial for the multiplayer, which like all Vs style games was a ghost town in 6 weeks.

I'd wager whoever fronts EA's public relations department has a heavy drinking problem. That's got to be a stressful job, secondly only to "unarmed corrections officer hiding in a broom closet on the death row wing during a full-on prison riot."

Well, I guess Respawn made their deal with the EA Devil and that Devil has come to collect their souls. It's time for EA to EA the fuck out of respawn before deciding it's not making enough money and shutter it before locking all their IPs in the vault.

Don't think this makes me happy. I'm not. Despite the fact I wasn't interested in TF/TF2, it's always sad to watch yet another studio get gobbled up by the EA blob, knowing full well the death timer is now counting down.

image

Sigh..

There really should be some form of limit, preventing money-heavy companies just gobbling up IP's and competitors.
A max number of IP's wouldn't work.
Decreasing the time before an IP goes public would be start.

Their shady practices is a whole 'nother bowl of snakes to grapple with.

As the profit increases, so does the level at which they remove themselves from their audience.
One thinks that would work to their detriment, but apparently not.
Maybe just because of their stranglehold on certain IP's..
That, and apathetic consumers.

Press F to pay respects.

And on this day Respawn signed their own death warrant.

Xprimentyl:
I?d wager whoever fronts EA?s public relations department has a heavy drinking problem. That?s got to be a stressful job, secondly only to ?unarmed corrections officer hiding in a broom closet on the death row wing during a full-on prison riot.?

Quickly, trademark that story before EA makes a terrible microtransaction multiplayer only IP off it!

Silentpony:

Xprimentyl:
I?d wager whoever fronts EA?s public relations department has a heavy drinking problem. That?s got to be a stressful job, secondly only to ?unarmed corrections officer hiding in a broom closet on the death row wing during a full-on prison riot.?

Quickly, trademark that story before EA makes a terrible microtransaction multiplayer only IP off it!

Now that you mention it... *thinking emoji*... that's NOT a bad idea. An unbalanced multiplayer survivor game; one player is the unarmed guard and everyone else, say 5 players, are inmates, throw in some AI inmates for added chaos and.... Hold on, I'm getting a phone call...

...

... So that was EA on the phone; apparently, they just bought my house and burnt it to the ground. And on an unrelated note, the mentioned a new IP, codenamed "Escape from Death Row," that should see shelves by Holiday 2018; they're already taking preorders and selling the season pass. Well played, EA; well played indeed...

Why?

Seriously why do companies let themselves get bought up like this? The track record is written on the wall. Their fate is all but assured.

I just don't understand why this still happens?

Clearly EA hungers for fresh meat to feast upon and has chosen Respawn as it's next target. I mean Bioware is already halfway down it's throat, the monster needs to push something else past it's gaping maw after having finished off Visceral.

Xprimentyl:

Silentpony:

Xprimentyl:
I?d wager whoever fronts EA?s public relations department has a heavy drinking problem. That?s got to be a stressful job, secondly only to ?unarmed corrections officer hiding in a broom closet on the death row wing during a full-on prison riot.?

Quickly, trademark that story before EA makes a terrible microtransaction multiplayer only IP off it!

Now that you mention it? *thinking emoji*? that?s NOT a bad idea. An unbalanced multiplayer survivor game; one player is the unarmed guard and everyone else, say 5 players, are inmates, throw in some AI inmates for added chaos and?. Hold on, I?m getting a phone call?

?

? So that was EA on the phone; apparently, they just bought my house and burnt it to the ground. And on an unrelated note, the mentioned a new IP, codenamed ?Escape from Death Row,? that should see shelves by Holiday 2018; they?re already taking preorders and selling the season pass. Well played, EA; well played indeed?

Damn it! So close!

Squilookle:
Why?

Seriously why do companies let themselves get bought up like this? The track record is written on the wall. Their fate is all but assured.

I just don't understand why this still happens?

Seconded. It's like Respawn had their heads in the ground or something. I do not understand how they think this is a good idea. It's like they saw Visceral Games fall into a spike pit, and they just went, "Oh, shiny object down there!" and dove right after them.

Vendor-Lazarus:
Sigh..

There really should be some form of limit, preventing money-heavy companies just gobbling up IP's and competitors.
A max number of IP's wouldn't work.
Decreasing the time before an IP goes public would be start.

Their shady practices is a whole 'nother bowl of snakes to grapple with.

As the profit increases, so does the level at which they remove themselves from their audience.
One thinks that would work to their detriment, but apparently not.
Maybe just because of their stranglehold on certain IP's..
That, and apathetic consumers.

Really, this sort of stuff predates the gaming industry even. There's literal tons of books or whatever where the rights get bought up early, before they even become a thing, mostly to just hold on to them so no one else can maybe capitalize.

Game devs seem to be a bit like musicians, sadly, with the larger percentage of them leaping at the quick money deals without much legal know how or business planning behind it. Like, get a clause in there (as seen with the Marvel stuff and Fox) where they have to put out the stuff actively or forfeit the rights back. Granted, its easier to fart out shovelware games then shovel-films.

I don't know how that $455 mil. is split but even if each team member only got $1,000,000 each... Seriously, that's a million dollars. It's not THAT hard to see why Respawn let themselves get bought.

