Recent large game purchases, such as Take-proposed Two’s $12.7 billion acquisition of Zynga and Microsoft’s imminent $68.7 billion deal for Activision Blizzard, have led some experts to predict that more huge deals are on the way.
Analysts, including Electronic Arts, are quoted in The Hollywood Reporter explaining their perspectives on potential takeover targets. Enders Research analysts believe Sony may view EA as “likely to be the favorite” for an acquisition. According to the article, EA’s market valuation is presently approximately $37 billion, thus Sony may aim to buy Ubisoft or Take-Two for a “much cheaper” sum.
Another research company, Handler, said Disney might look to purchase EA. “A great way for Disney to build upon its digital future and for [CEO] Bob Chapek to step outside Bob Iger’s shadow would be to buy EA,” Handler said. “Combining EA Sports with ESPN could create a lot of unique opportunities, like a real sports metaverse.”
Handler went on to say that Disney has an existential question to consider: “Does Disney want to be old or new media? Video games is a $200 billion global industry and growing.”
Disney no longer develops games directly but instead has a video game licensing business. Respawn, the studio behind Titanfall and Apex Legends recently announced three new games for Disney. In addition, Ubisoft is working on a new open-world Star Wars game, and Zynga is producing Star Wars: Hunters, a free-to-play shooter. Aspyr Media is working on a remake of Knights of the Old Republic for the PS5 and PC, while Quantic Dream is working on its own Star Wars game, Eclipse.
The article also quotes Clay Griffin of MoffettNathanson, who told THR that gaming companies are appealing acquisition targets these days due to the industry’s development. Furthermore, as part of the drive to develop a metaverse, major tech companies with deep money may try to grab up gaming publishers.
“It’s not an unreasonable position to claim that game publishers are attractive M&A candidates for big tech companies that have the financial brawn to make the metaverse happen, but perhaps don’t have ready-made IP or core competency in producing gaming content that will be required for mass-market acceptance,” Griffin said.
For the time being, this is all just speculation, but many people are wondering how Sony will respond to Microsoft’s potential takeover of Activision Blizzard, if at all. Sony’s stock price plummeted when Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was disclosed, slashing the company’s market valuation by $20 billion.