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. In addition, EA says it could pay an up to an additional $140 million based on performance milestones through the end of 2022.
Alongside news of the acquisition, EA also revealed that a new Titanfall game is currently in development at Respawn, as is a an untitled Star Wars game and a virtual reality game.
"We've seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset," said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. "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. 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 amazing things in the future."
Respawn Entertainment was initially founded by former Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West in 2010. In a blog post concerning the deal on the Respawn website, Zampella says that the studio is joining EA to better compete in the future with access to more resources, new technologies, and more. From Zampella:
While it wasn't necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn't interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. 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. We've been talking closely with the leadership at EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first.
Zampella says he will continue to run things at Respawn and will become a part of the leadership team at EA. No layoffs or major organizational changes are planned at Respawn as part of the acquisition.
Respawn has seen success with the Titanfall franchise in recent years, with the sequel, 2016's Titanfall 2, receiving critical praise despite disappointing sales. While joining EA will surely give Respawn access to more resources as it works on the next Titanfall entry, fans of the franchise are likely to be a little wary in the wake of EA's shuttering of Deadspace developer Visceral games.
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