gaming-weekly-wk-44

GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 44

Highlights

Nintendo breaks record as it remains the best-selling console for 22 months (link)

  • The Nintendo Switch has continued to be the best-selling console for 22 consecutive months, a new record

  • The Japanese hardware has officially surpassed the dominance of the Xbox 360, which held the record for seven years having been the top-selling console from August 2011 to April 2013

According to Sensor Tower, ROBLOX surpasses $2 billion in player spending on mobile (link)

  • Revenue generated by the US-based company has soared this year, as ROBLOX mobile crossed $1.5 billion in player spending in May, taking seven months to rack up $500 million. The world-building platform has taken just five months to bring in an additional $500 million

Niantic partners with Verizon for US exclusive Pokémon GO content (link)

  • As detailed in a blog post, the telecommunications firm will soon enhance gameplay through the sponsoring of in-game gyms, Pokéstops and gifts

  • However, as of October 20th, Pokémon GO players, who have a mobile plan with Verizon, are able to get a ticket to an exclusive event. Tickets are limited to one per trainer account and can be grabbed until the day of the event on November 7th

Call of Duty: Mobile shoots amasses over 300 million downloads (link)

  • Activision Blizzard took to Twitter to share news of the milestone. The first-person mobile shooter was released on October 1st 2019, meaning the game racked up 300 million downloads in just over a year

Cloud9 launches first all-women esports team for Valorant (link)

  • Esports organization Cloud9 will field its first all-women esports team in Riot Games’ Valorant esports tournaments

  • Los Angeles-based Cloud9, which runs a number of esports teams for games such as League of Legends and Fortnite, will partner with AT&T in creating more opportunities for women and making esports more inclusive. The team will debut at Riot’s First Strike tournament qualifiers starting on Monday October 26

Amazon Luna launches into early access for invitees only (link)

  • Amazon’s cloud-gaming service Luna is available now to select gamers in the United States. The company launched the platform in early access. As part of this program, you can pay $6 per month to subscribe to the Luna+ Game Channel that starts with a library of 50 games

  • In a blog post, Amazon’s Marc Whitten explained that Luna is going to start small. His team plans to invite only a fraction of the “hundreds of thousands of requests.” The idea is to use this beta to improve Luna for its eventual full launch, according to Whitten

M&A and Capital Raising

Scopely acquires match-three developer Genjoy (link)

  • Genjoy's first game, Tuscany Villa, was launched in April 2020. Together with Scopely, the studio will continue to work on its match-three puzzler

  • Around 150 employees will become part of Scopely's Spanish presence. Currently, the US firm has two offices in Barcelona. Last year, the publisher expanded its operations both Barcelona and Dublin

Frost Giant Studios raises $4.7 million for real-time strategy game revival (link)

Frost Giant is a Griffin Gaming Partners portfolio company

  • Frost Giant Studios, a new game studio formed by Blizzard Entertainment veterans, has raised $4.7 million to make its first real-time strategy game
  • The company will use the money to grow the team, build a prototype for gameplay, conduct consumer research, and expand operations. Morten said the Irvine, California-based team has eight employees — all who once worked at Blizzard

Alliance Entertainment acquires US games rental service GameFly (link)

  • Alliance Entertainment has acquired US games rent-by-mail firm GameFly

  • As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the rental service will continue to operate independently. However, Alliance CEO and co-owner Jeff Walker will take on those same roles for GameFly

Venn raises $26 million series A for its streaming TV network for games and culture (link)

  • The company announced that it has raised a $26 million series A, bringing its total raised to $43 million. Seed round investor Bitkraft led the round alongside new funder Nexstar Media Group, with participation from seed investors Eldridge, Wise Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and Josh Kroenke

  • Venn's business is about putting its shows on TV, streaming devices like Roku, and platforms like Plex — it doesn't look at Twitch as its main distribution platform. With this funding, Nexstar will become the exclusive local TV broadcaster for Venn and have a member on its board

EVOS Esports raises $12 million in Series B funding (link)

  • Korea Investment Partners led the investment. There was further participation from Mirae Asset Ventures, Indogen Capital, Woowa Brother and a range of family offices found across Japan and Southeast Asia. Furthermore, existing investor Insignia Ventures Partners also took part

Others

Riot Games welcomes Jason Bunge as its first-ever CMO (link)

  • Bunge has over 20 years of experience within the games and tech industries. Most recently, he was Electronic Art's senior vice president of brand management and marketing. During that time, he aided in the launch of battle royale Apex Legends

Unity promises initial OpenXR platform support by the end of 2020 (link)

  • When the Khronos Group released OpenXR — a royalty-free standard designed to make cross-platform VR and AR app development easier, supporting multiple platforms — it was backed by many of the mixed reality industry’s biggest names, including Epic Games, Microsoft, Oculus, and Valve, to name just a few

  • Unity confirmed that its eponymous 3D engine will start supporting some OpenXR platforms by the end of 2020, with a focus on “providing the best developer experience on Unity supported platforms.”

Rally unveils digital currency with soccer star Keisuke Honda, esports team Gen.G (link)

  • Rally recently launched a cryptocurrency dubbed Creator Coin that will help influencers, content creators, and streamers run their own virtual economies. It also is announcing that international soccer star Keisuke Honda, esports organization Gen.G, and crypto influencer Joon Ian Wong are partners

  • All these entities have big followings and they’re adopting what Rally calls its Brand Coin, a cryptocurrency (dubbed a social token) that fans purchase and use to gain access to things like special events

  • Honda’s fans, for instance, can pay whatever they believe the coin is worth and use it to gain access to videos of him, on and off the field, said Rally CEO Kevin Chou, in an interview with VentureBeat. Chou hopes that Rally’s concepts, if they catch on, could bring the next 100 million people into cryptocurrency

Language learning game Drops hits 25 million users (link)

  • In 2020, the Talinn, Estonia-based company has seen an increase of 7.5 million users and is forecasted to hit 30 million in total by the end of the year, CEO Daniel Farkas said in an interview with GamesBeat. By the end of this year, annual revenue should hit $10 million, up 13 times from $719,000 in 2017

Gaming Public Multiples

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