Amazon are intending to announce they’ve made an offer to buy publishing colossus Electronic Arts later today, according to a new report from USA Today’s For The Win, who cite sources from Swedish gaming agency GLHF. No clue yet as to how much they’d be paying, but it’s likely to be ranging in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. Maybe just not as many as Microsoft’s $68.7 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard, revealed in January.
As Graham reported in May, EA have been scouting around for a buyer for some time. Amazon was just one massive conglomerate interested in the AAA publisher. EA allegedly spoke with Apple and Disney about a buyout, and began more involved talks with Comcast-NBCUniversal. That fell apart.
As the publishers of online successes such as Apex Legends and sports games prone to yearly sequelitis, along with owning studios including Maxis and BioWare, EA have plenty to offer a buyer looking for a foothold in gaming. Amazon would also gain more material to adapt to TV for their Prime Video service. Who wouldn’t want to see Mass Effect 3’s ending remade for the small screen?
If a deal between Amazon and EA does go ahead, it could mean EA's current relationship with Microsoft’s Game Pass service could be threatened. There's also Amazon's own streaming service Luna to consider as well. Luna is cloud-based, so a little different to Game Pass, but acquiring a big player such as EA certainly wouldn't hurt Amazon’s chances to give the ailing service a shot on the arm.
It sounds as though the consolidation of the games industry continues. I’ve reached out to Amazon and EA for comment, and will let you know if and when we hear more.
UPDATE: According to CNBC, Amazon are now not making a bid for EA, who calls the GLHF and USA Today story a mere "rumour". Is this could to be the shortest lived takeover story of the year? We'll keep you updated as this story develops.