(credit: Respawn Entertainment / EA)
EA confirmed via a press release on Thursday that it had acquired the video game studio Respawn Entertainment.

The studio, co-founded by former Infinity Ward chiefs and Call of Duty co-creators in the wake of their departure from Activision, has been bought out in a deal whose total value could reach $455 million.
The news by itself may seem odd, considering that EA shut down one of its other wholly owned studios, Visceral Games, only three weeks ago.

A report from Kotaku sheds light on why EA made the move: as a response to another game publisher, Korea’s Nexon, making a formal bid to buy Respawn outright. Nexon currently publishes a mobile spinoff of Respawn’s Titanfall shooter series. Kotaku, citing sources close to the matter, claims that Nexon had bid over $400 million to buy the company outright.

EA exercised its contractual right to match the offer, Kotaku says, and it ultimately outbid Nexon.
Among other things, the buyout preserves Respawn’s continued work on an upcoming EA game set in the Star Wars universe; EA currently enjoys an exclusive license to making Star Wars-related video games, and any takeover by another company would have to resolve whether or how such a project would continue in production. Respawn’s Star Wars project still does not have a title, a release date, or revealed gameplay footage. Respawn announced its work on an additional, unnamed VR game at Oculus Connect 4 last month; the EA statement says that project will continue apace, as well.
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