According to a new report from The New York Times, Electronic Arts has entered into multiple unsuccessful talks with Valve over the years in an attempt to acquire both the company and its popular digital distribution service, Steam.
Citing two unnamed sources “with knowledge of the discussion”, the report claims that EA was prepared to offer upwards of $1 billion for Valve, but talks never “progressed that far.” The sources did not mention exactly when, or how many times, Electronic Arts offered to purchase the company.
As a private company, Valve‘s exact worth is not public knowledge. However, Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter estimates that the company would be valued around $2.5 billion, if acquisition talks were being held today.
Valve‘s co-founder Gabe Newell would not confirm that any talks were held with EA, but did state that the company would “disintegrate” before it would ever be sold. Newell then added:
“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,’ ”
While the report can not be confirmed, EA did enter into the PC digital distribution business with Origin in 2011. It makes sense that they would have first sought to simply buy their way into the business through Steam, before going to all the trouble to set up their own system.
Whatever your opinion of Steam, I think we can all agree that we are all far better off with Valve running the show, rather than EA.