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Analysis / Electronic Arts

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Studio Lifetime After an EA Buy-out

Using the (admittedly limited) data from the timeline of studio buy-outs and shut-downs by EA, it is possible to plot the "time before EA buy-out" against the "time before closure under EA", and use it for statistical analysis. A simple graphic reveals the existence of a distinct "main sequence" of EA-owned studios, exemplified by Bullfrog, Westwood, NuFX, Phenomic, Mythic, and Maxis, with Pandemic and Origin as notable outliers (although Origin still fits in, if you count its death from Garriott's resignation).

Applying nonlinear regression to the sequence reveals a formula that predicts DICE's dissolution in 2009 (i.e. soon after Mirror's Edge) and BioWare's, in 2013 (i.e. after Mass Effect 3). As we know, however, these events didn't happen, so the two of them must be outliers from the main sequence. It is, however, interesting to observe that DICE hasn't produced an original project since ME, while the late 2012 was marked by the departure of both remaining BioWare co-founders — the first in the (second) mass exodus from the company seen in recent years. On the other hand, Respawn, according to the formula, has 2-3 years left before its closure at some point in 2021, which will be an interesting test of this theory.


Incidentally, the best point to sell your company to EA to maximize its longevity (if that strikes your fancy) is about 11 years and 8 months after its founding, which would give it a grand total of almost 19 years in the business. Mythic, which came closest to these numbers, should therefore be considered the gold standard for all companies shut down by EA.


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