California-based game publisher Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) had a busy month as it continued to face controversy surrounding a now-successful union vote by quality assurance testers.

The gaming industry has been chock full of acquisition rumors, and a new report indicates that big-name game makers continue to show interest in these deals.

Here the Investing News Network (INN) offers a recap of May highlights in the gaming market.

Activision Blizzard saga continues

Quality assurance testers at Raven Software, a game developer owned by Activision Blizzard, have voted in favor for the creation of a union, representing one of the first major unions at a big gaming company.

“Our biggest hope is that our union serves as inspiration for the growing movement of workers organizing at video game studios to create better games and build workplaces that reflect our values and empower all of us,” reads a statement from the union, which goes by the name the Game Workers Alliance.

Raven Software is involved in the Call of Duty game franchise, and Bloomberg reported in mid-May that there were efforts from Activision to prevent the union from forming.

In January, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced its intentions to buy Activision in a deal worth US$69 million. The transaction is expected to close by June 2023, pending regulatory approval.

The purchase has been in the spotlight since it was announced, as it has garnered calls about anti-trust issues.

Now the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and pension funds are suing the company based on the claim that CEO Bobby Kotick rushed the Microsoft deal and cost the funds millions, according to Axios.

“Given Kotick’s personal responsibility and liability for Activision’s broken workplace, it should have been clear to the Board that he was unfit to negotiate a sale of the Company,” the suit indicates. “But it wasn’t.”

EA was on the brink of a major acquisition

Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) (NASDAQ:EA) nearly found itself involved in a major merger move, as acquisitions continue to orbit the video game industry.

According to a report from Puck, NBCUniversal was nearing a merger with EA in a plan that would have resulted in a firm led by Andrew Wilson, CEO of the game maker.

According to the report, EA has been eager to find an acquisition partner and has even held discussions with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Disney (NYSE:DIS).

In the end, the planned deal was scrapped “due to disagreements over price and structure,” the report states.

From around the web

  • In a move adding to its recent gaming investment interests, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund now holds a 5.01 percent stake in renowned Japanese game maker Nintendo (OTC Pink:NTDOF,TSE:7974), a Bloomberg report indicates.
  • Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCTZF,HKEX:0700), which is one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, reported a small decline for its gaming division revenues in Q1; they came in at US$4.9 billion, which is 32 percent of the company’s overall quarterly revenues. According to GamesIndustry.Biz, the firm has blamed new gaming time limits placed on youth in China for the decline in its gaming revenues.
  • Japanese game maker Konami (OTC Pink:KNAMF,TSE:9766,) reported a significant increase in revenues thanks to key franchises. As far as revenues go for its latest fiscal year, the company posted a 9.9 percent uptick from the previous year to reach US$2.3 billion.

One last thought…

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen across industries in a variety of different ways. As far as gaming goes, that impact continues to rear its ugly head as the industry receives news of delays left and right.

Even though some of the biggest games are captivating major audiences, and surprising small games are making an imprint, it’s clear 2022 is beginning to feel hollow with setbacks for several expected games.

Video game delays are caused by a multitude of different reasons, but it’s clear the video game industry has not entirely adjusted to the changes presented by the pandemic.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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