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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Electronic Arts in $855m purchase
EA's Fifa 2005 game
EA is the world's largest computer games publisher
US games giant Electronic Arts (EA) is to buy two video game studios for $855m (422m) in a deal adding role-playing and action titles to its portfolio.

EA is the world's biggest games publisher and will now acquire Bioware and Pandemic Studios.

They are private firms that have been partners since a 2005 deal brought them together in VG Holding, a deal backed by private equity firm Elevation.

The buy is the biggest ever for EA, known for its Sims and Madden games.

EA says it plans to release four or five games a year from the new studios in each of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 financial years.

Bioware is the maker of a series of critically acclaimed and best-selling role-playing games, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Baldur's Gate series.

Meanwhile, its science fiction game Mass Effect is being published next month by Microsoft.

And the Pandemic team makes action games such as Mercenaries, Star Wars Battlefront and Full Spectrum Warrior.

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