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Games investments reached $33.6bn in 2020

There were 219 M&A deals last year, dominated by Tencent, Embracer, Stillfront, and Zynga

Investments in the games industry reached a total value of $33.6 billion in 2020, across 664 transactions.

In its annual report, InvestGame highlighted that the US was predominant in the investment landscape last year, representing 36% of the total deal value, followed by China at 27%.

Mergers and acquisitions represented $12.6 billion last year, across 219 deals. It was dominated by purchases from Tencent (23 M&A deals), Embracer Group (26 deals), Stillfront (six), and Zynga (three), which, combined, contributed 60% to the total value.

The largest M&A deals of 2020 were the acquisition of Bethesda parent company Zenimax by Microsoft for $7.5 billion, Zynga buying Peak Games for $1.8 billion, Leyou being acquired by Tencent for $1.3 billion, and EA agreeing to acquire Codemasters for $1.2 billion.

Source: InvestGame, Global Video Game Deals Report 2020 - Investment Overview

Venture capital and corporate investments in the games industry were also on the rise, with a total deal value of $5.9 billion across 363 deals, with a "key focus on multiplatform game developers and publishers," the report said.

In terms of public offerings, they were "nearly grounded to a halt" during the first quarter of 2020, but ended up reaching $15.1 billion by the end of the year, driven by an increased interest in games following social distancing measures, which in turn created a favourable market.

Finally, there were 18 IPOs last year, valued at a total of $2.8 billion.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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