EA attempts to acquire Valve
Publisher reportedly offered $1 billion.
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
Electronic Arts, better known as EA has made a habit of buying up independent video game studios over the years. From Bioware to Popcap, EA definitely likes to acquire its blockbuster factories from outside sources.
That’s a strategy not entirely different from Valve, in fact, which likes to absorb small, independent teams and projects into its fold, inject them with lots of cash and talent and publish their products on their own terms. Coincidentally, one such studio that EA attempted to acquire was Valve, creators of “Portal,” “Half-Life,” “Left 4 Dead” and a little distribution platform called Steam.
Some anonymous busybodies reported to the New York Times that the massive publisher was prepared to part with up to $1 billion to acquire the PC gaming juggernaut.
“Valve has been pursued over the years by Electronic Arts, which would very likely have valued Valve at well over $1 billion had the talks progressed that far,” says the New York Times report.
Valve’s own co-founder Gabe Newell, rather than confirming or denying the details of the report, said that he would rather see Valve disperse its employees and technology into the industry, or “disintegrate”, rather than allow it to be acquired by another major company.
“It’s way more likely we would head in that direction than say, ‘Let’s find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate,’ Newell said.
EA and Valve have worked together in the past, with the former publishing both “Left 4 Dead” games and “The Orange Box” on consoles for the latter. It’s possible that these dealings could have been what sparked the company’s interest in Valve, or that they could have been early attempts at creating mutual feelings of goodwill between them.
Even EA’s CEO Peter Moore has had nothing but good things to say about Valve in the past, saying that he believed Valve to be “on the cutting edge of the future of this industry”.
Had Valve gone through with one of the multiple offers in the past, EA would have made quite the steal as industry analyst Michael Pachter has previously estimated that Valve’s net worth is closer to $2.5 billion. That number is also likely to go up soon with Dota 2 set to release in the near future and rumors of Valve-developed hardware currently on the rise.
So, if you were worried about one of the biggest and most likeable video game studios in the industry being swallowed up by the corporate machine, I’d say that your fears are unjustified. Valve seems to be doing just fine on their own, and they seem to know it.