Game over: Unity rejects AppLovin takeover bid to buy rival instead

Mobile marketing company spurned in favour of buying rival IronSource, as gaming and marketing continue to merge and monetise.

Iconic games engine developer Unity has rejected a takeover offer by AppLovin. 

The tech firm, known for its mobile marketing and analytics platforms like AppDiscovery and SparkLabs, had previously offered $17.54bn to buy the software developer.

Unity powers thousands of games across consoles, but when it comes to mobile apps, Unity also supports popular games like Pokémon GO, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Call of Duty: Mobile among many others.

The offer was made on condition that Unity drop its own $4.4bn bid to purchase ironSource, a Tel Aviv-based company that is a rival to AppLovin.

John Riccitiello, President and CEO at Unity, said that he was interested in merging with an app company like ironSource because it would give Unity developers more tools to grow and monetize mobile games. 

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.”

That deal, which will now presumably continue as planned, is expected to close in Q4 this year. This isn't the only deal Unity has made recently. Last week, the company signed a "multi-million" dollar contract to work with US Government Defence.