The total number of gaming acquisitions and mergers has gone up drastically since last year. This is because more people are playing games, be it On PC or mobile. The pandemic ushered a new phase of the gaming revolution across the globe. The more the global players count, the more profit the gaming companies make. As a result, top gaming companies worldwide are out there, looking for possible expansion options. The gaming mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of this year have surpassed even last year’s total. Companies like Microsoft and Tencent are setting records in terms of acquisition deals. Tencent already owns dozens of gaming firms and developer studios. Many gaming experts have projected that this number of acquisitions will only go up from here.
List Of Gaming Acquisitions
Gaming acquisitions occur when a big company sets out to acquire small developer studios to expand. Big companies are always on the lookout for increasing their market capitalization. Thus by acquiring other gaming studios, these companies can spread their market influence far and wide. As a result, there were plenty of acquisition deals signed in the first quarter of this year.
There has been a total of $10.5 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter itself. Around 75 deals were involved in the first quarter period, which is double that of last year. Also, there was a total investment of $18.7 billion in this year alone. The above figures are from the opening numbers of the first quarter. In total, there have been over 280 announced merger and acquisitions deals. Multiple deals that were announced last year were finally closed. Several other deals were made during the first quarter itself.
Last year’s showrunners Tencent, Embracer Group, EA, and ByteDance, continued to run the market. Microsoft participated in the second-highest acquisition deal of gaming history by acquiring Bethesda. This deal is yet to be fully completed but is well on the verge of realization. In addition, many other investors took an interest in several small and big gaming studios. A total of $39 billion worth of acquisitions were made over the 280 deals in the first quarter of 2021. The number of the same period last year was $33 billion.
Microsoft Acquisition of ZeniMax
Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, was dragging on from last year. When Microsoft announced the acquisition, it made quite an uproar, given the acquisition amount. The acquisition deal was finally fixed at $7.5 billion, supposedly the second-highest in gaming acquisition history. The deal sped up considerably in the first quarter of 2021. Also, the acquisition is up 5.9 times in deal value compared to the figures of last year. Trying hard from 2020, this year, Mircosoft was able to close its big deal on 9 March 2021.
Electronic Arts Continue To Expand
Electronic Arts is one of the most famous gaming companies known for the epic rendition of sports games. After the acquisition success of 2020, EA continued its trail of acquisitions this year too. EA acquired Codemasters for $1.2 billion on 18th February 2021. The Sports entertainment gaming company also added another feature to its acquisition list. EA acquired Glu Mobile for $2.1 billion. Together with Microsoft, EA accounted for nearly 83 % of the first quarter’s acquisition record spending.
Tencent group has remained an active acquirer for the past two to three years. After Last year’s steady performance on the market, Tencent didn’t back down from continuing its acquisition spree this year. On 16 March 2021, Tencent acquired Zhejiang Century Huatong Group. The acquisition took place for $439.1 million. Zhejiang Group was known for its mobile browser-based games.
Media And Games Investment
There were some surprise acquirers as well in the first quarter of this year. Media and games Investment spent around $210 million to acquire Kinglsle Entertainment. The latter is known for PC and console games development. The deal was finalized on 16 January 2021.
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Stillfront Group also stayed in the highlights last year due to their acquisition spree. The beginning of 2021 was no different. Stillfront’s aggressive mindset is driving the company forward. They managed to acquire Super Free Games on 29 Jan 2021. The acquisition value was around $150 million. Super Free Games are a popular mobile games developer in the USA. Stillfront Group intends to solidify its mobile gaming front through this acquisition.
Earlier this year, on 31 March 2021, EG 7 acquired Innova. Innova is a PC game publisher and distributor based in Luxembourg. EG 7 finalized the deal for $126.6 million.
Social Games are a big-time hit in the modern gaming world. Particularly because of stay-at-home orders, people are resorting to playing various social games. East Side Games are a top social games manufacturer based in Canada. Leaf Mobile went on to acquire East Side Games this year. The deal took place on 5 February 2021. Leaf Mobile wanted to expand its mobile gaming reach, and thus, it resorted to acquiring the Canadian social games studio. Leaf Mobile completed the deal for $124.1 million.
Stillfront Group Enters The Indian Market
Stillfront Group was not done acquiring in the first quarter of 2021. After the acquisition of Super Free games, Still-Front Group entered the Indian market. The Stillfront Group managed to acquire Moonfrogs labs for $90 million successfully. The deal took place on 1 February 2021. Moonfrog Labs are a famous Mobile games developer in India.
Flutter Entertainment managed to acquire USA-based mobile and PC skill game developers, Junglee games. The acquisition helped Flutter Entertainment to spread its influence over skill games studios in the USA. The acquisition took place for 68.8 million.
Keyword Studios played a big part in the acquisition spree of gaming companies in the first quarter of 2021. On 18 March 2021, Keyword Studios acquired Tantalus Media. The deal was made for an acquisition fee of $46.8 million. Tantalus Media is headquartered in Australia and specializes in the development of console and PC games.
Various other gaming acquisitions took place in the first quarter of this year. There were around 25 Acquisition deals that took place on January, 28 in February, and finally again 25 in March. The number of gaming acquisitions to occur for the remaining quarters of the year will only go up.