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The top ten gaming industry deals of 2022 (so far)

We break down the biggest acquisitions of 2022 so far, as reported by Drake Star

The top ten gaming industry deals of 2022 (so far)

Drake Star’s Global Gaming Industry Report broke down the biggest deals of 2022 to date, showing that it’s been a strong year for the gaming sector as a whole.So far, 2022 has seen three of the biggest mobile gaming acquisitions of all time, with Drake Star estimating that further deals could be struck before the end of the year.

So what were the biggest deals of the year? We’ve broken down the biggest deals listed as part of our continued coverage of the report, starting with…

Number 1 - Activision Blizzard

Acquired by: Microsoft
Valuation: $68.7 billion

Not just the biggest deal of 2022 so far, but the biggest gaming acquisition of all time, Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has made waves throughout the industry.

Although the deal has been approved in several territories, such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia, the acquisition is currently being investigated by the UK’s Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) has signalled its intent to scrutinise the deal before approval, and Sony CEO Jim Ryan has reportedly lobbied the EU to scupper the deal.

The sticking point seems to be Ubisoft’s Call of Duty franchise, one of the most successful in gaming history, with the CMA - and Sony - concerned that the agreement doesn’t do enough to ensure the franchise’s future on PlayStation consoles.
Regardless, the deal has been one of the biggest evolving stories of the year, with Activision Blizzard’s strength on mobile devices cited as a key reasoning for the proposed deal.


Click here to view the list »
  • Zynga

    Zynga logo

    Acquired by: Take-Two Interactive
    Valuation: $12.7 billion

    The mobile market is the most profitable sector of the gaming industry, so it’s natural that game makers would take notice. Take-Two Interactive’s acquisition of Zynga isn’t just the second biggest of the year but the second biggest gaming acquisition of all time, showcasing the desire of game makers to increase their footprint on mobile platforms.

    Under the terms of the acquisition Zynga will take charge of Take-Two’s mobile portfolio and ongoing strategy, and since becoming a part of the Take-Two family has made acquisitions of its own, closing the acquisition of Storemaven in September.


  • ironSource

    ironSource logo

    Acquired by: Unity
    Valuation: $4.4 billion

    Unity’s merger with ironSource was one of the biggest stories in the mobile space this year, not least due to ironSource competitor AppLovin stepping in with an offer to acquire Unity in an attempt to maintain its own competitiveness in the market. The deal was eventually rejected and, whilst industry experts theorised that AppLovin could increase its offer, they declined to do so, letting the deal continue unchallenged.

    This deal gives ironSource direct access to the estimated 70 percent of mobile developers that utilise Unity as their development platform of choice.


  • Bungie

    Bungie logo

    Acquired by: Sony
    Valuation: $3.6 billion

    It’s a testament to the success of the mobile market in 2022 that this isn’t just the fourth largest gaming acquisition of 2022, but the third to be listed among the largest gaming acquisitions of all time.

    Bungie is the latest acquisition by Sony as it expands its portfolio.However, unlike other subsidiaries such as Insomniac and Naughty Dog, Bungie will operate as an independent studio and publisher under the Sony Interactive Entertainment umbrella rather than becoming a part of PlayStation Studios. As such, Bungie will continue to release titles for a variety of platforms.

    The studio has been relatively quiet on the mobile front, however rumours have been flying about a possible entry into the space for some time, with IGN stating in July that the company is reportedly working on a mobile game based on the hit IP Destiny.


  • ESL

    ESL logo

    Acquired by: Savvy Games Group
    Valuation: $1.05 billion

    ESL is the last acquisition on this list valued at above a billion dollars, but in its own way it’s just as interesting due to the acquirer - Savvy Games Group is wholly owned by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, PIF.

    Saudi Arabia has been making increasing attempts to become the hub of the global gaming industry, with more acquisitions planned as part of a $38.7 billion gaming strategy, which includes the acquisition of an as-of-yet unnamed gaming publisher for $13 billion. This strategy aims to bring 39 thousand gaming jobs to Saudi Arabia.

    Earlier this year, ESL partnered with Qualcomm on a multi-platform esports competition.


