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Apple Eyeing EA?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the ever-bigger-publishers dept.

Businesses 151

yerktoader writes "There are rumors that Apple might buy EA, but some interesting counterpoints abound. File this one firmly under 'unconfirmed,' but it's nevertheless a tantalizing rumor. According to Fast Money's Guy Adami, Apple is 'eyeing Electronic Arts as a takeover target.' EA is currently the second-largest games publisher in the world and owner of the smash hit NFL-licensed series of football games. Could we be facing the possibility of an iMadden? Well, probably not. Apple has indeed been bolstering its games know-how, hiring a major Xbox strategist away from Microsoft in recent weeks. And EA is no stranger to Apple platforms: in the last year it's brought several of its major franchises to the iPhone (with more on the way), including Sim City, Tiger Woods, and Spore, with considerable success. But it's a far cry from there to a takeover, and that's putting it mildly. Video games analyst Michael Pachter seems to agree. Speaking to Gamasutra, he pointed out that if Apple was looking to make some entertainment acquisitions, it could buy Warner Music — which controls 20% of the music industry — for roughly half of EA's estimated price."

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What do you get combining Apple + gaming company? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27888695)

Nothing.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888749)

You sure do get something. More DRM.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889257)

And I'll be there to grab Apple by the balls and sue the crap out of them just like I'm doing to EA.

I will DESTROY DRM. EA is just my first target. I am tired of people making shit that restricts how I use *MY HARDWARE* and I'm going to one way or another get real laws passed to enforce the security and full control of my property.

Microsoft will be next. I have enough video footage to destroy their entire "Get The Facts" campaign, exposing it for the solid lie that it is. I can prove how Microsoft lies saying they are new and improved when in reality they've just restricted us even further.

Anybody else want to give me some backup? I've made the first move, how about the rest of you stand up and start doing stuff?

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889513)

So exactly what have you done?

I see a post on Slashdot full of claims but no links to anything of actual substance. You almost sound like Steve Balmer claiming he's going to DESTROY GOOGLE. The fire and brimstone is there, for sure, but that's about it.

If you really want us to go along with your plan at least link to a website detailing what exactly it is you're doing. Your post is so vague that I'm not exactly sure what this 'stuff' I'm supposed to be doing entails. As far as I know, this wonderful Slashdot post is that first move you mentioned. I think you need a more defined cause before you try to rally people to it.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889553)

Like alvinrod said, I'd like to see a link..or some proof as to what your doing.

If it's there and going somewhere, I'll throw support behind it.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890037)

Uh, yeah... Good luck with that!

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890355)

Did you forget to take your meds again?

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890531)

Yeah, I was pissed about the whole Spore thing, too, but I don't really see anything they did illegal. Maybe false advertising (depending on how you interpret the law), but there's really not enough illegal activity to "sue the crap out of them".

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (2, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890087)

Exactly. Apple loves screwing us. Like when I installed Mac OS X, I was forced to enter this long stream of characters or the software would stop working. And I was way pissed when I had to call Cupertino to "reactivate" my license after I installed a new hard drive. They obviously love implementing any anti-piracy mechanisms they can at the expense of us poor consumers. Those greedy execs will use any anti-consumer strategy just to pad their pockets.

Huh? Oh, this never happened? Well how about the fact that Apple sells DRM musicz!!@! They're obviously in love with DRM.

What? They bought the rights from record companies to distribute non-DRM tracks by giving up their pricing strategy which was valuable to them?

Sshhh. La la la, I'm not listening! Apple is teh evilz DRM-loving anti-consumer pig-dogs!! La la la la........

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890157)

Huh? Oh, this never happened? Well how about the fact that Apple sells DRM musicz!!@! They're obviously in love with DRM.

What? They bought the rights from record companies to distribute non-DRM tracks by giving up their pricing strategy which was valuable to them?

1. My old tracks should be removed of the DRM.

2. Since they got rid of the DRM, they jacked there prices on some songs up 30 cents. It's all about the money.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1, Troll)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890699)

Jacked up the price and sampling bitrate for higher fidelity (insofar as that's even possible with digital music).

Yes, they are about the money. But who isn't?

Everyone's Apple-DRM anger would make more sense if they had pioneered the per-song deal without DRM, then added a "gotcha" lower-price, lower-quality, DRM-laden product. But they did the opposite.

As for point #1, replacing your DRM-laden songs. Now that is typical Apple - typical American corporate beast. They didn't even offer the option, trade up to DRM free (with higher sampling bitrate) for 30 cents. I or anyone could argue the problems with ensuring the old copy was gone, etc, etc, and how poor Apple would have pay again for the license because that's how the music guys would look at it.

But that part is just the way-sucky part of American business ethics. Is it Apple's fault you can't convert your DRM songs? The record companies'? Both? The end result is the consumer has a moving target, accepts (in general) that the market has moved on to newer/better, and bites the bullet. To be clear - I'm not saying it's ok because it's understandable, I'm saying it's less ok because it's understandable.

Meanwhile - can't you burn your DRM-laden music to CD, then import it DRM-free? I thought you could do this, I don't know. I know the quality **may** take a hit - not sure. But you might try it - CDs are way cheap, hold a lot of songs, it's worth a try.

http://www.jakeludington.com/itunes/20060513_unlock_itunes_music_store_files.html [jakeludington.com]

And for a bit of Apple-DRM background, from a few years ago, check out:
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com]

Hope this helps you have a better day!

