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Acquisitions in the Gaming Industry - Discussion, Evaluation and Predictions

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 Sony stock is down and tencent stock is up. Did Sony hurt from this and Bandai gain?
FromSoft "Take all the profits for themselves" which 16% go to Tencent and 14% go to Sony, lol. And what a good strategy to just abandon the Elden Ring IP and make "Something Souls" games instead! No wonder Sony stock is down lol.
 
FromSoft "Take all the profits for themselves" which 16% go to Tencent and 14% go to Sony, lol. And what a good strategy to just abandon the Elden Ring IP and make "Something Souls" games instead! No wonder Sony stock is down lol.
I'm sorry but what point are you making here? They literally "Abandoned" the Dark Souls IP to make Elden Ring and that was a massive success.

Are you still suggesting that Bandai isn't getting cut out or are you just trolling at this point.
 
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.
So what are they going to self publish then? This isn’t hard, and they already made Elden Ring instead of Dark Souls 4 Open World. At this point “the next game from the Elden Ring team” will carry them easily in a new IP. They just need a lot of resources for such a big worldwide release…which they just did work towards.
 
They could switch from GRRM to Brandon Sanderson.

FROM/Miyazaki: "For the last two years I've been lying to you.. We've developed an extra game!" "We couldn't stop developing so we made 5 extra games. 4 of them are set in the Cosmere; one is a new IP."
 
Are you still suggesting that Bandai isn't getting cut out or are you just trolling at this point.

So engaging in a meaningful conversation was never your intention? Got it.

So what are they going to self publish then? This isn’t hard, and they already made Elden Ring instead of Dark Souls 4 Open World. At this point “the next game from the Elden Ring team” will carry them easily in a new IP. They just need a lot of resources for such a big worldwide release…which they just did work towards.

If it's that easy then why didn't they self publish sooner? Elden Ring isn't their first successful game. And I doubt they are cutting off ties with both Sony and Bandai Namco to self publish everything already, because that would be a bold move that I haven't seen in a long time. Also Bandai's stock has gone up following the news tell me that there is nothing to worry about for them.
 
So engaging in a meaningful conversation was never your intention? Got it.



If it's that easy then why didn't they self publish sooner? Elden Ring isn't their first successful game. And I doubt they are cutting off ties with both Sony and Bandai Namco to self publish everything already, because that would be a bold move that I haven't seen in a long time. Also Bandai's stock has gone up following the news tell me that there is nothing to worry about for them.
Considering the size of Sony, Kadokawa and Bandai Namco, their stock movements could be based on so much more than what happens with one developer’s slight change in ownership structure, to the point where I wouldn’t even factor this into the equation. In fact, looking at the 5 day trading of Bandai Namco, looks like the stock being up is mostly a correction from the tumble it took on Monday trading. You’re reading more into the day-by-day movements of stock than warranted.
 
Considering the size of Sony, Kadokawa and Bandai Namco, their stock movements could be based on so much more than what happens with one developer’s slight change in ownership structure, to the point where I wouldn’t even factor this into the equation. In fact, looking at the 5 day trading of Bandai Namco, looks like the stock being up is mostly a correction from the tumble it took on Monday trading. You’re reading more into the day-by-day movements of stock than warranted.
If this FromSoft investment from Tencent and Sony was that much a big negative deal to Bandai then surely even their stock would drop hard, which they haven't and instead have gone up. I'm just showing people the evidence that this isn't bad news for Bandai Namco, that's all.
 
If this FromSoft investment from Tencent and Sony was that much a big negative deal to Bandai then surely even their stock would drop hard, which they haven't and instead have gone up. I'm just showing people the evidence that this isn't bad news for Bandai Namco, that's all.
In the current term, yes, and current-term changes are what typically get investor attention. So long as Elden Ring games keep getting made (and I see no reason to suggest they won’t), Bandai Namco is fine. But in the much longer term, when From is done with Elden Ring like they were with Dark Souls, yeah, this could spell bad news for Bandai Namco and investors will respond accordingly in the moment there is follow-through on that.
So yeah, one has little to do with the other.
 
Imran Khan: Microsoft has talked with Major Japanese Publishers about Acquisitions:

 

A tale as old as time for MS. Can't see any major JP pub ever selling to MS, their entire IP lineup will be effectively killed in one go.
I mean, if you’re selling your company and your IP, it kinda might indicate that the company executives don’t give a crap about what happens after the fact.

That said, talks are one thing, they’d actually need a bite. And I doubt there’s any takers.
 
