gaming-weekly-21

GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 21

Highlights

TTWO Reports FQ4 2021 Earnings (link)

  • TTWO reported FQ4 2021 net bookings that exceeded expectations
    • Reported FQ4 2021 net bookings of $785M, representing an 8% increase YoY and exceeding prior outlook ($602M - $652M) and consensus ($661M)
    • Reported FQ4 2021 digitally-delivered net bookings of $724M, representing an 8% increase YoY
    • Reported FY 2021 net bookings of $3,553M, representing a 19% increase YoY and exceeding prior outlook ($3,370M-$3,420M) and consensus ($3,431M)
    • Reported FY 2021 digitally-delivered net bookings of $3,095M, representing a 27% increase YoY
  • Franchise Highlights
    • NBA 2K 2021 has sold 10M units and has more than 2.3M users playing the game daily
    • Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold over 37M units worldwide to-date
    • 2K announced its acquisition of HB Studios, the developer of PGA TOUR 2K21, which has sold more than 2M units to-date
    • Social Point's live games, led by Dragon City and Monster Legends, exceeded expectations and helped to drive net bookings growth of nearly 30% for the quarter and 44% for the year
    • Social Point is planning to release three new titles during the second half of fiscal 2022
    • In FQ4 2021, TTWO’s catalog accounted for $515M of net bookings (66%) led by Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and Sid Meier’s Civilization

Post-IDFA Alliance finds iOS 14.5 caused up to 21% growth in Android ad spending (link)

  • Liftoff announced that 64%-83% of users are opting out of being tracked
  • The Post-IDFA Alliance of mobile marketing companies — Liftoff, AdColony, Fyber, Chartboost, InMobi, Vungle and Singular — released data from their experiences with mobile marketing in the wake of the launch of iOS 14.5 that showed spending on the Android platform is up 21%
  • While many marketers decreased spend on iOS in the wake of 14.5, the change seems to be relatively minor, ranging from only 3%-4%
  • Impression costs on iOS 14.5 are down, with the cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) showing a decline, ranging from 2%-9%

Snapchat games have reached more than 200M people (link)

  • Snap said that the Company’s Snapchat games have reached more than 200M players in the past two years, up from about 100M a year ago
  • ~30M Snapchat users play Snap Games every month and more than 30 games have debuted on Snapchat in the past couple of years
  • Snap has partnered with Unity so that developers can bring Bitmoji avatars into their mobile, PC, and consoles games through the Unity platform

M&A and Capital Raising

Forte raises $185M at $1B valuation for blockchain game platform (link)

Griffin Gaming Partners led the Round

  • Forte is an infrastructure company, using blockchain tech to enable new kinds of game economies
  • Forte’s economic technology, which is available by invitation only and still in beta, aims to address the growing misalignment between game developers, players, and fans
  • It enables the creation of new gameplay and world designs that directly support the long-term health of a game through cooperative token-based economics, or what Forte calls “community economics.”
  • New and existing investors including Union Grove Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, and Canaan also participated in the round

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery publisher Jam City will launch SPAC at $1.2B value, buy Ludia for $175M (link)

  • Jam City has filed to go public via SPAC and is using some of the proceeds to buy Canadian mobile game publisher Ludia for $175M
  • Before the acquisition, Jam City had more than 825 employees and nine studios at the end of the first quarter, and with Ludia will add nearly 400 more employees
  • Jam City will combine with DPCM Capital, which is led by Emil Michael, Uber’s former chief business officer
  • The deal values the combined company at an enterprise value of $1.2B, and will support future M&A and other strategic initiatives with the expected addition of approximately $115M of cash to Jam City’s balance sheet, including a committed PIPE of $100M
    • Represents a combined 1.38x multiple on 2022E Bookings
    • Represents a combined 10.7x multiple on 2022E Adj. EBITDA

 

JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Games raises $40M (link)

  • Bad Robot Games, the game division of JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot entertainment company, has raised more than $40M to build games that are “as compelling to watch as they are to play”
  • Galaxy Interactive led the round, with additional participation from Horizons Ventures, Iconiq Capital, and Tencent
  • Bad Robot Games’ first internally developed title will be an original AAA game
  • The Company has raised more than $50M to date and has 20 employees

Madfinger Games raises $6M from Nuverse (link)

  • Czech developer Madfinger Games has raised $6M from Hong Kong-based publisher Nuverse
  • The funds raised will be used to expand Madfinger's team for existing IP and new games
  • Founded in 2010, Madfinger is best known for its mobile shooters such as the Shadowgun franchise and Unkilled, which have been downloaded more the 300M times

Game Taco agrees to buy skill-based games publisher WorldWinner from Sony (link)

  • Game Taco has agreed to acquire WorldWinner, a skill-based publisher that makes games where people can wager money and win cash
  • WorldWinner’s portfolio of games includes Solitaire Rush, Bejeweled, Wheel of Fortune, Scrabble Cubes, Angry Birds: Champions, and Two Dots
  • The combined companies will have more than 60 full-time employees

Vungle acquires mobile ad creative firm TreSensa Technologies (link)

  • New York-based TreSensa provides app developers with a suite of tools to make playables and fully customizable gameplay ad engines through its cloud-based tools for large gaming and brand studios
  • The Company’s clients include game and app companies Zynga, GSN, Electronic Arts, Etermax, Mag Interactive, Mars Petcare, and Kraft Foods Group

Kochava acquires DigiCenter for privacy-first data collection (link)

  • Through the acquisition, the Kochava Collective, the world’s largest independent mobile-first data marketplace, will further bolster its owned data footprint from FreeAppAnalytics with identity data elements from Digicenter
  • The Kochava Collective is a privacy-first data marketplace with key data points on over nine billion unique devices globally, including the largest hashed email file
  • With the acquisition of DigiCenter, the Kochava Collective now has more than a billion hashed emails within its substantial device database

Others

Xbox Game Studios' formalizes relationship with Call of Duty: Mobile developer TiMi (link)

  • TiMi Studios, a game development wing of Tencent Games just announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios
  • TiMi has developed and currently operates top-grossing games ranging from Honor of Kings and Ace Racer in China to Call of Duty: Mobile
  • The developer is also working with The Pokémon Company to launch Pokémon Unite MOBA

Google Stadia breaks through 3M app downloads (link)

  • Google Stadia's mobile app has generated 3.2M downloads 18 months post-launch, with roughly half of the downloads coming from the US
  • 73% of installs originated from Google Play, with the remaining 27% from the App Store
  • "We're well on our way to over 100 new games launching on Stadia in 2021, and we're continuing to make Stadia a great place to play games on devices you already own," said Stadia developer marketing lead Nate Ahearn

Voodoo extends partnership with Snapchat, five more games coming to platform (link)

  • Snap and Voodoo have extended their partnership to bring five more games to the Snapchat platform
  • Voodoo will exclusively bring multiplayer entries of hypercasual hits Hole.io and Crowd City to Snap Games, alongside three currently unknown titles
  • Voodoo initially launched Aquapark IO on Snap Games in late November 2020, which has accumulated close to 45M players

Gaming Public Multiples

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