In news that is both unsurprising and absolutely horrifying, is turns out that EA has been very interested in acquiring Valve over the years, and would very likely have paid as much as $1 billion to do so.
This information comes out of a New York Times article on Valve that was published last Saturday.
“Valve has been pursued over the years by Electronic Arts, which would very likely have valued Valve at well over $1 billion had the talks progressed that far, said two people with knowledge of the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.”
Thankfully, the talks seem to have broken down long ago. Even if EA had been determined to make the acquisition, that estimated offer was likely far lower than Valve’s actual worth, as the article later points out. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter estimates Valve’s value to be around $2.5 billion. Of course Pachter sort of has a long history of being wrong about things, so even that number could be inaccurate.
Ignoring the fact that EA doesn’t exactly have the money lying around to make Valve-sized acquisitions anymore, it’s unlikely that any pricetag would be high enough to convince them to join up with Riccitiello’s Sith Empire. As a privately-owned company, they answer to nobody but themselves, and CEO Gabe Newell, who seems to be completely against letting Valve be acquired, saying that he would rather allow the company to “disintegrate” and scatter its employees across the industry than allow another major publisher to take control.
“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.
To close this out, an amusing anecdote about a desk:
“A few years ago, a Valve hire who had worked in special effects in Hollywood balked at wheeling his desk. The news reached Mr. Newell, who promptly picked up the desk himself and carried it to the new location, to the new employee’s embarrassment.
The man, whom Valve declined to name, is no longer with the company.”