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (3, Informative)

cuban321 (644777) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891651)

As for point #1, replacing your DRM-laden songs. Now that is typical Apple - typical American corporate beast. They didn't even offer the option, trade up to DRM free (with higher sampling bitrate) for 30 cents.

Incorrect, you can upgrade songs in your library to a higher quality DRM free version.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892037)

Wow - many sincere thanks for updating me! I did not know that! OK, I'm red-faced.... :)

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891611)

It's "their prices". Learn to spell. People will start listening to you.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890835)

Where are my DRM-free movie purchases then? Or does DRM only count if it's on music?

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27892039)

Yes, let's pretend Apple do nothing to keep people from installing OS X on whatever hardware they see fit (including sub 867 MHz Powerbooks made by Apple, including many that are more than fast enough to run Leopard), that the iPhone isn't the most locked down phone on the market, and so on. That's all just slander. Or libel, since you're a pedant.

The only reason why you don't have to activate OS X is that it's sold with the computer and only works properly on Apple hardware. But you Mac-fags are always in denial.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888751)

Would Apple really have money to buy EA? They're almost the largest player on gaming industry, and I dont really see Apple having that much of buying power.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (4, Informative)

gravesb (967413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888975)

EA has a market cap of 6.5 billion. Apple has over 20 billion in cash and short term investments. Even with a hefty control premium, they could easily acquire EA. If they were only interested in a majority share, so that they could force more consideration of their platforms, it's even easier.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889597)

I don't know if it's true any longer, but I recall that Apple had some obscene amount of cash on hand that they could use to buy out a lot of decently large companies.

In fact, This recent news article [washingtonpost.com] states that they have around $29 billion just sitting around. It's no wonder everyone predicts they're going to buy company X.

The only real question is whether or not they'll be able to find a company that would be a good fit for them. Twitter and EA don't really offer Apple anything that fits with their current business strategy. They want to sell expensive high-end Mac computers and iPhones. The iPod has saturated the market to the extent that they really don't need any acquisitions in that area.

It would make more sense for them to throw a lot of money at Autodesk so that they would release a version of AutoCAD for the Macintosh. Think of how many high end workstations they'd sell to engineers and architects and other CAD users who could be convinced to try the Apple experience.

You could argue that gamers are a high end market, and to some extent that's true, but they're the type of people who like to constantly upgrade a box to stay on the bleeding edge. Apple likes to sell you new boxes, but doesn't really like you to upgrade them incrementally with parts from Newegg from which they won't see a dime.

If Apple topped out at 20% market share, but it was the professional market that purchased their top of the line, high profit margin machines, why should they care if they'll never crawl above that. Let the other PC markers enjoy their race to the bottom price wars to fight over the remaining 80%.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889883)

They want to sell expensive high-end Mac computers and iPhones.

I doubt Apple simply wants to keep doing what It already does a great job of. Like every other business, It wants to expand it's reach, or expand into new territory where it believes it can succeed. The expansion doesn't need to fit within their current business strategy for their specific whatever. Thats the entire point of expanding, to do more.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (5, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890079)

If you want to know what direction Apple is taking, look at how they got to where they are now. Quite a few years ago, in fact this may have been pre- iPod (which is so long long ago in internet years that it's practically the Ice Age) Steve Jobs made an interesting statement about the future of Apple Computer. He was trying to explain where he saw Apple going. And the company he held out as a model wasn't Microsoft, or Dell, or any other software or hardware company. Steve Jobs said he wanted Apple to be the new Sony, that is, to be the leader in consumer electronics. At the time, I thought Jobs was either out of it, or being typically grandiose. But over the past ten years, this is exactly what Apple has done. They've moved from being a company that just makes desktop computers, to a company that makes digital music players, smartphones, laptops and desktops- almost all the devices you need to live, work, and play in the digital age.

My prediction is that Apple will continue to do that. They want to be a leader in the consumer electronics field, and so they are going to spend those billions in a way that helps them do that. Does buying Twitter, a company without a business model, help them be a leader in the industry? If not, they're not gonna buy Twitter. Does buying EA help them be a leader in the industry? Apple makes hardware and software to operate that hardware, but they've never been much of a software company, so it doesn't help them.

True, games is a huge market, and one that Apple has missed out on. But Jobs' ego dictates that Apple is a technology leader, not a follower. They don't want to be a 'me-too!' company by jumping into a market with a shiny white console when the console market is already saturated between the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Apple conquered a new market with the iPod and is a serious contender in the emerging smartphone market. Apple will continue to tackle emerging technologies, not established technologies like game consoles. My guess is that Apple will (1) expanded into portable, networked electronics that fill the gap between phone and laptop, and (2) try to do for the TV what they already did for music. They've already tried that with Apple TV. It hasn't taken off yet, but it's a step in the right direction.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890551)

Steve Jobs said he wanted Apple to be the new Sony, that is, to be the leader in consumer electronics. At the time, I thought Jobs was either out of it, or being typically grandiose. But over the past ten years, this is exactly what Apple has done.

Very good point. The reason Apple is kicking Sony's ass from hell to breakfast is precisely because Sony can't decide whether they're a hardware company or a content company. They're a house divided against itself; every time the hardware guys want to do something cool, the packaged-entertainment side of the company overrules them.

