Mergers and acquisitions in the gaming industry have been a significant trend in recent years, with many of them being worth billions of dollars. This has led to a consolidation of the industry, with fewer companies owning a larger share of the market.
One of the most notable deals in the gaming industry is Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which is worth more than 15 other major deals combined. This acquisition has made Xbox Game Studios an enviable force in the gaming industry, with 23 studios developing Xbox Series X exclusive games.
Microsoft has made a significant investment in the gaming industry and has acquired several other gaming companies.
In September 2020, Microsoft announced the acquisition of the video game holding company ZeniMax for $7.5 billion. This deal made Microsoft the owner of ZeniMax-owned id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks, as well as publisher Bethesda Softworks with its Bethesda Game Studios and ZeniMax Online Studios.
Microsoft acquired the Swedish Minecraft studio Mojang for $2.5bn in 2014, which was also one of the largest gaming deals. The Crunchbase data show the tech giant has made one-fifth of all the biggest gaming deals so far.
The data also shows that 2021 and 2022 were particularly active years for gaming mergers and acquisitions. Almost half of all the largest deals happened in these two years.
In January 2022, the two biggest gaming acquisitions ever happened within barely a week of each other. A week before Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive announced its purchase of social gaming company Zynga. The $12.7bn worth of acquisition ranked as the second-largest deal ever in the gaming industry.
The same month, Bungie was acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment for $3.6bn.
Statistics show that 2021 saw four gaming deals that ranked on this list. In February, Glu Mobile was purchased by Electronic Arts for $2.1bn.
A month later, Nuverse acquired Moonton for $4bn. By the end of the year, Netmarble purchased Spinx games for $2.2bn, while Embracer Group acquired Asmodee for $2.8bn.
The total value of these four deals was $11.1bn, or eight times less than the two mega gaming deals made in 2022.
Overall, the gaming industry has seen a lot of M&A activity in recent years, with many of the deals being worth billions of dollars. The industry has become more consolidated as a result, with a few large companies owning a significant share of the market. Microsoft has been particularly active in the M&A space, making several large acquisitions, including Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, Mojang, and Xbox Game Studios. The trend of M&A in the gaming industry is likely to continue in the future.