Five of last year’s top ten free-to-play online games came from Asia. It’s worth noting that China’s Tencent, the majority of owner of League of Legends creator Riot Games, generated more than $5.3 billion in revenue from games in 2013, making it the largest game company in the world, eclipsing even Activision Blizzard with $4.8 billion.
It’s easy to see where this is going. Asia is going to be the king of the games business. In fact, it already is. The question is just how much of the business the Asian game companies will own. Alina Soltys, a senior analyst at M&A advisory firm The Corum Group, noted that nine of the top ten acquisitions in gaming in 2013 had Asian acquirers, compared to eight of the top ten in 2012...
In China, there are 80,000 app developers who are releasing about 100 games a day, according to GPC China Games Market Report. PC client games still account for 64.5 percent of revenues, while web games are 15.4 percent, Soltys noted. Mobile games are 13.5 percent, but revenues grew 250 percent in the year.
There are some big acquisitions happening. SoftBank bought 51 percent of Supercell for $1.53 billion, and Tencent bought 40 percent of Epic Games for $330 million. In 2013, there were 20 online gaming acquisitions and 12 mobile game deals. The total value of M&A in Chinese games in 2013 was $3.1 billion, according to Soltys.
The Corum Group says the top Asian game company acquirers include Nexon, which made 10 recent acquisitions, followed by SoftBank with four, Alpha with four, Zqgame.com with three, Ourpalm with 3, Gamevil with 2, GungHo Entertainment with two, and Tencent, Shanda, and Susino with one each. China has seen IPOs of game companies such as Binary Sale Technology, Boyaa, Forgame, and ICG.