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EA CEO is 'Indifferent' on Microsoft's Activision Deal, EA Will Remain #1 Publisher on Xbox

EA CEO is 'Indifferent' on Microsoft's Activision Deal, EA Will Remain #1 Publisher on Xbox - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 June 2023 / 2,906 Views

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson in the company's earnings call was asked on his thoughts on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard and the future of consolidation in the video game industry. He is "indifferent" and believes EA will remain the number one publisher on Xbox.

"This is a question I get asked a lot – I almost am never allowed to answer that question, as it turns out," replied Wilson (via a transcription from VideoGamesChronicle). “What I would say is, I don’t know what’s going to happen with Activision and Microsoft.

"Again, we continue to be Microsoft’s biggest partner – I think we’re the number one publisher on their platform – so whether that deal goes through or not is not really material to us broadly.

"We think we have the scale [with] our network, our IP and our talent to continue to navigate the future and lead the future of entertainment, and compete in a marketplace regardless of whether that deal goes through or not."

EA is 'Indifferent' on Microsoft's Activision Deal, Continue to Remain #1 Publisher on Xbox

Wilson does think more mergers and acquisitions in the video game industry are inevitable and wants EA to be in the best position possible if it were to ever be involved in one.

"Longer term, you know, will there be industry consolidation? Will there be broader entertainment consolidation? If I was predicting the future over the long term I would say that’s an almost certainty at some level," he said.

"I would love for us to have the scale to be a meaningful consolidator in that space. I think that we have tremendous assets with respect to the future of entertainment. But as it stands today, I think that we’re indifferent as to whether [Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard] goes through or not.

"We feel like we have an incredible strategy, we feel like we have an incredible opportunity, and whether it goes through or not we will continue to be the number one publisher on the Microsoft platform."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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CosmicSex (on 10 May 2023)

"I would love for us to have the scale to be a meaningful consolidator in that space. "

I really doubt there is anyone except for EA who feels that EA should be buying anyone.

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VAMatt (on 11 May 2023)

Definitely the EA CEO is not indifferent on this deal. He absolutely wants it to close. He wants maximum consolidation in the industry, as he knows that EA will be a target in an acquisition boom.

  • 0
DonFerrari VAMatt (on 11 May 2023)

I don't think MS would be allowed to buy EA, and even if Sony had the money I don't think they would as well. That would leave very few players that would be able to buy EA inside the industry (tencent?) so it would need to be someone from outside. It is much more likely that they want to buy a few more.

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VAMatt DonFerrari (on 11 May 2023)

Tencent, Bytedance, and Amazon are already in gaming and could pull off a deal if that size. It's probably also possible for Sony, and it's definitely possible for Microsoft. Activision is a bigger deal, and it is either going to close or be very close to closing. So it seems like a real possibility that Microsoft purchasing EA would be allowed.

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DonFerrari VAMatt (on 11 May 2023)

If MS makes to buy ABK, which you saw all the fight back even from the regulators, I don't think they would ever allow MS to buy EA within the next 10 years (neither would allow Sony I think). The other 3 you pointed is fair game to expect the possibility.

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VAMatt DonFerrari (on 12 May 2023)

Yeah, I don't see MS buying EA in the near future if the Activision deal closes. I meant that Microsoft could be a buyer of EA if they are unable to complete the activision deal.

  • +1
DonFerrari VAMatt (on 13 May 2023)

Gotcha, I think regulators would give similar complains, but sure with the lessons learnt from this case they could make a strategy that would work out for they buying EA.

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DonFerrari (on 10 May 2023)

Well that is pretty obvious, and if ABK is bought by MS that is one less publisher that could compete against EA for the top spot (unless EA would consider the MS Studios on the ranking, then well with ABK MS Studios could pass them sometime).
Regarding being in a position for consolidation, EA have already bought a lot of studios, will likely keep buying until it may happen that they are themselves bought.

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scrapking DonFerrari (on 10 May 2023)

I doubt he's genuinely indifferent. In addition to the immediate change to the competitive landscape if Microsoft purchases ABK, whether EA can be acquired in a mega-acquisition or not has an affect on the company's value. So he SHOULDN'T be indifferent to whether Microsoft's purchase of ABK goes through or not! :)

  • +5
DonFerrari scrapking (on 11 May 2023)

On that I totally agree with you. Only a lousy CEO would be indifferent to big market movements. Even for indirect competitors or substitute products (like the relationship between say Sony and Nintendo) they need to keep aware of the moves of each other and how that can potentially affects them.

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