  • Tripwire, Limited Run, +4 studios

    Tripwire, Limited Run, +4 studios logo

    Acquired by: Embracer Group
    Valuation: $765 million

    Embracer was the biggest dealmaker of 2022, making eight acquisitions, but these acquisitions on August 18 were the biggest of the bunch, and grouped together by the report. Tripwire is best known for the Killing Floor series, which boasts over 35 million players.

    As a subsidiary of Embracer Group, Tripwire is a part of the Saber Interactive Operative Group.

    Limited Run, meanwhile, is a publisher with a long history, publishing titles from a variety of franchises such as Star Wars, Oddworld, and Monkey Island. Limited Run is now a part of the newly-formed Freemode Operative Group.

    Other acquisitions announced on the same day include Singtrix, Tuxedo Games and Middle-Earth Enterprises, which deals with JRR Tolkien’s literary works.


  • My.Games

    My.Games logo

    Acquired by: Leta Capital
    Valuation: $642 million

    My.Games has made a name for itself with a variety of titles across platforms, ranging from MMORPG’s on PC to strategy titles on mobile devices. With mobile being the most popular - and profitable - gaming platform in the world, this made the company an attractive acquisition prospect for Leta Games.

    My.Games is leveraging its expertise in the mobile space through a partnership with PlayerWon to bring rewarded ads to free-to-play PC games, bringing a monetisation strategy primarily available on mobile devices into a new space.


  • ReKTGlobal

    ReKTGlobal logo

    Esports and the metaverse have both come a long way over the past several years, helped in part by the global pandemic, which forced consumers worldwide to seek out new forms of entertainment. As such, esports conglomerate ReKTGlobal’s acquisition by metaverse technology specialist Infinite Reality represents a significant merging of the two industries.

    This acquisition covers a variety of areas in both esports and the metaverse, including NFT minting and gaming, with REKTGlobal co-founders Dave Bialek and Amish Shah joining Infinite Reality’s leadership team. Infinite Reality hopes to utilise ReKT’s reach and vibrant fan community as it continues to expand into the Web3 and metaverse spaces.


  • FACEIT

    FACEIT logo

    Acquired by: Savvy Gaming Group
    Valuation: $450 million

    As part of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to become a global hub of the gaming and esports industries, the country has made several acquisitions of gaming companies through the Savvy Gaming Group, which is owned by the sovereign wealth fund PIF, including FACEIT, with the organisation merging with ESL to form ESL FACEIT Group.

    The newly-combined entity aims to deliver end-to-end solutions to support developers and publishers in building sustainable gaming communities and esports ecosystems, whilst providing an “unmatched proposition” for players and game makers, furthering the country’s goals of building their profile on the global gaming stage.


  • 6waves

    6waves logo

    Acquired by: Stillfront Group
    Vanuation: $300 million

    Social game developer and publisher 6waves was acquired by Stillfront in January, and whilst social games are often underrated in comparison to flashier genres, the fact that this acquisition cost $300 million and made the list of the top ten biggest acquisitions of the year, demonstrates the remarkable strength and earning potential of the genre.

    Stillfront stated that the potential to increase its profile in East Asia was key to the acquisition. “Expanding our presence in East Asia and specifically Japan, has been a strategic priority for Stillfront and we are happy that we have found such a talented team to help us on that journey. 6waves has built a very strong reputation as the leading publisher of strategy games in the Japanese market and we cannot wait to work closer with them as a part of Stillfront."


  • Honorable mention - Black Shark

    Honorable mention - Black Shark logo

    Drake Star lists this deal as number nine on the list, so why have we listed it as an honourable mention?

    Quite simply, it appears that Tencent backed out of the deal. Although neither Tencent or Black Shark have officially announced the cancellation of the deal, reports that Tencent walked away from the table began flying in May, and as late as last week reports were still claiming the deal was off.

    As such, it’s disingenuous to put this deal in the list officially, if only because there may be no deal to speak of.

    A subsidiary of Chinese manufacturer, Black Shark certainly fits into Tencent’s business interests with its range of products, including the flagship Black Shark phone.


CEO

A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, lively Chris is up for anything - including running Steel Media! (Madman!)