EA adds two new game studios to its portfolio: BioWare and Pandemic Studios. This acquisition gives EA a strong competitive position in key genres in interactive entertainment: action, adventure and role-playing games. The two studios have been recognized for creating some of the highest-quality games in the industry.
BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios have ten franchises under development, including six wholly owned games. BioWare Corp. is currently developing the highly anticipated Mass Effect, which will be published by Microsoft in November, and is in the early development stages of a massively multiplayer online game. Pandemic Studios is redefining open-world games with its upcoming Mercenaries 2: World in Flames and Saboteur, in addition to several unannounced projects.
Pandemic Studios and BioWare Corp. employ roughly 800 people across four studios located in Edmonton, Canada; Los Angeles; Austin; and Brisbane, Australia.
EA will pay up to $620 million in cash to the stockholders of VG Holding Corp. and will issue up to an additional $155 million in equity to certain employees of VG Holding Corp., which will be subject to time-based or performance-based vesting criteria. EA will also assume outstanding VG Holding Corp. stock options. In addition, EA has agreed to lend VG Holding Corp. up to $35 million through the closing of the acquisition.