I could see platinum taking an offer, but i don’t know what that would do for microsoft

It would pretty much guarantee the end of Bayonetta and Nier though. I think anything beyond a publishing deal would be a fools errand
 
I could see platinum taking an offer, but i don’t know what that would do for microsoft

It would pretty much guarantee the end of Bayonetta and Nier though. I think anything beyond a publishing deal would be a fools errand
I think the current rumor is that SE is moving Nier back in-house.
 
I could see platinum taking an offer, but i don’t know what that would do for microsoft

It would pretty much guarantee the end of Bayonetta and Nier though. I think anything beyond a publishing deal would be a fools errand
Scalebound tells me that Microsoft ain't even glancing in that direction anymore.
 
Scalebound tells me that Microsoft ain't even glancing in that direction anymore.
Ten years ago same could have been said about Obsidian after Stormland, but now it's been Microsoft's in-house studio for four years or so. Not that I think it's a likely thing to happen or even a purchase Microsoft should pursue.

...

Feels like we have heard insider "scoops" for God knows how long about Microsoft buying Japanese publishers - to a point it feels yawn-inducing at this point. I would be more surprised if the publishers and independent studios _wouldn't_ be in the talks. It's a whole other story to materialize these discussions.
 
PC seems pretty attractive for the big Japanese publishers (just ask Square Enix or Capcom), I don't think a MS acquisition is entirely out of the question. The thing is they'd need to offer enough to really buy out the founding families. They're not going to get market rates on anyone.

Same goes for Sony or even Nintendo though. Japan's sort of unique in the issues it presents versus most American or European firms.
 

Trying to get out ahead of the Saudis and looking for revenue sources in overseas businesses and markets that are outside the whims and control of Chinese government regulation. The "focus on Europe" part of the announcement is nearly choreographing their primary target as either Ubisoft (most likely) or Embracer (less likely but possible). But I don't think Marvelous is totally off the table, either.

Either way, brace yourselves for a bidding war that everyone in going to want to morbidly gawk at.
 
Well, they already lost Capcom to the Prince. Although Tencent's relationship with them cooled quite a bit after MHW had to be pulled from WeGame.

I wonder if Tencent will spook everyone and start really investing in Nintendo after their Switch deals?
 


Next round of acquisitions.

- Announce 1500 Dollars-VR headset
- Say it is "for productivity", but then keep mentioning how much game-content there is, too
- Acquire game studios to make exclusive content for 1500 Dollars-VR headset that's made for productivity

Sorry, but I just found out about today's Meta Quest Pro-news and there's too much ridiculous stuff going on rn lol.
 
Updating my list

  • (orange = mobile focused acquisitions)
  • (green = acquisitions above 1 billion)
2018

February:

  • THQ Nordic acquires Koch Media (including publisher Deep Silver) for $149M
May:
  • Zynga acquires Gram Games for $250M
  • Nordisk Film acquires Avalanche Studios for $103M
  1. - Avalanche Studios
  2. - Expansive Worlds AB
  3. - Systemic Reaction

June:
  • MS acquires Playground Games
  • MS acquires Ninja Theory
  • MS acquires Compulsion Games
  • MS acquires Undead Labs
  • MS announces The Initiative
November:
  • MS acquires Obsidian Entertainment
  • MS acquires inXile Entertainment
December:
  • Zynga acquires Small Giant Games for $700M
2019

February:

  • Sony acquires Insomniac Games for $229M
  • THQ Nordic acquires Warhorse Studios
June:
  • MS acquires Double Fine
December:
  • Google Stadia acquires Typhoon Studios

2020

January
:
  • Tencent acquires Funcom for $148M
February:
  • Embracer acquires Saber Interactive for up to $525M

June:
  • Warner Bros looking to sell gaming division, interest by MS, Activision, EA and Take Two (didn't sell ultimately)
  • Focus Entertainment acquires Deck13
  • Zynga acquires Peak Games for $1.8B
July:
  • Sony weighing a bid for Leyou Technologies according to Bloomberg
August:
  • Embracer acquires 4A Games (Metro) for up to $71M
  • Take Two acquires Playdots for $192M
  • Tencent acquires Leyou Technologies for $1.5B
  1. - Splash Damage
  2. - Athlon Games
  3. - Kingmaker
  4. - Radiance Games
  5. - Digital Extremes

September:
  • MS acquires ZeniMax-Bethesda for $7.5B (roughly 2.5k employees)
  1. - Bethesda Game Studios
  2. - Arkane Studios
  3. - id Software
  4. - Machinegames
  5. - ZeniMax Online
  6. - Tango Gameworks
  7. - Alpha Dog Games
  8. - Roundhouse Studios
October:
  • Sumo Group acquires Pipeworks Studios for up to $100M
  • Creatures Inc acquires Ambrella (Hey Pikachu!, Pokémon Dash, Pokémon Rumble)
November:
  • Take Two acquires Codemasters for nearly a billion
  • Embracer acquires 12 studios (including Flying Wild Hog)
December:
  • EA outbids Take Two and acquires Codemasters for $1.2B
  • Enad Global 7 acquires Daybreak Games Company for $300M
  • Nordisk Games acquires 40% of MercurySteam
2021

