EA preparing venture capitalist investment

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Publisher EA is on the verge of acquiring Canadian venture capitalist firm VanEdge Capital – a company formed by six former EA employees.

peHUB reports that the deal is expected to be finalised later this month. Partners include EA's former chief visual and technical officer Glenn Entis, former EA China general manager Jason Chein and long-term ex-EA employee and former Distinctive Software boss Paul Lee.

VanEdge specialises in digital media investments and currently has several high-profile contracts with partners such as British Columbia Investment Management Corp and Business Development Bank.

The move would fall very much in-line with EA's recent focus on the digital games business, exemplified by its 250m+ acquisition of Facebook gaming specialist Playfish.

The publisher was recently criticised for what some see as its failure to position itself for the new and emerging digital markets in the video games sector, with former EA mobile boss Mitch Lasky stating: Riccitiello bet his tenure on EA's ability to ‘grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition.”

It's not the first time that EA has formed ties with ex-employee run venture capitalists. The publisher famously paid $860m for BioWare Pandemic who were at the time owned by Elevation partners, whose purchase of the pair was overseen by current EA boss John Riccitiello.

BioWare continues to produce triple-A IPs such as BioWare and Dragon Age, but Pandemic was sadly closed late last year.