News Corp., the media giant built by Rupert Murdoch is reportedly looking to get into the games business.
The FT is running a story today that Peter Chernin, News Corp. chief operating officer, told a conference in Phoenix, Arizona that they were “kicking the tires of pretty much all video games companies,” as “We see as a big business and would like to get into it.”
Normally used to buying huge companies like Fox, News Corp is clearly looking for the best value company, but finding a big disparity between the largest, Electronics Arts (EA), and the rest of the video games companies. “We are struggling with the gap between companies like Electronic Arts, which come with a high price tag, and the next tier of companies. These may be too focused on one or two product lines.” Chernin said.
There are many reasons why a move into gaming would make sense for News Corp. Numerous studies have shown that people, particularly the young, are moving away from watching television to play video games and the next generation of Set Top Boxes (STB’s) have considerable power. Using News Corps. satellite distribution platform, such as Sky and DirecTV, to distribute games to these STBs makes total sense.
We imagine there is a state of confusion at EA, if not the whole of the games industry, switching between a state of high excitement and nervousness. As the many corporate corpses that litter in the trail of News Corp. attest to, when they do it, they do it big.