January:

  • Nintendo acquires Next Level Games
  • Tencent acquires majority stake in Klei
February:
  • Embracer acquires Gearbox Software for up to $1.3B
  • Embracer acquires Aspyr Media for up to $450M
  • Embracer merges with Easybrain in $640M deal
  • EA acquires Glu Mobile for $2.4B
March:
  • Epic acquires Mediatonic (Fall Guys)
  • Nordisk Games acquires 30% of Supermassive Games
  • MS completes ZeniMax-Bethesda acquisition
June:
  • Sony acquires Housemarque
  • EA acquires Playdemic from Warner Bros for $1.4B
  • Take-Two acquires Nordeus for up to $378M
July:
  • Tencent acquires Sumo Group for $1.27B
  • Sony acquires Nixxes Software
September:
  • Sony acquires Firesprite (which also acquired Fabrik)
  • Sony acquires Bluepoint Games
  • Netflix acquires Night School Studio
October:
  • Tencent acquires 22% of Bloober Team for $19.5M
December:
  • Tecent acquires Turtle Rock Studios
  • Embracer acquires Perfect World Entertainment for $125M
2022

January:

  • Take-Two acquires Zynga for $12.7B
  • Sony acquires Bungie for $3.6B (roughly 1k employees)
  • MS acquires Activision-Blizzard-King for $68.7B (over 10k employees)
  1. - Infinity Ward
  2. - Treyarch
  3. - Sledgehammer Games
  4. - Raven Software
  5. - Beenox
  6. - High Moon Studios
  7. - Demonware
  8. - Toys for Bob
  9. - Solid State Studios
  10. - Digital Legends
  11. - Activision Shanghai Studio
  12. - Blizzard Entertainment
  13. - King
February:
  • Nintendo acquires SRD
  • Tencent acquires Inflexion Games
March:
  • Sony acquires Haven Studio
  • Tencent acquires majority stake in Tequila Works
  • Netflix acquires Next Games for $65M
  • Netflix acquires Boss Fight Entertainment
April:
  • Saudi Prince acquires 96% of SNK
  • Embracer (through Aspyr) acquires Beamdog
May:
  • Embracer acquires most of Square Enix's western division (Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal) and a catalogue of IPs (Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kaine..) for $300M (~1.1k employees)
July:
  • Nintendo acquires Dynamo Pictures
August:
  • Sony acquires Savage Game Studio
  • Sony and Tencent buy 30% stake in From Software (Sony 14%, Tencent 16%)
  • NetEase acquires Quantic Dream
  • Embracer Group acquires Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive, Tuxedo Labs, Singtrix, and Lord of the Rings IP.
  • Blizzard acquires Proletariat, King acquires Peltarion (AI)
September:
  • Tencent raises stake in Ubisoft
October:
  • Meta acquires Camouflaj, Twisted Pixel and Armature Studio
 
Probably not a huge acquisition overall, but I think almost everyone missed that Zordix acquired Maximum Games for $42 million back in November 2021. They are mostly a retail publisher but, they have an indie label with Modus Games.

Jagex bought Pipeworks off Sumo Group back in July.

Nordisk also completed their acquisition of Supermassive in July

Bandai Namco acquired a majority stake in Limbic Entertainment last week
 
Very Late Edit: Image links here as they work if pasted into a separate window however Tencent's Level Infinite no longer wants to play ball with my gag-balls. The fiends!
"We think a good publishing strategy is to look at the whole market and do the global version [of any game] first, not to go separately step-by-step – I don't think that's a good approach," Tencent's global games CEO Michelle Liu tells GamesIndustry.biz.

