2016 was a record year in the games industry, with over $30 billion in deals signed according to Digi-Capital’s 2017 Games Report. Mergers and acquisitions drove the market with over $28 billion spent, a 77% growth over the previous 2014 record. Over $1.9 billion was invested in the industry which was the second highest dollar amount in history.
Driven by China, the vast majority of investment was in the mobile sector. After a year that saw 40% year-to-year revenue growth in the mobile sector, on the backs of gaming giants such as Pokemon Go, experts expect the growth to slow to about 15% year-to-year in the near future.
At the other end of the spectrum is indie gaming, with much more room for growth. Experts are comparing this sector to the early days of mobile gaming, with pioneers poised for explosive growth in the future. That could come on the back of VR, which is slated to become a $7 billion industry in the next five years, though Pokemon Go brought in more revenue than the entire VR segment.
The mobile industry isn’t just dominating the industry in revenue, but in mergers and acquisitions. The three highest value mergers – Tencent and Supercell for $8.6 million, Activision-Blizzard and King for $5.9 billion, and Giant and Playtika for $4.4 billion – all occurred in the mobile sector. Gaming and tech services actually lead the venture capital world and took the largest share of investment dollars.
So what does this mean for you? Gaming, as an industry, is stronger than ever. We can look forward to seeing growth in the scale of mobile games, and for our favorite developers to keep on chugging along.