Video Game Industry Consolidation Shaking Things Up

Video Game Industry Consolidation

The video game industry got a huge boost during stay-at-home orders in the first year plus of the pandemic. But as things opened back up and people started resuming activities outside of their home, video game sales suffered, seemingly resulting in a run of major company acquisitions within the space.

If you believe the reports, there is more to come.

Take-Two Kicks Off Round Of Acquisitions

Take-Two Interactive Software started the run of consolidation with its acquisition of mobile games publisher Zynga. Take Two announced the $12.7 billion deal on Jan. 10 and completed the transaction on May 23.

Microsoft was next with its pending acquisition of publisher Activision Blizzard. Microsoft announced that deal, worth $68.7 billion, on Jan. 18.

On Jan. 31, Sony announced a deal to acquire game studio Bungie for $3.6 billion.

On Feb. 24, mobile gaming firm Playtika disclosed that it is evaluating its options, including a possible sale. Same with Electronic Arts and  Ubisoft, as both have been looking for buyers, according to reports.

More Acquisitions Coming

“Consolidation is definitely going to continue,” according to analyst Mike Hickey.

After Zynga, Take-Two will continue to look into more acquisitions, according to Chief Executive Strauss Zelnick.

“Our story has historically been one of organic growth with very specific strategic acquisitions along the way,” Zelnick said. Those deals include “the acquisitions that got us into the mobile business in the first place and acquisitions of smaller and medium-size studios that bring to us great teams and great intellectual property.”

What’s next for EA?

Electronics Arts is looking to make a move. EA has reportedly sought out large media companies, such as Comcast, as potential merger partners.

If that does not work out EA could decide to buy. They made arguably the most successful acquisition in the recent history of video games, purchasing Respawn in 2017 for $315 million, which led to the creation of the company’s most valuable game in Apex Legends.

The sale of EA could really shake things up. More to come.

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Microsoft is Giving Away Free PC Game Pass Trials

It was announced that anyone who played Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 or Age of Empires IV on PC from release until February 28, 2022, is eligible to receive a 3-month trial of PC Game Pass.

The offer is only valid to those who have never previously been a member of Game Pass on Xbox or PC. Users will have to have played purchased copies of the above games, or Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer mode.

You can check eligibility and claim the offer on Microsoft’s website.

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Video Games Are Buy 2, Get 1 Free on Amazon

Amazon is running a “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” sale. A ton of video games are eligible, including new releases like Elden Ring, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and a bunch more.

Note that only items sold by Amazon are eligible, so if they run out and the listing has a different seller, the item won’t work. You can check if all your items are eligible by adding them to your cart and looking at the running total cost.

Games like Elden Ring and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins, have never been on sale yet, this will be your first chance on getting them at a discount.

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E3 2022 Canceled

E3 is canceled for 2022, it marks the second time in three years E3 has been canceled. A digital event had previously been announced, that has also been canceled.

“We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022,” the ESA said today. “Instead, we will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer.”

As E3 struggles to stay relevant amid technology advancements and all-digital events, this may be the end. Publishers are moving away from one singular week of releases and instead toward one-off events that happen throughout the year. Sony hasn’t taken part in E3 since 2018. Earlier this month, EA cancelled its annual showcase, EA Play Live. Instead, EA will reveal developments and releases in individual announcements as details become ready for the public.

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