Tencent, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo: the major video game companies

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Tencent, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo: the big video game companies

The world number one Tencent reigns as well in Asia, the most important market of the #x27;video industry, than in the rest of the world.

“Fortnite”, one of most popular games in the world

In a global video game market estimated at more than 300 billion US dollars (394 billion Canadian dollars) by the firm Accenture, the time has come for consolidation with several players such as Microsoft, Tencent and Sony which are strengthening themselves at shots of acquisitions. Here is a review of the forces involved.

World number one Tencent reigns both in Asia, the most important market in the video industry, and in the rest of the world , thanks to a myriad of investments.

The Chinese giant notably owns Riot Games, the publisher of the hit League of Legends, and very popular mobile games like Honor of Kingswith over 100 million people using it daily or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).

“League of Legends” is the most important electronic sports game in the world.

The company had also acquired the Finnish studio Supercell (Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Brawl Stars) in 2016 for US$8.6 billion (C$11.3 billion). A record at the time.

Tencent also owns shares in Epic Games, the publisher of the game Fortnite, as well as in the French Ubisoft (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Just Dance). Moreover, the giant has just helped the Guillemot family to strengthen its hold.

The Japanese group Sony has sold more than 500 million copies of its PlayStation, all models combined, since 1994.

With its subsidiary Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company controls a host of studios, including Insomniac and Housemarque, which have developed exclusive titles for its machines such as the Spider-Man saga.

The January 2022 acquisition of the American developer and publisher Bungie (creator of Halo and Destiny) for US$3.6 billion (C$4.7 billion) bolstered its games portfolio.

Sony also announced in April the investment of 2 billion US dollars (2.6 billion Canadian dollars) in Epic Games, carried out jointly with the Danish parent company Lego, to finance the efforts of the publisher of Fortnite in its development of the metaverse.

The American juggernaut Microsoft no longer hesitates to put in the resources, like the biggest acquisition in the history of the sector made in January: the acquisition of Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion US dollars (90.3 billion Canadian dollars). An operation that allowed him to get his hands on major titles like World of Warcraft and Diablo.

The group behind Xbox consoles had already grown stronger with the acquisition of Swedish studio Mojang, creator of Minecraft, in 2014 and ZeniMax Media in 2020 (Elder Scrolls, Fallout…).

The game “Minecraft Earth» allows players to build buildings in augmented reality and geolocated.

Microsoft also wants to establish itself as the Netflix of video games thanks to Xbox Game Pass, its online platform which has just exceeded 25 million subscribers. It allows games to be downloaded to physical media or played via a cloud computing platform.

A market in which its competition, Sony and Nintendo, has positioned itself, but also others like Apple with Arcade or Google with Stadia.

With its legendary sagas like Mario, Zelda or Pokémon, Nintendo stands out from the competition with its mainstream positioning around its Switch console, without participating in the acquisition frenzy.

The company only bought the Canadian Next Level Games at the beginning of 2021, a studio to which it had already entrusted several of its brands to develop titles on its machines.

The famous character Mario from the video game series of the same name

His game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, released in March 2020, became a social phenomenon as homebody lifestyles took hold around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fiscal year 2021/2022, 23 million Switches were sold worldwide.

Although the winds of consolidation picked up a while ago, several top publishers remain independent and could be just as many targets in the future, such as Americans Take-Two and Electronic Arts. or the Japanese Square Enix.

Developer, publisher and distributor, Take-Two is a heavyweight with its very popular games like Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K or Red Dead Redemption.

It paid $12.7 billion US ($16.7 billion CAD) to acquire mobile game developer Zynga, creator of the farming simulation FarmVille.

With $5.6 billion in revenue (C$7.3 billion) in 2021, Electronic Arts also has a portfolio of popular licenses like Fifa, Battlefield, Apex Legends >, The Sims, Madden NFL or Need for Speed.

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