Gaming Weekly-41

GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 41

Highlights

Google to better enforce Play Store in-app purchase policies, ease use of third-party app stores (link)

  • Under threat of regulation, Google announced it’s updating its Google Play billing policies to better clarify which types of transactions will be subject to Google’s commissions on in-app purchases
  • While the more detailed language doesn’t actually change the earlier policy’s intention, it will impact a percentage of developers who don’t currently use Google Play’s billing system when selling digital goods in their app.
  • In addition, the company announced it will make changes in Android 12 that will make it easier for users to install and use third-party app stores as an alternative to Google Play
  • The company says that its current billing policies only apply to less than 3% of apps on Google Play. Of those apps, 97% already use Google Play’s billing library

Twitch viewership will grow by 26.2% this year, faster than previously forecast (link)

  • Time spent watching gaming content on Twitch increased by 50% between just March and April 2020, according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg
  • Previously, it was expected that Twitch would to reach 37.5 million viewers in the US this year, but considering the recent spike in viewing hours, the figure has been updated to 41.5 million, representing a 26.2% increase from the 32.9 million US viewers the platform had last year
  • This growth is driven in part by the pandemic-related proliferation of non-gaming streams

Krafton to merge with PUBG Corp later this year (link)

  • The merger will take place later this year, and will see the support and publishing teams from PUBG Corp become one with Krafton's. Meanwhile, the development team behind popular battle royale PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will join Krafton's line of studios, though it will maintain its independence

  • "In order to create premier gameplay experiences, we believe that each of our studios should build their own unique creative identity," said Krafton CEO Kim Chang-han

  • "The announced consolidation will allow Krafton to create sustainable environments where each of our studios can focus on what they do best: development. With a gameplay-first mentality, we are confident that this system will lead to sustainable growth and the ability to develop distinguished products within particular genres."

Zynga to shut down the original FarmVille at the end Of 2020 (link)

  • As detailed in a site update, one of the reasons for the decision is that Facebook will stop supporting flash games after December 31st, 2020. The reason being that Adobe will stop distributing and updating flash player across all web browsers

  • "Following an incredible 11 years since its initial launch back in 2009, we are officially announcing the closure of the original FarmVille game on Facebook," said Zynga

IronSource expands LevelPlay to help mobile game and app developers in ad monetization (link)

  • Launched a year ago, LevelPlay is an in-app bidding tool that is now automatically enabled and available for any developer, giving them instant access to all bidding networks. Only the biggest publishers previously had access to LevelPlay as the company refined the technology for automating monetization

  • IronSource is expanding access to LevelPlay as a broadly available tool to help smaller mobile game and app developers generate higher revenues from advertising

Microsoft is launching a new Xbox app with remote play on iOS (link)

  • As reported by The Verge, the new updated Xbox app on the App Store will let iOS consumers use remote play, which will enable Xbox One players to stream their games to mobile devices

Gameloft increases downloads by seven-fold on Huawei's AppGallery store (link)

  • Gameloft has seen its mobile downloads increase seven-fold within its first three months of being a part of Huawei's AppGallery

  • Huawei has put this impressive growth down to not only the reach of the store, but also the wealth of capabilities provided by its Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) Core that allows developers to add to their games in a number of impressive ways

Niantic is removing various Pokémon GO COVID-19 changes (link)

  • Niantic will roll back on various changes that were made to Pokémon GO as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak

  • "Over the past few months, we've been making temporary changes to Pokémon GO to adapt to the changing global environment," said Niantic

  • "Some of these changes will remain implemented for the foreseeable future, such as the ability to raid remotely, changes to the GO Battle League, and the increased distance at which you can spin Photo Discs at Gyms and PokéStops."

Glu Mobile launches real-life e-commerce store Design Home Inspired (link)

  • The new store, Design Home Inspired, allows players to shop for real-life home décor accessories

  • "With Design Home Inspired, we are introducing a new way to express your style, shop and live the life of an interior designer, all while playing a game," said Glu Mobile Executive Vice President and Design Home lead Mark van Ryswyk

Call of Duty: Mobile has more than 46 million pre-registrations in China (link)

  • After having been approved on August 6th by the country's games regulator, a final test will be held on October 20th for Android devices
  • "The game is a deep collaboration between Tencent's TiMi studios, the developer, and Activision Blizzard, the IP holder," said Ahmad (Niko Partners senior Analyst)

Among Us surge in popularity sees 655% rise in downloads, tops 120 million installs globally (link)

  • InnerSloth's social deduction Twitch hit Among Us has reached 120.8 million lifetime downloads on mobile, according to Sensor Tower

  • Among Us accumulated 94.5 million downloads or 78% of its total installs during the months of August and September 2020

M&A and Capital Raising

U.S. gaming platform ROBLOX prepares to go public according to CNBC (link)

  • According to CNBC, ROBLOX is working with investment banks to prepare for a U.S. stock market listing that could come early next year
  • The online gaming platform expects could double its recent $4 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said
  • ROBLOX is weighing whether to go public through a traditional initial public offering or a direct listing

Sumo Group acquires co-development specialist Pipeworks in a $100 million deal (link)

  • The agreement will have an initial consideration of $59.5 million, of which $35 million will be given in cash while the remaining $24.5 will be through equity in Sumo Group
  • Pipeworks was founded in 1999 and is known for its co-development portfolio, as well as its work with live operations. Since being founded, the US-based company has worked on nearly 100 games

The Walking Dead: Onslaught creator Survios raises $16.7 million for VR games (link)

  • Survios has raised $16.7 million to continue building virtual reality games such as the just-launched The Walking Dead: Onslaught
  • This is the company’s fourth funding round and is particularly important as the VR industry approaches a new hardware cycle

Others

Netflix is releasing a Resident Evil TV show in 2021 (link)

  • The Japanese publishing giant Capcom revealed that a new Resident Evil TV show – Infinite Darkness – will be debuting on the streaming platform

  • The series is set to be rolled out in 2021 and stars Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield of Resident Evil 2 fame. This is also separate from the previously-announced live-action Resident Evil TV show that Netflix also has in the works

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate adds Minecraft characters (link)

  • Nintendo revealed Minecraft characters Steve, Alex, Zombie, and Enderman as the newest fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the hit fighting game on Switch

Pokémon GO and Pokémon Home will have a link by the end of the year (link)

  • As confirmed in the Pokémon presentation, Pokémon that have been caught within Niantic's Augmented reality title, can be transferred to Pokémon Home, which in turn will allow those specific Pokémon to be used in the Switch games, Sword and Shield

Apex Legends goes cross-play on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 6 (link)

  • Respawn Entertainment will enable cross-platform play in a beta test for its popular Apex Legends battle royale shooter on October 6. Players on PlayStation, Xbox, and Origin (EA Desktop App on the PC) may join cross-play or continue on platform-exclusive servers

Huuuge Group welcomes Grzegorz Kania as its new CFO (link)

  • Grzegorz has more than 20 years experience within the media and technology industries, having most recently served as the CFO for Agora SA, the publisher of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza

  • Before Agora, Grzegorz worked for another newspaper and magazine publisher, Axel Springer Polska, where he also held the CFO role

Osmo launches self-paced kids math games for pandemic learning (link)

  • Osmo is launching its Math Wizard educational games series, which lets kids learn math at their own pace and helps parents augment pandemic schooling

Gaming Public Multiples

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