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EA acquires Playdemic for $1.4bn

WB Games studio behind Golf Clash finds new home ahead of WarnerMedia-Discovery merger

Electronic Arts has agreed to purchase Playdemic from WarnerMedia for $1.4 billion in an all-cash deal, the companies announced today.

Founded in 2010, the Manchester, UK-based Playdemic is best known as the developer of the mobile and Facebook game Golf Clash.

"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," WB Games president David Haddad said. "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."

Last month, WB Games parent WarnerMedia announced that it would be spun off of parent company AT&T and merge with Discovery in a $43 billion deal, but it was reported that not all of the publisher's operation would be going along, raising questions about the fate of the remaining studios. The Playdemic acquisition announcement specified that the rest of the WB Games portfolio is included in the deal with Discovery.

When asked if the Playdemic acquisition would result in any layoffs, an EA representative told GamesIndustry.biz there were "no plans for changes," adding, "Playdemic has a very experienced team that has worked together since 2014 with strong expertise in mobile games and the clash sports design, and we're looking forward to working with and learning from their teams and creative leaders."

Playdemic becomes the fourth significant acquisition for EA since December, when it reached an agreement to purchase racing game specialist Codemasters for $1.2 billion, thwarting Take-Two Interactive's own attempt to add the company to its portfolio.

EA followed that up with the $2.1 billion acquisition of Glu Mobile in February, and the addition of Super Mega Baseball developer Metalhead Software in May.

"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," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said. "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."

This is Playdemic's third time being acquired. The studio was purchased by RockYou in 2011, but sold back to its founders later that same year after its new parent ran into financial troubles.

The second time Playdemic's founders sold the company, it was to Warner Bros.' TT Games in 2017, shortly after the launch of Golf Clash.