Biggest gaming acquisitions of all time

As the video game business has evolved, more publishers have entered the market in the hopes of finding success. Some of these businesses are bought out by others as part of capitalism's never-ending cycle.

However, with so many acquisitions taking place these days, you may be asking how many there have been and how large and costly these acquisitions have become.

Here's the comprehensive list for your convenience.

1. Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard - $68.7 billion

via Microsoft

Microsoft revealed its intention to buy Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Spyro, and other games, on January 18, 2022. This massive deal, valued at $68.7 billion, is the largest in the video game industry's history. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Raven Software, Blizzard Entertainment, King, and Toys for Bob are among the developers added to the Xbox first-party portfolio as a result of the acquisition.

The acquisition is presently scheduled to happen in June 2023.

2. Take-Two Interactive buying Zynga - $12.7 billion

via Zynga

Take-Two Interactive revealed its intention to buy mobile firm Zynga in January 2022. Zynga will bring a significant amount of mobile game development expertise to Take-Two, complementing the 2K Games and Rockstar Games brands. Zynga is perhaps best known for Farmville and its Poker games. The transaction is scheduled to finalise in June 2022.

3. Tencent gains majority in Supercell - $8.6 billlion

via Supercell

Supercell, a Helsinki-based mobile game company, was acquired by Tencent on June 21, 2016. Tencent paid $8.6 billion for 81.4 percent of Supercell's stock, giving them a strong majority stake in the firm behind the popular smartphone game Clash of Clans and its spinoffs.

While Tencent already had a number of gaming assets, including majority shares in a number of firms, acquiring a majority stake in Supercell consolidated Tencent's position in mobile gaming while also providing a constant source of new gaming income.

4. Microsoft acquires ZeniMax Media - $8.1 billion

via Microsoft

Microsoft agreed to pay $7.5 billion to ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, on September 21, 2020. ZeniMax Media was the world's largest privately held gaming firm prior to the acquisition, with properties such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Dishonored, and Wolfenstein.

The deal was completed on March 9, 2021, bringing Bethesda Game Studios, Arkane Studios, id Software, and other studios to the Xbox first-party portfolio, including day one debuts for Xbox Game Pass titles like Starfield. By the time the agreement was finished, the overall value of the deal had risen to $8.1 billion.

5. Activision Blizzard buys King - $5.9 billion

via King

In November 2015, Activision Blizzard purchased publisher King for $5.9 billion, obtaining teams committed to developing and producing mobile games like Candy Crush. This was before Activision Blizzard was in talks to be acquired. With the Call of Duty brand and Blizzard Entertainment products, Activision Blizzard already had a strong presence in mainstream shooters and hardcore PC gaming, but by purchasing King, Activision Blizzard was able to forge a significant position in the mobile gaming world.

6. ByteDance acquires Moonton - $4 billion

Via Moonton

Moonton Games, a Chinese developer and publisher best known for its Mobile Legends games, was acquired by ByteDance in March 2021, signalling the company's significant commitment in the gaming industry. ByteDance is most recognised for its work on the popular applications TikTok and Douyin, as well as its social media development initiatives. We haven't seen a tangible consequence of this acquisition yet, but ByteDance has been making waves in China with mobile gaming, so anticipate it to continue.

7. Sony buys Bungie - $3.6 billion

Via Bungie

Sony Interactive Entertainment agreed to buy Bungie for $3.6 billion in 2022, which was the third large investment. Bungie, unlike other gaming purchases, is an independent, multiplatform firm with the freedom to self-publish its games alongside PlayStation Studios. Bungie was formerly a Microsoft firm before gaining independence, which is quite hilarious.

Bungie is presently working on Destiny 2 after previously working on the Halo franchise. Sony will now be able to learn how to work on live service games from Bungie's hundreds of developers, allowing it to extend its multiplayer gaming initiatives.

8. Microsoft acquires Mojang - $2.5 billion

via Mojang

Microsoft paid $2.5 billion for Swedish game company Mojang in 2014, years before its current rapid growth. Minecraft, an indie sensation that has grown into a multiplatform franchise with well over 200 million copies sold across all platforms, is Mojang's creation. Mojang is allegedly looking into other concepts, but for the time being, it is focused on keeping Minecraft updated, ensuring a consistent stream of money for Xbox.

9. Electronic Arts buys Glu Mobile - $2.4 billion

Electronic Arts bought Glu Mobile for $2.4 billion on February 8, 2021, putting them in the mobile sector. Glu Mobile manages a wide range of licensed games, including those based on reality television shows and Disney properties.

10. Facebook buys Oculus - $2 billion

Photo by Remy Gieling on Unsplash

Meta (formerly known as Facebook) made its first big foray into virtual reality in March 2014, when it acquired Oculus, putting the headgear, technology, and game production skills under its fold. Since then, Facebook/Meta has grown Oculus Studios by purchasing developers like Beat Games and Ready at Dawn, greatly enhancing the team's VR gaming skills.

Meta is also putting its VR expertise to work on creating the Metaverse, with an emphasis on virtual, remote workplace interactions, albeit many of these concepts are still in the early stages.

Ever expanding world of gaming

Companies are continually being purchased, and we ought not be astonished if this list changes over time. The video game business is one of the world's fastest-growing entertainment sectors, and this trend will continue. More success leads to more money, which leads to the establishment of more studios and the World is heading towards a cyberpunk future one acquisition at a time.

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