Angry Birds developer Rovio turned down a $2.25 billion takeover bid from social gaming giant Zynga earlier this year, according to The New York Times.
Citing three sources close to the scrapped deal, the report claimed that the proposed bid was made up of both cash and stock options.
The Farmville creator was also apparently knocked back by Bejewelled/Plants vs. Zombies developer PopCap. Sources claimed Zynga offered $950 million in cash, but PopCap walked over concerns about the company's reputation, "after hearing rumors of the company's rescinding share awards and fierce internal competition".
It eventually went with EA in a deal thought to be worth around $1.3 billion, dependent on future earnings targets being met.
The New York Times piece alleges an intense, highly competitive office culture at Zynga with employees expected to work long hours under constant surveillance from upper management. Those under-performing are reportedly weeded out.
The report suggested that the oppressive atmosphere is putting off both potential investors and young Silicon Valley talent, jeopardising the outfit's future growth.
"Zynga should be an example of entrepreneurship at its best," commented Roger McNamee, co-founder of venture capital firm Elevation Partners.
"Instead it's going to be a Harvard Business School case study on founder overreach - this will be a cautionary tale."
Zynga declined to comment.