EA And Nexon Discuss FIFA Online, Buyout Rumors UntrueBy: Zach Walton - May 3, 2012
Remember when the Internet lost its collective minds last week when rumors began to swirl that Nexon, the South Korean publisher of free-to-play titles, offered to buy EA? Yeah, that’s not what happened.
After a South Korean newspaper, translated by Bloomberg, shared the news that a takeover was likely, everybody started to question whether or not Nexon could buy EA. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it was very unlikely all the same. It turns out the discussions were not about a takeover, but rather a soccer game.
EA Sports publishes the FIFA Soccer games domestically and abroad. The fútbol simulator is much more popular in European and Asian countries than it is in the United States though. For that reason, EA decided to release an online version of the title called FIFA Online. It hasn’t done super well in most countries, but it does good business at least in one area – Asia.
Who has the established market and knowhow to publish and sell a game in Asia, specifically South Korea, China and Japan? Nexon does. Who doesn’t have all these things? EA, of course. So those talks from last week, according to Bloomberg, were actually all about EA talking to Nexon about distributing FIFA Online 2 in Korea and other Asian countries. EA specifically wants to take advantage of Nexon’s ability to coerce players into buying digital items.
Bloomberg reports that EA currently distributes its games in South Korea through Neowiz Games Corp., but the deal isn’t exclusive. This could leave EA open to pursue future deals with Nexon for its online games like more versions of FIFA Online and whatever else they decide to turn into an online franchise. My suggestion? Syndicate Online, but players have to learn how to really hack to stand a chance in the battles.
It’s good to see that EA and Nexon aren’t in talks for a merger, at least for now. I would hate to see what would happen if the king of retail and the king of free-to-play joined forces. It would probably gobble up the entirety of the games industry and leave nothing left.
What do you think of EA hoping to offload its online games to Nexon? Would you have preferred to see a merger? Let us know in the comments