While that figure marks a steep drop from the 130 and 111 deals recorded in 2020 and 2021 respectively, the total value of those deals represent a whooping $74.4bn in total. That’s up from the $24.9bn recorded in 2020 and the $24.4bn of 2021.
These deals not only represent some of the biggest changes in the industry to date, but also highlight how video games are a tour de force to take seriously.
By looking at the 10 biggest mergers and acquisitions recorded in the gaming industry in 2022, it’s clear just how seriously this sector should be taken.
Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7bn
One of the biggest and most controversial gaming mergers and acquisition deals of 2022 occurred at the very start of the year. In January, tech titan Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for a cool $68.7bn.
Despite being one of the biggest video game deals of 2022, the Activision Blizzard acquisition is not without its issues.
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Several territories such as Saudi Arabia and Brazil have approved the deal, but it is facing investigations in others. The UK’s Competition and Marketing Authority and the US’ Federal Trade Commission have both opened antitrust investigations into the deal. Sony CEO Jim Ryan has reportedly lobbied the EU to put an end to the deal.
The regulators are concerned that the acquisition does not do enough to ensure the Call of Duty franchise remains on PlayStation consoles in future. This is of particular importance since the franchise is one of the most successful in gaming history, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II generating over $1bn in 10 days in 2022.
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer revealed that one of Microsoft’s main reasons for the acquisition was for the company to get into mobile gaming.
VMware’s potential acquisition of Broadcom for $61bn
Broadcom is a US semiconductor company that also provides infrastructure software solutions. This includes those used in gaming. In 2022, the company announced its intention to acquire VMware for $61bn.
However, the proposed acquisition has captured the attention of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which is currently investigating the proposed deal. An inquiry into antitrust practices was launched in January, 2023, and is ongoing.
If the deal were to go ahead, it would allow Broadcom to advance its strategy to build a world-leading infrastructure technology company. Broadcom has a track record of acquiring established, mission-critical platforms such as VMware.
The combined company will give enterprise customers an expanded platform of critical infrastructure solutions to accelerate innovation and address the most complex information technology infrastructure needs.
Orange Espagne merges with Masmovil Ibercom in $21.3bn deal
Orange Espagne, a mobile network operator, has merged with Masmovil Ibercom SA, a provider of fixed and mobile communication and internet services. Both the companies are based in Spain.
The agreement also includes a right to trigger an initial public offering (IPO) under certain conditions for both parties and a path-to-control right for Orange to consolidate the combined entity in the case of an IPO.
In terms of gaming, Orange Espagne offers its users a subscription to an Android platform with over 2,000 video games for €1.99 a week. Their Juegos Orange service allows subscribers to play games without any adverts or in-app purchases, with many available to play offline once downloaded.
Adobe acquires Figma in $20bn deal
Digital marketing, multimedia and creativity software developer ADOBE entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Figma, a web-first collaborative design platform, in 2022.
The acquisition is comprised of approximately half cash and half stock.
In terms of gaming, Figma can also be used to create 2D games, using vector graphics to ensure games are suited to all resolutions.
Zynga acquired by Take-Two Interactive in $12.7bn deal
Take-Two Interactive acquired Zynga in $12.7bn deal in 2022. American social video game developer Zynga is known for mobile and social network games such as FarmVille.
Take-Two Interactive is an American video game company that owns two major publishing labels, Rockstar Games and 2K, known for the Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K franchises.
Under the terms of the acquisition Zynga will take control of Take-Two’s mobile portfolio, showcasing their desire to increase their presence on mobile platforms, with it being the most profitable sector in the gaming industry.
FL Entertainment merged with Pegasus Entrepreneurs in in deal woth $7.58bn
FL Entertainment and Pegasus Entrepreneurs joined forces in a $7.58bn deal in 2022.
FL Entertainment is a France-based entertainment group, and it has entered into an agreement to merge with Pegasus Entrepreneurs, a Netherlands-based special purpose acquisition company focused on European growth companies.
This agreement will result in the listing of FL Entertainment on Euronext Amsterdam. The combined company will be named FL Entertainment and will be led by Stephane Courbit as Chairman and Francois Riahi as CEO.
FL Entertainment owns Betclic, which is an online gambling company that offers gambling games as well as sports betting.
Intel acquired Tower Semiconductor in $5.4bn deal
Tower Semiconductor is an Israel-based operator of a technology company that manufactures and distributes integrated circuits.
The acquisition will allow Intel to accelerate its path to becoming a major provider of foundry services globally, now offering one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of differentiated technology.
Semiconductors are the hardware used to run games, so both companies are directly tied to gaming.
Unity acquired ironSource for $4.4bn
Software developer Unity acquired ironSource in a $4.4bn deal in July 2022.
ironSource is an Israeli mobile software company that focus on developing technologies for app monetization and distribution.
Unity shareholders will own 73.5% of the combined company and ironSource shareholders will keep 26.5%.
ironSource competitor AppLovin had offered to acquire Unity to maintain its own competitiveness in the market, but the deal was rejected. It is estimated that 70% of mobile developers utilise the Unity game engine as their development platform, meaning ironSource now has access to all of these developers.
The deal was met with criticism by some game developers due to ironSource’s affiliation with malware via their InstallCore product, which is used to bundle software downloads with adware, according to NME.
Global Payments acquired EVO Payments in $4bn deal
Global Payments is a software solutions provider that, among other industries, empower games with payment solutions. EVO Payments is also a provider of payment technology integrations and acquiring solutions.
The transaction will further enhance Global Payments’ leadership in integrated payments worldwide, expand its presence in new and existing faster growth geographies, and augment its existing B2B software and payment presence.
Sony acquired Bungie in $3.6bn deal
Sony acquired Bungie, the video game developer known for its Halo and Destiny franchises, in a $3.6bn deal in 2022.
Bungie is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Sony. However, unlike other acquisitions such as Insomniac and Naughty Dog, Bungie will still operate independently under the Sony Interactive Entertainment umbrella rather than becoming part of PlayStation Studios. This means it will keep releasing titles for a variety of platforms, not just PlayStation.
Bungie had been owned by Sony competitor Microsoft between 2000 and 2007 before going independent, but Microsoft kept ownership of the Halo intellectual property.
While Bungie have been relatively inactive in the mobile market, in July IGN reported that the company is working on a mobile game based on the Destiny franchise.
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