She adds: "We can’t assume one version is the right fit or approach for all regions. So the next step [is] to do very detailed and customised publishing solutions for the different regions, especially some top 'tier one' areas. We [also] need to do very deep communications with all of the community. [There are] the things we have learnt from our industry partners."
Article warrants a full read as Tencent Games, both via its separate developers (all the ones mentioned in the article, plus Soleil) plus investing in many others like PlatinumGames but also via its Level Infinite publishing label is definitely one to watch, Fatshark already making waves (pun intended) among Warhammer/Warhammer 40K fans. Speaking of which, Splash Damage purchase of Bulkhead was announced soon after the Game Awards trailer for Transformers: Reactivate (Games Industry). While both studios have been inconsistent over the years, got plenty of titles on the way, an overall move away from support work towards original properties, including a new sci-fi IP & Wardogs King of the Hill. Enchancer Group, Tencent Games, Netease Games all building up to become major forces, but can they deliver? Ideal time to look over a recent roundtable discussion on tips for selling a studio as it provides some good insight into M&As, some useful tips as well.
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Already mentioned in the Media Create thread but thought I'd look into the acquisition of Aquaplus (including Fix Records) by CREST (via Gematsu), a little further as the new parent company mentioned having video game IP of its own to draw upon. The company has published a half dozen games on Steam over the past 18 months (some of which have Switch & PS4 versions), with Aria Chronicle & Metallic Child having a good user response, although for me the one to check the demos for, Last Light with its Corpse Party/Yomawari vibes. Team Corn Field...Children of the Corn: The Game. Make it so Mr Crest! Line up is definitely worth a closer examination. Long story short, Crest seemingly have the ability to publish Aquaplus games internationally, perhaps they'll coordinate with its Animation division to produce cut scenes/TV/OVA as part of its stated 360 approach to handle everything in-house for any multi-media franchise.

Ahead of a merger to form Hike (cue Take a Hike! company slogan, please use it Crest free of charge, you're welcome), quick look over its partners to see what they do. QBist appears to be a long running support work & physical goods company, including videogame guides) & Sanetty Produce...struggling here (Sanetty more like Sanity amirite?) but I think its involved in talent for musicals/live events/stage plays including NieR Automata with Yorha. Help! Anyone able to translate the Game Division (aside from recently founded Yokohama based visual novel studio Novus) section of the above image? Visual novels are not my forte, weary as I am of falling down the rabbit hole of the final obscure frontier, the 13th circle of niche hell vndb so I'll stop there as thankfully Automaton-Media is on hand to help explain all things Novus instead. But wait, there's more, Minato Soft back catalogue to research, which originated from Candy Soft. Oooh oooh, so many more links to find, so much more text to auto-translate...so many visual novels, so little time...no no NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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The studio will continue to work closely with their existing co-development partners, and will be adding new partners in the future.

SkyBox Labs will continue to operate independently within NetEase Games under the leadership of its three co-founders Shyang Kong, Derek MacNeil and Steven Silvester, and provide a full range of game development services to current and future partners.

NetEase will support the studio with resources and execution capabilities so that SkyBox Labs can achieve faster scale while maintaining the quality of work the studio is known for.
 
Where does it say that Amazon bought the rights to Tomb Raider for $600M?

From the Fellowship of Fans article…

Embracer Group just sold their ‘Tomb Raider’ rights to Amazon for a deal that we can exclusively reveal as being approximately a 600 Million overall package making it Amazon’s second biggest purchase after purchasing the television rights for ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’. Therefore, this puts into perspective the cost and prices that Embracer maybe looking for.
 
Clarification with regards to the Tomb Raider thing:


Seems like a normal licensing agreement, not Amazon buying the IP outright. And $600m is not what they're paying Embracer, but rather their total investment in the projects that use the license (which should include IP royalties but also production costs etc).
 
If ABK deal closes, it's very likely Sony will try to purchase Take Two. It will probably require a 40% premium and cost $25B for Sony (taking into account TTWO has $2B cash on hand). Pretty expensive considering TTWO has a much higher P/E ratio than Sony but likely worthwhile to secure their position against MS who would own COD and all other tier 1 ABK properties such as Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft and Overwatch. Sony would also benefit from getting Zynga to bolster their mobile efforts and when you combine Sony Music Mobile income, it would make Sony the #3 mobile publishers globally.

If Sony does buy TTWO, I suspect they will still try to purchase Square Enix or Capcom. Both are relatively cheap considering their income/revenue. Square is probably more interesting because of their live service revenue (FFXIV) and mobile/merchandising income. Not to mention a close relationship between the companies.
 
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If ABK deal closes, it's very likely Sony will try to purchase Take Two. It will probably require a 40% premium and cost $25B for Sony (taking into account TTWO has $2B cash on hand). Pretty expensive considering TTWO has a much higher P/E ratio than Sony but likely worthwhile to secure their position against MS who would own COD and all other tier 1 ABK properties such as Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft and Overwatch. Sony would also benefit from getting Zynga to bolster their mobile efforts and when you combine Sony Music Mobile income, it would make Sony the #3 mobile publishers globally.

If Sony does buy ABK, I suspect they will still try to purchase Square Enix or Capcom. Both are relatively cheap considering their income/revenue. Square is probably more interesting because of their live service revenue (FFXIV) and mobile/merchandising income. Not to mention a close relationship between the companies.
Would be very funny to see Sony - who is currently arguing that Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to purchase ABK because the Call of Duty IP is too massively popular - attempt to purchase a publisher with similarly massively popular IPs such as GTA, Red Dead, and NBA 2K.
 
