Drake Star is pleased to publish the 2021 edition of its Global Gaming Industry Report providing key insights into the gaming deal activities for the year.
2021 turned out to be an amazing year for gaming, smashing the 2020 numbers, previously the strongest year in gaming, by a huge margin in terms of both total deal volume and dollar value. The disclosed deal value for deals announced or closed was $85B across 1,159 transactions in 2021, almost three times the dollar volume for full year 2020.
The report analyzes the full year in terms of deal activity and volume across market segments (M&A, private placements, IPOs, SPACs, public financings), M&A activity by volume and multiples, public market performance and valuations, and discusses the most active gaming buyers and venture capital (VC) investors:
- Exceptional $38B in M&A activity across all segments driven by major strategics (Embracer, Tencent, EPIC, Take Two, Sony, Stillfront, Zynga, EA, ByteDance, Devolver, MTG) as well as private equity firms
- VCs and strategics invested an unprecedented $13B in private companies through 718 deals. Big rounds were raised by Epic, Dream11, and JamCity. Galaxy Interactive, Bitkraft, Makers Fund, Play Ventures, a16z, and Griffin Gaming Partners were the most active gaming VCs
- $3.6B was raised by private blockchain / NFT gaming companies. Animoca, a16z, Coatue, and Softbank were very active investors and large rounds were raised by Forte, Sorare, and Dapper Labs
- 2021 was a banner year for IPOs, direct listings, and SPACs: Roblox, Krafton, Unity, IronSource, AppLovin, Playtika, Playstudios, Nexters, Skillz, Cherry Group and Devolver
The report further focuses on the market activities for Q4 2021 by breaking out the most significant deals across M&A and financings:
- Blockchain / NFT segment continued to be super hot! $1.8B was raised in Q4 alone with large financings by Forte, Axie Infinity, Mythical Games, Animoca, and Sandbox at impressive valuations
- Private gaming companies raised a record $4.1B through 201 financing deals from VCs and strategics, representing the largest amount ever raised by private gaming companies in a quarter
- M&A activities continued to be strong with $6.7B in transactions. Notable deals included the acquisition of Asmodee by Embracer, SteelSeries by GN, and GSN Games by Scopely
- Devolver Digital completed its highly anticipated IPO on the LSE while Azerion and Faze Clan announced their plans to go public via SPAC deals
Download the report here: Global Gaming Report 2021