gaming-weekly-05

GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 11

Highlights

Tencent Announces 2020 Fourth Quarter Results (link)

  • Online games revenues grew by 29% to $5.98B, among which international games revenues were $1.50B, up 43% YoY
  • Increases in games revenues were primarily driven by contributions from smart phone games including Peacekeeper Elite, Honour of Kings, PUBG Mobile, and Moonlight Blade Mobile
  • Total smart phone games revenues were $5.61B and PC client games revenues were $1.56B
  • Honour of Kings was the top-grossing mobile game worldwide for the second consecutive year and continued as the most popular mobile game in China by MAU
  • Tencent’s partnership with Nintendo yielded over 1 million Switch consoles sold and published a dozen popular Switch titles in China
  • League of Legends attracted over 45M peak concurrent viewers for its 2020 World Championship Finals, setting a record viewership for a games eSports event

Rocket League is racing onto mobile (link)

  • Psyonix is to release a mobile version of Rocket league later this year
  • As confirmed on the Company’s website, the Epic Games subsidiary Rocket League Sideswipe will come to iOS and Android devices

Nexon invests $874M in Bandai Namco, Konami, Sega and Hasbro (link)

  • The firm disclosed investments amounting to $874M, spread across Bandai Namco, Konami and Sega Sammy, as well as toys manufacturer Hasbro
  • The investments come after Nexon's board approved plans to invest $1.5B into entertainment companies that "demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain strong, globally recognized intellectual property."
  • The $874M represents 58% of this authorized investment, so more announcements are likely to follow
  • Nexon emphasized that these are "long-term friendly investments" with "no intention of acquisition or activism."

Crash Bandicoot Mobile Game Reaches 8M Downloads (link)

  • The mobile title Crash Bandicoot: On The Run was released recently for Android and iOS and reports are already showing that it's been downloaded more than 8M times since launch
  • On The Run was developed by King, the same company behind Candy Crush Saga which has been a mainstay in mobile gaming since launching in 2012
  • To put Crash's download numbers into perspective, on the day it was released, Candy Crush, one of the most successful mobile game in history, was downloaded 1.4M times

M&A and Capital Raising

ByteDance snaps up Shanghai-based studio Moonton Technology (link)

  • ByteDance subsidiary Nuverse has acquired developer and publisher Moonton Technology
  • Reuters reported that the deal had valued the Shanghai-based studio at $4B, however ByteDance did not disclose the size of the acquisition
  • Moonton CEO Yuan Jing has clarified that the company will maintain its independence from ByteDance and its games arm once the agreement has been complete
  • Founded in 2014 by former Tencent employees, and is best known for its smartphone MOBA Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, which was released in 2016

Social gaming platform Rec Room raises $100M at $1.25B valuation (link)

  • Social gaming platform Rec Room has raised $100M at a $1.25B valuation
  • The funding is another vote of confidence for user-generated content
  • Users-as-creators is a big theme in the latest gaming boom, which has seen user-generated content platform Roblox go public and Overwolf raise $52.5M for PC gaming mods and helper apps
  • Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investor Madrona Venture Group
  • Rec Room launched as a free-to-play experience in 2016, and now it has 15M lifetime users
  • Revenue grew 566% in the past year as monetization came together, said CEO Nick Fajt in an interview with GamesBeat

Digital Turbine to acquire Fyber for $600M (link)

  • The company is to acquire 90% of the shares from the current majority stakeholder, Tennor Holding B.V.
  • Overall, for the 100% of Fyber, Digital Turbine will pay $600M
  • The majority, $400M, will be paid in Digital Turbine shares, while $150 will be a cash sum
  • It is believed that the deal will be closed in Q2 2021, with the backing of Fyber's executive and supervisory boards

MTG acquires Ninja Kiwi, the studio behind Bloons (link)

  • Modern Times Group (MTG) has acquired New Zealand-based studio and publisher Ninja Kiwi
  • Ninja Kiwi is best known as the creator of Bloons Tower Defense, a series of strategy titles
  • The acquisition comes in at approximately $142M, with a potential $47M in further consideration

Frost Giant secures additional $5M funding (link)

  • The former Blizzard developers at Frost Giant Studios have attracted another $5M in investment
  • This funding came from Korean VC fund Kona Ventures, Global Founders Capital, the co-founder of Rxbar nutrition bars Jared Smith, as well as games entrepreneur Eden Chen
  • It comes in the wake of the $4.7M that Frost Giant raised when it was established in October 2020

Ryu Games secures $2.3M in funding (link)

  • Mobile games platform Ryu Games has secured $2.3M in funding
  • The round featured participation from Velo Partners, Citta Ventures, MGV Capital, INP Capital, Side Door Ventures, and 500 Startups
  • Ryu Games specializes in esports, meaning it offers cash prizes for competitive tournaments. As such, it will use the money to grow, building upon its offerings when it comes to competitions

Others

A Pikmin AR mobile game is coming from Nintendo and the Pokémon Go team (link)

  • Nintendo and Pokémon Go developer Niantic are aligning for a new partnership
  • This deal will bring the companies together to produce new augmented reality mobile games based on Nintendo characters
  • They announced this collaboration will kick off with a new Pikmin smartphone app designed to “make walking fun,” according to Nintendo
  • Previously, Niantic had a deal with The Pokémon Company but not directly with Nintendo

Riot website confirms details about its League of Legends MMO (link)

  • The League of Legends MMO, which may not go by the name “World of Runeterra,” is only one of a number of new spinoff projects coming from Riot
  • The company is also making a fighting game called “Project L,” and it launched the PC shooter Valorant last year

Gaming Public Multiples

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