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Mergers and Acquisitions in the European Gaming Industry: Recent Development and Future Prospects



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The gaming industry has always been a captivating and dynamic sphere, presenting new titles, innovations, and technologies each year. This constant evolution keeps gamers, developers, and investors alert and engaged. However, the past year has been an especially eventful time for gaming studio consolidations. It is safe to assert that we have witnessed a whirlwind of consolidation unlike any other in the past.

The two largest deals in gaming history were disclosed in January 2022. Microsoft made a stunning announcement of its plan to procure Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion. Concurrently, Take-Two Interactive declared its intent to acquire Zynga for $12.7 billion. These acquisitions have irrefutably proven to be game-changing moves in the gambling sector. 

The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is a significant manoeuvre that will result in a gaming powerhouse. Activision Blizzard has created some of the industry’s most outstanding game titles, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush Saga. In contrast, Microsoft is the proprietor of Xbox. Together, the two companies can combine their strengths to generate an unparalleled gaming ecosystem.

Moreover, Microsoft will acquire access to Activision Blizzard’s vast array of games, which will undoubtedly fortify its already impressive Game Pass subscription service.

Merger and Acquisition Activities 

Here are a few staggering merger and acquisition activities,

  • Embracer Group acquired Gearbox Entertainment, the developer of Borderlands, for a staggering $1.37 billion. Additionally, it also procured Aspyr, a porting specialist, for $450 million, and Easybrain, a mobile developer, for $765 million.
  • The European Commission has given its approval to Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of well-known game studios such as Doom and Fallout’s Bethesda Softworks. This acquisition has taken Microsoft’s number of 1st party game studios to a whopping 23, cementing its position in the industry.
  • EA’s acquisition offer of $1.2 billion for Codemasters has been approved by its shareholders, signalling the deal’s finalization.
  • EA has also purchased Glu Mobile, a mobile game developer, for a considerable enterprise value of $2.1 billion, expanding its mobile gaming portfolio.

Primary Factors Driving the European Gaming Studio Consolidation

Despite the pandemic-fuelled boom in the gaming industry, game development remains a precarious undertaking. User preferences can be unpredictable, development costs have skyrocketed, competition is cutthroat, and creative ideas that seem promising at the outset may become commonplace by the game’s completion.

Even the most successful independent game developers or new online casino websites can face challenges while navigating the industry’s difficult terrain. Two such examples are Gearbox Entertainment Co. and Insomniac Games, which were previously stable but have since been sold in the past two years. Such developments underscore the need for strategic adaptability in a constantly evolving market.

Now, let’s take at the reasons behind this trend. 

  • Investment Companies and Banks Spending Money

The present investment landscape are marked by a surge of funds from banks and investment firms, which has created an overheated investment environment. As we look ahead to 2023, there seems to be no indication that this trend will abate anytime soon.

  • Bigger Gaming Companies Making Bigger Impacts

In its Q2 2021 earnings report, Microsoft revealed a 51% YoY surge in gaming revenue. The pandemic has caused a spike in consumer spending on video games, resulting in higher revenues for several major gaming companies such as Tencent, Sony, Nintendo EA, L&L Europe Ltd Casinos and Activision Blizzard. This trend is projected to persist as people continue to spend more time at home and explore new sources of entertainment.

  • Studio Acquisitions Secure Content

Acquiring studios is an effective approach to obtaining content for subscription services. The ownership of original content has consistently proven to be a wise and enduring business strategy, and both Microsoft and EA have wholeheartedly embraced this notion. By acquiring studios, they can secure a steady flow of exclusive content for their respective platforms, ensuring long-term success.

Effects of Merger and Acquisitions

Like every other thing, the effects of everything are multiple and complex. Let’s take a look at a few. 

  • Bigger Gaming Studios Have Resources and Money for Accelerating Growth

When a smaller studio is acquired by a larger one, it often leads to more rapid and frequent game updates than the smaller studio could have achieved independently. It is due to the greater resources and support provided by the acquiring company, including access to a larger team of developers, better technology, and more substantial funding. As a result, the acquired studio can focus on creating high-quality content while benefiting from the infrastructure and expertise of its parent company.