Would be very funny to see Sony - who is currently arguing that Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to purchase ABK because the Call of Duty IP is too massively popular - attempt to purchase a publisher with similarly massively popular IPs such as GTA, Red Dead, and NBA 2K.

That's why they haven't made any big moves! If regulators approve ABK deal, that means none of Sony's complaints were strong enough to sway regulators and therefore clears the path for them to make a similar move and likely make similar concessions.
 
If regulators approve ABK deal, that means none of Sony's complaints were strong enough to sway regulators and therefore clears the path for them to make a similar move and likely make similar concessions.
Not really. There is a difference when the market leader makes a move vs a 2nd/3rd place player. It would be a different analysis than with MS. Plus you have to consider that the company in question wants to sell. Activision was in a unique case plagued with scandal. T2 and the Japanese publishers don't have similar issues
 
If ABK deal closes, it's very likely Sony will try to purchase Take Two. It will probably require a 40% premium and cost $25B for Sony (taking into account TTWO has $2B cash on hand). Pretty expensive considering TTWO has a much higher P/E ratio than Sony but likely worthwhile to secure their position against MS who would own COD and all other tier 1 ABK properties such as Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft and Overwatch. Sony would also benefit from getting Zynga to bolster their mobile efforts and when you combine Sony Music Mobile income, it would make Sony the #3 mobile publishers globally.

If Sony does buy TTWO, I suspect they will still try to purchase Square Enix or Capcom. Both are relatively cheap considering their income/revenue. Square is probably more interesting because of their live service revenue (FFXIV) and mobile/merchandising income. Not to mention a close relationship between the companies.
Considering how Sony is trying its damnedest to be uncooperative and limit what Microsoft AND the FTC are able to learn from them through discovery (if anything, since they're extending deadlines on whether or not to quash subpoenas), despite being the most vocal non-governmental opponent to the ABK acquisition, I have a feeling that the level of scrutiny from such acquisitions would dissuade them from such big moves in the near future and will stick to smaller companies that aren't publicly traded like Bungie.
 
Japanese publishers, especially heavily family owned and operated ones like Capcom, present their own unique challenges to acquisition. Going after any of the major Japanese publishers would also bring Nintendo to the table, who can frankly also afford any of them and provide other tangible benefits Sony/MS can't really match (room to integrate family leadership at the top levels, sustained local AND global platform success, being the biggest game publisher in the industry by a wide margin, familiar and collaborative studio culture, etc). It's not impossible but Sony already inherently benefits with JP support and I think MS doesn't have a real shot at buying any of them anyway (bar Sega, which would have to be a Sammy divestment and selloff rather than buying the whole company with pachinko/resort operations), so I just don't see the upside for Sony if it really only brings additional pressure from Nintendo into acquisitions and they now have to worry about losing publishers on two fronts. Is getting Square Enix even worth it if it directly moves Nintendo into action and they end up losing say Bandai Namco?

I could possibly see Sony going after T2, but after all the loopholes we see being thrown at COD, would they really want to if GTA and NBA2K were also cornered into decade long deals everywhere? I also think there'd be much more legitimate antitrust concern over Sony acquiring one of the "big 4+Epic" due to market position and part of the problem here is Sony's framed the exact arguments that'd be used against them by MS and others to extract those sorts of heavy concessions. I think if Sony goes after any western publisher acquisitions, EA and T2 would probably be less attractive and even off the table due to this. The smarter investment would be going a rung or two down like Embracer, Paradox, Focus, CDP, Techland, WBIE's games unit, or indeed Ubisoft probably belongs in this category. I actually doubt much industry opposition to a Ubisoft buyout, though that company brings it's own unique pitfalls (insane sized workforce, fast declining IP, somewhat intractable family leadership).
 
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Japanese publishers, especially heavily family owned and operated ones like Capcom, present their own unique challenges to acquisition. Going after any of the major Japanese publishers would also bring Nintendo to the table, who can frankly also afford any of them and provide other tangible benefits Sony/MS can't really match (room to integrate family leadership at the top levels, sustained local AND global platform success, being the biggest game publisher in the industry by a wide margin, familiar and collaborative studio culture, etc). It's not impossible but Sony already inherently benefits with JP support and I think MS doesn't have a real shot at buying any of them anyway (bar Sega, which would have to be a Sammy divestment and selloff rather than buying the whole company with pachinko/resort operations), so I just don't see the upside for Sony if it really only brings additional pressure from Nintendo into acquisitions and they now have to worry about losing publishers on two fronts. Is getting Square Enix even worth it if it directly moves Nintendo into action and they end up losing say Bandai Namco?

