The number of funding and acquisition deals in the industry increased substantially in 2010, thanks in large part to the growing online and social spaces, reports IHS Screen Digest
The games market saw a total of 123 funding rounds and 87 acquisitions in 2010, totaling 210 deals -- a 36 percent increase when compared to 2009.
IHS Screen Digest notes that acquisitions alone doubled last year, with 20 to 24 events taking place every quarter, while 2009 only saw 49 acquisitions throughout the entire year.
Total declared funding also saw a noted increase, up 130 percent at $1.89 billion, compared to $819 million in 2009. Among the most popular areas for financial investment was the social gaming market, which received 300 percent more funding in 2010.
The report excluded numbers related to the mobile market, however, which IHS Screen Digest tracks separately from the game industry.
IHS Screen Digest analyst Steve Bailey pointed out two trends that helped drive 2010's spike in financial activity: "First, it was driven by burgeoning activity in the fast-evolving sphere of online gaming, with particular emphasis on social network gaming.
"Second, movement in funding and acquisitions also has ramped up between Western markets and entities in Asia, centered likewise on the growth to be found in various aspects of online gaming," he said.
IHS Screen Digest noted that the largest funding event in 2010 was Chinese developer Tencent's $300 million investment in Russia's Digital Sky Technologies. Other notable funding included Zynga's $147 million it secured from Japanese investor Softbank
, and the $150 million ZeniMax Media received
from Providence Equity Partners. The latter investment allowed ZeniMax to acquire both Arkane Studios
and the Japan-based Tango Gameworks