It's not easy being green
- Dec 30, 2009
Origin Systems weren't in any financial difficulty, and had no intention of being bought out by any company.Devoneaux said:
Then EA set their sights on them. They wanted Origin's IPs so they sued them with unfair lawsuits and bullied them into financial difficulty, until Origin were going under and needed someone to buy out the company to continue functioning, which EA did. And that's not just gamer speculation or gossip, EA admitted it. They admitted they destroyed the company because they wanted to buy it.
Of the other companies that were merged, Westwood held a 6% share of the total gaming market the year it was bought. In comparison the (much much larger) EA only had an 11% share. That's pretty much the definition of successful.
Bioware and Pandemic certainly were not on their 'last legs' (they were owned by the same company) Heck, Bioware were RPG gamers golden child with runaway successes of KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. There were no reports of financial difficulties, no layoffs, no announcements of delayed games/problems with funding.
If you want to know the reason for the merger, you just need to know one thing: EA CEO John Riccitiello had just relinquished control as Managing Director for the firm that controlled the company in charge of both studios. Because of that he got a $5 million handshake as a bonus for the merger. That's $5 million personal income, with no company ties or restrictions.
Now this wasn't always the case, I'm sure there were companies that were in dire straits until EA bought them, but it shows that at least once, EA manipulated and forced a company to merge, in another, it was pure personal gain for EA's head honcho.