Electronic Arts announced today that they will acquire Respawn Entertainment for upwards of $455 million. The Titanfall developer will be picked up for $315 million in cash and stock with a potential bonus of $140 million.
"We've seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset," said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. "Our longtime partnership is grounded in a shared desire to push the boundaries and deliver extraordinary and innovative new experiences for players around the world. Together, we've brought this to life in the Titanfall franchise, and now with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more amazing things in the future."

"We started Respawn with the goal to create a studio with some of the best talent in the industry, and to be a top developer of innovative games," said Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment. "We felt that now was the time to join an industry leader that brings the resources and support we need for long term success, while still keeping our culture and creative freedom. EA has been a great partner over the years with Titanfall and Titanfall 2, and we're excited to combine our strengths. This is a great next step for Respawn, EA, and our players."

Respawn is the creator and developer of the critically-acclaimed Titanfall franchise that energized the first-person shooter genre with its innovative gameplay. The first game, Titanfall, was published by EA in 2014, and received global recognition with more than 75 top awards. Fans and critics fell in love with the game's refreshing, fast-paced multiplayer gameplay. Respawn and EA launched Titanfall 2 in late 2016, with a new single-player campaign and expanded multiplayer gameplay, resulting in one of the year's top-rated shooters.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

What does this mean for Respawn and Titanfall? Well, Respawn's Vince Zampella provided some additional details on what the acquisition means to them as a company, what it means for Titanfall, what it means for the Star Wars game they're developing, and what it means to the community.
While it wasn’t necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn’t interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we’ve always had. We’ve been talking closely with the leadership at EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first.

I will still be running things at Respawn and will also be a part of the studio leadership team at EA. There will be no layoffs or major organization changes within Respawn. All games currently in development are continuing as planned.

It is of my personal opinion that EA's influence may alter more than we would like in future Respawn titles. I anticipate that the days of free content releases will fall by the wayside as EA pushes for more and more "games as a service" integration in their titles. I also expect that Titanfall will no longer use a heavily modified Source engine and instead make the transition to using Frostbite. This would be a shame because Titanfall 2 both looked great and ran really well across a large spectrum of hardware configurations.

I would like to be proven wrong. However, there is one more thing to add to this. According to Kotaku's Jason Schreier, the contract seems to include Metacritic-tied bonuses for Titanfall 3 and the Star Wars title that Respawn is working on.

Simply put, if a game scores above a certain agreed upon threshold on Metacritic, the developers get a bonus. If they fail to hit that mark, they are given nothing. This practice by publishers was revealed a while back and it's a damn shame to see that it's still very much a thing in 2017.