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Acquisitions in the Gaming Industry - Discussion, Evaluation and Predictions

Blue Monty

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Comparing Japan Studios game sales performance with those 3 title which literally survive and got huge marketing support by Nintendo which they put them as tentpole release is not going to be comparable.

Hell, even with huge Nintendo marketing support many of those game FW performance in Japan not anything special.

We can compare them with the last decent hit that Japan Studio got there.

Freedom Wars 187,890 FW and it hit 290k LTD.
Oreshika PSV 91k FW and it hit 132k LTD
Soul Sacrifice 105k FW and 190k LTD (Delta hit another 100k LTD)
Gravity Rush FW 40k FW and 100k LTD

Those are all except GR decent number for Japan. Some can even be called good number for brand new IP. But we all know their fate there.

Now we compare with Square Enix so called niche game.

LaL 71k FW
Triangle Strats 86k FW and 126k LTD(Atm)
NeoTWEWY 31k LTD
BD2 93k FW and 144k LTD
Saga Scarlet grace 128k LTD PS4, PSV and Switch
Octopath 109k FW and 199k LTD.

All of those lower number sales are not going to make SE goes like, damn those are some good numbers when some of those number is even below what Jp Studio did before. For those game to be successful on the west, Nintendo actually cultivate those kind of audience in their platform, put big Direct moment for those games, and actively give spotlight for them. So thinking that if Sony suddenly push all those titles, it is no guarantee that it will do as well as what Switch has bring to these games.

Also considering how much SIE has been focusing on GaaS stuff. Why do we still believe that they will suddenly give those small project different fate? At most, we will see the same case where they will try pull all those smaller teams into one big team and give them task to make a big AAA projects.
Multiple Japan Studios members have been creditted in XC3, we now know where Sony efforts 1st party in Japan ended up :LOL:
 

Blue Monty

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Ooo. I don't know that? Is that really true lol?
Yes, I haven't seen the credits yet and it isn't my discovery but people that have already have confirmed it. I'm waiting for the credits to be posted in an easier way to read way to try to search who made which and what they made before
 

AruanaRiva

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I guess this is why the Metal Max stuff wasn't included with Dragami Games

It's a weird acquisition to say the least

Well the creator of Metal Max series work on Cygames. So in a way this make total sense.
 

DCSales

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And there it is. Tencent finally makes their big play into AAA western publishing.

This is the end of Ubisoft as an independent entity.
 
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Tokuiten

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"As expected" I'd say. I'm repeating myself, but: Ubisoft has been impressively unimpressive for years. Leadership seems to have given up, so an acquisition isn't a bad thing here.
 

Fisico

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Last time there was an hostile takeover attempt on Ubisoft they resisted fiercely for years and kept their independancy in the end.
While they would probably welcome foreign investment, a formal takeover is doubtful
 

AruanaRiva

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And now China's giant is finally moving their hand.

Tencent is going in

Netease and Alibaba gaming will be interesting to see their move next.
 

enpleinjour

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Tencent buying stock is not a big play. If Tecent was acting normally it would buy the entire company, especially when the discount on Ubisoft is massive.

I think they haven't due to regulation. Tencent already owns Riot (likely close to Top 5) and close to owning Epic (a Top 5 publisher). Ubisoft would be another Top 5 publisher.

And remember, if the US finds anything suspicious in Tencent, US entities and the relationship with the CCP, they will force Tencent to divest Riot and Epic, pretty much kneecapping Tencent's major growth areas. Its a huge well known risk for them.
 

Terrell

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I don’t expect a takeover or even a buyout, I take the article at its word there, but I do expect them to leverage their stock volume to flex its muscles and request a board seat to gain some corporate steering, at least.
 

Fiendslayer

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Read the full thread.

That said Gibson's tweet seems to be made in real time, so some of it don't totally fit together. Will have to see if they uploaded any video of the briefing or if they include the explaination in their IR.

Maybe it includes his own opinion that's why it reads weird
 
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Fisico

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Remember that under French law, once you buy 30% of a company, you have to initiate a takeover bid.

It’s going to happen.

