13 major video game companies that were bought in 2021
The video game industry shopped in 2021. Throughout the year, a handful of large companies systematically bought a shipment of smaller ones, at a rate where it seemed like a new acquisition was announced every. a few weeks.
Of course, everything took place in the shadow of the big one: in March, accredited regulatory bodies The purchase of Zenimax (parent company of Bethesda) for 7.5 billion dollars by Microsoft, formalizing a consolidation of the game development superpowers under the The organizational chart of Xbox studios is constantly swelling. But 2021 was also peppered with a bunch of ten-digit acquisitions, some of which made headlines. Here are the most significant.
Netflix buys Night School Studio
Well, it didn’t take long. In May, disseminated reports that Netflix was looking to recruit an executive specifically tasked with advancing the streaming giant’s foray into video games, which began with experiences like Black mirror: Bandersnatch. Two months later, Netflix hired Mike Verdu (formerly from EA and Oculus). And then, in September, he bought Night School Studio, an independent outfit best known for Without beef. The duo makes sense: Night School makes atmospheric choice-driven games, and Netflix has played in the past with pick-your-own stuff, billed as a premium TV show. In recent years, Netflix has produced successful adaptations of dota, Castlevania, and League of Legends. And then there is the Without beef television show (initially conceptualized as a movie), revealed in january. A network has yet to be announced for the series, but come on.
Read more: Netflix’s video game service says it all
The developer says the production on Beef Free II, which would be its first game released under the new arrangement, is unaffected by the acquisition and is still on track for release next year. It wouldn’t be Netflix’s first game, however. In November, Netflix has added five video games to its streaming offerings, including two previously published (and lukewarmly received) adaptations of Strange things.
Epic acquires Mediatonic
In March, Epic Games bought Mediatonic, the studio behind the glowing royal platformer of 2020, fall guys. At the time, Mediatonic was planning to release fall guys on Xbox and Switch. That has since been pushed back to 2022, with the game still only available on PlayStation and PC. What is more, to this day, fall guys still hasn’t landed in the metaverse of his new overlord, Fortnite, although data miners claim such a crossover is imminent.
The Mediatonic acquisition is just the latest example of Epic’s intention to dominate the board game metaverse. In 2019, he bought Psyonix, the developer of Rocket league, the auto-football sports game about listening to extremely eye-catching EDM earworms. A year and a billion crossover events later, Epic shot Rocket league from availability on Steam. For now, fall guys is still available on the front of Valve.
Epic acquires Harmonix
Mediatonic wasn’t Epic’s only major acquisition in 2021. Last month, Epic took over Harmonix, the creators of Rock band, to design “musical journeys and gameplay” for Fortnite. During the pandemic, various popular musicians have staged digital-only concerts at Fortnite for big stars like Ariana Grande; It’s not immediately clear whether Harmonix would work on experiments like these or design more stuff like the rhythm games the studio has made a name for itself. Either way, Harmonix says it will keep its catalog on Steam, although Epic operates its own competing PC storefront.
Nintendo buys Next Level
It’s not that often that Nintendo buys direct from game development studios, but the company started the year in officially acquires Next Level Games, the creators of Vancouver Luigi’s Mansion 3. The studio previously developed 3DS games Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, who both received high praise from Kotakureviews of.
Sony acquires Housemarque
Honestly, if you had asked me anytime earlier this year, I would have guessed that Housemarque was a Sony studio owner. Since 2012, only one game from the Finnish studio (Nex Machine) was released on a platform other than PlayStation (PC). But it wasn’t until June, after the acclaimed April release of Return on PlayStation 5, that Sony officially called on Housemarque as a studio owner.
Sony acquires Bluepoint Games
Everyone saw this one coming, since the news was accidentally revealed in a tweet three months ago, but in September, Sony bought Bluepoint Games. Best known for producing luxurious remakes of popular games like Demon souls and Shadow of the colossus, Bluepoint is currently working on original games, studio director Marco Thrush Recount IGN.
Damn, Sony buy everybody
In July, Sony has bought Nixxes, a studio known for working on popular gaming PC ports. (In recent years, Sony has started releasing its biggest games on PC.) This was followed, in September, by The purchase of Run Sackboy! To run! Fireesprite developer. Just this month, Sony has acquired Valkyrie Entertainment, a Seattle-based team that has primarily functioned as a support studio for AAA games, including the upcoming God of War Ragnarok. And on top of all that, all the way back in March, Sony bought Evo, the fighting games tournament, in partnership with Endeavor. No, not technically a development studio, but still an acquisition linked to the “shit” game.
Tencent acquires Turtle Rock
Tencent continued its push into the game with the Turtle Rock Studios December Purchase, fresh out of the Back 4 Blood, the developer’s animated multiplayer zombie shooter. Turtle Rock marked the sixth major purchase for the multinational conglomerate, following majority investments in Klei Entertainment (famous for Don’t starve), Yager (Special operations: the line), and Stunlock (Battlerite). In 2021, Tencent also purchased Sumo group and big shark, an independent Swedish studio.
Embracer buys a gearbox
In February, Embracer Group, the mega-company that owns THQ Nordic and Koch Media,bought a gearbox, the developer of Borders and the game editor like the fall of god and Midgard Tribes. 2K, the longtime publisher of Borders, says this merger won’t impact future games in the eternally crass series of co-op shooters. A fantastically inspired spin-off, Little Tina’s Wonderland, is slated for release in March next year.
Embracer acquires Aspyr
The same day Embracer bought Gearbox, he also picked up Aspyr, a company known for porting games to various devices. Aspyr is currently working on a suitable remake of the 2004 RPG. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, intended for release on PC and PS5.
Take-Two buys Roll7
Take-Two Interactive is best known for releasing megawatt hits in the Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and NBA 2K franchises, in addition to games in the comparatively smaller but still blockbuster Borders and BioShock series. But the New York-based company is branching out into lighter fare with its Private Division label. In November, Take-Two bought Roll7 (the developers of OlliOlli skateboard games) and placed it under the responsibility of the private division. World OlliOlli is slated for release in February.