Four giants: the major players in the video game industry

Microsoft launched the biggest acquisition in the history of the video game industry in January with its offer to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. — AFP photo

Monday, November 14, 2022 11:05 GMT

PARIS, November 14 — European regulators have opened an investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the biggest takeover in video game history.

The deal announced in January capped a string of successful takeovers that left four major players still standing in an industry estimated at US$300 billion (RM1.38 trillion).

Tencent: world number one

China-based Tencent is the biggest player in the market by revenue.

It is a major player in the Asian market and has invested in game studios outside of its home country.

The company owns Riot Games, creator of the battle royale hit League of Legendsand holds stakes in French video game stars Ubisoft and Activision.

It also acquired the Finnish studio Supercell (clash of clans, Clash Royale, brawl stars) in 2016 for US$8.6 billion – a record at the time.

Sony: the champion of the PlayStation

Japanese consumer electronics colossus Sony has sold more than 500 million copies of its PlayStation since 1994.

Through a subsidiary, it controls a host of studios – including Insomniac and Housemarque – which have developed exclusive titles for its machines such as the Spider Man saga.

The recent acquisition of Bungie, the creators of Halo and Fatefor US$3.6 billion, will strengthen its games portfolio — even if Halo still owned by Microsoft.

Sony has also invested in Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite.

Microsoft: New big spender

The American giant launched in January the biggest acquisition in the history of the sector with its offer to buy Activision Blizzard for 69 billion dollars.

The deal would put major titles such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Diablo.

But regulators in the European Union and Britain have now opened investigations into the deal.

The group behind Xbox consoles already controls major game titles like Minecraft, old scrolls and To fall through previous acquisitions.

And he now aims to become the Netflix of video games with its Game Pass online platform that allows users to download games or play them via the cloud.

Nintendo: home games

Based on self-taught sagas such as mario, Zelda Where PokemonNintendo sets itself apart from its competitors by staying away from the industry’s acquisition frenzy.

The March 2020 release of his game Animal Crossing: New Horizons has become a social phenomenon, as the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a global shift towards indoor lifestyles.

The Independents

Several prominent publishers have so far remained out of the hands of the giants, but could become targets in the near future.

American manufacturer Take-Two is a heavyweight in its own right, its stable filled with popular games including Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K and Red Dead Redemption.

And he played the acquisition game himself, spending $12.7 billion to acquire mobile game developer Zynga, creator of the farming simulation FarmCity.

North Carolina-based Epic Games saw its valuation soar to nearly $29 billion last year after a round of funding from investors including Sony.

Electronic Arts had $5.6 billion in revenue last year and also has a portfolio of popular licenses such as Fifa, Battlefield and The Sims.

The French company Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed, Far cry) is valued at around six billion euros and is also a major player in the sector. —AFP

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