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Businesses Entertainment Games Apple

Apple Eyeing EA? 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the ever-bigger-publishers dept.
yerktoader writes "There are rumors that Apple might buy EA, but some interesting counterpoints abound. File this one firmly under 'unconfirmed,' but it's nevertheless a tantalizing rumor. According to Fast Money's Guy Adami, Apple is 'eyeing Electronic Arts as a takeover target.' EA is currently the second-largest games publisher in the world and owner of the smash hit NFL-licensed series of football games. Could we be facing the possibility of an iMadden? Well, probably not. Apple has indeed been bolstering its games know-how, hiring a major Xbox strategist away from Microsoft in recent weeks. And EA is no stranger to Apple platforms: in the last year it's brought several of its major franchises to the iPhone (with more on the way), including Sim City, Tiger Woods, and Spore, with considerable success. But it's a far cry from there to a takeover, and that's putting it mildly. Video games analyst Michael Pachter seems to agree. Speaking to Gamasutra, he pointed out that if Apple was looking to make some entertainment acquisitions, it could buy Warner Music — which controls 20% of the music industry — for roughly half of EA's estimated price."
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Apple Eyeing EA?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:44AM (#27888695)

    Nothing.

  • by XPeter (1429763) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:52AM (#27888749) Homepage

    You sure do get something. More DRM.

  • by alvinrod (889928) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:54AM (#27888767)

    It might be worth their while to buy a small stake in the company just to ensure that the blockbuster games get ported to Mac, but it wouldn't make much sense for them to buy the entire company. Although the gaming industry is getting bigger, I think it might be more beneficial for them to target the living room through something like their Apple TV. Otherwise they would need to release their own gaming console and even though they've got the money to burn, it's probably cost Microsoft some $8 billion just to get the point they're at now where they can start trying to make some of that back.

    It would probably make more sense for them to negotiate some deals where content providers would allow Apple to rent TV shows to iTunes customers for a fraction of what they charge for a purchase and get Apple TVs into as many homes as possible. If they could work some kind of worldwide distribution as well they could easily target the huge market that Hulu leaves out due to regional restrictions.

    Everyone seems to be spouting rumors about who Apple is going to acquire. I think someone saw how much coverage the Apple/Twitter buyout rumor got and decided that it'd be fun to garner a few additional hits to their blog or second rate news site. I think I'm going to go spin a rumor about Apple acquiring Adobe and pull in some ad revenue when other sites pick up the story and link to me. Of course, unlike all the other stories, this one is true. I have it on good authority from someone inside Apple and there's no reason I'd ever lie about that.

  • by mcfatboy93 (1363705) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:55AM (#27888771) Homepage

    let me ask, how many major independent game companies are there?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:12PM (#27888927)
    None, EA Bought them all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:30PM (#27889093)

    How big the video game industry is? If you take 20 seconds to look it up you'd see that EA has a market cap of 6.49 billion vs Apple's market cap of 115.25 billion. Where do people keep getting the idea that EA is so big, they're literally a small fry compared to Apple.

    You mean they're figuratively a small fry compared to Apple. You should look up the meaning of literal.

  • Re:Again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:46PM (#27889207) Homepage

    I can't help but think about the Cramer video [google.com] where he talks about stock manipulation. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, skip right to around the 3 minute mark, where he's talking about calling reporters to start rumors.

    Now maybe this rumor is legit, or maybe it's just someone's flight of fancy, but these days, whenever I hear completely unconfirmed and seemly baseless rumors like "Apple might buy [insert company here]," it makes me think of Jim Cramer.

  • by maxume (22995) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:52PM (#27889277)

    A commenter above indicates that they could pay cash. Twice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:34PM (#27889563)

    It makes sense because not only can they ensure that major titles are made for the mac, but they can ensure that major titles are made ONLY for the mac.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:51PM (#27889715) Journal

    It would just be nice to see some quality EA titles.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:09PM (#27889883)

    They want to sell expensive high-end Mac computers and iPhones.

    I doubt Apple simply wants to keep doing what It already does a great job of. Like every other business, It wants to expand it's reach, or expand into new territory where it believes it can succeed. The expansion doesn't need to fit within their current business strategy for their specific whatever. Thats the entire point of expanding, to do more.

  • by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:31PM (#27890079)
    If you want to know what direction Apple is taking, look at how they got to where they are now. Quite a few years ago, in fact this may have been pre- iPod (which is so long long ago in internet years that it's practically the Ice Age) Steve Jobs made an interesting statement about the future of Apple Computer. He was trying to explain where he saw Apple going. And the company he held out as a model wasn't Microsoft, or Dell, or any other software or hardware company. Steve Jobs said he wanted Apple to be the new Sony, that is, to be the leader in consumer electronics. At the time, I thought Jobs was either out of it, or being typically grandiose. But over the past ten years, this is exactly what Apple has done. They've moved from being a company that just makes desktop computers, to a company that makes digital music players, smartphones, laptops and desktops- almost all the devices you need to live, work, and play in the digital age.