It's not because you have to that you will manage to do it, that's not how it works, 30% is the threshold at which you have to make an offer for a buyout, that offer can be too low (on purpose or not)
 

awng782

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Wonder if Unity will take the offer…
6pfaku.jpg
 

Person

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Unity not interested in merging with its similarly sized rival, and it’s for the best. The move by AppLovin seemed like reactionary one to Unity’s latest acquisition attempt
 

awng782

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Embracer just aquired the rights to Lord of the Rings like an average Tuesday, along with a bunch of other stuff.
 

DCSales

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The full list of companies bought today includes Bitwave Games, Gioteck, Limited Run Games, Middle-earth Enterprises (All rights related to LOTR & The Hobbit, excluding the original books; but including Movies, Games, TV, Board Games etc), Singtrix, Tatsujin (Toaplan's back catalogue), Tripwire Interactive, and Tuxedo Labs.

They've also bought another company that they're not announcing today "Their 4th largest acquisition thus far", and have set up a new division called Embracer Freemode that will be focused on Retro games and Collectable items, as well as e-commerce and "community" operations (Presumably this is where Limited Run Games and Tatsujin fit in; it's also where Middle-earth Enterprises is being placed).
 
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KR_EP

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Excert of a forthcoming interview with Bandai Namco COO Arnaud Muller discussing the impact of mergers & acquisitions on publishers, tellingly spoke of 'securing' relationships with developers. Best wait for the entire interview to be made available to understand the wider context of the comments on how even major third parties like Bandai Namco are having to respond.

Tiny Build has bought a selection of Bossa Studios IP for $3 million as well as purchased Konfa Games for up to $5.4 million, read the full statement here for additional information. The about section on the Tiny Build homepage is a good primer for its backstory while the Investors page is worth looking over, including detailed financial reports under Documents & Presentations.
Bethesda, Activision, Blizzard and King are already a lot to digest. I'm not sure if we see Xbox target another AAA publisher right away even after ATVI closes, though I do expect (many) more dev acquisitions.

I do feel like WBIE and Eidos were sort of missed opportunities for them though. Probably just bad timing as their hands are tied with the ATVI review process.
Crystal Dynamics are lead developer on Perfect Dark so Microsoft Game Studios already has what they wanted from them for now without the costs Embracer Group will incur running the entire studio. Let alone repeating the controversy of Rise of the Tomb Raider, doubt that significant investment paid off for them in the end. Or as you mention risk attracting more regulator scrutiny.
 

Fiendslayer

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Now this is what a acquisition target looks like, if true, since Nibel misfired before.

Relevant to Japan because, Detroit was kinda popular in Japan.
 
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Tokuiten

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Now this is what a acquisition target looks like, if true, since Nibel misfired before.

Relevant to Japan because, Detroit was kinda popular in Japan.

You know what I would love to see? A graphic/picture that shows the growing unification of businesses in the video game industry, like a family tree, except it gets narrower the further time progresses. If anyone has a good overview of all the mergers/acquisitions/etc and feels motivated, please do it :D (graphic would probably end with 3 companies remaining: Microsoft, some chinese megacorp, and Nintendo in 20245 ^^).

Edit: Something like this, except with real happenings lol:

Fantasy-Mergers.png
 
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Spikeylord

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You know what I would love to see? A graphic/picture that shows the growing unification of businesses in the video game industry, like a family tree, except it gets narrower the further time progresses. If anyone has a good overview of all the mergers/acquisitions/etc and feels motivated, please do it :D (graphic would probably end with 3 companies remaining: Microsoft, some chinese megacorp, and Nintendo in 20245 ^^).

Edit: Something like this, except with real happenings lol:

Fantasy-Mergers.png
I've been working on something of this ilk since the beginning of the year - but it takes a loooong time to make because this industry is huge, and also because I'm including cases where someone from one company quits to found their own company (leading to huge family trees from the likes of Bullfrog or Rareware). Here's the Nintendo and Nintendo-adjacent section as a taste:
FBidp1c.png


Open the image in a new tab to be able to see it at full size - and look closer at individual sections.

A few notes:
  • Each horizontal line represents the end of a year - the graphic stretches from 1969 to the present day. Companies that predate 1969 are shown fading into the graphic.

