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M&A activity reached $85bn value in 2021

That's three times the deal value of 2020

Merger and acquisition activity reached a record $85 billion in games in 2021, the latest report from investment banking firm Drake Star said.

This is three times the value of the previous year, with a total of 1,159 deals either announced or closed in 2021 (that includes 299 M&A, 718 private placements, and 142 public market deals).

Looking at the deals breakdown for the year, PC/console was the leading sector in numbers, with 107 deals for a value of $13.9 billion. But mobile had higher value, with 77 deals for $15.5 billion.

Hardware and tools represented 46 deals for a value of $4.2 billion.

Drake Star mentioned that 2021 was a "banner year" for IPOs, with the likes of Roblox, Krafton, and Devolver Digital going public.

The biggest deal of 2021 for the PC/console space was the acquisition of Gearbox by the Embracer Group for $1.38 billion, followed by Tencent acquiring Sumo for $1.27 billion and Jagex acquired by private equity firm Carlyle Group for $530 million.

In mobile, the acquisition of Moonton by ByteDance led the charge at $4 billion, followed by the $2.19 billion acquisition of SpinX Games by Netmarble. EA was next with its acquisitions of Glu for $2.1 billion and Playdemic for $1.4 billion.

Among the other highlights, Embracer purchased board game publisher Asmodee for $3.1 billion in December.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar

Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri 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.