EA 'held talks to acquire Valve for $1billion'

EA 'held talks to acquire Valve for $1billion'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 10th 2012 at 11:18AM

Studio would more likely disintegrate than be sold, says Gabe Newell

Publishing giant EA held discussions with Valve to acquire the company for upwards of $1billion, according to sources close to the matter.

Two people “with knowledge of the discussions” told the New York Times that the Half-Life and Portal developer had been pursued by Electronic Arts for a number of years, although talks never progressed far enough to offer an exact figure.

The sources only spoke on condition of anonymity as discussions over a potential sale took place privately.

Despite the alleged talks of a sale to EA, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said that there was more chance that the 300-strong studio would “disintegrate” than be sold, and was keen to keep its well-documented flat and independent structure.

“It’s way more likely we would head in that direction than say, ‘Let’s find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate,’” he said.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has estimated that Valve could currently be worth more than $2.5bn, more than twice as much as the potential acquisition offer.

Whilst EA seemingly failed to buy one of the world’s most popular and most successful studios, the publishing giant has been on an acquisition spree over the past few years, purchasing companies such as Playfish, Firemint and PopCap, the latter of which alone cost $750million.