Jun 23, 2021 - Economy & Business

The mobile gaming gold rush

A keyboard and mouse and console controllers cowering before a mobile phone.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Electronic Arts this morning announced that it will pay $1.4 billion to buy Playdemic, a mobile gaming studio whose titles include "Golf Clash," from Warner Bros.

Why it matters: This comes just months after EA paid $2.1 billion to buy Glu Mobile. It also resolves talk that not all of WB Games would get included in the Discovery merger.

The big picture: Console game makers are moving hard toward mobile. Some of that is adapting existing franchises, like what Activision Blizzard has done with "Call of Duty" or what Ubisoft plans for "Division," but much of it will be inorganic via acquisition.

  • "Everybody wants a bigger footprint in mobile and moving more into games-as-a-service" Axios Gaming's Stephen Totilo explains.
  • There are tons of mobile gaming studios that are ripe for the taking, both VC-backed and bootstrapped.
  • At the same time, some mobile game companies are diversifying into console games, creating acquisition opportunities in that market too.

The bottom line: Consoles are a relatively limited market. But almost everyone in the world has a mobile gaming device in their pocket.

  • Welcome to the mobile gaming gold rush.

Go deeper: Ubisoft's confusing shift to mobile and free-to-play game development

Go deeper