Games industry deals totaled $4.9 billion in Q1, more than doubling year-over-year

Market intelligence platform InvestGame has analyzed gaming deal activity in the first quarter of 2024. Here are the key trends for various segments, including acquisitions and private investments.

Games industry saw 132 closed deals totaling $4.9 billion in Q1, up 113% year-over-year

  • According to InvestGame’s new Gaming Deals Report, the total value of deals in the games industry reached $4.9 billion in Q1 2024, up 113% from $2.3 billion in the same period last year.
  • The number of transactions decreased by 34% year-over-year, from 201 to 132. Given the higher values of closed deals, this could be a sign of improvement.

  • The biggest deal of the quarter was Disney’s $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games. It is followed by CVC Capital’s $1 billion acquisition of Jagex.
  • When looking at transactions by segment, there were 103 private investments in the first quarter worth $2.2 billion. However, excluding the Disney x Epic deal, the amount of capital raised was 30% lower than in Q1 2023.
  • Although VCs remain cautious and make fewer investments, there is an increase in pre-seed and seed activity. They also tend to join forces and share rounds with corporate capital.

  • The global games market also saw 23 M&A deals in the first quarter. The total value increased by 214% year-over-year to $2.2 billion.
  • Despite some positive signs, the sector remains unstable. “Major public players, holding substantial cash reserves, are not rushing to make acquisitions (public buyers historically account for c.80% of M&A volume) and are actively making share buybacks,” InvestGame noted.

  • In Q1 2024, there were six public offerings worth $500 million, with the IPO activity remaining muted. The biggest deals in the area were Take-Two’s $350 million sale of senior notes and the issuance of $93 million of new bonds by Stillfront.
  • InvestGame also noted that most companies that went public from 2020 to 2021 are now trading below their IPO prices, and there have been no significant stock launches since mid-2022.

InvestGame expects 2024 to “establish a new ‘norm’ in transaction activity, likely exceeding pre-pandemic levels.” The number of early-stage investments and M&A deals of $1 billion or less is likely to increase. However, companies that raised early-stage funding between 2020 and 2023 “may struggle to secure subsequent funding, leading to shutdowns or ‘acqui-hire’ exits.”

More data and insights into the state of the PC (Steam) and mobile games markets can be found in the full report.

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