    My prediction is that Apple will continue to do that. They want to be a leader in the consumer electronics field, and so they are going to spend those billions in a way that helps them do that. Does buying Twitter, a company without a business model, help them be a leader in the industry? If not, they're not gonna buy Twitter. Does buying EA help them be a leader in the industry? Apple makes hardware and software to operate that hardware, but they've never been much of a software company, so it doesn't help them.

    True, games is a huge market, and one that Apple has missed out on. But Jobs' ego dictates that Apple is a technology leader, not a follower. They don't want to be a 'me-too!' company by jumping into a market with a shiny white console when the console market is already saturated between the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Apple conquered a new market with the iPod and is a serious contender in the emerging smartphone market. Apple will continue to tackle emerging technologies, not established technologies like game consoles. My guess is that Apple will (1) expanded into portable, networked electronics that fill the gap between phone and laptop, and (2) try to do for the TV what they already did for music. They've already tried that with Apple TV. It hasn't taken off yet, but it's a step in the right direction.

  • by onefriedrice (1171917) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:32PM (#27890087)
    Exactly. Apple loves screwing us. Like when I installed Mac OS X, I was forced to enter this long stream of characters or the software would stop working. And I was way pissed when I had to call Cupertino to "reactivate" my license after I installed a new hard drive. They obviously love implementing any anti-piracy mechanisms they can at the expense of us poor consumers. Those greedy execs will use any anti-consumer strategy just to pad their pockets.

    Huh? Oh, this never happened? Well how about the fact that Apple sells DRM musicz!!@! They're obviously in love with DRM.

    What? They bought the rights from record companies to distribute non-DRM tracks by giving up their pricing strategy which was valuable to them?

    Sshhh. La la la, I'm not listening! Apple is teh evilz DRM-loving anti-consumer pig-dogs!! La la la la........
  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:35PM (#27890551)

    Steve Jobs said he wanted Apple to be the new Sony, that is, to be the leader in consumer electronics. At the time, I thought Jobs was either out of it, or being typically grandiose. But over the past ten years, this is exactly what Apple has done.

    Very good point. The reason Apple is kicking Sony's ass from hell to breakfast is precisely because Sony can't decide whether they're a hardware company or a content company. They're a house divided against itself; every time the hardware guys want to do something cool, the packaged-entertainment side of the company overrules them.

    So, yeah, if Apple wants to be the next Sony, then buying EA is exactly what they'd do. And that would be great news for whatever startup is waiting in the wings to take Apple's place.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:38PM (#27892039)

    Yes, let's pretend Apple do nothing to keep people from installing OS X on whatever hardware they see fit (including sub 867 MHz Powerbooks made by Apple, including many that are more than fast enough to run Leopard), that the iPhone isn't the most locked down phone on the market, and so on. That's all just slander. Or libel, since you're a pedant.

    The only reason why you don't have to activate OS X is that it's sold with the computer and only works properly on Apple hardware. But you Mac-fags are always in denial.

  • Re:Netbook (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @02:25AM (#27894459)

    How do you fend of the netbook challenge, which Apple doesn't have a product in?

    Well, they have the most popular netbook: the iPhone/iTouch.

  • by msimm (580077) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @04:56AM (#27895025) Homepage
    I think someones been drinking the aquarium water.
  • by John Betonschaar (178617) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:00AM (#27895267)

    Who gave you the impression making a living writing good software should be an easy ride? In the end it's the customers who buy the products, not the developers, so throwing crap out for better stuff at least benefits the people paying for the stuff. Them, and future developers who don't have to keep working with outdated API's that do not take full advantage of the latest hardware and software infrastructure.

    Yes, maybe a lot of developers might move off the Apple platforms because they don't want to adjust to newer tech, and this will leave all the more room for other developers who are willing to invest some extra time to make the better app. It's always been my impression that there's a lot less freeware/shareware/OSS for Apple (compared to windows and linux), but that the overall quality is a lot higher. Personally, I'd like to keep it that way.

    The MS dev tools are pretty good indeed, but they're not freely available like on OS X. As for the quality of the Apple dev tools themselves: you might not like Xcode but in the end it's simply gcc and friends that you'll be working with, and I think there's hardly any developers who think gcc is crap. Apple's performance tools are pretty good too, I still haven't found any usable *nix alternative for Shark.

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