DDM Games Investment Review

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Latest Report

Q3’s $7.1B Investments/M&As/IPOs Receives a Bump During Industry Shakeout

Q3’s $7.1B Across 166 Transactions is Up 769% in Value from Q2’s $818.4M and 202 Transactions

Looking forward to Q4 2023, 2023 Will Become a Record-Breaking Year Due to Microsoft’s $68.7B Acquisition of Activision Blizzard (closed in October 2023)

After nearly two full years of enduring macroeconomic headwinds of high inflation and recession fears, an ongoing crypto winter, and slower economic growth, the games industry had a nice bounce after a full-year of declined values.

To refresh memories, the pandemic caused the games industry to see a massive increase in revenues while much of the world was locked in their homes and turned to games to stay occupied. This surge in revenue required studios to focus on game upkeep, hire more employees for future ambitious titles, find funding, and/or look for potential exits as revenues/valuations were at all-time highs. Now as the world returns to normalcy, the audience is no longer locked in doors, causing a backpedal in strong financials. This has resulted in mass layoffs and/or studios tightening their expenses and restructuring operations. The decline in financial stability and transactions for gaming has been quite a lengthy one, but Q3, with its increase of 769% over the previous quarter, has shown a glimpse of hope in still a very shaky time.

Looking forward in Q4 2023, Microsoft officially closed its $68.7B acquisition of Activision Blizzard in October 2023. This transaction is so large it will make 2023 a record-breaking year across investments and M&As in combined value that is greater than the sum of the previous ten M&A quarters which totaled $67.3B. It is worth noting that most company valuations remain dampened and revenues are lower. As a result, 2023 is not a true “reversal” of declines seen from previous quarters.

In our report, we also highlight big stories that impact the industry, including:

• After Closing in Q4, Microsoft + Activision Blizzard Makes 2023 Largest Year on Record For Video Game M&As
• 2023 Will Be a Historical Year For Investments/M&As
• Strategic and Financial Investors/Buyers for More Investments & Acquisitions
• Unity Causes Industry Revolt After Price Restructure
• Most Game Studios Embracing AI While Some Wait for Legal Clarity
• SEC Regulations Continue to Batter Blockchain Games Sentiment
• Gaming and Entertainment Companies Continue to Expand IPs Through Other Mediums
• More Strategics Attracted to India Despite Online Gaming Tax Now Live

We’re excited coverage continues from Forbes. Read more in our free summary or full paid reports.

Games Investments by Segment Q3 2023

Source: DDM Games Investment Review

Top 5 Private Investments Q3 2023

Category Date Company Value ($M) Stage Company Description Country
Mobile 14 Aug 23 Candivore 100.0 Mid/Late Mobile games developer Israel
Tech/Other 18 Jul 23 Futureverse 54.0 Early AI-driven blockchain metaverse infrastructure provider New Zealand
Tech/Other 03 Aug 23 Inworld AI 50.0 Mid/Late AI-based virtual character creation platform provider USA
eSports 06 Jul 23 Veloce Esports 50.0 Mid/Late Content creation service provider and esports organization UK
Mobile 20 Sep 23 Proof of Play 33.3 Early Blockchain games developer and infrastructure provider USA

Source: DDM Games Investment Review

Top & Median Investments Q3 2023

Segment AR/VR Console/PC eSports MCG Mobile Tech/other
No. Investments 4 15 10 10 34 22
Top Deal by Value ($M USD) Wicked Saints Studios’ $3.5M Seed investment from Riot Games, Oregon Venture Fund, BRONZE, 1Up Ventures, Precursor Ventures, and others Mountaintop Studio’s $20.0M early-stage investment from an unknown investor Veloce Esports’ $50.0M mid/late-stage investment from GEM Gardens’ $31.3M Series A investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, KRAFTON, Dreamhaven, Tirta Ventures, Rendered VC, Transcend Fund, FunPlus, and others Candivore’s $100.0M mid/late-stage investment from Haveli Investments, Union Tech Ventures, O.G. Venture Partners Futureverse’s $48.0M Series A investment from 10T Holdings, Ripple
Seed by Volume 75% 60% 60% 50% 68% 50%
Series A by Volume 25% 13% 0% 20% 6% 14%
Other by Volume 25% 27% 40% 30% 26% 36%
Q3 Median Segment Investment ($M USD) 1.6 5.0 1.0 2.8 2.0 6.0
Q3 Segment Total Value ($M USD) 7.2 75.0 83.2 58.7 270.5 253.5

Source: DDM Games Investment Review

Games M&A by Segment Q3 2023

Source: DDM Games Investment Review from Disclosed Transactions

Top M&As Q3 2023

Category Date Company Acquirer Value ($M) Company Description Country
Mobile 12 Jul 23 Scopely Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia 4,900.0 Mobile games developer/publisher USA
Mobile 18 Aug 23 Rovio Sega 775.4 Mobile games developer Finland
Mobile 29 Sep 23 InnPlay Labs Playtika 300.0 Mobile games developer Israel
Tech/Other 28 Aug 23 Azerion (assets) Playtika 161.9 Monetization/publishing/advertising/ games developer The Netherlands
eSports 01 Aug 23 Heroic Group Krow Bidco 5.5 eSports organization Norway

Source: DDM Games Investment Review

Games IPO by Quarter ($M)

Source: DDM Games Investment Review

Top Fund Announcements Q3 2023

Announced Date Firm Fund Name Fund or Company Focus Fund Size ($M) Funding Stages
21 Sep 23 True Light Capital, Temasek True Light Fund I Digital transformation, energy, biotech; previous mobile, MMO developer and blockchain/gaming tech investments by parent company Temasek 3,300.0 Early, Mid/Late
26 Jul 23 Goodwater Capital Two funds: Goodwater Capital V, Goodwater Infinity III $600M for Early-stage Fund V and $400M for Opportunity Fund II for consumer tech, financial services, healthcare, and entertainment; previous gaming tech investment 1,000.0 Early, Mid/Late
11 Jul 23 Vertex Ventures The Vertex Master Fund III (in progress) New Digital Economy, Deep Tech, Healthcare, Consumer, Fintech, Healthtech / Agritech; previous mobile and blockchain infrastructure investments 1,000.0 Early
25 Sep 23 Dawn Capital Two funds: Dawn V, Dawn Opportunities III $620M for Dawn V and $80M for Dawn Opportunities III for B2B software; previous esports investments 700.0 Mid/Late
18 Sep 23 Blockchain Capital Two funds: Early-Stage Fund VI, Opportunity Fund I Approximately 2/3s for Early-Stage Fund VI and 1/3 for Opportunity Fund I for gaming, consumer, decentralized finance and infrastructure; previous blockchain console/PC, eSports, and gaming tech investments 580.0 Early, Mid/Late

Source: DDM Games Investment Review

Q3 Vs Q2 2023

Source: DDM Games Investment Review



Investment and M&A

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