2010: A Great Year for Game Industry Funding and Acquisitions

April 29, 2011 -

Video-game industry-related funding and acquisition deals rose 36 percent to a total of 210 in 2010, driven by developments in the online and social network gaming segments. This is according to new IHS Screen Digest research. The research firm said that 123 funding rounds and 87 acquisitions closed in 2010, and that the volume of activity last year was up by more than a third from the 2009's total of 154 events.

Acquisitions doubled last year, with 20 - 24 events occurring every quarter, compared to 49 acquisitions for all of 2009. Total funding for 2010 reached $1.89 billion, up 130 percent from $819 million in 2009. The numbers cover funding and acquisitions activity in all areas of the games market (excluding mobile gaming, which was tracked separately).

"Two key trends fueled the robust pace of funding and acquisitions in gaming during 2010," said Steve Bailey, games analyst at IHS. "First, it was driven by burgeoning activity in the fast-evolving sphere of online gaming, with particular emphasis on social network gaming. Second, movement in funding and acquisitions also has ramped up between Western markets and entities in Asia, centered likewise on the growth to be found in various aspects of online gaming. In particular, the global opportunity presented by versatile browser-based content, on both PC and mobile platforms, drove companies in Asia and the United States alike to embrace opportunities presented by each region, as IHS Screen Digest research shows."

The total declared value of funding deals in the social network gaming segment increased by nearly 300 percent in 2010. This data comes from a new report entitled: Games Market Monitor: Acquisitions and Funding in 2010.

The biggest funding event of the year in 2010 was Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which closed $300 million from Chinese online gaming company Tencent. DST, which was later renamed Mail.Ru.Group), has investments in both Facebook and Zynga, so its input into social network gaming in the West makes sense. Zynga received $147 million from Japanese investor Softbank. Other notable funding events include Zenimax Media’s receipt of $150 million from Providence Equity Partners, which led to its game publishing arm Bethesda Software acquiring two new studios, Arkane and Tango Gameworks.

Also last year, U.S.-based Flash-gaming aggregator Mochi Media was acquired by Chinese online gaming company Shanda for $80 million.

The report also covers notable developments on many other aspects of the games market. These include social network gaming; massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) and virtual worlds; casual gaming; core gaming; payment and billing; social technology; and edutainment, lifestyle management and gaming networks.


Comments

Re: 2010: A Great Year for Game Industry Funding and ...

2010: A Great Year of Absorbing Talent And Exploiting it.

Seriously, this is good news? This is just the renewal of the same old cycle in the games industry. Game publishers buy up lots of talented and successful studios to ride their prosperity for easy profits and then dump them when they no longer provide the rock-star profits they used to bring in. This is nothing to be optimistic about. Sure, thanks to the acquisitions, these studios are going to get more funding to pay the people that work on those games. But as soon as they loose their AAA luster, they'll be cast off like dead skin. Whereas, if they stayed independent,  a slightly less profitable release wouldn't necessarily have been the end for them. Under a company like Activision, they'd get the axe.

How many of those acquisitions are still open? How many were already doing well without a major publisher? How many are being paid to repeat their most profitable creations until we all get sick of seeing another iteration of the same popular title? How long will it be before that gets stale and lower profits prompt publishers to cull the herd? Game publishers aren't in the business of publishing games. They are in the business of providing a "product" that people will buy as many of as they can put out. If that means churning the same crap out over and over simply because people will buy it, then what incentive do they have to do anything but? They're in it for the profit. It's not for the games. Applauding more acquisitions is applauding publishers that push out more of the same stale crap because there are millions of morons willing to buy it, justifying this sick cycle of overly derivative work.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

 
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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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