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Mergers & Acquisitions: General Thread


Robo_1
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Sony's apparent pivot in their acquisition strategy is interesting. They've now bought the best remake house in the business and a former all-star impossible port house, one of the best PC port houses and now some company few people outside of the industry gave a shit about despite existing for nearly 20 years and slaving away on multiple high profile platform holder and major third-party publisher games.

 

They seem to be skimming off the cream before some other companies with too much money come along and potentially remove these developers from the board of play.

 

The only 2 recent purchases to add new games to their output potential seem to be Firesprite (founded by ex-Sony developers) and Housemarque. All the other new known announced exclusives are being done by mercs.

 

It'll be interesting to see if they are going to remove some more co-development talent from the board going forward, though most of those developers are fairly low profile as I'd never even heard of Valkyrie Entertainment until the announcement they had been bought.

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I thought it was quite telling that when accepting their gong at the Game Awards the other night the Housemarque bods specifically shouted out (albeit namelessly) their co-developers. Outsourcing is hugely undervalued in The Discourse, but it's incredibly important across the industry, and particularly at the top level of it. I see a lot of sense in getting trustworthy studios on the books to help get the big-ticket stuff over the line a bit quicker and more smoothly, especially with there being so much focus on working practices these days. It's an interesting and quite clever strategy from Sony, even if it lacks a little in the megaton department.

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On 12/12/2021 at 22:18, Nate Dogg III said:

I thought it was quite telling that when accepting their gong at the Game Awards the other night the Housemarque bods specifically shouted out (albeit namelessly) their co-developers. Outsourcing is hugely undervalued in The Discourse, but it's incredibly important across the industry, and particularly at the top level of it. I see a lot of sense in getting trustworthy studios on the books to help get the big-ticket stuff over the line a bit quicker and more smoothly, especially with there being so much focus on working practices these days. It's an interesting and quite clever strategy from Sony, even if it lacks a little in the megaton department.


This is a really good point - It’s surely much more valuable to Sony to leverage support studios to get more games out of Naughty Dog or Guerrilla each generation rather than purchase outside studios to increase their release cadence.


And as you say, more support capacity would hopefully limit crunch and allow these studios to retain staff. It sounds like prior practices at Naughty Dog ran the risk of generating such staff turnover that the company risked turning into one of these zombie Ship of Theseus studios like Dice or BioWare - developers with great pedigree that no longer employ anyone who built that reputation. 

 

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Embracer have paid an obscene amount for their equivalent in the board game world, Asmodee. Explains why there is just so much PE money sloshing about these days, it's a seller's market.

 

Quote

 

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Embracer said late on Wednesday it was buying French board games publisher Asmodee from private equity firm PAI Partners in a deal valued at 2.75 billion euros ($3.11 billion) to cement its position as the largest European gaming group.

 

Of the total deal value, 350 million euros would be paid to Asmodee's shareholders and about 2.4 billion euros would be used for cash and debt refinancing.

 

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of next year, will immediately add to Embracer's earnings.

 

"It's been a competitive process ... interest from other financial buyers have been quite strong," Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said in a conference call on Thursday.

 

 

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/embracer-buys-board-games-publisher-081905975.html

 

 

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Embracer Group buying Perfect World Entertainment (Remnant: from the Ashes et al).

 

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Embracer Group AB (“Embracer”) has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Perfect World North America Corporation and Perfect World Publishing B.V. (collectively “Perfect World Entertainment” or “PWE”)[1], from Perfect World Europe B.V. (“Perfect World”). PWE is a video game developer and publisher for PC and consoles, including PWE Publishing and Cryptic Studios. The acquisition adds on a total of 237 employees. The purchase price for the acquisition comprises a one-time payout of USD 125 million, divided into of USD 60 million in cash and USD 65 million in B shares of Embracer subject to consideration adjustment at closing. The purchase price net of cash amounts to USD 103 million.