So, yeah, if Apple wants to be the next Sony, then buying EA is exactly what they'd do. And that would be great news for whatever startup is waiting in the wings to take Apple's place.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890943)

They don't want to be a 'me-too!' company by jumping into a market with a shiny white console when the console market is already saturated between the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Apple conquered a new market with the iPod and is a serious contender in the emerging smartphone market. Apple will continue to tackle emerging technologies, not established technologies like game consoles.

IF Apple is, or is thinking off, buying EA, in order to push for broader Mac support in forth coming video games; then I don't think it would be to "become a console". PCs (and by this I mean Computes Running Windows basically) are used for a lot of different tasks, many of them the same tasks done on Macs, however a computer have a large share of games made available as well (some also works on Macs; but for the most part Windows based clients are prioritized more than Macs). What I imagine Apple would want was for games to have full Mac support along the same lines as their Windows releases. This is wouldn't make a Mac a competitor to Consoles, but to gain equal footing with Microsoft when it comes to games running on a computer platform. Not to mention that the added benefit, IF the Windows/DirectX dominance of Computer Games is broken; it could help push for broader Linux support as well. In short, establishing standards for computer game code that cave broader support to different operating systems; could allow consumers in the distant future to eventually enjoy video games on the computer client, console, terminal, brain interface; of their choice.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891201)

True, games is a huge market, and one that Apple has missed out on. But Jobs' ego dictates that Apple is a technology leader, not a follower. They don't want to be a 'me-too!' company by jumping into a market with a shiny white console when the console market is already saturated between the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.

Why would buying EA mean they'd have to make a new console? Buying Emagic didn't result in new DSP chips from Apple. Apple doesn't want to be a "me too" company, but they do want to be the everything (done well) company. Apple would prefer it if there was no such thing as third-party developers, and they'd be willing to buy a company out if it had good products that could be molded into the Apple brand. Buying EA in order to get them to focus on iPhone development would very much be in Apple's style.

That written, I doubt a gaming company would be a good fit. Creating content is such a big leap from creating other types of software, especially in that it lacks predictability. It helps that EA has successful franchises, but I think Apple would need to believe the franchises were going to be successful for however long Apple put resources into updating and reinventing them. Without stability Apple wouldn't be able to turn the properties into a signature for them, and that's extremely important to Apple.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891413)

Would Apple really have money to buy EA?

Apple cut cut a check tomorrow without breaking a sweat. And I notice that they would have enough cash left over to also cut a check for Dell, which would make for an amusing day of shopping.

Re:What do you get combining Apple + gaming compan (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889691)

Well I think you'd at least get a high energy burst of gamma rays.

Again? (4, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888697)

How many rumours of Apple wanting to buy companies is Slashdot going to post this week?

Re:Again? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888941)

Maybe Apple are about to buy Slashdot?

Re:Again? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890101)

Maybe Apple are about to buy Slashdot?

They tried. They even sent Linus a Power Mac G5, but he won't budge. They sent Stallman some deodorant. Rookie move there!

On the other hand, they are making some headway against the Slashdot Vista Fan Club, and Windows 7 isn't going to get the cakewalk it was supposed to get after the first beta. I guess "Better Than Vista" isn't exactly high praise around here.

But to be sure, let me check with netcraft. Just a sec...

Ooh, it's not looking good for BSD!

Re:Again? (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889207)

I can't help but think about the Cramer video [google.com] where he talks about stock manipulation. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, skip right to around the 3 minute mark, where he's talking about calling reporters to start rumors.

Now maybe this rumor is legit, or maybe it's just someone's flight of fancy, but these days, whenever I hear completely unconfirmed and seemly baseless rumors like "Apple might buy [insert company here]," it makes me think of Jim Cramer.

Re:Again? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889737)

How many rumours of Apple wanting to buy companies is Slashdot going to post this week?

Several. Slashdot posts news and lots of news articles are speculating about Apple acquisitions. Market analysts look at Cisco and similar companies and watch them using some of their large cash reserves for acquisitions. They look at Apple and wonder who Apple will buy. They discuss and speculate and articles are written. Slashdot readers enjoy "what ifs" and they get lots of comments.

EA might, by the way, actually be a reasonable move for Apple. We all know MS bought up their fair share of game companies and how it has worked for them.

Re:Again? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890133)

EA might, by the way, actually be a reasonable move for Apple. We all know MS bought up their fair share of game companies and how it has worked for them.

Yeah, they got this small game that was being touted as a Mac exclusive just months before the acquisition. I think it was called "Halo".

Just imagine how different things would be today had Apple bought Bungie instead of MS.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891283)

Well, Halo wasn't a spectacularly original FPS. The big selling point was that it was a relatively good FPS for the Xbox. Without the Xbox, Halo wouldn't have become massively popular.

If Apple had bought Bungie, it would have hurt MS but it wouldn't do much good for Apple. People wouldn't buy a Mac to play Halo, but they might buy an Xbox instead of a PS2 to get Halo.

Re:Again? (1)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891597)

This one makes sense to me, though. There were rumors of Apple getting into the game console market, and I can believe it.

