A year after going public, app growth and monetization agency AppLovin submitted an unsolicited proposal today to buy the game engine Unity in a deal worth $20 billion. But there’s a catch: Unity would have to terminate its recent deal to merge with ironSource, an AppLovin competitor.
Unity powers thousands of games across consoles, but when it comes to mobile apps, Unity supports games like Pokémon Go, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Call of Duty: Mobile and more. Unity CEO John Riccitiello said that he was interested in the deal with ironSource because it would give Unity developers more tools to grow and monetize their apps, but the company hasn’t yet responded to AppLovin’s offer, which would offer similar benefits for creators.
“We believe that together, AppLovin and Unity create a market leading business that has tremendous growth potential,” said Adam Foroughi, AppLovin CEO, in a press release. AppLovin estimates that together, the companies could reach an estimated run-rate adjusted EBITDA of over $3 billion by the end of 2024. In AppLovin’s proposal, Unity would own 55% of the merged company’s shares, representing 49% of voting rights. But in the agreement with ironSource, the Israel-based company would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Unity.
Today’s Unity news doesn’t stop there, though. Reuters reports that Unity struck a $1 billion deal to create a joint venture in China. Partners in this venture, which will be called Unity China, include tech giants like TikTok parent ByteDance, Alibaba and more. The deal will help Unity develop local versions of its products for game developers.
Amid a downturn in tech valuations, M&A activity is becoming more and more popular, and gaming is no exception. Microsoft is expected to close a $68.7 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard next year, but the deal has not come without scrutiny from shareholders.