  • Going Corporate Can Imply Less Creative Freedom

The process of consolidation seems to be mutually beneficial. Acquired companies can ensure their sustainability, while larger studios acquire additional content to satisfy an eager fan base. However, there are also drawbacks to this approach. A market controlled by a small number of dominant companies may lead to limited options, creative stagnation, and increased subscription fees in the long run. It is essential to strike a balance between consolidation and competition to maintain a healthy and thriving gaming industry.

At a creative level, the uniqueness of smaller studios can be quickly eradicated when they are acquired by a larger industry conglomerate. It is precisely this originality that often serves as the most compelling selling point for their devoted fan base. When smaller studios are assimilated into a larger corporate structure, their creative identity may become diluted, and they may lose the qualities that made them exceptional in the first place. As a result, companies must strike a balance between the advantages of consolidation and the importance of preserving the distinctive qualities that made the acquired studio successful.

  • Independent Gaming Organizations Are Grappling to Stay Afloat

In the not-so-distant past, the gaming industry featured a substantial number of independent studios that could produce successful titles with fewer resources and greater creative freedom. However, when these studios encountered financial challenges and budgetary constraints, a wave of acquisitions led by large corporations became inevitable. The industry’s increasing emphasis on blockbuster titles and high-budget projects has made it increasingly challenging for smaller studios to compete. As a result, only a few powerful players are now dominating the gaming industry.


Bart Crebolder

Bart is the lead content manager for Online Casino Groups.Thanks to his background as a journalist in the iGaming industry is he always first with news about online casinos. Bart is working for almost 10 years in the iGaming industry so you can take his fair casino reviews for granted!


FBMDS’ First Ever Crash Game, Champion Tales, is Out Worldwide



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Get ready to witness the dawn of a new era in online casino gaming as FBMDS unveils the highly anticipated Champion Tales, the brand’s first ever non-traditional game available worldwide. Brace your players for an immersive gaming experience that will transport them across the globe, hand in hand with the legendary Mr Champion himself.

Champion Tales captures the essence of the emergent non-traditional gaming trend with its strategic betting rounds and monumental winnings. FBMDS’ new game merges top-notch technology with the brands’ expertise, creating a thrilling and immersive experience with high stakes for players and a safe choice for casino operators.

A distinctive non-traditional game with big prizes to award

Following a crash gaming logic, FBMDS’ release evokes players’ heart-pounding anticipation as the multiplier reaches new heights, requiring strategic decision-making and a thrilling rush to hit the ‘Collect’ button before it’s too late.

FBMDS has balanced gameplay mechanics to increase players’ chances of earning significant rewards, making it a lucrative choice for online casino operators. Furthermore, Champion Tales boasts a highly profitable RTP rate, surpassing competitors in the market.

But that’s not all. Champion Tales comes loaded with features designed to elevate the gaming

  • Autoplay: Players can choose how many rounds they want to play without any hassle, making continuous play even more convenient and enjoyable.
  • Auto Cashout: The Auto Cashout feature, where players can choose the value they want to cash out, minimizing mistakes or distractions that could impact their winnings.
  • Responsible Gambling: FBMDS prioritizes players’ safety with the responsible gambling feature, allowing players to set limits above or below their initial balance, preventing any unwanted excessive play.
  • Detailed Play History: A detailed play history feature ensures that players always remain safe and in control. They can review their past gaming sessions, bets and outcomes, promoting transparency and responsible gaming practices.

“Listening to our partners and clients was always the number-one priority during the creation process of Champion Tales,” the Director for FBM, Renato Almeida, said. “Since the crash gaming category has been getting a lot of popularity, we made sure we understood market needs to make sure our clients’ expectations and profitability rates were being met, while delivering an innovative solution able to provide players with an amazing gaming experience.”

A personalized crash gaming atmosphere

Champion Tales goes beyond colossal wins with its debut, offering a captivating Brazil-inspired tropical ambiance. Moreover, the game’s background, scenery and music can be customized to meet the needs of casino operators in diverse markets, cultural contexts and geographical locations.