A combination of AppleTV and a game console could be a great home theater device if they pull it off correctly. An Xbox 360 currently plays games, streams Netflix rentals, plays video files and music off your home network, etc., and is really only being marketed as a video game system. If Apple could make a similar box, make the GUI a little more fluid, and market it as an all-in-one device (like they do with the iPhone -- "There's an app for that"), then they could break into the gaming market fairly easily.

Also consider that any Apple gaming console would probably be somewhat similar to Apple hardware. Anyone making a game for an Apple console could easily port it over to Macs, and with enough games you'll soon see gamers converting to Macs. Considering games are one of the few things holding people back from switching off Windows, this would help them break up Microsoft's monopoly on gamers.

Apple has proved with the App Store and iTunes that they can do downloadable content as good or better than anyone. I really do see Apple going into gaming as the next logical expansion of their business. It was really much more of a stretch for Microsoft to have entered the gaming market than it would be for Apple.

Would be nice if it were true... (3, Informative)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888713)

It would be really nice to see some quality EA titles for the Mac versus quick and sleazy ports - but it won't happen, and I am not saying that just because it's a rumor. Of course, if Apple really financially enticed EA to make titles for both PC and Mac - and *really* worked with developers to make games work on the Mac OS X platform to the levels of performance people come to expect from the PC only market - then EA could really make some money with games for the Mac.

Sadly, as it is right now - they are more than happy to let Aspyr hoover up the residuals making sadly ported versions of their games on the Mac platform.

Re:Would be nice if it were true... (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888935)

Might be good for linux gaming too...

Re:Would be nice if it were true... (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890649)

dunno why your moded funny, for a game to work on mac it has to use openGL, combine that with wine and most of the windows versions will run pretty well under wine.

Re:Would be nice if it were true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891949)

It wouldn't work. I've seen some of the in-house 3D stuff Apple's been working on, and there's lots of code like this:

glDrawArrays(GL_NON_FREE_TRIANGLE_STRIP, 0, 4);

Apple really doesn't want Linux to get anything.

Re:Would be nice if it were true... (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889051)

I remember the good ol days on the Apple II when a lot of the best games were EA. Skyfox was very nice, but there were literally dozens of others. Though they also had some of the most advanced copy protection on the market at the time. (19 clock cycles anyone?) So I wonder how that will fit in with today's DRM?

Apple has been wanting to make a solid break back into the gaming market for years, one of their main problems with switchers has long since been "but there aren't any games for mac are there?" Buying EA (or at least acquiring controlling interest) would easily be worth it to break that perception.

Re:Would be nice if it were true... (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889715)

It would just be nice to see some quality EA titles.

Re:Would be nice if it were true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890121)

Sims THREEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee

*crosses fingers*

Apple into gaming... (0)

Shark (78448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888763)

They could at last release the iWii! Oh this one was just aching to come out...

I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase EA (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888767)

It might be worth their while to buy a small stake in the company just to ensure that the blockbuster games get ported to Mac, but it wouldn't make much sense for them to buy the entire company. Although the gaming industry is getting bigger, I think it might be more beneficial for them to target the living room through something like their Apple TV. Otherwise they would need to release their own gaming console and even though they've got the money to burn, it's probably cost Microsoft some $8 billion just to get the point they're at now where they can start trying to make some of that back.

It would probably make more sense for them to negotiate some deals where content providers would allow Apple to rent TV shows to iTunes customers for a fraction of what they charge for a purchase and get Apple TVs into as many homes as possible. If they could work some kind of worldwide distribution as well they could easily target the huge market that Hulu leaves out due to regional restrictions.

Everyone seems to be spouting rumors about who Apple is going to acquire. I think someone saw how much coverage the Apple/Twitter buyout rumor got and decided that it'd be fun to garner a few additional hits to their blog or second rate news site. I think I'm going to go spin a rumor about Apple acquiring Adobe and pull in some ad revenue when other sites pick up the story and link to me. Of course, unlike all the other stories, this one is true. I have it on good authority from someone inside Apple and there's no reason I'd ever lie about that.

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889563)

It makes sense because not only can they ensure that major titles are made for the mac, but they can ensure that major titles are made ONLY for the mac.

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890345)

That would probably work if Apple had something like 50% of the market share. Otherwise you're just blowing tens of millions on a AAA game title that will only be able to move a few hundred thousand units because you simply don't have enough machines on which to run the games.

Apple can get a larger number of games for their system by just increasing their market share. They can't necessarily guarantee a significant increase in market share just from buying a gaming company. If they tried to make everything Mac exclusive it's likely that they'd end up with a bankrupt gaming company and not much market share to show for it.

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891505)

EA is already deep enough in the hole with their games not selling enough (they're currently posting LOSSES), limiting them to a platform that isn't bought for its gaming capabilities (and not suitable for gaming either AFAIK, don't consumer-grade Macs tend to have fairly shitty graphics cards?) would just be a disaster, yeah. Plus they'd be trying to sell gaming computers in an age where the average consumer (especially the kind who plays EA's super-mass-market games) prefers a console.

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (1)

shdowhawk (940841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889841)

The way I see it (and what i've been saying for a few years now) apple should get into gaming. Here is why.

1. Gaming now is all about graphics. Apple is already in the graphics market so it's a nice fit

2. This one is key: Games are one of the few things keeping windows alive. Most people keep upgrading because someones kids (or whoever is reading this) wants to play the latest and best games. Either way, you're pretty much locked into windows unless you're ok with playing older games ported to mac... or stuck with performance hits playing through wine, assuming it even works in wine/cadegra.

