Leading videogame publisher Electronic Arts has announced that it's set to acquire mobile game company Jamdat in a deal which values the publicly traded firm at around $680 million and gives EA a strong lead in the mobile space.
The deal - the largest consolidation move ever seen in the mobile gaming space - will see EA paying $27 in cash for each share of Jamdat, a premium of almost 20 per cent over the closing price of the firm last night.
The move reaffirms EA's commitment to the mobile space, where the publishing giant has been showing increasing interest in recent years - not least because it's the single largest acquisition in the company's history.
Los Angeles based Jamdat is the only mobile games company to have been floated on the stock market, having gone public in mid-2004, and it showed revenues of $202 million in its last reported quarter. The firm employs 350 staff around the world.
EA hopes to publish over 50 mobile games in the year following the completion of the acquisition. EA's own burgeoning mobile division will be merged with Jamdat, with the combined business falling under the supervision of Jamdat CEO Mitch Lasky.
Lasky is clear as to the ambitions of the new combined company; "we wanted to win worldwide [leadership]," he told an analyst conference call last night, "and we think this combined position will let us do it a lot faster than if we were to do it on our own."
EA chief executive Larry Probst agreed; "we think that on a combined basis, we can go very quickly, very aggressively, not only in North America, but in Europe and Asia, he commented."
A number of other top videogame publishers also have strong operations in the mobile space - most notably Ubisoft and THQ, through their GameLoft and THQ Wireless subsidiaries respectively.