Electronic Arts – EA for short – has long been one of the preeminent players in the video game industry. You’ve probably played an EA game at least once in your life, especially if you’re a sports fan. Recently, it was revealed that EA had aspirations beyond gaming when it attempted to merge with NBCUniversal in a deal that ultimately fell through.
According to Front Office Sports, the deal for EA to be acquired by NBCU fell through due to disagreements over pricing and structure.
But it’s clear that EA is open for business and wanna be acquired or merged in the same way as Microsoft’s recent takeover of Activision Blizzard. The only question is – who has the money to make a move for EA? We think three names could be in play to give EA its life raft and they would all have streaming implications.
As streaming services seek to diversify their offerings in an effort to improve customer retention as subscriber churn increases, games have become a major investment area for Netflix and, as the entertainment landscape is saturated with superhero content, many in the industry believe that video game-inspired programming is the next big content category.
A Disney partnership for EA makes sense on multiple fronts. First, EA and Disney have worked together in the past and continue to work together today. EA owns the rights to games based on the Star Wars universe and has released the last two “Star Wars Battlefront” games, as well as “Jedi: Fallen Order” and “Squadrons.”
EA also published some of Disney Interactive’s titles throughout the 2000s and into the 2010s before the studio closed in 2013. Disney could funnel more of its properties to EA as a reliable game publisher and developer.
There is also a synergy between EA Sports and Disney, with the latter owning ESPN. Disney could show off its shiny new Joe Buck and Troy Aikman toys in EA’s ‘Madden’ series and may also use the voices of Sean McDonough and Ray Ferraro for its ‘NHL’ games, creating a cohesive brand synergy that would be hard to beat. to beat. Plus, maybe we’ll see the return of “MVP Baseball” with Karl Ravech on the call?
With the return of EA’s NCAA football game scheduled for 2023 or 2024, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis and David Pollack could make a comeback after being featured in the game’s last incarnation in 2013.
If Disney were to turn to EA’s library for new programming, then the company’s stellar titles “Dragon Age” and “Mass Effect,” which are rated M for Mature (17+), could present a problem for the most family-friendly Disney+, they could be big opportunities for Hulu. Perhaps an “Apex Legends” series, a T-rated game, would be more online for Disney+?
Either way, the content overlap between Disney’s current investments in Star Wars and sports would make it easier to integrate EA games.
Like ESPN, Amazon would like to show his new broadcast toys, having new “Thursday Night Football” voices Herbstreit and Al Michaels become the new announcers for the “Madden” franchise. Michaels already lent his voice to the “Madden” games years ago, hosting the action alongside the game’s namesake and former broadcast partner John Madden, so his return would likely be welcomed by many long-time gamers. date.
Amazon also has its own games division and is home to games like the popular MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) “Lost Ark” and “New World”, but would certainly like to expand its catalog with EA titles like “Dragon Age”. , “Mass Effect” and sports games similar to what it did with its movie library with the purchase of MGM earlier this year.
Speaking of EA’s RPGs, the company’s various role-playing game franchises would be prime candidates for movie or show adaptations on Amazon Prime Video. Netflix has found success with its ‘The Witcher’ series, which lives in the same fantasy realm as ‘Dragon Age’, and the ‘Mass Effect’ series presents an interesting opportunity for Amazon to dabble in a fantasy-themed drama. space.
Admittedly, Netflix is a bit long, but that makes sense considering the company’s current focus on interactive media. Netflix is still committed to the game despite the recent decline in subscriber numbers, with co-CEO Reed Hastings calling it a “top priority” for the company.
EA already releases mobile titles in conjunction with its console and PC versions, and its library includes games from “Madden”, “FIFA”, “Apex Legends”, “Need For Speed”, “Plants vs. Zombies” and “Star Wars universes, etc. The natural synergy between the companies given Netflix’s heightened interest in games makes perfect sense.
For Netflix, like Amazon, EA is also presenting an opportunity to create movies and shows from its gaming properties. living in the same cinematic universe as “The Witcher” (which was also a video game property first) might be just the kind of franchise IP Netflix needs to battle the loss of its recent subscriber.
Also, a “Lost in Space”-style “Mass Effect” drama could bring hardcore gamers and casual viewers into the fold. At the very least, Netflix has experience working with video game properties in a way that Amazon doesn’t, which could potentially give them an edge.