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Unity rejects AppLovin’s $17.5b takeover offer

The game engine company’s merger with ironSource is going ahead

Unity Software have chosen to reject a $17.54 billion (£14.58 billion) all-stock takeover offer from mobile gaming technology company AppLovin to instead pursue their own planned merger with AppLovin’s rival ironSource. Unity’s board of directors unanimously cast aside the AppLovin offer, which hadn’t been sought by the game engine company, after a “thorough financial and strategic evaluation”. The board has recommended that shareholders vote against AppLovin’s offer.

Cover image for YouTube videoCult Of The Lamb Is Properly Grim, But Very Good | My Fav Thing In.... (Cult Of The Lamb Review)
Indie hit Cult Of The Lamb was built in the Unity engine.

Unity announced their intention to merge with ironSource in a $4.4 billion (£3.7 billion) in early July. The merger was seen as a controversial move among indie developers due to mass layoffs at Unity in June. ironSource is also known in the games development community for developing a malware installer in 2015.

The news of ironSource merging with Unity prompted rival mobile gaming tech company AppLovin to table their own unsolicited offer to Unity in an attempt to stop it. That doesn’t seem to have gone down very well with Unity’s board. The board said that AppLovin’s offer didn’t result in a “superior proposal” as defined in Unity’s deal with ironSource, which could have put paid to that merger.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Unity John Riccitiello said: “The Board continues to believe that the ironSource transaction is compelling and will deliver an opportunity to generate long-term value through the creation of a unique end-to-end platform that allows creators to develop, publish, run, monetize, and grow live games and real-time 3D content seamlessly.”

During an interview with PocketGamer following the ironSource merger’s announcement, Riccitiello commented that developers who failed to plan to monetise when creating their games were “some of the biggest fucking idiots”. This also caused just a bit of controversy. Riccitiello subsequently tweeted an apology.

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CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.