Elden Ring publisher ‘working to secure IP and partnerships’ amid M&A spree

Elden Ring publisher Bandai Namco has been discussing its efforts to ensure the security of IP and partnership with developers in the wake of the recent flurry of M&As in the gaming industry.

In an interview conducted by GamesIndustry.biz, Bandai Namco Europe COO Arnaud Muller revealed that the company is doing its best behind the scenes to shield its business from the negative effects of industry consolidation, however, smaller publishers have difficult times doing this.

“What I find is that we have to secure the IPs that we create with the studios we partner with,” He explained. “When we make investments on IP creation or invest in marketing IPs, we must keep in mind that we must obtain some form of security for what the next steps of the company which develops this IP in the event that the IP isn’t ours.

This is something we’re working on. The expansion of acquisitions that we’re experiencing is affecting a few smaller publishers’ capacities to connect to the most prestigious studios around the world. We at Bandai Namco have the financial ability to make these collaborations.

“We work on a number of measures to secure those partnerships — you’re talking first option rights, you’re talking IP ownership, you’re talking minority stakes in those studios,” Muller stated. “So, there are ways to secure the relationships.”

M&A activities in the gaming industry surpassed the record of $85 billion in 2021. The figure is anticipated to exceed that amount this year.

According to the investment banking firm Drake Star Partners, the first half of this year brought $107 billion in deal value for 651 deals that were announced or closed deals.

They include Microsoft’s $68.7 billion purchase of Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard, Take-Two and Zynga’s $12.7 billion merger, as well as Sony’s $3.6 billion purchase of Destiny maker Bungie.