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With $25.65 billion in cash, Apple is likely looking forward to enter new businesses or dramatically expand existing ones. Some analysts believe that Apple is in talks to buy Electronic Arts, the world’s second largest publisher of video games, in a bid to dramatically expand its influence on the lucrative market of gaming software and hardware.

On Monday it transpired that Apple had hired Richard Teversham, senior director of Xbox business insights and strategy at interactive entertainment division of Microsoft Corp. Mr. Teversham served at Microsoft Xbox division for about four years, based on his profile at LinkedIn, but it he officially told the press that his job at Apple would be related to education.

Guy Adami, the managing director of Drakon Capital, which delivers customized market analysis, said during CNBC’s Fast Money program on Monday that there was a “chatter” that Apple was “eyeing Electronic Arts as a takeover target.

In late April it also transpired that Apple had hired Robert Drebin, who was personally involved into creation of Flipper, and presumably, Hollywood graphics processors for Nintendo video game systems, as well as Raja Kodouri, a graphics and GPGPU (general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) specialist, from AMD.

All of those facts may not have any relation between themselves, however, they point out a rather important trend: the importance of graphics processing and video games is gaining at Apple and rather serious business moves may be just around the corner.

While the rumours regarding Apple’s intention to acquire Electronic Arts, in the light of the fact that Apple recently hired two graphics technologies specialists from the former ATI Technologies (now graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices) as well as an Xbox business executive from Microsoft, seem to be rather realistic, an actual take over would mark a dramatic shift in Apple’s strategy.

For years Apple profited from selling hardware that it developed as well as content created by the others. An acquisition of Electronic Arts would mean that Apple will have to start selling content developed by itself.

Considering that the vast majority of Electronic Arts’ games aimed at personal computers are developed for Microsoft Direct3D application programming interface not available on Apple’s platforms, the acquisition of the publisher may precede the creation of Apple’s own video game console.

Apple has been pretty aggressive in boosting its technology and, particularly, semiconductor talent at the company, something that is required to create its own video game system. A year ago the company acquired Power micro-architecture chips specialist PA Semi, then hired ex-IBM chip executive Mark Papermaster, then made an investment into graphics technologies developer Imagination Technologies.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Apple, Xbox, Electronic Arts

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 05/05/09 11:15:25 AM
Latest comment: 05/07/09 02:24:50 PM

[1-5]

1. 
Now that is some interesting news! If Apple somehow manages to create a good gaming platform out of Mac OS we could finally have some choice in OS market. I always wondered why they did nothing on this field yet.
0 0 [Posted by: zaratustra06  | Date: 05/05/09 11:15:25 AM]
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2. 
26 billion in cash ?! That means they could buy AMD 4 times and still have some change left. But not if they would pay AMD's debt Still, that much money in cash?! FIAT is offering 1 billion to GM to take over OPEL and the market specialists say it's a good offer considering the market context. 26 billion is huge !
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 05/05/09 05:40:07 PM]
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3. 
Please, don't scare me..
EA is bad enough on it's own, if Apple takes over we can really say goodbye to any PC gaming AT ALL.

Let's see.. to use OS X you need Apple hardware. So guess what I'm thinking? Yes, if you want to play EA games you'll need to have Apple hardware.

Good thing in all this could be that EA with Apple would be a huge flop, and that other game developers would soon wake up and stomp them to the ground.

Anyway, while Apple console would be fine, I would certainly NOT want Apple to take over any major PC Games studio!
0 0 [Posted by: LuxZg  | Date: 05/06/09 03:59:38 AM]
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4. 
Apple taking over EB Games? :sigh: I can barely imagine what it would be like...most, if not all the games would be optimised for the Mac OS X's....that's scary.
0 0 [Posted by: BloodBlender  | Date: 05/07/09 03:56:19 AM]
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5. 
Well ... I would really like to see Apple developing game titles for their computers. TI would easily like to see their market share rise to some 20 ~ 30% at least just to give Microsoft a kick in the throat!

To make Microsoft put their OS prices in check just to fight for every percent on the market share they desire. Also I think this would make Microsoft a much more serious software developer, innovator and manifest a much better software support.
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 05/07/09 02:24:50 PM]
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