Interview Synopsis

Electronic Arts – recent acquisitions & 2021 business outlook

  • Multi Asset
  • TMT
  • North America

The gaming industry has thrived amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. To see what this has meant for Electronic Arts (EA), one of the largest Western companies in this sector, and what lies ahead, Third Bridge Forum spoke to one of its former senior managers.

Electronic Arts: COVID-19, acquisitions and potential loot-box regulation

Some pertinent trends were listed, and key among these was expanding the targeted markets: “Historically, triple-A games really targeted a very narrow demographic niche, and now people are realising that you can address really the entire market.” The specialist also highlighted the issue of growing costs, particularly owing to talent acquisition, which is compounded by the need for a larger workforce.

In light of EA’s recently announced plans to acquire Glu Mobile, the former senior manager was asked if the company was focused on bringing in talent at the developer level and if there was a need for AAs and independents to alter console portfolios. They noted that “as EA needs to provide a broad portfolio of products to fill their subscription service, acquisitions are the only real way to secure regular content.”

Another discussion point was the global competition, including how much of a threat global players are to Western incumbents. “Western audiences are far more willing to accept products from Asia than vice versa. When you take a game to China or to Korea, you have to culturalise it, you have to localise it, but Genshin Impact can launch as is in the US, and we don’t bat an eye.”

An upcoming issue for the industry could be loot box regulation, with the Netherlands recently classifying some of these features as gambling. For some games, it could require a “complete reinvention” to make them economically viable. 

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s Electronic Arts – recent acquisitions & 2021 business outlook Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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