Over the years, I have seen a practice which seems to be becoming more and more frequent, but really worries me. It’s when giant game companies try to buy out smaller successful companies. A great example is when Microsoft bought Rare, who are famous for games like Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct. Nothing stellar has come from them in years. What worries me is the fact that we see creativity and innovation start to suffer. Game designers who probably have great ideas for new IP’s aren’t too accepted because the big companies are not willing to take risks anymore,so we never get to see these games and the employees either get axed or start a new small company with great ideas and the whole thing starts again. The publishers would rather push a new expensive better console system on us rather then innovate with new games. It’s an excuse. Its either that or just keep pumping out parts 2,3,4 etc…you get the idea. Sure more funds help these companies reach more consumers, more money equals more staff, bigger game budgets (which does not always mean better games) etc.. but in return, many sell their souls also.
Did you know that in the past five years Electronic Arts has spent more than $1 billion to get into social and mobile arena? Since they cannot break through with their own creativity they have bought companies like PlayFish, Firemint and PopCap. I guess if you can’t make a better product against your competitor, just buy them. Hey, this is business and it happens all the time, everywhere we look. I get it, I really do. I just do not want creativity and innovation to suffer because in the end, its us the consumer who get the short end of the stick with crappier overpriced games.
Now EA wants to buy Valve. Thank goodness company president Gabe Newell realized what would really happen, he stated:The company would “disintegrate” if it was purchased by another company”. “Let’s find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate”. Yes Gabe, that is what eventually happens to good companies when bought out.
Michael Pachter, an analyst from Wedbush Securities (someone I really disagree with on many issues) “more of that in another blog though” has stated that he estimates Valve has an estimated value of $2.5 billion.
Do you see companies like EA and others buying smaller companies as helpful or hurtful? Let us know