Microsoft splurged big when it bought Activision/Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal that will now see it own some very lucrative franchises, including Call of Duty. This has spurred industry insiders and analysts, who have now begun weighing in on what the next major acquisition target would be.
Microsoft and Sony have spent the last year acquiring game studios, Sony spent its money to add five more names to its portfolio but Microsoft went all out when it completed a $7.8 billion acquisition of Elder Scrolls studio Bethesda, and then followed it up with the bombshell purchase of Activision/Blizzard, in one of the most expensive deals in entertainment yet.
Also Read: Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard: With the video game industry under new management, what's going to change?
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter (via Gamespot), Industry analysts have shared their thoughts on potential targets for the next acquisition, with EA being high on the list.
Research firm Enders said that Sony might fancy acquiring EA, saying it's, "likely to be the favorite." However, if Sony chooses to be conservative, and doesn't want to splurge, it could view Ubisoft and possibly Take-Two as cheaper options.
Handler, another research firm, believes that Disney might bid for EA and it would be, "A great way for Disney to build upon its digital future and for [CEO] Bob Chapek to step outside Bob Iger's shadow would be to buy EA."
The firm also said that combining EA Sports and ESPN could open up lucrative opportunities.
Also Read: Sony may be looking at expanding backward compatibility for PlayStation 5
MoffetNathanson's Clay Griffin told the publication that gaming companies made for attractive buys, given the growth of gaming in general. The Metaverse could also play a role, as big tech companies rush to build the framework.
"It's not an unreasonable position to claim that game publishers are attractive M&A candidates for big tech companies that have the financial brawn to make the metaverse happen," said Griffin.
"but perhaps don't have ready-made IP or core competency in producing gaming content that will be required for mass market acceptance," he added.