Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment is to be purchased by EA. The developer is currently working on projects for EA at present and, while studio head Vince Zampella admitted the deal "wasn't necessary" for them in an open letter, he admitted it did make a lot of sense.
Respawn started in 2010 following the departure of many key staff, including Zampella, from Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward. Their first release was the Xbox and Windows exclusive Titanfall, published by EA. A sequel was made in 2016, available for all consoles and the studio is currently working on a VR project and a Star Wars title. All of these were to be published by EA.
The deal sees an initial payment of $151 million in cash that raises by $164 million in stock options over the next four years. There is also a milestone bonus deal for Respawn which could see another $140 million maximum come to the studio. The deal is expected to be closed by the end of 2017.
“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 EA CEO, Andrew Wilson. “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.”
“We started Respawn with the goal to create a studio with some of the best talent in the industry, and to be a top developer of innovative games,” said Respawn CEO, Zampella. “We felt that now was the time to join an industry leader that brings the resources and support we need for long term success, while still keeping our culture and creative freedom. EA has been a great partner over the years with Titanfall and Titanfall 2, and we’re excited to combine our strengths. This is a great next step for Respawn, EA, and our players.”