If someone buys them, it will be to turn it into a cloud based gaming company. T, VZ and a few others are looking into starting a cloud based gaming service to add to their internet and cable services. Although, this is strictly speculative and I think a buy out is highly unlikely to happen as these ideas are usually forwarded by deeply underwater bagholders hoping for that Hail Mary play that will save their lost position.
Google, if they were in the entertainment business. Microsoft and Apple no, the conflict wouldn't work out. Private equity is the only way to go. This downward on no news heading into their strongest quarter recent activity is looking like buyout action.
A shame, EA is going to be printing their own money Q4 2013 after the next gen consoles are out, Origin is matured and digital, mobile and social have all settled down into a measurable metric. This PFF drum that is being pounded is a fad and ridiculous. Unless people want really poor games for their $600 consoles with the ability to do amazing things, studios are still going to have to spend $100 million+ on development. What? Then hope that micro-transactions make up for a profit?! If PPF is undoubtedly the future then it is merely the re-branding of DEMO. The $100 million game will be so striped down that it will just give a taste of what you can get if you spend the required $45 in game. Same-Same to me. MM are being led around by the nose by a bunch of fools. The "$60 game" is not going away... thank God.
You buy companies for future revenue streams. However, look at EAs history. Declining revenues and development houses where the top talent has moved on. I see EA possibly ending up as the GM of videogames lol, without a bailout.
By the way Origin is poor compared to Steam and I doubt EA will be able to get many publishers outside their own to list their games there. The $60 game will still be there, you're right, but indie devs will continue to grow via digital distribution. The thing about indie devs is that they can innovate and profit much more easily than EA can. EAs $100 millon blockbusters are bland and generic, whereas indie devs may be more restricted and this can lead to some games where they do a few things REALLY well. You know, innovate.