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At GamesBeat Summit, one of the topics was the recent boom in mergers and acquisitions in the games industry. Whether it’s the Microsoft-Activision acquisition or Take-Two’s acquisition of Zynga, these deals are having a huge impact on gaming world.
One of the panels at the Summit, “M&A: Explaining how the gaming world will change,” dove into this topic. Moderated by Alina Soltys of Quantum Tech Partners, the panel featured Frankie Zhu, investment banker at LionTree, and Chris Petrovic, CBO of FunPlus.
How the rise of gaming changes things
At the beginning of the panel, Zhu pointed out that the previous year’s spike in gaming has changed the landscape. “The player engagement and the number of players in the ecosystem has increased permanently. This has largely been a boon for a lot of the IP holders, because they’ve realized how powerful gaming is as a medium to monetize their IP.”
Petrovic also noted that companies are making these investments with growth in mind. “These public companies, like Microsoft and Take-Two, even though they may have had their individual different reasons for doing acquisition, ultimated wanted to get access to more scale, wanted to get access to more IP, wanted to get access to more audiences and perhaps a diversified audience across platforms. That’s what the market is rewarding.”
Will we see more M&A?
The panel also talked about the future, including whether we’ll see more mergers and acquisitions in the future. Zhu said, “I think right now is an all-time high in terms of gaming innovation, which is expanding the market rapidly. You look at the proliferation of smartphones: Now essentially everyone with a smartphone is a gamer, whether they like to call themselves a gamer or not. You also have cloud gaming, which is opening the barriers to traditional gaming. Traditionally, you had to own very expensive hardware in order to try or play any of these products. Those barriers are getting knocked down and more of the world is being opened to this space.”
Petrovic also pointed out that the gaming industry will likely change with the rise of Web3. “[The creators of Web3] are creating an environment many of us are not understanding, because the types of products they’re making and the target audience that are consuming these products are not your traditional ‘gamers’ and the Western markets that we’re used to…. I think what the gaming industry is going to pivot into or evolve into is trying to see if this Web3 platform opportunity is a real one, if it starts attracting more traditional audiences that we’re used to marketing and used to making games for, in addition to the ones that already exist…. And then whether it’s actually providing solutions to problems consumers feel they have in terms of gaming opportunities.”
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