Insights from Bloomberg suggest that Disney executives have floated the idea of transforming the company from a gaming licensee to a publisher by acquiring EA. However, CEO Bob Iger is reportedly not very eager to follow this direction.
Discussions about an acquisition between Disney and EA were reportedly on the table last year, with EA also exploring talks with NBCUniversal, Amazon, and Apple. Notably, negotiations with NBCUniversal did not materialize.
Disney, once a games publisher until 2016, when it shifted to a licensing model, has recently shown interest in working with studios of all sizes to expand its game industry presence. Despite the company’s emphasis on collaboration with various studios, the idea of acquiring a major game publisher appears to be a topic of internal debate.
The CEO’s deputies are purportedly urging Iger to consider this transformative move, echoing sentiments from last year’s reports when EA was exploring merger opportunities with potential suitors, including Disney. While Iger has been instrumental in acquiring major studios during his tenure, his current stance on acquiring a gaming giant remains uncertain.
EA, currently holding a licensing agreement with Disney, has been responsible for notable games under the Marvel and Star Wars banners. The licensing relationship with Disney extends back to a decade-long exclusivity deal for developing and publishing Star Wars games, which saw its fair share of controversies.
Upcoming Disney-licensed games include high-profile titles like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Spider-Man 2, Star Wars: Outlaws, and an Indiana Jones game by Wolfenstein developer Machine Games. Amidst the speculation and internal discussions, Disney remains firm in its commitment to exploring opportunities in the game industry without confirming any imminent acquisitions.