Compared to last year, the global gaming industry saw an increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions, yet the number of investments in game start-ups declined, according to the report by digital investment bank Digi-Capital. The report tracked this year's trend in global games investments up to Oct. 1 before its release.
As of now, 71 mergers and acquisitions have generated $3.6 billion, and the deal average was $51 million. This beats 2011, a record year for such transactions: 113 deals raised $3.4 billion with an average deal at $30 million, the report notes. VentureBeat predicts the total transactions at the end of 2012 may bring in more than $4.76 billion.
But in terms of investment, only $591 million went into 130 game companies so far. Last year's 152 investmment deals drew in $2 billion, states a Digi-Capital blog post.
Most investments went to middleware, mobile, and massive multiplayer online games. Investments in social and casual games, the industry's dominant sector in 2011, declined significantly. AllThingsD suggests that the $1 billion IPO of social game giant Zynga pushed venture capitalists toward tablet and mobile games.
Digi-Capital predicts that Asia, and not the U.S., could dominate the global games market in coming years. Companies based in China, Japan and South Korea made six of the ten largest mergers and acquisitions this year.