According to a recent report, gaming company Electronic Arts (also known as EA) has been looking for a potential buyer – and one of them is none other than Apple. However, while Apple would certainly benefit from buying EA, this doesn’t seem likely to happen.
Although neither EA nor Apple has commented on a possible deal, rumors suggest that EA wants to sell its operations or at least merge with another company. This comes after Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard for $68 billion earlier this year and Sony bought Bungie for $3.6 billion. A deal with EA, of course, should also be worth billions of dollars.
EA is responsible for some of the world’s most popular game franchises, including The Sims, SimCity, Need for Speed, Burnout, EA Sports FC (formerly FIFA), Plants vs. Zombies, and more. The company has also been working on a brand new NCAA College Football game.
EA and Apple
An interesting fact about Electronic Arts is that company founder Trip Hawkins worked at Apple in the 1970s before founding EA in 1982. EA later hired other former Apple employees and even invited Steve Wozniak to have a seat on its board of directors.
As Windows PCs became extremely popular and there were also game consoles, the Mac was never seen as a gaming machine. Even so, some of EA’s games like The Sims have always been available for the Mac. In 2007, EA brought even more titles like Need for Speed: Carbon and Spore to Mac OS X users.
Apple has also always worked closely with EA to promote games on iOS devices. Titles like Plants vs. Zombies and even mobile versions of games like Need for Speed have been featured multiple times at Apple events. With all this in mind, it’s safe to assume that the companies have a good relationship.
Even though Apple has never cared much about gaming, the company introduced Apple Arcade in 2019. The platform offers multiple ad-free games for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV through a monthly subscription.
Apple Arcade, however, never exactly became a hit. Apple has been trying to push the platform forward with remastered versions of classic mobile games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. But as I wrote last year, there’s still a long way to go if Apple really wants to compete with true consoles like PlayStation or Xbox.
Apple Arcade is basically a mobile gaming platform, even though it’s also available on the Mac and Apple TV. It lacks console-level, triple-A games – and even though Apple has a solid platform with iOS and Apple Silicon chips, big developers don’t seem to be interested in Apple Arcade.
This could change if Apple buys EA. The company could not only bring popular game franchises to its devices but also release some classic games on Apple Arcade. With EA in its hands, Apple could easily make the Apple Arcade more attractive than ever, while at the same time showing developers that Macs and Apple TV are also good gaming platforms.
Having its own studio game would also be a plus for Apple to promote the gaming capabilities of its rumored AR/VR headset.
Will that ever happen?
Unfortunately, Apple acquiring EA seems unlikely. Despite the Apple Arcade, Apple never seemed interested in having its own games. Instead, it works with developers to get them to bring their games to Apple’s platforms.
There are also antitrust concerns. Since Apple is under investigation for anti-competitive practices, acquiring one of the largest gaming companies may not be a good idea at this point. If Apple is not willing to give EA autonomy to keep releasing games for other platforms, this would certainly be a problem for the Cupertino-based company in the long run.
At the end of the day, even though Apple would benefit from buying EA, Apple is not a gaming company – it’s simply not in Apple’s DNA. I would really love to see all EA titles come to Apple platforms, but at the same time I don’t trust Apple to manage such important franchises for the industry.
What do you think about this potential acquisition? Let me know in the comments below.
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