gaming-weekly

GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 10

M&A and Capital Raising

Riot veterans raise $37.5M for Theorycraft Games startup (link)
Griffin Gaming Partners participated in the round
  • Industry veterans from Riot Games and other studios have raised $37.5M to launch their Theorycraft Games studio
  • The studio of six people is based in Seattle and Los Angeles, and it is working deep, competitive player-versus-player games
  • China’s NetEase led the round, and other investors include NEA, Bitkraft Ventures, Griffin Gaming Partners, Sisu Game Ventures, and a small group of strategic angel investors
  • The Company will use the proceeds to recruit diverse and driven talent to the Theorycraft team to develop a community-driven, PvP game available on multiple platforms
Zynga acquires Diablo co-creator’s Echtra Games in expansion to PC and consoles (link)
  • Zynga has acquired Echtra Games, the game studio that Diablo and Torchlight co-creator Max Schaefer started, as part of its expansion into cross-platform games that include PC and console
  • The transaction continues the company’s strategy of growing through deals. In this case, it is taking a step further with a push into PC and console
  • Echtra Games uses proprietary cross-platform development tools and technologies built on top of Epic’s Unreal Engine, and that will strengthen Zynga’s development capabilities for future cross-platform projects
  • The terms of the deal were not announced, as the value is smaller than previous Zynga acquisitions

Vungle acquires mobile game analytics firm GameRefinery (link)

  • Mobile performance ad platform Vungle has acquired GameRefinery, a Finland-based mobile game analytics service firm
  • GameRefinery’s Game Intelligence platform provides developers with retention and monetization insights through its cloud-based developer tools, and has customers including Zynga, King, Rovio, and Ubisoft
  • GameRefinery offers deep contextual data sets across 160,000 gaming apps, which will help Vungle’s platform to enable advertisers to target contextually relevant campaigns
  • GameRefinery brings image recognition and creative tagging capabilities that Vungle Creative Labs (VCL) will use to provide performance recommendations for its largest customers

Fortnite developer Epic buys Fall Guys studio Mediatonic (link)

  • Epic Games announced that it has acquired Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout studio Mediatonic for an undisclosed sum
  • Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says this is part of his company’s quest to create an online world for players to express themselves and play together
  • “It’s no secret that Epic is invested in building the metaverse, and Tonic Games shares this goal,” said Sweeney. “As Epic works to build this virtual future, we need great creative talent who know how to build powerful games, content and experiences.”
Dream Games raises $50M for casual puzzle titles (link)
  • Mobile games developer Dream Games has raised $50M in a Series A funding round
  • Index Ventures led the investment, while existing investors Balderton Capital and Makers fund also participated
  • The developer is known for its work with Peak Games on the Toon Blast and Toy Blast games acquired by Zynga last year in a deal worth $1.8B
  • The Istanbul-based studio will use the proceeds to work the casual puzzle games, with its first title, Royal Match, being launched today for both iOS and Android devices

Rivalry raises $20M for sports and esports online betting (link)

  • Rivalry has a mobile and PC platform that makes it easy to place bets on sports and esports matches
  • The Company has an offshore gambling license with the Isle of Man, which enables it to facilitate gambling in places where there’s no domestic licensing in place
  • Rivalry will use the funding to accelerate its expansion plans through new licenses and gray markets under its existing regulatory regime, including in the US
Virtuix raises $11M on SeedInvest for Omni One VR treadmill (link)
  • Virtuix said it has raised $11 million from 4,000 investors on the SeedInvest equity crowdfunding platform for its home-based Omni One VR treadmill
  • The proceeds will help the company introduce a new generation of its consumer virtual reality devices
  • The successful funding is a reminder of how well VR has fared during the pandemic, when people have been willing to try new digital experiences while stuck sheltering at home
  • Omni One will feature its own game store with 30 titles at launch, including games developed by Virtuix alongside top titles licensed from third parties
India’s All-Star Games raises $1.5M to make cricket sports games (link)
  • Indian game startup All-Star Games has raised $1.5M to make multiplayer games based on sports such as cricket on iOS and Android
  • Lumikai, a game-focused fund that invests in Indian companies, led the round, with additional participation from Play Ventures
  • The studio’s first title, Cricket Star, was developed as a hypercasual game and drew over 60% retention after the first day, and its second title, RCB Cricket, generated over a million downloads in five days

Others

Roblox public offering is a vote about the metaverse (link)
  • Roblox, the platform for user-generated games, will go public through a direct listing of its shares on March 10
  • On average, 32.6M people come to Roblox every day, and more than 1.25M creators have made money in Roblox
  • In the year ended December 31, 2020, users spent 30.6B hours engaged on the platform, an average of 2.6 hours per daily active user each day
  • Amid the pandemic, Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki said he has enjoyed seeing experiments in Roblox like concerts and parties that enable people to enjoy each other while socially distanced – and the Company will likely continue expanding beyond “traditional gaming” events on its platform

SEC green-lights Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax Media (link)

  • The SEC has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda-parent ZeniMax Media
  • The deal is unable to close until regulators in the EU similarly gives their approval
  • As of the initial announcement, the deal is expected to close in the second half of Microsoft’s fiscal year, which ends June 30th, 2021

Gaming Public Multiples

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