Many people incorrectly believe that Electronic Arts' ownership of Origin and its franchises (Wing Commander, Ultima, Cybermage, etc.) is a recent development; in fact, the sale occured on September 10th, 1992. It was Electronic Arts' money that made most of the classic Wing Commander games possible - including Privateer, Academy, Armada, Super Wing Commander, Wing Commander III, IV, Prophecy and Secret Ops. Here's the original press release, which expands upon the specific financial details of the sale:
Electronic Arts to Buy Origin Systems
SAN MATEO, Calif. (UPI) -- Electronic Arts said Thursday it has agreed to buy interactive video game producer Origin Systems Inc. in a stock-swap deal for $35 million.
Electronic Arts said it will exchange 1.3 million shares for all outstanding securities of Origin, of Austin, Texas.
Origin was founded in 1983 by Robert and Richard Garriott to capitalize on the popularity of Richard Garriott's Ultima series of fantasy role-playing games. It currently has 160 employees and has published more than 30 titles for home computers and compact discs.
Origin posted pre-tax profits of $3.2 million on sales of $13 million in its fiscal year ended Feb. 28. Its ``Ultima VII: The Black Gate'' is currently on best-seller lists of software retailers.
Origin will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary and Robert Garriott, president and chief executive officer of Origin, will continue in this role and become a vice president of Electronic Arts. Richard Garriott, senior vice president/creative director of Origin, will continue in this role and become an executive producer of Electronic Arts.