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EA to acquire Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment

Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

EA to acquire Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment

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 (opens in new tab), 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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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

21 Comments
  • Every company says the same ****. Then lays off 10%, offshores another 10% and hires offshore exclusively,per the acquisition handbook, and tries to merge the new company into their values. Forcing them to use tooling and performance software that just doesn't mesh with that companies culture and style. And no I haven't been laid off but I've been around long enough to see it happen multiple times.
  • I watched this happen to my company almost word for word! Except it was more than 10% in regards to the offshore.
  • Short term probably a great idea since they now have funds for the next couple of years.. Long term no doubt they will be closed the second they don't make EAs billion dollar targets..
  • Exactly... Screw EA!
  • Typo in headline...
  • RIP Respawn Entertainment - at least you'll get to produce another titanfall title, even if it'll be a blow out.
    Thanks EA, another developer studio killed off.
  • the people left activision only to fall into the grasp of EA..
  • Well Titanfall 2 came out pretty decent. Maybe it hasn't beat out COD yet but I mean COS is a 20year old franchise. Good luck Respawn. So far Battlefront 2 has an amazing story. Also EA just do better on ME if you decide to revive it again.
  • Another company and series that EA will ruin. Great.
  • RIP, free DLC
  • Surprised Microsoft didn't scoop them up given they have been taking so much flak lately for not having any console exclusives. Titanfall as a console/pc exclusive could have fit into their portfolio nicely.
  • Another shooter. Meh
  • Jim Sterling did a video on EA acquiring studios and subsequently killing them back in 2015 (and even correctly predicted that Visceral would be next - 2 years in advance).
    https://youtu.be/l-hfRytMLUk
  • RIP Respawn Entertainment
  • A moment of silence for Respawn. May whatever God they pray to provide protection for them on this journey
  • Titanfall was a cool série of games while it lasted. Their cosmetics were really bad but imagine getting those in loot boxes in TF3 hahaha
  • Visceral hasn't put out anythingndecent sense dead space and that was really the best they came up with.
  • Great titanfall will be ruined by EA and their greed
  • Noooooo
  • basically another EA dev snatched up i wont be supporting anymore.  I mean i never knew Respawn entertainment anyway, but i was a fan of Dice and Bioware before they were bought out.  Now you see them pump out games every year with little or no update to the game.  EA is also notorious at not paying their employees their overtimes.  I havent looked back since.
  • So they'll be cut loose after Titanfall 3 sales disappoint. Oh, wait they have a crap ton of ingame purchaces available. They should be fine in EA.