Amazon Games boss Christoph Hartmann has offered his take on consolidation in the video game industry, and he believes we’re going to see more and more buyouts and mergers in the time ahead.
Mergers and acquisition in the video game industry are already having a banner year, with Take-Two buying Zynga for $12.7 billion and Microsoft proposing to acquire Activision Blizzard for $75 billion. Hartmann said this trend may continue (“Nowadays, the smallest shop has a banker,” he says). Looking further out, Hartmann believes consolidation will ramp up even further, to a point where only a precious few companies in the gaming space will be left standing.
“In the long run, we’re all dead. Every business, as long as the state doesn’t interfere, will end up as a monopoly in some form,” he said. “Not that I’m saying [we at Amazon are] going for that. What I’m saying is there are fewer and fewer players. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and the amount of game companies I have seen back then to what it is now… now Activision is getting sold. Who’s left? Take-Two and EA. Take-Two, I don’t know, I think with GTA everyone is steering away because it’s an invitation for trouble… And EA, there’s all the mumblings out there…”