Out of the blue we’ve started hearing that EA Games is trying to sell itself, and has been since March this year. Apple is apparently just one of the companies who have held discussions with EA along with the likes of NBC Universal, Disney and Amazon.
We’ve spoken for a while about the potential for Apple to build their reputation as a gaming company, especially on the Mac in the wake of Apple Silicon’s release. And while Apple is already making more money from gaming than Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft, combined, Apple isn’t being seen as a triple-A platform.
Of course, the place all that gaming revenue is coming from is in the main the casual gaming and micro-transactions built into games on Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPad. Mainly iPhone. What Apple is missing out on is native games for Apple Silicon Macs, though this is starting to change now with the release of Warhammer Total War 3.
Apple Silicon Gaming?
The biggest challenge Apple has in gaming terms is that they have a relatively small market share as well as a unique platform, meaning that games need to be developed or ported specifically. The smaller market share of course means that the returns could be limited however, and historically Mac buyers haven’t bought for their gaming prowess, so the level of interest in gaming for typical Mac users is unproven too.
So acquiring a game studio would be a great way for Apple to have control of some developers who’d have a pretty decent incentive for their games to run on the platform.
We speculated that possibly Blizzard would be a good fit, given that World of Warcraft was one of the first games to get an Apple Silicon native version. In my head, I’d love Tim Cook to just stage a hostile take over of Epic games too, just to annoy Tim Sweeney.
But EA never crossed my mind, strange as they own a couple of my favourite franchises, Command and Conquer and Rollercoaster Tycoon, not that they’ve treated the teams behind either franchise particularly well. Allegedly.
So this reporting of EA Games shopping themselves around to Apple, Disney and Amazon among others came as quite the shock, however, it sounds like some caveats that they’ve attached may be part of the reason no-one has snapped up the brand just yet.
EA Games CEO a bit too pushy?
It seems EA CEO Andrew Wilson is looking to head up whatever company bought EA. Yeah, that’s right. Wilson, according to the reports which came via Puck seems to suggest that they’re looking to have someone pay a bunch of money, before asking Tim Cook, Bob Chapek or Andy Jassy (and yes, I had to look up the amazon guy’s name) to step aside.
I mean, worse things could happen than Bob Chapek not being in charge at Disney, but more on that in our “What if Apple Bought Disney” video later in the week.
But it does seem a bit rich for the CEO of the company worth $36.77 Billion thinking that he’s in a position to displace the likes of Tim Cook who’s taken Apple to its current $2.3Tn valuation, and it’s been substantially higher than that at the height of the tech market too.
So I guess where EA Games ends up remains to be seen, but let me know in the comments what game franchises or publishers you’d like to see come to the Mac.