Here is the magic. If apple was able to come up with an opengl based "directx" like language, (specifically something NOT locked to apple) then Apple would in turn be seen as a hero for making games officially NOT locked to windows. Even if it's something that is coded to work in windows also (cross platform on linux / windows / unix) ... eventually the gamers would realize that linux / apple are much more efficient than windows... and linux is free. In doing this, apple doesn't just get some of the gaming market share, but more importantly, creates a massive hole in windows business market because hardcore gamers will not stick to windows (MANY people i've talked to all say that the only reason they still use windows, or have it on their machines at all is because of gaming). Same with hardcore gaming machines makers like the XPS, alienware, etc... they will be able to sell cheaper computers, and potentially more of them because they are now locked into windows contracts. Selling a computer for 100-200 dollars cheaper sounds great for the end user and great for the manufacturer for being able to have "more options".

In the end, it's not that apple would be making so much more money, it's that windows would be making less, thus opening up the market for more apple converts.

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890183)

1. Gaming now is all about graphics. Apple is already in the graphics market so it's a nice fit

Is that a joke? The only Apple offering with anything that could be called a high end graphics card is the Mac Pro. The rest of them are low end (Geforce 9400m) or low-middle range (Geforce 9600m GT, Geforce GT120/130). The Mac Pros are nice systems, but if all you're interested in is graphics/gaming performance you can do far, far, far better for your money building your own or even buying from another OEM.

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891365)

1. Gaming now is all about graphics. Apple is already in the graphics market

[citation needed]

Re:I'm not seeing the benefit for them to purchase (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891523)

Gaming now is all about graphics.

No, it was 3 years ago, now it's about motion controls and games that appeal to the average joe who hasn't been gaming before. Graphics are so advanced that the average customer just doesn't care enough about further increases, making the graphics better has about zero effect on sales (but an exponential increase on development costs) while pushing something like the Wii's motion controls is a MASSIVE advantage.

Gamers are going to be pissed! (2, Insightful)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888771)

let me ask, how many major independent game companies are there?

Re:Gamers are going to be pissed! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27888927)

None, EA Bought them all.

Re:Gamers are going to be pissed! (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891123)

Between EA and Vivendi/Activision-Blizzard(includes Sierra) [wikipedia.org] I don't think there are any independent game companies anymore.

Re:Gamers are going to be pissed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891701)

Valve

Re:Gamers are going to be pissed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27892071)

Majesco Entertainment (Cooking Mama is their bread n butter)

Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (0)

Piata (927858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888789)

I seem to recall an article on Slashdot about Apple eying Nintendo and that was just as humourous of an idea as this one.

There's a lot of stock/business analysts out there that have either drank too much Apple flavoured kool-aid or have no clue just how big the video game industry is. At least Pachter has a clue.

Re:Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (4, Informative)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889005)

How big the video game industry is? If you take 20 seconds to look it up you'd see that EA has a market cap of 6.49 billion vs Apple's market cap of 115.25 billion. Where do people keep getting the idea that EA is so big, they're literally a small fry compared to Apple.

Re:Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889093)

How big the video game industry is? If you take 20 seconds to look it up you'd see that EA has a market cap of 6.49 billion vs Apple's market cap of 115.25 billion. Where do people keep getting the idea that EA is so big, they're literally a small fry compared to Apple.

You mean they're figuratively a small fry compared to Apple. You should look up the meaning of literal.

Re:Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889297)

He means literal in the figurative sense.

Re:Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (1)

pxc (938367) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890269)

I think he meant "literally" in the sense of "actually", which is the third definition for the adverb on Dictionary.com.

Re:Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (1)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890503)

You might want to look up the meaning of 'small fry' too. The term literally was correctly applied.

Re:Remember when Apple was going to buy Nintendo? (1)

CheddarHead (811916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891541)

EA is a small, recently hatched fish?

How valuable is gaming to Apple's Ecosystem? (2, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888803)

Game developers are already writing apps for the iPhone/iPod touch.

However, Mac gaming is in a pretty sorry state.

There are also rumours that Apple will enable casual gaming on the AppleTV.

Having the #1 game developer would certain help boost Apple's gaming platforms. The question is, how much are they willing to pay to do so? Apple traditionally doesn't pay much for acquisitions, preferring to buy small companies with promising technologies.

Re:How valuable is gaming to Apple's Ecosystem? (1)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889049)

There are only three reasons I hear anymore for someone not purchasing a Mac. Price, specific software (AutoCad anyone?), and games. Only one of those three is both an impediment to the computer's usefulness and can in almost no way be remedied. I'd think that solving the most valid and objective argument one can generally have against buying an Apple computer would be something worth putting some major cash into.

Before anyone says anything I run XP in Boot Camp for gaming and it works wonderfully, but you have to admit it's not as elegant a solution as having the game run in your OS of choice.

Core Business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27888807)

It really doesn't seem like it would make sense for Apple to buy out EA. Apple sells Macs and iPods - complete software/hardware packages, in other words.

What do they get by buying EA?

It just doesn't make sense - it's not part of their core competency, not by a long shot.

Re:Core Business? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889771)

It really doesn't seem like it would make sense for Apple to buy out EA. Apple sells Macs and iPods - complete software/hardware packages, in other words.

What do they get by buying EA?

