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EA Completes BioWare/Pandemic Acquisition

by Rainier on Jan. 7, 2008 @ 5:52 a.m. PST

EA announced that it has completed its acquisition of VG Holding Corp. and has officially welcomed BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios to the EA Games Label, vaulting EA into a competitive position in the RPG, action and adventure genres.

Frank Gibeau, president of the EA Games Label, will oversee the studios within his organization. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk of BioWare Corp. have each been named as Vice Presidents of EA and Co-General Managers of BioWare Corp. Pandemic Studios’ Andrew Goldman and Josh Resnick have each been named Vice Presidents of EA and Co-General Managers of Pandemic Studios, while Greg Borrud has been named Vice President of EA and Chief Production Officer of Pandemic Studios.

“BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios are two world-class studios and bring strong, highly compatible cultures of creative excellence to the EA Games Label,” said Mr. Gibeau. “Their strengths in the RPG, action and adventure genres further broadens EA’s portfolio, and reinforces our commitment to creating the world’s greatest interactive entertainment.”

“Our new EA partnership is already proving to be both positive and productive,” said Mr. Resnick. “Pandemic Studios prides itself upon its creative independence while being the best place for top industry talent to work. These values continue to be upheld by all levels of EA and we couldn’t be more excited about the future of our studio and our games.”

Mr. Muzyka added, “EA has shown great respect for the creative integrity of our studios and BioWare’s core values of quality in our workplace, quality in our products, and entrepreneurship. Operating as a city-state within the larger EA studio family, our talented teams at BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Austin are empowered to continue delivering powerful emotional experiences through our story-driven games.”

In connection with the acquisition, EA will issue equity awards without stockholder approval pursuant to NASDAQ Marketplace Rules 4350(i)(1)(A)(iii) and (iv). These equity awards, which EA had agreed to grant at the time it announced the acquisition of VG Holding Corp., will consist of promissory notes payable in shares and restricted stock units, or “RSUs,” with respect to an aggregate of approximately 2.8 million shares of EA’s common stock and will be granted as retention incentives to five employee founders of BioWare and Pandemic. Approximately 2.1 million of the 2.8 million shares underlying the promissory notes and RSUs will vest over time, provided that, among other things, the respective recipient continues to be an employee or service provider to EA (or one of its subsidiaries) through each applicable vesting date. Approximately 700,000 of the remaining RSUs vest based upon the achievement of enumerated performance objectives tied to the release of new products, provided that, among other things, the respective recipient continues to be an employee or service provider to EA (or one of its subsidiaries). EA also assumed outstanding VGH stock options to acquire, on an as-converted basis, approximately 1.2 million shares of EA stock, which are widely-held by employees of VG Holding Corp., BioWare and Pandemic.

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