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How EA Is Positioning Itself in This Growing Segment of the Gaming Industry

By Jon Quast and Jose Najarro – Oct 22, 2021 at 9:45AM

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Companies can choose to catalyze growth by building new products or by buying other businesses. EA is choosing to buy.

According to multiple sources, the video game industry is valued at around $200 billion. One such source is NewZoo, which pegs the market at around $176 billion. However, NewZoo notes that the industry, as a whole, isn't growing but the mobile-gaming segment is experiencing growth.

The growth in mobile gaming explains why Electronic Arts (EA -1.78%) has spent billions acquiring other players in the mobile-gaming space. In this video from Motley Fool Backstage Pass, recorded on Sept. 27, Fool contributor Jose Najarro breaks down these acquisitions from EA.

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Jose Najarro: Next, I wanted to take a quick look at the growth for this company and let me just share. Here, I took a quick free report on NewZoo.com. They share a lot of great insight. They do share free report for those that don't have their super crazy subscription. But we can see 2020 was a huge year, this is supposed to be mobile-game revenue. Yes, right here. From 2019 to 2020, we see a huge growth in the mobile-gaming market, so definitely strong growth. We can see for 2021, not that huge of a market growth. But still growth -- 2020 was definitely a year where we had a lot more lockdown restrictions, so a lot of more people were playing. For 2021, you still see some type of growth. I personally think that's impressive. And then when we fast forward, they expect for 2024 to be even higher. Right now, it's about $90 billion in the mobile-gaming revenue where they expect by 2024 to $116 billion.

Now, I wanted to show how EA games is entering into this market. Most recently, in September 2020, they did acquire a Warner Brothers Games studio called Playdemic, which is for $1.4 billion in cash. Here, Playdemic is pretty much mainly known for one game. I don't know if this acquisition was overpaid or not. But it's Golf Clash, and I heard it's a super-popular game where I believe from one day they did so much revenue. They paid $1.4 billion for this mobile game.

On May 5th, they also acquired Metalhead Software. Metalhead Software is mainly known for their mobile games in the baseball department, in the sports department. We can see EA games is really trying to grow -- maybe right now through acquisitions -- really trying to enter that mobile-gaming market because we saw there's definitely a huge potential there.

On February 18th, they did acquire Codemasters -- Codemasters, and I want to say not necessarily a mobile-gaming play. They're more in the racing for consoles, but still EA games is really trying to increase their overall catalog.

The most popular, I want to say, was their acquisition of Glu Mobile. This was on April 29th of 2021, which they acquired for $2.1 billion in enterprise value, and this one definitely came with a lot of mobile games, Sorcerers Arena, wrestling games, more mobile games. They are really trying to grab this mobile-market share right now, mainly through acquisitions, but also through their catalogs. 

Jose Najarro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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