 

https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-enters-into-agreement-to-acquire-perfect-world-entertainment/

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Clearly Sony just saw the writing on the wall when third-party developers with public share listings started hoovering up other contractors so are getting in before they all disappear into some mega-Borg (why doesn't Lars Wingefors hire a fellow Swede with the surname Borg to front his plan for global domination?!?, he's a missing a trick with that one)

 

https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-enters-into-agreement-to-acquire-digic/

https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-acquires-shiver-entertainment/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
5 minutes ago, Eighthours said:

I thought Zynga would be worth about £100 now. How is it making money?

 

Casual gaming is sooo much bigger than what we "gamers" think it is.

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Snobby console/PC gamers just don't care to realise the income that these casual/mobile games can generate

 

The lifetime incomes of the top mobile games is measured in the billions, with things like Candy Crush & PUBG still generating monstrous amounts of income every single month.

 

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I watched an interview with a "whale" of a mobile game I've been playing for a few years. 

He's the first person I've seen be honest about his spending, well as honest as anyone is on YouTube. 

The host confirmed he spends c.$300-500 a month on the game. The interviewee was at about $3k a month before Xmas. 

Mobile gaming is nuts. 

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4 minutes ago, Gloomy Andy said:

I watched an interview with a "whale" of a mobile game I've been playing for a few years. 

He's the first person I've seen be honest about his spending, well as honest as anyone is on YouTube. 

The host confirmed he spends c.$300-500 a month on the game. The interviewee was at about $3k a month before Xmas. 

Mobile gaming is nuts. 


Thankfully all those In-app purchases put me right off mobile games.

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  • Robo_1 changed the title to Mergers & Acquisitions: Take Two Acquires Zynga For $12.7bn
3 hours ago, layten said:

image.png.764e0dd22419e33b03380a03b7e00c80.png

 

I'd like to see that chart re-rendered into something better categorised (i.e. having mobile split out into equivalent subgroups as console and PC) and I'd also like to see a key covering what exactly 'pay-to-play' is, and whether Premium simply means 'purchase to play' or if it's excluding e.g. indie games; but yes, the mobile market is huge.

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1 hour ago, Wiper said:

 

I'd like to see that chart re-rendered into something better categorised (i.e. having mobile split out into equivalent subgroups as console and PC) and I'd also like to see a key covering what exactly 'pay-to-play' is, and whether Premium simply means 'purchase to play' or if it's excluding e.g. indie games; but yes, the mobile market is huge.


how much of mobile wouldn’t just be “free to play“ though? 
does premium console include subscriptions of live, psn, nintendo online?

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I'm sure it'd be heavily skewed, but then so is console gaming (albeit in the opposite direction) and we have the breakdown there; I'd like to see just how much/little the outright sale market makes up. I know I'm an outlier in that all of my mobile gaming is purchase-only (e.g. Inkle's output), but I'm curious to know how much of an outlier!

 

And as you flag up, if 'pay to play' is subs, it seems weird that it exists only for PC; even ignoring the fact there are actual major subs-based console games (e.g. server-busting Final Fantasy XIV), surely that'd be the appropriate place to track Gamepass and PS Now.

 

In summary, it's my professional opinion* that this is a flawed chart, and I'd like to see its underlying data.

 

*in the truly literal sense

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I mean the bars are getting pretty small by the end there, just imagine something with the thickness of a line for console MMOs.

 

IIRC Mobile is like 95% F2P and rising, so even if you were to chart it separately it won't change the image much.

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Team17 scoops up another:

 

Quote

Team17 acquires Astragon for €75m

Publisher aims to expand its offerings of non-violent and cooperative entertainment games with the acquisition

 

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2022-01-13-team17-acquires-astragon-for-75m

 

If the name doesn't ring a bell: they made Farming Simulator. And Bus Simulator. And Construction Simulator. And...

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  • Robo_1 changed the title to Mergers & Acquisitions: General Thread

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