Cast your mind back to the start of the year, when Richie Shoemaker was still finding his MCV feet, Vince Pavey didn’t have any, and the only cost crisis on the horizon was what Microsoft was prepared to shell out for Activision.
2021 was a record period for game industry mergers and acquisitions, with GI.biz reporting at the start of the year that $85 billion had been splurged on the likes of Gearbox by Embracer ($1.38 billion) and on Sumo by Tencent ($1.27 billion) – three times the total amount changing hands the previous year.
At this realisation, clearly someone had a “hold my beer” moment at the Take-Two Christmas party, with the announcement in January that the company had $12.7 billion to blow on Zynga, the creator of FarmVille, which when approved would be the biggest games industry buyout of all time.
Just a few days later, before Take-Two could buff up the horn it blows every quarter to toot out the latest GTA V revenue figures, Microsoft honked out its intention to buy Activision Blizzard for more than $68 billion. The moral of the story: never ask Phil Spencer to hold your beer.