EA continues to expand its presence. The game developer and publisher has landed yet another acquisition, this time reeling in mobile developer Glu Mobile in a deal for over $2 billion.
Founded in 2005, Glu Mobile Inc. specializes in the obvious – mobile titles. The studio holds several heavy-hitting franchises in its belt, including Diner Dash, Disney Sorcerer’s Arena, WWE Universe and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Glu has found particularly notable success with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, touting the game’s over 42 million downloads just two years after its release.
Detailed in an official press release, the announcement of the $2.1 Billion acquisition clearly demonstrates EA‘s interest in developing its mobile title business. Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson states that “Mobile continues to grow as the biggest gaming platform in the world” and states that the addition of Glu’s catalog, expertise, and talent doubles the size of EA’s mobile business. The press release states that EA’s reasoning for the new acquisition stems from its desire to grow its mobile games portfolio into sports, RPG, lifestyle, casual, and “midcore” games. Glu Mobile clearly knows a thing or two about mobile titles, reportedly earning more than $1.32 billion in net bookings over the past 12 months.
As part of the deal, Glu Mobile is gaining access to EA’s worldwide licensing and distribution capabilities. Home to franchises such as Madden and the recently revived College Football series, the developer’s expertise in monetizing sports and casual games was another aspect that factored into EA’s purchase. Wilson claims the “deep IP portfolio” between the companies will deliver more exciting experiences and “drive further growth” for Electronic Arts as a whole. The company is notorious for microtransactions, and its acquisition of the self-dubbed leader in “3D Freemium Mobile Gaming” sounds like a good match (from a certain point of view.)
EA has been on a bit of a hot streak as of late when it comes to acquiring game studios. The company bested 2K and Rockstar parent Take-Two Interactive in a bid to get ahold of DiRT developer Codemasters in January, where it plans to release a racing game every year, following a similar model to that of Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. The development marks just the latest in a series of companies purchasing profitable studios, such as Microsoft’s recent purchase of ZeniMax Media (Bethesda, id software, and more) and Activision’s acquisition of Candy Crush developer King in 2016. EA’s most notable acquisition beforehand was Plants vs. Zombies developer PopCap back in 2014.
While gaming on mobile continually grows, there remains a large portion of gamers out there who simply detest playing full-fledged games on their phone. However, the advent of services like xCloud opens up a door previously unavailable in gaming, allowing EA titles to be played on Android and iOS. The other main gripe gamers have with mobile is the lack of control, with touchscreen mechanics lacking the precision present in its console and PC counterparts. OtterBox’s next-gen gaming accessories look to remedy the issue, turning on-the-go gaming into home-quality fun.