  • The red enveloping area, as you might expect, represents Nintendo. For companies acquired by Nintendo, they change from grey to red upon acquisition. The long red "tendrils" reaching out from the higher parts of the Nintendo blob are investments into companies. The 4 on the right are joint venture companies (TEC Co. Ltd, Marigul, TPC and Warpstar Inc. respectively), while the one going off the left side of the image is Rareware - which Nintendo owned a 49% stake in until the early 2000's.

  • Other companies that have more than one studio or subsidary also have enveloping areas. Smaller companies just have generic grey areas - whereas larger companies (like Nintendo, Microsoft, EA etc.) have their own unique colour assigned to them - which makes things easier when we inevitably get to overlapping areas due to say one company being acquired by another company several pages over and needing to stretch the whole way past other large companies to include it. Also assists visually when a studio goes directly from one large company to another.

  • Every solid vertical bar represents either an individual studio location or a studio in the organisational sense - depending on what made more sense. So in the case of Nintendo Co. Ltd, each bar represents one of their ever changing internal divisions (EAD, IRD, R&D 1/2/3/4 etc), whereas with Monolith Soft each bar represents their physical studios (Tokyo HQ, Kyoto, their second office in Nakameguro, Osaki and the short-lived Iidabashi studio).

  • When a studio or comapny changes their name, a solid black line is shown across their bar. This includes after the merging (see Nintendo EPD/PTD) or division of studios (see Early Nintendo) or for disambiguation purposes (see Monolith Soft Tokyo -> Monolith Soft Tokyo HQ)

  • Black dashed lines indicate staff departures to found their own company, or other notable staff transfers between companies - these will usually be labelled with the name of the staff member(s). A special case exists for Ape Inc. becoming Creatures Inc., Ape was fully dissolved after the completion of EarthBound and virtually the entire studio moved to found Creatures shortly thereafter.

  • I've purposefully avoided including non-development subdivisions of companies where possible - hence no mention of Nintendo of America (outside of their brief game dev division in the 90's), Nintendo of Europe, Nintendo of Korea etc. as these are purely marketing divisions. The Pokémon Company and Warpstar Inc. are exceptions due to their nature as managing the overall IPs of Pokémon and Kirby respectively - and their nature as joint venture companies as well.

  • Some companies bars fade away insted of having a definitive start/endpoint - this is due to me not being able to find information on when a company was founded/disbanded but knowing that said founding/disbanding did happen at some point. The only two cases on this preview are Shozou Kaga's Tirnanog (which hasn't been seen or heard of since the release of Berwick Saga, and any mention of which was absent from Kaga's next title Vestaria Saga) and Clever Trick (They never released a game to my knowledge - as their first title, Echo Delta for the N64DD, was canceled by Nintendo; they presumably were dissolved along with their parent company Marigul Management, but I can't find an actual source to confirm this.)

  • Finally, I haven't put Dynamo Pictures on here yet (and might not at all due to not technically being a video game company - still unsure whether to class their video work as "middleware" like that of ActImagine/NERD) as I haven't worked on the graphic since before that acquisition was announced (and it's techncally not finalised until like October anyways).

I've done about 4 whole "pages" of this so far (each page is the size of the area shown in the preview image) and I'm not even close to being complete. I'm probably not even 10% complete with this - this industry is very large, and with including offshoot companies by staff members leaving one to found another it results in almost every company/studio in the industry being involved in some capacity.

As per usual, if anyone has any thoughts on the design or suggestions for improvements/additions/mistakes, feel free to reply with them.
 
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enpleinjour

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I've been working on something of this ilk since the beginning of the year - but it takes a loooong time to make because this industry is huge, and also because I'm including cases where someone from one company quits to found their own company (leading to huge family trees from the likes of Bullfrog or Rareware). Here's the Nintendo and Nintendo-adjacent section as a taste:
FBidp1c.png


Open the image in a new tab to be able to see it at full size - and look closer at individual sections.

A few notes:
  • Each horizontal line represents the end of a year - the graphic stretches from 1969 to the present day. Companies that predate 1969 are shown fading into the graphic.

