EA is adding to its roster of mobile game developers by purchasing Playdemic, known for Golf Clash, from WarnerMedia for $1.4 billion. The company says it plans on using Playdemic’s experience to help make future mobile games and that it’s interested in using Golf Clash’s mechanics with other franchises.
It’s possible that EA could be purchasing Playdemic not only to gain ownership of a successful mobile game (Golf Clash has over 10 million installs on the Google Play Store), but because there’s an opportunity for EA to incorporate some of its other series — it makes the PGA golf games after all, which could tie in well with a mobile golf game.
EA seems to be focusing on mobile gaming recently — it also purchased mobile developer Glu in February for $2.1 billion.
WarnerMedia, Playdemic’s former owner, is currently going through a transition, as it’s being spun out from under AT&T to join with Discovery. The company says that it’s divesting from Playdemic as “part of [its] overall strategy to build games based on Warner Bros. storied franchises.” Indeed, if you go to Warner Bros. Games’ website, it’s dominated by franchises like Lego, Harry Potter, and Mortal Kombat (with Scribblenauts and Golf Clash being the only real exceptions). It also has upcoming games like the DC universe-based Gotham Knights. WarnerMedia says the rest of its games will become part of the combined Warner-Discovery company after the deal is settled.
Mobile gaming has become a big focus for companies as the market has exploded. EA competitor Activision purchased Candy Crush-maker King for $5.9 billion in 2015, and its recent earnings show that the division is now bringing in more money than Blizzard. Many popular PC and console games like Call of Duty, Valorant, Fortnite, and EA’s own Apex Legends have also gotten mobile ports.