I could possibly see Sony going after T2, but after all the loopholes we see being thrown at COD, would they really want to if GTA and NBA2K were also cornered into decade long deals everywhere? I also think there'd be much more legitimate antitrust concern over Sony acquiring one of the "big 4+Epic" due to market position and part of the problem here is Sony's framed the exact arguments that'd be used against them by MS and others to extract those sorts of heavy concessions. I think if Sony goes after any western publisher acquisitions, EA and T2 would probably be less attractive and even off the table due to this. The smarter investment would be going a rung or two down like Embracer, Paradox, Focus, CDP, Techland, WBIE's games unit, or indeed Ubisoft probably belongs in this category. I actually doubt much industry opposition to a Ubisoft buyout, though that company brings it's own unique pitfalls (insane sized workforce, fast declining IP, somewhat intractable family leadership).
I agree with almost everything in your post. When it comes to Square Enix, I think the only way Sony would attempt to purchase them is if Microsoft made an offer. That scenario, however, would also bring Nintendo to the table. I still hope that Microsoft doesn't purchase Sega for the mere fact that Persona is now on everything and Yakuza is more successful than ever. There's also the distinct possibility that Microsoft buying Sega would push Nintendo and Sony to attempt to make their own Japanese publisher acquisitions.

Yeah, I could see Sony making an offer to purchase Take Two, but I agree that it would bring up even more antitrust concerns than the Microsoft/Activision acquisition. CDPR, Focus, and WBIE are the few publishers I could envision Sony being interested in if the Activision deal goes through. As for Ubisoft, I'm still unsure what's going to happen to them. I think the 20,000 or so employees they have makes an acquisition unappealing for many larger companies.
 
If ABK deal closes, it's very likely Sony will try to purchase Take Two. It will probably require a 40% premium and cost $25B for Sony (taking into account TTWO has $2B cash on hand). Pretty expensive considering TTWO has a much higher P/E ratio than Sony but likely worthwhile to secure their position against MS who would own COD and all other tier 1 ABK properties such as Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft and Overwatch. Sony would also benefit from getting Zynga to bolster their mobile efforts and when you combine Sony Music Mobile income, it would make Sony the #3 mobile publishers globally.

If Sony does buy TTWO, I suspect they will still try to purchase Square Enix or Capcom. Both are relatively cheap considering their income/revenue. Square is probably more interesting because of their live service revenue (FFXIV) and mobile/merchandising income. Not to mention a close relationship between the companies.

I don't think so. I think many, including myself, underestimated the IP power of Playstation studios. Per the docs, PS studios is making twice the money of both Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda combined on consoles.

This is without Bungie, or the huge growth of titles we have seen like GOWR and the potentially huge GaaS titles.

The prize of PS Studios is their efficiency and quality and I don't think Sony wants to compromise that until they have to.

If ABK closes, and its a huge if, I think Sony will buy Square Enix and some individual devs/partnerships.

If ABK is blocked, industry publisher acquistion is pretty much dead in its tracks for the big ones. EA, T2, ABK, Epic, Ubisoft will all be heavily protected. I think Sony will buy a few individual devs.

MS might try to buy another mid level publisher but I don't see the ones remaining, (JP pubs), agreeing to that.
 
I agree with almost everything in your post. When it comes to Square Enix, I think the only way Sony would attempt to purchase them is if Microsoft made an offer. That scenario, however, would also bring Nintendo to the table. I still hope that Microsoft doesn't purchase Sega for the mere fact that Persona is now on everything and Yakuza is more successful than ever. There's also the distinct possibility that Microsoft buying Sega would push Nintendo and Sony to attempt to make their own Japanese publisher acquisitions.

Yeah, I could see Sony making an offer to purchase Take Two, but I agree that it would bring up even more antitrust concerns than the Microsoft/Activision acquisition. CDPR, Focus, and WBIE are the few publishers I could envision Sony being interested in if the Activision deal goes through. As for Ubisoft, I'm still unsure what's going to happen to them. I think the 20,000 or so employees they have makes an acquisition unappealing for many larger companies.
With Square Enix, I sort of doubt they'd really entertain a MS buyout. While SE isn't really a "family business" in the same way Capcom or Koei Tecmo operate, the Fukushima family still wields a heavy influence owning about a third of the company and a honorary chairmanship between them. The board is also around half longtime Enix staffers with reps from Dragon Quest and Gangan present. Key I think is that an Xbox purchase would fundamentally harm those Japan centric interests, and DQ is essentially a national treasure, so there's probably more here at stake than just money. And even financially on the whole, it's worth remembering that around 70% of SE revenue comes from Japan/Asia. It's real hard for me to see these forces agreeing to anything with Xbox.