It just doesn't make sense - it's not part of their core competency, not by a long shot.

To answer your question: "To drive Mac sales."

Compared to the PC gaming market, the Mac gaming market is nearly non-existent, to the point where it's the largest reason for the people who actually buy high-end PCs to skip Mac.

Re:Core Business? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891575)

But they'd have to alter their hardware offerings too, currently you need a really expensive Mac to get decent gaming hardware because that's where the cheaper ones cut their costs the most. A significant part of the Mac userbase couldn't play games on their system if they wanted. Just forcing EA to put its games on the Mac wouldn't really work because the average customer would end up buying one of the cheaper Macs and find out too late that games run like crap on those. These customers prefer consoles for a reason. Buying EA only to appeal to high end PC users would be a massive waste of money, there aren't that many of those (AFAIK that's the biggest complaint of companies who make PC games, average PCs can't do gaming either and the number of high-end PCs is dwindling as more people just use consoles).

Re:Core Business? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891883)

While I mentioned just the high end before, I keep forgetting that EA includes Maxis, whose products target the mainstream.

Products such as The Sims, Spore, etc...

Re:Core Business? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889861)

What do they get by buying EA?

A major games software firm to help them sell their new Apple games console.

Apple is very good at selling easy to use hardware to consumers. A games console/media center box fits in with their strategy.

They already have a marketplace to sell the games from.

Can apple afford it (-1, Troll)

googlesmith123 (1546733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888867)

Is apple actually big enough to afford to buy EA?

Re:Can apple afford it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889055)

Yea, Apple could Make an offer that EA couldn't refuse or they could buy the currently hurting EA. Seriously, EA as an acquisition prospect is huge. Even in a buy and sell off the pieces prospect. EA has so many titles in their storage. They could Keep every good programmer in the world busy for two years.

If Apple owned this platform it could give the Mac OS a huge boost in the coming years as a Gaming OS.

The only thing here is a notation of deciding if Apple really needs a gaming studio? Does it fit core values? What kind of Value could apple derive from such a large list of gaming titles?

Could they ultimately become a premier gaming provider for consoles? Would this give them power over Microsoft to Open up development of XNA tools to Apple OS?

Re:Can apple afford it (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889277)

A commenter above indicates that they could pay cash. Twice.

No, no they are not. (1)

barfy (256323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889061)

If they need to do anything, it would be a manufacturing fab. Or it would be a chip designer or manufacturer, or screen company. But none of these things are really necessary to lower the parts cost, increase revenue, or increase profit.

But they really don't need to buy a games company. They make plenty from the apps store, and the games company is making plenty from the game. They are both happy.

Re:No, no they are not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889293)

Another issue is they may make the same mistake 3dfx made when they bought that STB Technologies which ended up alienating their other OEMs into siding with the competition because 3dfx had a stake in protecting its own.

In that sort of way with EA fully acquired by Apple less developers may create apps for the store and platform because of the monolithic developer Apple will have and Apple may start even having to eliminate gaming apps because they may cut in on their own.

I suppose you can also say Sony Entertainment made the same mistake by acquiring a stake in one too many studios when they already had an established base of independent developers.

A company having their own ecosystem is great as long as they don't already have an established indie base that would run at the first sign of favoritism.

Buy a gaming company, but not EA (1)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889165)

Or at least not only EA. My reason is simple, EA doesn't make Mac games. They make PC games and then shove them into Transgaming's Cider, which is great for productivity and justifying the cost of delivering a Mac version to the market but not so great for making games which run as fast and as bug-free as they can. If they're going to buy a company outright I'd like to see Apple buy a smaller but established company who specializes at least at some level in making or porting games to the platform and then buy franchises and the talent to go along with those titles from other companies to jump-start their gaming division.

Of course, maybe a better solution to the lack of gaming problem would be to subsidize or incentivize game publishing on the platform, but I pay little attention to the details of these things and have no idea what the best first step would be.

Re:Buy a gaming company, but not EA (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889473)

Or at least not only EA. My reason is simple, EA doesn't make Mac games. They make PC games ...

And you think that wouldn't change if Apple bought them?

Re:Buy a gaming company, but not EA (1)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890073)

My point being it wouldn't be worth it for Apple to buy the whole company outright essentially for a few core creative people, gaming marketing people, some intellectual property, and a few multiplayer servers. Everything else Apple already has or would need to build from scratch in order to make full-fledged Mac games. I don't think this company, which likes simplicity enough to have a grand total of six computer models, would waste that much money in severance packages or get into the windows game development business simply to buy their way into more Mac games.

Netbook (1, Informative)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889211)

How do you fend of the netbook challenge, which Apple doesn't have a product in? Make sure that CPU heavy games and other applications run on your platform, but not on a netbook. Then your choice is between a netbook, or spending another $500 on a MacBook that also runs $GAME.

And even if they had a netbook product, the margins would be low and perhaps cannibalize other higher end products. I'm not sure that they want one.

I think Apple has a small problem. Now that they have finally switched over to a performance delivering CPU architecture, the market is starting to discover it doesn't really need that much CPU and is looking at tinier and tinier platforms. They came a little late to the performance party, when it's starting to lose it's relevance and portability (and price) are starting to dominate as the deciding factors. So Apple needs to make sure that you still want performance-demanding applications, games included, so people continue to have a reason to buy desktops and even laptops.

