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Default BioWare - To Be Acquired by EA

October 11th, 2007, 23:08
Huh. Didn't expect this quite so soon. EA will acquire BioWare/Pandemic with an agreement reached for the purchase of VG Holdings and the transaction expected to be completed in January:
EA To Acquire BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios
Thursday October 11, 4:07 pm ET
Leaders in RPG, Action and Adventure Genres; Ten Franchises in Development - Six Wholly Owned
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS - News) today announced an agreement with Elevation Partners to acquire VG Holding Corp. — the owner of both BioWare Corp. and Pandemic 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.
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(TM) and Saboteur(TM), 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(TM) 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.
More information.

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October 11th, 2007, 23:08
Oh my god, EA wants to make RPGs again…

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October 11th, 2007, 23:12
No… f**k NO!
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October 11th, 2007, 23:18
I'm no fan of EA, but this could be good too. Time will tell.

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October 11th, 2007, 23:19
My God. The world is at its end.
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October 11th, 2007, 23:27
Please look here:

http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/…8/daily43.html

It tells the same sad tale of this merger or takeover ? by EA
of Bioware.

If this is true, I'm really in a state of shock and awe. It seems to me that the good doctors now have taken a taxi to the dark side - and are hailing the mighty US dollar more than BIoware's vision: to mage good story driven games.

If we're lucky, we get 12 yearly Mass Effect games with little or no changes to the gameplay and story that was in Mass Effect 1 that's to be released in Nov. 2007.
If we're really unlucky, EA Games milks Bioware for profit's sake - and then closes Bioware when it has gotten all profit it can get out this deal. And Bioware then will not be in thw world in 5 years time or so.

EA Games did to this to both Origin and Looking Glass Studio?, why also do it to Bioware. Ironically, Bioware has just gotten high praise for being among the top 100 employers in Canada. These days must surely be over now, if this news rumour is true….

I sincerely hope this is unfounded & a scam…

If it is not, then yes…

Goodbye Dragon Age

/Karsten
Last edited by aries100; October 11th, 2007 at 23:36.
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October 11th, 2007, 23:32
Goodbye Dragon Age.
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October 11th, 2007, 23:44
This is the worst gaming news in years.
I hope all of the Bioware staff leave to form another RPG company. They could do a share listing, I could buy shares, cool games made, price goes up, everyone's happy. Hey - I can dream.
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October 11th, 2007, 23:50
Stands to reason that those $620 million gave EA +100 Diplomacy during the negotiations.
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October 11th, 2007, 23:55
Well, at least we know the publisher for Dragon Age. And Dragon Age 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012…

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October 12th, 2007, 00:18
1) It's true.

2) It's not bad news, as far as the senior guys whose opinions I trust can tell.

3) No project has been canceled or is being changed. Dragon Age is still coming out. Admittedly, as a football sim, but… okay, sorry, I stole that from somebody else, or possibly several somebody elses, including people in my office and people on this thread.
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October 12th, 2007, 00:27
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
If this is true, I'm really in a state of shock and awe. It seems to me that the good doctors now have taken a taxi to the dark side - and are hailing the mighty US dollar more than BIoware's vision: to mage good story driven games.
Don´t you remember that the doctors already cashed in their chips 2 years ago when both Bioware and Pandemic sold to Riccitiello´s VC firm?
Now Riccitiello, back at EA, does the most logical thing: He buys his old company and thus justifies his own business practices. He promised the VC investors Bioware / Pandemic would be a good investment - and indeed it was.

Not surprising at all. Why would such high profile studios give up their independence if not as preparation for being swallowed up by a big fish? One huge AAA developer with optimized synergistic structure is worth more than two medium ones. VCs are in the business of making money. It was clear VC Holding would sell on the right offer.
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October 12th, 2007, 00:28
Origin, Bullfrog, Westwood…
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October 12th, 2007, 00:34
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Well, at least we know the publisher for Dragon Age. And Dragon Age 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012…
I´m more worried that Mass Effect and Dragon Age 2008 will be the last two games reaching Bioware´s usual stellar quality. I hope the mediocrity of the output created by EA´s internal studios doesn´t infect Bioware.
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October 12th, 2007, 00:39
I was hoping this was the Hallowe'en version of April Fool's …

It may not be bad news for Bioware, but I doubt it's great news for the PC platform.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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October 12th, 2007, 00:54
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Don´t you remember that the doctors already cashed in their chips 2 years ago when both Bioware and Pandemic sold to Riccitiello´s VC firm?
Now Riccitiello, back at EA, does the most logical thing: He buys his old company and thus justifies his own business practices. He promised the VC investors Bioware / Pandemic would be a good investment - and indeed it was.

Not surprising at all. Why would such high profile studios give up their independence if not as preparation for being swallowed up by a big fish? One huge AAA developer with optimized synergistic structure is worth more than two medium ones. VCs are in the business of making money. It was clear VC Holding would sell on the right offer.
Agreed - I just didn't expect it this soon. The Drs have shares in VG, so they they still stand to benefit, obviously.

@Patrick, I try to keep a level head about these sorts of things but history tells me BioWare will disappear into ignominy in a few years' time. It's always good when the deal is just inked but next time EA needs to make a projection, they'll push too hard and a game will suffer (too many changes or released too early). Either then or next time, the studio will lose any creative autonomy, get renamed to EA Edmonton (or just relocated to Redshore) and the team put to work on Battlefield 2200.

Yes, I know that's what the raving lunatic hordes are saying but - in general - they are actually right for once.

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October 12th, 2007, 01:02
Remember (if you dare ) Ultima 9!! Remember Origin:- We MADE Worlds!! Remember RG/LB who said later how much he regretted selling out to EA!! Remember the RPG!! Lest We Forget!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 12th, 2007, 01:04
EA Games is succesful because they never take risks (and now that goes for bioware too - they are limited to making non-risky games - no risk no innovation its all vanilla from here on). They let everyone else do it and then when somone becomes succesful they buy their innovation and suck it dry for every last drop of cash. This is no less than the death sentance of bioware. Good bye..
Last edited by zakhal; October 12th, 2007 at 02:06.
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October 12th, 2007, 01:08
Do we now have boycot all U2 music cds?



Man, first time I discover these smileys…


@Corwin: Remember Westwood and Lands of Lore Franchise…

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October 12th, 2007, 01:17
R.I.P. Bioware
R.I.P. Pandemic
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