Of course these negatives also fundamentally impact a potential PlayStation acquisition, albeit to a lesser degree, but I also feel it makes things unlikely on that end. PlayStation management's accelerating regional weakness, and straight up mobile failure, shouldn't be understated when it comes to considering the future of Dragon Quest and what that means to the founding family and old hands on deck. It really makes the revenge-buy fantasy as a response to ABK (and Bethesda before that, this fandream is nothing new) look horribly misjudged and lacking in knowledge. And it would definitely wake Nintendo, who already own a small stake in SE.

For Sega, I still think it's a longshot, but Sammy restructuring Sega off into it own neat little corner, and dealing with "less attractive" subsidiaries like divesting Japanese arcade operations or taking over western gaming (gambling) divisions kind of have me wondering if they're not priming Sega for a big ticket selloff. I agree it'd hurt some key properties (Sonic, Persona/SMT, Yakuza, Puyo Puyo, etc) but I can see it still be appealing for MS and Sega mgmt and Sega Europe's mobile and PC focused studios and properties seem like they'd integrate really well as an upside.

Although honestly, I also see Sega as a good target for Sony, I just question if they really have the same kind of interest (MS *really* wants a big JP acquisition). I also think Sega probably wouldn't draw Nintendo into the race the same way a potential purchase of SE, BN, Capcom, Konami or even KT would. Especially if it was MS (and not Sony); partly due to the fact Sega's probably as far as these kinds of JP acquisitions can go for MS and partly because they have a friendlier existing corporate relationship with MS, so partner initiatives like Mario & Sonic or Genesis NSO could possibly still continue under them.

For western studios, I think CD Projekt would make a great buy for Sony, it covers their CRPG "hole" from losing like almost all the other big non-Bioware CRPG studios to Xbox and GOG wouldn't present the same issue for regulators it would if MS tried to get them (it could also give PS a ready PC storefront or could be spun off). It also gives PlayStation Studios a nice big dev footprint in central/east Europe, which they're huge in commercially but not structurally.

WBIE would be great too and even give them a stronger footprint in the FGC with MK, casual games with Lego, etc. I think WB would hinge on how additional Discovery rights (like DC) get grandfathered in and there could be complications there for Sony (losing Tolkien stuff, existing focus on Marvel, etc). With the DC thing I almost feel like WBIE might be a more appealing target for MS or a big 3rd party pub like EA or T2.

Focus could make sense to me and nicely fills the hole QD left. I can see them and their subsidiaries (Deck13, Streumon, Dotemu, etc) and partnerships (Asobo, Giants, etc) integrating well with PS Studios. They're also privately owned so it could be a bit simpler transaction with more leeway for regulation, like Bungie or Bethesda were.
 
With Square Enix, I sort of doubt they'd really entertain a MS buyout. While SE isn't really a "family business" in the same way Capcom or Koei Tecmo operate, the Fukushima family still wields a heavy influence owning about a third of the company and a honorary chairmanship between them. The board is also around half longtime Enix staffers with reps from Dragon Quest and Gangan present. Key I think is that an Xbox purchase would fundamentally harm those Japan centric interests, and DQ is essentially a national treasure, so there's probably more here at stake than just money. And even financially on the whole, it's worth remembering that around 70% of SE revenue comes from Japan/Asia. It's real hard for me to see these forces agreeing to anything with Xbox.

Of course these negatives also fundamentally impact a potential PlayStation acquisition, albeit to a lesser degree, but I also feel it makes things unlikely on that end. PlayStation management's accelerating regional weakness, and straight up mobile failure, shouldn't be understated when it comes to considering the future of Dragon Quest and what that means to the founding family and old hands on deck. It really makes the revenge-buy fantasy as a response to ABK (and Bethesda before that, this fandream is nothing new) look horribly misjudged and lacking in knowledge. And it would definitely wake Nintendo, who already own a small stake in SE.

For Sega, I still think it's a longshot, but Sammy restructuring Sega off into it own neat little corner, and dealing with "less attractive" subsidiaries like divesting Japanese arcade operations or taking over western gaming (gambling) divisions kind of have me wondering if they're not priming Sega for a big ticket selloff. I agree it'd hurt some key properties (Sonic, Persona/SMT, Yakuza, Puyo Puyo, etc) but I can see it still be appealing for MS and Sega mgmt and Sega Europe's mobile and PC focused studios and properties seem like they'd integrate really well as an upside.