You know what, the way I see it though, we deserve EA because we keep giving them money. SOMEONE is paying for their crap games even if it's not you or me specifically. And if us gamers in general really want to pay EA for them then so be it. Let them get loot-boxed to death. They chose their fate.

Man, gamers blow everything out of proportion. How does this really change that much? Respawn was basically already in bed with EA anyway. It's like they just got formally married is all. What else is Respawn really going to make but shooters, which is extremely marketable and something EA will just have them keep churning out. DICE is like the only major dev EA hasn't killed and Respawn will be utilized by EA very similarly so I don't see how this really won't work out honestly.

Sniper Team 4:

Squilookle:
Why?

Seriously why do companies let themselves get bought up like this? The track record is written on the wall. Their fate is all but assured.

I just don't understand why this still happens?

Seconded. It's like Respawn had their heads in the ground or something. I do not understand how they think this is a good idea. It's like they saw Visceral Games fall into a spike pit, and they just went, "Oh, shiny object down there!" and dove right after them.

Titanfall 2 had a bit of a bad release when EA thought it good timing to drop between Battlefield 1 and the latest COD. With not much else to fall back on, the devs probably had a lot of job insecurity coming out of it. If I were a cynical person, I would wonder if it was an intentional move by EA to weaken their financial prospects enough that such an offered deal would seem the wiser option than going it alone. People got bills to feed and all. I always thought that release date was a bit too suicidal for any publisher wanted good launch sales.

Ok place your bets. How long before EA shuts 'em down?

Canadamus Prime:
Ok place your bets. How long before EA shuts 'em down?

One year. It needs time to produce a AAA snore-fest, and then it needs to be shunted over to something that won't be completed, and then it will be dead.

Ya know, I wonder if Sir-Tech (my favorite developers of all time and the greatest in gaming history IMO) had a scrying mirror into the future and bowed out. They did close doors not long before the EA serial killing began.

FalloutJack:

Canadamus Prime:
Ok place your bets. How long before EA shuts 'em down?

One year. It needs time to produce a AAA snore-fest, and then it needs to be shunted over to something that won't be completed, and then it will be dead.

>We bought you because we like what you do.
>NOW DO IT THIS WAY!
>Wait, it was a failure? It's your fault! You're fired!

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust, yeah
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

Arnoxthe1:
I don't know how that $455 mil. is split but even if each team member only got $1,000,000 each... Seriously, that's a million dollars. It's not THAT hard to see why Respawn let themselves get bought.

You know what, the way I see it though, we deserve EA because we keep giving them money. SOMEONE is paying for their crap games even if it's not you or me specifically. And if us gamers in general really want to pay EA for them then so be it. Let them get loot-boxed to death. They chose their fate.

At some point, that masochism is jsut not going to be enough to keep this up.

At some point...

Well hey, at least this time EA is using their unholy powers for good. Nothing of real value be lost with the fall of Respawn.

I'm sure they will be safe up until the moment Bioware is killed off.

*Anthem bombs
*Bioware murdered
*Star Wars game released, fails to sell 10billion copies(EA "Disappointed")
*Titanfall 3 released, fails to sell billion copies(EA "Disappointed")(Steps 3 and 4 can be swapped)
*Respawn murdered while in the middle of next project.

Actual critical/financial success won't save them from EA's absurd expectations.

FalloutJack:

Canadamus Prime:
Ok place your bets. How long before EA shuts 'em down?

One year. It needs time to produce a AAA snore-fest, and then it needs to be shunted over to something that won't be completed, and then it will be dead.

That is usually how it goes.

Squilookle:
Why?

Seriously why do companies let themselves get bought up like this? The track record is written on the wall. Their fate is all but assured.

I just don't understand why this still happens?

I think you missed an important part of the text:

EA said in a press release that the deal is worth $455 million

Artistic integrity doesn't mean much when that kind of money is on the table, unfortunately. Especially not since most of the people who actually do the work probably didn't even see a dime of that money.

The world is just broken.

A lot of the time these sales aren't killing anything that isn't already dead. Didn't Titanfall 2 not do very well? Maybe they would've folded if they didn't find a buyer. 'Course, $455 million kind of suggests otherwise, but still.

Squilookle:
Why?

Seriously why do companies let themselves get bought up like this? The track record is written on the wall. Their fate is all but assured.

I just don't understand why this still happens?

I often wonder the same thing. There's no law that says anyone has to sell themselves to whatever megacorporation wants to buy them. They have to know what EA does to publishers. Which makes me believe that for them, it was never about making video games, it was about making money. Video games were just the platform they chose to get that money.

And of course there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but in this case, if another company was offering to buy them, they could have at least had the decency to sell for a little less to a company that wasn't pure evil and guaranteed to fire all their hard working employees within 5 years. But, whatta ya know, greed makes the world go round.

I want Titanfall 3 to be complete SP focus game but sadly EA will not allow them.

SP was best thing about Titanfall 2.

You guys act like Titanfall wasnt already wholly published by EA.

Saelune:
You guys act like Titanfall wasnt already wholly published by EA.

Published, yes. But not owned or controlled. There is a huge difference worth knowing.

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