In a statement, EA says that it will pay $151 million in cash, as well as up to $164 million in long-term equity in the form of restricted stock units to employees, as part of the deal.
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.More news: Live Action Star Wars Series To Debut On Disney Streaming Service
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"Our longtime partnership is grounded in a shared desire to push the boundaries and deliver extraordinary and innovative new experiences for players around the world". Now, in addition to partnering with Oculus on an unknown VR title, Respawn's success and close association with EA has enabled them to develop their own Star Wars game - but that's not the only thing that's coming out of their partnership with EA. EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we've always had. Though West eventually left the studio, Zampella has remained a lead figure for the Titanfall games, which have been published by EA. EA has been a great partner over the years with Titanfall and Titanfall 2, and we're excited to combine our strengths. On the deal, he said 'While it wasn't necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. A report from Kotaku sheds light on why EA made the move: as a response to another game publisher, Korea's Nexon, making a formal bid to buy Respawn outright. There will be no layoffs or major organization changes within Respawn.
The fact that EA acquired Respawn isn't concerning in and of itself; what is concerning is the timing of the acquisition.