Thursday, 23 November, 2017

EA Buys Titanfall Developer Respawn Entertainment And Announces New Game

Respawn Entertainment Respawn Entertainment
Jeanne Townsend | 12 November, 2017, 01:56

The company today acquired Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the Titanfall series.

In addition to the afore-mentioned $151 million in cash up front, EA has agreed to pay "up to $164 million in long-term equity in the form of restricted stock units to employees, which will vest over four years", as well as more cash (up to a maximum of $140 million) based on "achievement of certain performance milestones, relating to the development of future titles" through 2022.

Among other things, the buyout preserves Respawn's continued work on an upcoming EA game set in the Star Wars universe; EA now enjoys an exclusive license to making Star Wars-related video games, and any takeover by another company would have to resolve whether or how such a project would continue in production. Given the reported commercial underperformance of Titanfall 2 past year, despite widespread critical success, the buyout may have been necessary to ensure the continued survival of the studio.

"We started Respawn with the goal to create a studio with some of the best talent in the industry, and to be a top developer of innovative games".

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Respawn Entertainment was initially founded by former Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West in 2010. "Together, we've brought this to life in the Titanfall franchise, and now with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more incredible things in the future". "Respawn will join EA's Worldwide Studios organization, a global creative collective of leading game development studios", the press release says. On the deal, he said 'While it wasn't necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. Zampella also lauded EA for letting Respawn do its thing without interference, and allowing the studio to grow its own culture.

EA's decision to buy Respawn reportedly came after competing with South Korean publisher Nexon - which published a mobile Titanfall game - had approached the developer with an offer.

The acquisition of Respawn could set EA back in excess of $400 million.

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