This allows for an enriched gaming experience worldwide, whether by incorporating local landmarks, cultural references or regional music, to resonate with operators’ requirements, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.

In addition, clients can have their respective logos applied to the game’s flag, further aiding in branding. FBMDS maintains product localization as a priority by developing characters and backgrounds that resonate with the regions where partners operate and represent the seasonality of the market. This approach generates greater player identification, leading to increased retention and loyalty.

By developing mobile-friendly, cutting-edge and highly customizable gaming solution like Champion Tales, FBMDS proves once again its ability to deliver profitable and satisfying products for casino operators worldwide.

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BlueChip Partners Expands to Bangladesh: Unlock New Traffic Opportunities



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BlueChip Partners is now welcoming traffic from Bangladesh. As the brand continues to grow, this new geographic expansion comes at a time when we’re prepared to tackle fresh market challenges. Our successful track record in the Indian, Canadian, and European markets made this expansion a logical next step.

The Bangladesh gaming market presents unique opportunities for BlueChip Partners and webmasters looking to benefit from this untapped domain.

With Bangladesh currently investing in its tourism sector and sports infrastructure and boasting a population of 160 million, there’s immense potential for new gaming ventures. The country’s commitment to enhancing its digital infrastructure and emerging focus on sports suggest a promising surge in betting popularity soon.

Given the nascent state of this market, there are diverse strategies to drive traffic. An array of sources can be utilized to achieve optimal results. Collaborating with BlueChip Partners ensures that this growth is complemented with lucrative rewards.

We offer our partners enticing deals, diverse profit models, and a comprehensive starter pack tailored for the target audience. The no negative balance carryover is a standout feature, allowing webmasters to experiment with different traffic strategies.

“Entering new markets is always an endeavor, particularly if they’re unfamiliar with gambling. But we’re optimistic about the growth potential. Armed with a top-tier product and our in-depth expertise, we’re poised to capture this market segment and ensure profitability for our partners. Now’s the ideal time to come aboard and dominate the market together!” — Bogdan Kuiantsev, Head of BlueChip Partners, commented.

BlueChip Partners is the exclusive affiliate program for BlueChip Casino & Sportsbook. Since its inception in June 2022, it has successfully collaborated with over 1000 partners, and the network keeps expanding. BlueChip Partners welcomes traffic from India, Canada, Finland, and Bangladesh across the Casino and sportsbook verticals. For us, the quality of cooperation always trumps sheer numbers. This philosophy underpins our commitment to forging lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships ensuring flexibility in offers, calculations, and tailored materials.

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AdInMo powers-up to advance player-first in-game advertising



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AdInMo, the mobile in-game advertising platform that gets brands into games in a way that players love, has expanded its product team with the appointment of Samuel Siqueira as Director of Data Science and Meraj Kunarajah as Strategic Advisor. Both come from DSP MediaMath and boast years of adtech and buy-side expertise.

The appointments are timed perfectly as AdInMo’s platform pulls further ahead to enrich both its targeting and pioneering audience insights. Its big data solutions are already helping brands and agencies innovate with non-interruptive in-game ad formats while navigating user-tracking changes in the programmatic ecosystem.

Joanne Lacey, COO, of AdInMo said: “In-game advertising is the most innovative emerging ad format because it offers context, audience diversity and incremental reach. AdInMo already collects billions of contextual and behavioural first party data signals to better understand different player audiences that can be reached via mobile games.

Sam and Meraj’s data and buy-side expertise will help us build out our measurement and addressability solutions that are so crucial for advertisers as the clock ticks on cookie deprecation. We are delighted to welcome them both to Team AdInMo.”

Samuel will be responsible for AdInMo’s player insights strategy and will be part of the team focused on data management and reporting, helping brands target the right audiences in a privacy-first way through in-game advertising.

Meraj, former Senior Director and part of the EMEA Leadership Team at Mediamath, is helping AdInMo hone its product and market strategy to meet the buy-side expectations of brands, agencies and DSPs when it comes to emerging ad formats while also championing AdInMo’s player-first purpose.

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