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EA acquires Glu Mobile in $2.1 billion deal – GamesIndustry.biz

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Electronic Arts today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Glu Mobile for $2.1 billion in enterprise value.

The deal would see Glu shareholders receive $12.50 for each share of Glu stock, a 36% premium to the company’s closing price last Friday. The equity value of the offering is $2.4 billion, but Glu holds $364 million in net cash.

“Our acquisition of Glu combines amazing teams and deeply-engaging products to create a mobile games leader with proven expertise across many fast-growing genres,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson.

“Mobile continues to grow as the biggest gaming platform in the world, and with the addition of Glu’s games and talent, we’re doubling the size of our mobile business. With a deep IP portfolio and an expanding global audience, we’ll deliver more exciting experiences for our players and drive further growth for Electronic Arts.”

EA has said it expects the deal to grow underlying profitability in its first year, adding more than 15 Glu live services that combined to bring in $544 million in bookings over the last year. By comparison, EA’s mobile titles brought in $779 million combined over the same time frame.

Glu’s library of games includes Covet Fashion, Deer Hunter, Design Home, Diner Dash, Disney Sorcerer’s Arena, MLB Tap Sports Baseball, and Kim Kardashian Hollywood.

Glu employs nearly 800 people — 500 of them developers — with offices in San Francisco, Foster City, Toronto and Hyderabad.

In explaining the move, EA said that its successful products and Glu’s are complimentary, creating a demographically diverse audience and covering the largest mobile game genres. It also noted the opportunity to combine “Glu’s expertise in building and monetizing sports and casual mobile games” with “Electronic Arts’ industry-leading IP in sports and beyond.”

Pending shareholder and regulatory approvals, EA expects the acquisition to close during the quarter ending June 31.

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Apple faces antitrust probe in the UK over its Apple Store rules – CNBC

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A person holds a smartphone in front of ‘Available on the App Store’ words and the Apple logo.
Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

LONDON — The U.K.’s competition regulator on Thursday launched an antitrust investigation into Apple.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it would investigate Apple over complaints from software developers about the tech giant’s App Store.

Apple only lets developers release iPhone and iPad apps through its iOS smartphone platform. The firm has a rigorous approval process for iOS apps and has faced criticism about a 30% fee it charges on in-app transactions.

“Millions of us use apps every day to check the weather, play a game or order a takeaway,” said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA.

“Complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice — potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps — warrant careful scrutiny.”

Britain’s competition probe into Apple follows similar moves from the European Union. Last year, the EU Commission launched antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store rules and its Apple Pay mobile wallet. The CMA said it would continue to coordinate closely with the EU and other regulators, despite Britain having formally left the bloc last year.

An Apple spokesperson said the firm would work with the CMA to address its concerns.

“We believe in thriving and competitive markets where any great idea can flourish,” the spokesperson said.

“The App Store has been an engine of success for app developers, in part because of the rigorous standards we have in place — applied fairly and equally to all developers — to protect customers from malware and to prevent rampant data collection without their consent.”

Big Tech clampdown

Large U.S. tech companies are facing mounting antitrust scrutiny from regulators around the world. The EU is looking to clamp down on Big Tech with sweeping digital markets and services reforms. The U.K., meanwhile, has plans of its own to introduce new digital rules.

Epic Games, creator of the popular video game Fortnite, has been particularly vocal in its criticism of Apple. Epic claims the iPhone maker’s App Store rules are anti-competitive and has particularly taken issue with the 30% cut that Apple takes from developers for in-app purchases.

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Report: New Nintendo Switch With 4K Output, OLED Screen Will Release Before Christmas – Kotaku

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Image: Nintendo

Last year, Bloomberg reported that a new model of the Nintendo Switch would be out sometime in 2021. Today, they’re reporting some more specific details, like the size of the screen and some 4K news.

The original report was very light on details, saying only that Nintendo “has looked into including more computing power and 4K high-definition graphics”, but that has now been clarified to say that this new model will feature an OLED screen made by Samsung, which will be seven inches across (current Switch models are 6.2 and 5.5 inches for the regular and Lite respectively) and feature a 720p resolution.

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It will also, perhaps even more importantly, output 4K visuals when connected to a TV, which will make for one hell of a resolution change when switching between docked and handheld mode.

Bloomberg’s report says production on the new screens will commence in June, with the “displays slated for shipment to assemblers around July”, meaning this new model would be ready “in time for the holidays”.

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Nintendo reportedly plans to release new Switch with larger Samsung OLED display – MobileSyrup

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It seems there might be at least some level of truth to rumours that Nintendo is working on a new version of the Switch.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, the company plans to release a new version of the Switch with a larger display in time for the 2021 holiday season.

This time around the console’s 7-inch, 720p display will be OLED and manufactured by Samsung Display. Bloomberg says that the displays are set to ship in July to the various companies that assemble the Switch.

Making the jump to OLED would give the Switch better battery life and likely improve the screen’s contrast ratio. The current version of the Switch features a 6.2-inch LCD screen, while the Switch Lite’s LCD display measures in at 5.5-inches.

Though the current Switch’s LCD screen is passable, moving to a Samsung panel would almost certainly improve its overall picture quality given the South Korean company’s prowess in the TV and smartphone display space.

The report also mentions that this new version of the Switch will be capable of outputting 4K visuals to a television, hinting that at least its dock will feature a faster processor. While interesting, this could potentially splinter the Switch’s installed base and result in few developers taking advantage of the increased graphical power, similar to the 3DS and the New 3DS.

It’s unclear if anything else about the actual Switch console will change beyond the larger screen and the 4K output. Though the Switch continues to sell well and recently hit 79.87 million consoles sold as of February 1st, it faces stiff competition from Microsoft’s more recent Xbox Series X/S and Sony’s PlayStation 5.

This could be an effort on Nintendo’s part to build excitement surrounding the home console-portable hybrid system while moving into the holiday season.

However, Shuntaro Furukawa, the Japanese gaming giant’s president, recently stated that Nintendo has no plans to announce a new version of the Switch “anytime soon.”

Last year The Wall Street Journal reported that Nintendo was working on two Switch models, the Switch Lite and the Switch Pro. Though the Switch Lite eventually released, the company has repeatedly denied a more powerful Switch is on the way.

According to previous rumours, the upgraded version of the Switch features a more powerful processor, an improved design and possibly a dock with built-in hardware.

Source: Bloomberg

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