Respawn Entertainment, the developers behind Titanfall, has been sold to Electronic Arts, the publisher of those titles.
The studio, founded by former Infinity Ward bosses and Call of Duty creators, has been acquired in a deal whose total value could be worth nearly $455 million.
Electronic Arts Buys Out Respawn Entertainment
News of the acquisition comes just three weeks after Electronic Arts shut down another studio it owns, Visceral Games. A Kotaku report explains why the company bought the studio: another game publisher, Korea's Nexon, apparently made a formal bid to buy Respawn for over $400 million. Like Electronic Arts, Nexon has already built a relationship with the studio, having published a mobile spinoff of Titanfall. Electronic Arts went and matched the offer, eventually outbidding Nexon.
In the end, the company bought the studio for $315 million, alongside "additional variable cash consideration that is contingent upon achievement of certain performance milestones, relating to the development of future titles, through the end of calendar 2022," that could add $140 million more.
Respawn CEO Vince Zampella told VentureBeat that the studio has worked with Electronic Arts for a long time, and discussions about a buyout had been part of its dialogue in the past.
"The question was, where we are in the industry, how do we take the next step in making bigger, better games," he said. "We see the need for bigger resources to make bigger games."
Resources are just one element, however. There is also the matter of licensing. Electronic Arts has exclusive license to publish games that involves the Star Wars universe, which only means the acquisition ensures that Respawn's work on an upcoming Star Wars game will continue its natural course. Had Nexon won the bidding war to acquire Respawn, it's possible the game could have been shelved.
New 'Titanfall' Game In The Works
Zampella, along with Jason West, created Respawn in 2010, coming from their work on Call of Duty. They have only released two games, both belonging to the Titanfall franchise. Though able to amass critical acclaim, Titanfall 2 reportedly failed to meet sales expectations, which has brought speculation about its future.
But it appears that with the acquisition now having gone forward, the Titanfall series has been reinvigorated with exciting news: Electronics Arts confirms that Respawn is working on "a new title in the Titanfall" universe. Whether the upcoming work would be a mainline game, a spinoff, or some other version along those lines, fans are at least reassured the Titanfall series will persist.
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