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Global Gaming Industry Update | September 2021

LOS ANGELES | LONDON | October 5th, 2021 – Drake Star Partners is pleased to publish the September 2021 edition of its Global Gaming Industry Update providing key insights into the deal activities in the Global Gaming market for the first nine months of the year. 2021 is turning out to be a landmark year for the gaming and esports industry with unprecedented amount of deal activity. With three months still to go for the year, the dollar volume for deals announced or closed is already more than twice the dollar volume for full year 2020 with $71B in disclosed deal value across 844 transactions.

The September update analyzes the first nine months of the year in terms of deal activity and volume across market segments (M&A, PP, IPOs, SPACs, public financings), M&A activity by volume and multiples, public market performance and valuations, and discusses the most active gaming buyers and VCs:

  • Unprecedented consolidation across mobile/PC/console driven by major strategics (Embracer, Tencent, EPIC, Stillfront, Take-Two, Zynga, EA, Sony, ByteDance, Facebook, Netmarble, Unity) as well as private equity firms (Carlyle, Bain, Diversis). 228 M&A deals were announced or closed during the first nine months of 2021 with a staggering $31.9B in deal value.
  • Record $9B is raised by private companies in 493 deals from VCs and strategics. With two of the largest raises in gaming, the red-hot blockchain/NFT gaming segment attracted $1.8B in private financings.
  • 2021 is a year of high-profile IPOs, direct listings and SPACs: Roblox, Krafton, Unity, AppLovin, Playtika, Huuuge, Playstudios, Nexters, TinyBuild, Nazara, Cherry Group.

The report further focuses on the market activities for Q3 2021 by breaking out the most significant deals across M&A and financings:

  • Q3 saw further acceleration of private financings: Record $4B raised over 117 deals with significant increase in average check size (JamCity, Voodoo, Tilting Point).
  • NFT/blockchain gaming companies raised over $1B at incredible valuations: Sorare raised $680M at $4.3B and Dapper Labs raised $250M at $7.6B.
  • M&A activity continued to be strong in Q3: $9B in transaction value through 61 deals, including SpinX / Netmarble, Pico / ByteDance, Sumo / Tencent, Reworks / Playtika, Starlark / Zynga, Playsimple / MTG, Parsec / Unity. Netflix made its first gaming acquisition (Night School).
  • Top IPO and SPAC deals: Krafton completed its IPO raising record $3.7B, Nexters completed its SPAC and Doubledown went public on Nasdaq through IPO. Public gaming companies faced headwinds and Q3 had limited new announced IPO and SPACs.

Drake Star Partners Gaming Team: Michael Metzger, Mohit Pareek

 

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Michael Metzger

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michael.metzger@drakestar.com

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