EA agrees to buy JAMDAT for about $680M

Gaming juggernaut EA has agreed to buy mobile gaming developer JAMDAT for $27 per share, approximately $680 million. JAMDAT said its playing "offense" not "defense" with the acquisition. EA's CEO Larry Probst said the five reasons the company bought JAMDAT are:

  • The mobile gaming market is more than $1 billion, up to $5 billion in next few years, plus only 40 percent of handsets worldwide are game-enabled so far
  • Games are trending toward mobile and more affordable than $300 consoles
  • JAMDAT has the proprietary expertise that will scale
  • JAMDAT has important carrier relationships
  • The companies share similar corporate cultures, and EA loves JAMDAT head Mitch Lasky.

The buzzword is "acceleration," specifically relating to EA's mobile gaming market penetration. JAMDAT's arguable market dominance in North America made it ripe for the picking as EA weighed the buy versus sell conundrum. EA said building their own division would take time and in the meantime JAMDAT "is not going to stand still and wait for us to catch up." This is the largest acquisition EA has ever done, period.

The merged company will unleash Tetris, Bejeweled, JAMDAT Bowling, Need For Speed, Madden NFL Football and FIFA soccer. The last three are from EA's treasure chest and enjoy broad appeal worldwide on various gaming consoles. These titles could be JAMDAT's ticket into Europe, Asia and India where most of its games have struggled to gain traction in the past.

For more on the EA, JAMDAT deal:
- check out this press release