EA snaps up BioWare and Pandemic Studios

Video game maker Electronic Arts today announced it has reached a financial agreement with Elevation Partners to purchase VG Holding Corp., the firm that owns Pandemic Studios and BioWare Corp.  The $860 million USD deal should help solidify EA's action and role-playing game catalog with 10 new games that are featured for three different platforms.

The game producer hopes the purchase will help the company raise its revenue potential over the next three years, with estimates of more than $300 million USD per year in 2009 and 2010.

EA CEO John Riccitiello returned to EA after serving a stint as chief executive and chairman of the board for VG Holdings, though he did not participate in the negotiations, according to an EA spokesperson.

"This deal brings incredible talent to EA," said Frank Gibeau, EA Games president.  "It puts us in categories where EA historically has not had a strong competitive position."

Financial analysts expect the deal is supposed to close in January 2008.  EA created more than $3.1 billion USD in revenue during the last fiscal year.

Pandemic and BioWare combined currently employ more than 800 employees in the United States, Canada and Australia.

BioWare is best known for creating the Neverwinter Nights video game series, though its science fiction game Mass Effect is expected to be a holiday hit for the Microsoft Xbox 360.  Pandemic created Destroy All Humans and is currently working on Mercenaries 2.

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