  • The red enveloping area, as you might expect, represents Nintendo. For companies acquired by Nintendo, they change from grey to red upon acquisition. The long red "tendrils" reaching out from the higher parts of the Nintendo blob are investments into companies. The 4 on the right are joint venture companies (TEC Co. Ltd, Marigul, TPC and Warpstar Inc. respectively), while the one going off the left side of the image is Rareware - which Nintendo owned a 49% stake in until the early 2000's.

  • Other companies that have more than one studio or subsidary also have enveloping areas. Smaller companies just have generic grey areas - whereas larger companies (like Nintendo, Microsoft, EA etc.) have their own unique colour assigned to them - which makes things easier when we inevitably get to overlapping areas due to say one comapny being acquired by another company several pages over and needing to stretch the whole way past other large companies to include it. Also assists visually when a studio goes directly from one large company to another.

  • Every solid vertical bar represents either an individual studio location or a studio in the organisational sense - depending on what made more sense. So in the case of Nintendo Co. Ltd, each bar represents one of their ever changing internal divisions (EAD, IRD, R&D 1/2/3/4 etc), whereas with Monolith Soft each bar represents their physical studios (Tokyo HQ, Kyoto, their second office in Nakameguro, Osaki and the short-lived Iidabashi studio).

  • When a studio or comapny changes their name, a solid black line is shown across their bar. This includes after the merging or division of studios (see Nintendo EPD/PTD) or for disambiguation purposes (see Monolith Soft Tokyo -> Monolith Soft Tokyo HQ)

  • Black dashed lines indicate staff departures to found their own company, or other notable staff transfers between companies - these will usually be labelled with the name of the staff member(s). A special case exists for Ape Inc. becoming Creatures Inc., Ape was fully dissolved after the completion of EarthBound and virtually the entire studio moved to found Creatures shortly thereafter.

  • I've purposefully avoided including non-development subdivisions of companies - hence no mention of Nintendo of America (outside of their brief game dev division in the 90's), Nintendo of Europe, Nintendo of Korea etc. as these are purely marketing divisions.

  • Some companies bars fade away insted of having a definitive start/endpoint - this is due to me not being able to find information on when a companie was founded/disbanded but knowing that said founding/disbanding did happen at some point. The only two cases on this preview are Shozou Kaga's Tirnanog (which hasn't been seen or heard of since the release of Berwick Saga, and any mention of which was absent from Kaga's next title Vestaria Saga) and Clever Trick (They never released a game to my knowledge as their first title, Echo Delta for the N64DD was canceled by Nintendo - they presumably were dissolved along with their parent company Marigul Management, but I can't find an actual source to confirm this.)

  • Finally, I haven't put Dynamo Pictures on here yet (and might not at all due to not technically being a video game company - still unsure whether to class their video work as "middleware" like that of ActImagine/NERD) as I haven't worked on the graphic since before that acquisition was announced (and it's techncally not finalised until like October anyways).

I've done about 4 whole "pages" of this so far (each page is the size of the area shown in the preview image) and I'm not even close to being complete. I'm probably not even 10% complete with this - this industry is very large, and with including offshoot companies by staff members leaving one to found another it results in almost every company/studio in the industry being involved in some capacity.

As per usual, if anyone has any thoughts on the design or suggestions for improvements/additions/mistakes, feel free to reply with them.

Nice graphic, can imagine it being a lot of work. Imo, graphs like this are more readable in the horizontal view.
 

Spikeylord

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Nice graphic, can imagine it being a lot of work. Imo, graphs like this are more readable in the horizontal view.
I considered making it vertical, however given that this graphic (once done) is going to be orders of magnitude longer in the horizontal (company to company) direction than the vertical (chronological) direction - I figured it'd be overall easier to read in this horizontal arrangement, as otherwise you'd need to scroll for ages to see anything, and most monitors are designed for more horizontal viewing than vertical to compound the issue. This trade-off is also why I made sure to include company logos where ever I could - so that it was easier to read at a glance.

