The biggest buyout in video game history : Take-Two and Zynga

Biggest buyout: Zynga to Take-Two in video games

Today is a historic day. The announcement of the takeover of Zynga by Take-Two has been made. For those of you who don't understand what this means: huge amounts of money and stock transfers. Let's take a look at the details of these two major players in the video game industry and this extraordinary deal, the most expensive to date. You will also have the opportunity to look back at the list of the most expensive buyouts in video games.

Huge mobile game buyout priced at $12.7 billion

Zynga is known for such high-profile casual titles as Farmville 3, Star Wars: Hunters, Words with Friends, CSR Racing, Mafia Wars, Draw Something and Harry Potter Puzzles and Spells to name a few. Despite a decline since 2013, this company remains at the top of the global mobile gaming market. Usually, it is Zynga that disburses to acquire other studios or publishers, not the other way around. But this time, we are treated to the biggest mobile game studio buyout by Take-Two.

Take-Two's video game catalogue before the big Zynga takeover

For its part, Take-Two has forged a reputation for itself through its PC and console titles. Among them, NBA 2K (owned by Visual Concepts until 2005), GTA and Borderlands are among the best-known internal productions. Take-Two therefore owns other entities through acquisitions such as DMA Design (Rockstar North Limited) for 11 million. Take-Two acquired Angel Studios (Rockstar San Diego Inc.) in 2002 for 38 million US dollars and Barking Dog Studios (Rockstar Vancouver Inc.) for 3 million.

This time, Take-Two is buying Zynga with a $12.7 billion buyout split between cash and stock. This makes it the biggest buyout deal in video games, ahead of Supercell, also a mobile game studio and publisher.

The video game giants' biggest deal

Take-Two is heading into mobile for good reason... money. Let's take a look at the biggest video game buyouts of the past few years. While Take-Two scores the highest with the Zynga buyout, this chart still shows impressive numbers that few industries reach today, in the post 2000 dot-com bubble era. Here is the ranking of deals worth more than $1 billion, updated today on Wikipedia:

Ranking of the biggest video game buyouts in history

At the top of the list, you won't be surprised to see Chinese investor Tencent, which recently created a video game label Level Infinite with a Don't Starve mobile release on the horizon. Present three times in this ranking, Tencent bought Sumo Group for 1.2 billion dollars, Leyou for 1.5 billion and became majority shareholder of Supercell for 8.6 billion. Moreover, Tencent has even planned to reinvest 11 billion dollars by buying back other shares, despite the poor performance of the Finnish studio.

Also present in this top 15, Electronic Arts (dear EA) has acquired large chunks of the market by buying Codemasters (DiRT games), Playdemic (LEGO Star Wars Battle) and Glu Mobile (creators of Disney Sorcerer's Arena, recently sold in 2021) for a total of more than 5 billion US dollars

With the acquisition of Zynga, Take-Two has signed a deal unlike any other in the video game industry, underlining its desire to bring its successful licences to mobile with renowned teams.

Edit 18 January 2022: Barely a week after this announcement, Take-Two's takeover of Zynga has just been dethroned. And by a long shot. Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard and closing the deal today for $68.7 billion. With such a sum, the transaction is the most expensive buyout in the history of the video game industry, but also of the entire tech industry. In mid-January 2022, it's starting to feel like the upper echelons of the video game industry are playing with their companies.

Yaya Yaya would never have spent a single cent on a mobile game. At least, that's what the legend says.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with*.

Share this
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Telegram
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit