FutureFive NZ - EA approached by buyers

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EA approached by buyers

The news report claims private-equity companies KKR and Providence Equity Partners have approached EA about a sale.

None of the companies involved provided comments, however the move would make sense, especially for Providence – they are already the owners of a little company called Bethesda.

Many companies are struggling to cash in on consoles these days, with some of the industry’s biggest names weighing up their options.

Gaming giant Activision Blizzard also considered a sale earlier this year, however no agreement was reached.

The rise of mobile and casual games has seen console sales dropping dangerously; in the US sales of new videogames, consoles and accessories fell by 20 per cent last month.

Meanwhile, social networks and tablets are driving the social gaming industry forward at break-neck speeds, with Angry Birds and other such free-to-play games making things difficult for their more expensive home-console rivals.

EA is now second in the social games market behind Zynga, who are responsible for many of Facebook’s biggest games including Farmville, Castleville and Cityville.

In contrast, EA’s contribution to the social gaming scene is SimCity Social, which is largely responsible for the company’s digital revenue of $324 million this quarter.

Things are looking bad for home-console developers, and industry analyst Michael Pachter says large companies need to adapt to their environment quickly.

“The problem is they’re in the fifth year of a three-year turnaround,” he says.

Although things do seem a bit grim, the console industry is far from dead – we’d like to hear from you if you’re a hardcore console gamer.

Do you buy your games new, or second-hand? Are you tempted to move away from your console? Let us know below.

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