A graphic/picture that shows the growing unification of businesses in the video game industry, like a family tree, except it gets narrower the further time progresses. If anyone has a good overview of all the mergers/acquisitions/etc and feels motivated, please do it :D (graphic would probably end with 3 companies remaining: Microsoft, some chinese megacorp, and Nintendo in 20245 ^^).
Also, I think you're underestimating how many small companies there are if you think it'll get narrower as you go down. The industry is constantly growing - in revenue, budgets and company sizes yes, but also in sheer number of games and developers; the indie revolution started in the very late 2000's is very much going strong and there are more indie studios than can reasonably be counted.

Yes, we are going through a major phase of consolidation in the industry - and due to the sizes of the companies involved it does feel like the end will just be 3-4 big lump companies - but we have been here before to smaller degrees: EA's massive buying spree in the 90's and 2000's (to the point that they became infamous for buying out companies and leaving their IPs to die) and the great Japanese consolidation of the 2000's (the reason so many of the big Japanese companies are hyphenated these days) immediately come to mind but there are probably other more minor examples too, and I'm sure the feeling was the same then too that all the companies were gonna merge into a few really big companies. Both times more companies arose to fill in the gaps, and the swarms of indie devs that proliferate the industry these days make it basically nigh impossible to be just a few megacorps being the whole industry practically ever,
 

Diaochan

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Harada sweating.
A Bandai Namco general manager sweating because huge corporations(Tencent and Sony) are investing in Bandai Namco's own investment(Kadokawa and FromSoft) thus making Bandai Namco more valuable?

Sure it good for Kadokawa but my point is Sony is essentially financing the cutting out of bandai who is another one of their key partners!
Bandai Namco's shares of Kadokawa(who owns 70% of FromSoft) do not decrease after Tencent's and Sony's investment lol. The only thing the investment did was making Bandai Namco richer.
 

MegaXZero

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A Bandai Namco general manager sweating because huge corporations(Tencent and Sony) are investing in Bandai Namco's own investment(Kadokawa and FromSoft) thus making Bandai Namco more valuable?


Bandai Namco's shares of Kadokawa(who owns 70% of FromSoft) do not decrease after Tencent's and Sony's investment lol. The only thing the investment did was making Bandai Namco richer.
You are ignoring that they specifically said that the funds would in part be used to enable From to self-publish. Bamco was doing most of the publishing before, so cutting them out would in fact decrease money they are getting.
 

Diaochan

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You are ignoring that they specifically said that the funds would in part be used to enable From to self-publish. Bamco was doing most of the publishing before, so cutting them out would in fact decrease money they are getting.
Bandai Namco co-owns the Elden Ring and Dark Souls IPs so how can FromSoft cut Bandai Namco out? By not making any more Elden Ring or Dark Souls games? I doubt it.

Meanwhile is FromSoft going to self-publish Demon's Soul or Bloodborne games now since Tencent helping them to cut out from Sony?

And fwiw, Bandai Namco's stock went up after this news, so no one thinks they are hurting from this.
 

BoktaiFan

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Bandai Namco co-owns the Elden Ring and Dark Souls IPs so how can FromSoft cut Bandai Namco out? By not making any more Elden Ring or Dark Souls games? I doubt it.
Uhhh they made Sekiro just fine without them.

You don't think they could make a new game called "Something Souls" and take all the profits for themselves? That almost explicitly what they said they are going to do!

And fwiw, Bandai Namco's stock went up after this news, so no one thinks they are hurting from this.
And Sony stock is down and tencent stock is up. Did Sony hurt from this and Bandai gain?
 
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Tokuiten

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This From Software- and Sekiro-talk makes me wonder what it'd take for Nintendo to get their own From Software-game. I honestly think a Metroid-game developed by them could be the bit of genius/magic that would help the franchise to new heights as well as show From Software's versatility, leaving the medieval fantasy-genre.

Is From Software independent or part of Bandai-Namco? Reading the above posting makes it a bit unclear.
 

awng782

Member
This From Software- and Sekiro-talk makes me wonder what it'd take for Nintendo to get their own From Software-game. I honestly think a Metroid-game developed by them could be the bit of genius/magic that would help the franchise to new heights as well as show From Software's versatility, leaving the medieval fantasy-genre.

Is From Software independent or part of Bandai-Namco? Reading the above posting makes it a bit unclear.
"Metroid Souls" gives me "Yakuza F-Zero" vibes 😂

From Software is independent from Bandai Namco.
 
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