Although honestly, I also see Sega as a good target for Sony, I just question if they really have the same kind of interest (MS *really* wants a big JP acquisition). I also think Sega probably wouldn't draw Nintendo into the race the same way a potential purchase of SE, BN, Capcom, Konami or even KT would. Especially if it was MS (and not Sony); partly due to the fact Sega's probably as far as these kinds of JP acquisitions can go for MS and partly because they have a friendlier existing corporate relationship with MS, so partner initiatives like Mario & Sonic or Genesis NSO could possibly still continue under them.

For western studios, I think CD Projekt would make a great buy for Sony, it covers their CRPG "hole" from losing like almost all the other big non-Bioware CRPG studios to Xbox and GOG wouldn't present the same issue for regulators it would if MS tried to get them (it could also give PS a ready PC storefront or could be spun off). It also gives PlayStation Studios a nice big dev footprint in central/east Europe, which they're huge in commercially but not structurally.

WBIE would be great too and even give them a stronger footprint in the FGC with MK, casual games with Lego, etc. I think WB would hinge on how additional Discovery rights (like DC) get grandfathered in and there could be complications there for Sony (losing Tolkien stuff, existing focus on Marvel, etc). With the DC thing I almost feel like WBIE might be a more appealing target for MS or a big 3rd party pub like EA or T2.

Focus could make sense to me and nicely fills the hole QD left. I can see them and their subsidiaries (Deck13, Streumon, Dotemu, etc) and partnerships (Asobo, Giants, etc) integrating well with PS Studios. They're also privately owned so it could be a bit simpler transaction with more leeway for regulation, like Bungie or Bethesda were.
Sega is trying to turn around its fortunes at the moment in a post-Nagoshi upper management situation, so unless they fail to do so, I don’t expect them to be on the table.

And WBIE‘s big failing is the utter lack of IPs to go with the talent (and I think WB was trying to sell the game division while retaining the few game IP rights exist from the former Midway catalog, which is pretty bonkers).
 
I don't think so. I think many, including myself, underestimated the IP power of Playstation studios. Per the docs, PS studios is making twice the money of both Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda combined on consoles.

This is without Bungie, or the huge growth of titles we have seen like GOWR and the potentially huge GaaS titles.

The prize of PS Studios is their efficiency and quality and I don't think Sony wants to compromise that until they have to.

If ABK closes, and its a huge if, I think Sony will buy Square Enix and some individual devs/partnerships.

If ABK is blocked, industry publisher acquistion is pretty much dead in its tracks for the big ones. EA, T2, ABK, Epic, Ubisoft will all be heavily protected. I think Sony will buy a few individual devs.

MS might try to buy another mid level publisher but I don't see the ones remaining, (JP pubs), agreeing to that.
The new Sony COO emphasised the need for growth and acquiring IPs. I can see Sony wanting to safeguard their PS market share but also open up new transmedia IP expansion. That’s where T2 provides a ton of value. It gives them GTA (the only counter to eventual COD exclusivity), the worlds 3rd biggest mobile publisher (and creates a great pipeline for turning PS studio IPs into mobile gaming IPs) and tier 1 IPs (red dead, gta) that can be turned into movies, tv shows and even anime. Also T2 would grow overall Sony revenue by 6% and PS revenue by 18%. Not a bad use of cash that Sony is sitting on.
 
The new Sony COO emphasised the need for growth and acquiring IPs. I can see Sony wanting to safeguard their PS market share but also open up new transmedia IP expansion. That’s where T2 provides a ton of value. It gives them GTA (the only counter to eventual COD exclusivity), the worlds 3rd biggest mobile publisher (and creates a great pipeline for turning PS studio IPs into mobile gaming IPs) and tier 1 IPs (red dead, gta) that can be turned into movies, tv shows and even anime. Also T2 would grow overall Sony revenue by 6% and PS revenue by 18%. Not a bad use of cash that Sony is sitting on.

Versus Xbox, Playstation already has something like 70% of the software/MTX market and likely 70%+ on hardware revenue. Might be 80%+ hardware revenue this gen.

I really don't think its necessary and its because Playstation Studios are so big now. They've got 10 GaaS games now alongside Bungie. TLOU Factions could be a huge hit. Destiny is a top 10 GaaS, and Bungie has 2 more IPs in development. If cultivated properly, Bungie could become like Blizzard or Riot.

Something like Square Enix would add FF14, the 2nd most popular MMO and another ~ top 10 GaaS.

And mobile should be an addition, not a necessity, especially not something that justifies a $20B acquisition laden with debt that will irreversibly muddy the balance sheets. Many PC/Console GaaS make way more money than mobile games, and Zynga was actually loosing serious money throughout the years.

Playstations Studios + Bungie + a few more studios/Square Enix could already rival EA/Nintendo on console and it would cost 1/4th of T2.
 
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