Seriously, I work in front of a computer all day, and the only application I ever open is my browser--it has my email, my calendar, my documents, and my chat client. Also, my workflow manager. I also sometimes use a terminal window. I could seriously work all day in the computer business on a smartphone--except for the screen and less, the keyboard--both of which could be fixed by a smart docking solution.

Once in a great while I open a PDF reader, and about once a month I need to open Word or Excel--and only cause my collaborators are behind the curve and not using an online document system.

But if all I need is a browser, then really all I need is a smartphone or a netbook, and for convenience a dock to a monitor and a full size keyboard. I don't need a Mac to do that, which has got to be keeping Apple up at night.

Now, Postulate This... (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889383)

What if Apple buys EA, ports all current titles, and then kills off the Windows versions of those titles, and does not offer Windows (or Linux) versions of any new titles? This would be similar to what Apple did when they acquired the DAW company, Logic. And Apple, with $20 bil. in the bank and no long-term debt, could easily afford to kiss-off the revenue from the Windows versions of EA titles.

Apple could, in one master stroke, change from the underdog to the top dog, as far as gaming goes.

And with EA's share of the overall gaming market, smaller game developers would soon be falling all over themselves to offer Mac versions of their games, too.

That's exactly the kind of game-changing (pun intended) move that Apple is deservedly famous for...

And who's to say that Apple hasn't been secretly developing a killer game framework, ala DirectX?

Discuss.

Re:Now, Postulate This... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889573)

EA may be a big publisher, but they aren't amazing. You are also assuming that when apple does that people will automatically buy apples to play EA games.

Most of EA's moneymakers are licensed titles, IE every year a new sports game, alot of movie/cartoon/book licenses etc.

If they stop developing for PC, that means the licenses for the PC section are available. Meaning a competitor of EA could pick it up and develop games under that license for the PC.

Re:Now, Postulate This... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890197)

And who's to say that Santa Claus won't perform a striptease in the Oval Office? I can pull ridiculous suppositions out of my ass, too.

Look at the worth of EA versus the worth of Apple. Look at the simple fact that Parallels exists. Apple doesn't need to give a shit about the computer gaming industry.

Look at the size of the computer gaming industry vs. the console gaming industry.

Look at the difference in price between Apple's computers and their iPods and iPhones. Look at their shares of the computer market and hand-held media device markets.

If Apple gets into gaming, they're not going to fuck around with trying to move more desktops: they're going to cannonball straight into the console arena. Simpler, cheaper machines are a lot easier to sell in mass quantities, and consumers are a lot more likely to buy replacements or new models when they wear out in a couple of years. A console is also the perfect platform for locking consumers in. Sure you can manually upload MP3s to your iPod, or jailbreak your iPhone, but what big-name developer is going to risk pissing Apple off by sidestepping their licensing program?

Re:Now, Postulate This... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891667)

EA is already unprofitable, if you cut their market down more that's going to get worse. In a worst case I could see something on the level of the XBox disaster in addition to the acquisition costs. The result could easily eat half of those 20 billion dollars.

One of the reasons EA is so big is that you can get their games on any platform that plays games, there's almost no hardware hurdle. If you change that you change EA's size.

Re:Now, Postulate This... (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892161)

What if Apple buys EA, ports all current titles, and then kills off the Windows versions of those titles, and does not offer Windows (or Linux) versions of any new titles?

I imagine the stockholders would be pissed that Apple took a very successful video game company and turned it into a money pit.

Get EA & music (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889451)

Apple can buy up EA and make a deal with Sony to not make games for MS based consoles in return for a sweet deal on Sony's music. Then they get the best of everything.

They get games, music and can fuck over a rival in the PC and console gaming market.

If they bought EA and quit making PC games and started making Mac games that would give them a huge advantage and really screw MS over with consumers.

Re:Get EA & music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889485)

I am sure the M$ shills that inhabit the DoJ and FTC would have a field day with that move.

Apple buying EA would only add redundant assets that would hurt their position in attracting developers in the long run.

Apple needs much better gameing hardware at a bett (-1, Troll)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889593)

Apple needs much better gameing hardware at a better price the mac pro is joke and comes with a very week video card for it's price and the video card upgrades are a rip of as well. ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB [Add $200.00] on top of the base NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB at $150.00 makeing it 200+150 = 350 for a 4870 512???.

also the imacs at $1,199.00 and $1,499.00 used to come with a better video card now they come with the week 9400m Also the $1,799.00 needs to have much better then a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB.

The mac pro should be about $1000 less with x2 the ram and better base video.

The mini at $800 should have it's own video card as well with 2-4gb of system ram.

Re:Apple needs much better gameing hardware at a b (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889783)

Apple needs much better gameing hardware at a better price the mac pro is joke and comes with a very week video card for it's price and the video card upgrades are a rip of as well. ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB [Add $200.00] on top of the base NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB at $150.00 makeing it 200+150 = 350 for a 4870 512???. also the imacs at $1,199.00 and $1,499.00 used to come with a better video card now they come with the week 9400m Also the $1,799.00 needs to have much better then a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB. The mac pro should be about $1000 less with x2 the ram and better base video. The mini at $800 should have it's own video card as well with 2-4gb of system ram.

This is a complete non-sequitur to the question as to whether Apple should purchase EA.

