EA buys Cheshire games studio for $1.4billion

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Electronic Arts has acquired the Wilmslow studio behind the Golf Clash mobile game, for $1.4bn.

The games giant has bought Playdemic in cash from Warner Bros. Games and AT&T.

Playdemic was founded in 2010 and employs 65 staff at its Manchester studio. The success of its Golf Clash game has seen it become one of Europe’s leading mobile games companies.

"Playdemic is a team of true innovators, and we’re thrilled to have them join the Electronic Arts family,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts.

“In addition to the ongoing success of Golf Clash, the talent, technology and expertise of Playdemic will be a powerful combination with our teams and IP at Electronic Arts. This is the next step building on our strategy to expand our sports portfolio and accelerate our growth in mobile to reach more players around the world with more great games and content.”

Golf Clash is available on mobile devices and Facebook, enabling players to compete with each other in real time. It has had more than 80m downloads to date, winning numerous awards, including the BAFTA Games Mobile Game of the Year (2018).

Playdemic was bought by TT Games, part of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment in 2017. At the time, the Wilmslow-based firm employed 33 staff, with its games generating “in excess of $50m of revenue.” The original intention was for the Playdemic team to develop Warner's Lego mobile games franchise, but instead decided to concentrate on growing the golf title.

“We have enjoyed working with the talented team at Playdemic as they have grown Golf Clash beyond all expectations into a hit mobile game with tremendous longevity,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Games.

“While we have great respect for the Playdemic team, our decision to divest is a part of our overall strategy to build games based on Warner Bros. storied franchises.”

EA stated that the move was part of its “mobile growth strategy” and that the studio’s “portfolio and talent will be a significant addition to EA’s mobile growth engine.”

“We founded Playdemic with a focus on creating highly engaging and innovative game experiences. Our success with Golf Clash has proven our approach and demonstrated the ability of our incredibly talented teams to develop and operate best in class mobile games,” explained Paul Gouge, CEO of Playdemic.

“Joining EA, one of the most successful games companies in the world, is an important next step in our journey and we are excited to continue to develop both Golf Clash and new titles as part of the EA family.”

California-based EA posted net revenues of $5.6 billion in the previous financial year, with a games portfolio including FIFA, Battlefield, Apex Legends and The Sims.

 

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