EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that the Titanfall franchise embodies the publisher's goal of delivering "extraordinary and innovative new experiences", and that "with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more wonderful things in the future".
EA will pay $151M in cash and up to $164M in long-term equity via restricted stock, along with some variable cash consideration (limited to another $140M) tied to performance milestones through the end of 2022. 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.
Founded in 2010 by Call of Duty designers Jason Ward and Vince Zampella, Respawn won hearts with its first game, Titanfall, released in 2014 as an Xbox exclusive.
EA stated that Respawn has "multiple projects now in development", including the already announced Star Wars game, and "a new title in the Titanfall franchise". "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 wonderful things in the future".
Respawn Entertainment will soon be part of EA's wholly-owned ring of development studios.
"We've seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset", EA Chief Executive Andrew Wilson said in the news release. Up to this point, EA have been publishers for Respawn's Titanfall series, but the studio has been independent with regards to its ownership.
"We have worked together a long time from the inception of the studio", explained Zampella to GamesBeat. It doesn't change the future of Titanfall. EA Play is usually full of big announcements, so something could be out as early as Summer 2018. According to various documents sent by that source, EA outbid the South Korean publisher Nexon, which publishes the Titanfall mobile game and had also made an offer to buy Respawn. "That's what gets those studios to make great games".