There may have been a bit of drama between Electronic Arts and Valve in recent months, but a new report says that EA was actually in talks to buy out Valve.
The report comes from The New York Times, which says that anonymous sources claim that Electronic Arts was in very early stages of talks with Valve to buy out the company. The sources figure that, had the talks not fallen through, EA would have valued Valve somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion.
Valve owner Gabe Newell keeps his company’s financials close to the chest, so it isn’t known exactly how much the company is worth. However, Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter estimates that Valve’s worth $2.5 billion today which, considering the massive popularity of Steam, doesn’t sound far-fetched in the least.
Lest you worry too much over the idea of Valve being bought out, it doesn’t seem likely that Newell will be willing to sell off his company anytime soon. He said that it’s far more likely that the company would fall apart than it would be for the company to be sold off.
“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,’” Newell said.
The $1 billion estimate seems a bit too conservative when you look at Steam’s current success, so it sounds like these talks happened at a point earlier on in the company’s history–before EA decided to jump into the digital distribution space as a competitor.