And your whining about the Mac Pro (which is decidedly NOT aimed at "gamers") and its list price is just gratuitous Apple-bashing, for Apple-bashing's sake.

Except for the Mac mini growing some sort of ridiculously high-end video card (due to size and cooling constraints), all of your issues can be easily addressed. Plus, you do realize that only about .000005% of the PC gaming market even plays into the "must-have-fastest-hardware" idiocy, don't you?

Re:Apple needs much better gameing hardware at a b (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889887)

but apple can do better then 9400m that uses system ram and at least put a 9500 / 9600 in the $800 mini and the $1200 and up imac should have at least a 9600 level video card with 256 or more. I am not talking about high end video cards. I am talking about being more in line with other pc systems.

Re:Apple needs much better gameing hardware at a b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889957)

You seem to think gaming performance is the only metric to measure a computer by. It's a joke that anyone would buy a Mac Pro for the purpose of gaming.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but in the professional world, workstation hardware is the cheap part. If an engineer, scientist, or programmer is more efficient on a $4,000 Mac Pro, they're probably going to save your company more than that in the end product, possibly the cost difference just on their salary vs. personal time savings, plus happy workers are more likely to stick around, and we all know hiring and training a new person is more costly than retaining someone proven.

Plus, you neglect the potential abilities a Mac Pro has that a commodity gaming computer will never have (they're server hardware, not desktop user hardware).

I agree, if Apple were to shift focus towards gaming they would have to sell a box tailored towards gaming, but even then, they would be more likely to target game requirements towards their machines available than making people incrementally upgrade. It would be a mouse and keyboard desktop gaming console, because worrying about requirements is a PC thing to do, and not user friendly Apple.

pro users have been asking for a $1000 - $1500 tow (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890773)

pro users have been asking for a $1000 - $1500 tower like apple had in the g4 / g5 days and what do they get a system that is about $1000 more then that you can get with a pc that will have x2 the ram and a better base video card that does not need a $30 $100 add on just to use 2 screens. Also a gaming console will not work they need a gameing desktop. gaming consoles are to limited for most gamers and cut out free games / open software.

Also apple needs to have better laptop prices and (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889645)

Also apple needs to have better laptop prices and video cards $2000 for a 9600M GT with 256MB with 15" screen and $2,799.00 9600M GT with 512MB with 17" screen. Come on there maybe laptops that are good for gameing at $1000 and up.

Even some with 17" mate, blue ray, ati 4850 512, p9500, e-sata, hdmi and more for about $1600.

Warner Music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889677)

Why one earth would Apple invest in a dying industry rather than a growth one? Warner Music would be a terrible move. Just ask Citi Group and Terra Firma.

wtf is up with all these apple might buy X rumors (1)

dargon (105684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889707)

It's a load of horse manure, plain and simple, and it's not news. Now when Apple does buy someone, then it's news, but till then it's not and it doesn't matter.

Re:wtf is up with all these apple might buy X rumo (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890059)

Apple has lots (I mean LOTS) of money on their account and now in current money markets situation, there might come good deals... but everyone is hoping Apple would buy a company "X" to profit etc.

Just stypid rumors...

More retarded rumors (1)

akatsukix (1289280) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889875)

Why not start some more: Apple - Tesla or worse, Apple - Chrysler Apple - Somalia Apple - MS Apple- Slashdot Apple - The GOP

Oh no! (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890029)

If Apple aquires the EA, we end up having games where you have one button middle of the screen what allows you to shoot or jump.
All the graphics are white/chrome/black combinations and starts with i. Like iGame, iLike, iSports, iFPS, iRTS.

But games quality rises like a phoenix from ashes. That would be the only good point...

Got to love slashdot (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890227)

We get a totally unstubstantiated rumor and then that is speculated upon by what would be a even more unlikely.

Apple buying EA. Okay, the idea behind that would make some sense. After all MS has been selling of its gaming companies and Sony is doing so well owning both hardware and media... on which note, what idiot then goes on to claim buying Warner is a better idea? Because it is cheaper? EA would give Apple games for its hardware, of course EA already puts a lot of its games on the mac so the advantage is not that great but still. But what would be gained by owning a music company? Does it help Sony sell PS3's? Nope.

Speculation is fun, but try to at least think of a reason why Apple should buy something. A better reason then because it is cheaper then buying something else.

Warner Music (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890303)

But the whole pricing fighting thing coming from the record industry is really helping Apple's credibility! Seriously, if it was Apple raising prices they'd have questions to deal with... No one likes the record industry but they have the best PR people in the world on their side generating good will(except perhaps the movie industry). Apple really needs something like the Kindle, perhaps a device that passively searches for wireless points when the user requests a song. Android of course is full of the potential for such things but there are other reasons Apple's fighting Google on that front.

Meh, music is close enough to on demand... more important right now is the lack of anything to listen to. Downloaded 5 top 100 compilations from various music critics, there's some interesting stuff going on in rap with Santogold, M.I.A. etc, but the whole genre is in danger of getting played out.

Apple + EA = (1)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890603)

Wii and iPhone/iPod only games!

Just like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890707)

Yeah I heard something like this while back. Supposedly all the big console companies were thinking of buying up their own studios and divvying up the market. Nintendo was going to buy Capcom, Sony was gonna get Square, and Microsoft was going to get EA. Strange how that never came to fruition.
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