GGP Gaming Weekly — December 23


Muus Collective teams up with Revolve Group to blend fashion, games, and Web3 (link)

Muus Collective is a portfolio company of Griffin Gaming Partners

  • Revolve Group and Muus Collective, a Griffin Gaming Partners-backed entertainment studio, announced a strategic partnership to create a fashion-centered Web3 Mobile Gaming experience that aims to revolutionize how consumers engage with fashion
  • Expected to launch in 2023, the experience will feature digital playable renderings of select fashion and beauty items from REVOLVE and FWRD
  • Muus Collective and Griffin Gaming Partners want to advance diversity in Gaming, Web3, and fashion through inclusion, collaboration, and empowerment
  • Muus’ women-led founding team members are Gaming and fashion/beauty industry veterans who have worked at and with Gaming brands

EA releases FQ2 2023 earnings report (link

  • FQ2 2023 Results
    • FQ2 2023
      • Reported FQ2 2023 net bookings of $1,754M, representing a (5%) decrease YoY and in line with prior outlook of $1,725M – $1,775M
      • Reported FQ2 2023 Live Services & Other net bookings of $1,119M, representing a (3%) decrease YoY
      • Reported FQ2 2023 Mobile net bookings of $296M, representing a 6% increase YoY
    • Trailing Twelve Months (TTM)
      • Reported TTM net bookings of $7,381M, representing a 4% increase YoY
      • Reported TTM Live Services & Other net bookings of $5,414M, representing a 7% increase YoY
      • Reported TTM Mobile net bookings of $1,252M, representing a 34% increase YoY
  • Management Guidance
    • FQ3 2023 Guidance
      • Net bookings of $2,425M – $2,525M vs. consensus of $2,559M
      • GAAP EPS of $0.43-$0.59 (does not factor in share repurchase)
    • FY 2023 Guidance
      • Net bookings of $7,650M – $7,850M vs. consensus of $7,955M and previous outlook of $7,900M – $8,100M
      • GAAP EPS of $3.11-$3.34 (does not factor in share repurchase)
  • Portfolio Highlights
    • Business Highlights
      • The EA player network grew to nearly 600M active accounts at quarter end
      • EA SPORTS FIFA 23 was the most successful launch in franchise history with more than 10.3M players joining the game within the first week
      • Based on the first four weeks following launch, EA SPORTS FIFA 23 units (sell-through) are up 10% and Ultimate Team players up 6% on the comparable period for FIFA 22
    • Pipeline
      • Need for Speed and NHL 23 are expected to be released in FQ3 2023
      • PGA Tour, Dead Space, Super Mega Baseball, Wild Hearts, and a Major IP are expected to be released in FQ4 2023
      • Given the current Mobile market conditions, EA has decided to give Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth Mobile more time in soft launch
  • Notable Headlines
    • EA and Marvel Entertainment Announce a Multi-Title Collaboration to Make Action Adventure Games (link)

Sony releases FQ2 2022 earnings report (link)

  • FQ2 2022 Results
    • Reported FQ2 2022 Consolidated sales of $19.9B, representing a 16% increase YoY (constant currency) and beating consensus by 3%
    • Reported FQ2 2022 Game & Network Services sales of $5.2B, representing a 12% increase YoY (constant currency) and falling short of consensus by (6%)
    • Reported FQ2 2022 Game & Network services operating income of $305M, representing a (49%) decrease YoY (constant currency) and falling short of consensus by (28%)
    • Note: JPY/USD average conversion rate of 138.2 per Sony’s filings
  • FY2022 Forecast (3/31 YE)
    • Forecasted FY2022 Game & Network Services sales of $26.3B, representing a 0.3% increase compared to FQ1 2022 Game & Network Services sales forecast
    • Forecasted FY2022 Game & Network Services operating income of $1.6B, representing a (12%) decrease compared to FQ1 2022 Game & Network Services operating income forecast
    • Note: JPY/USD average conversion rate of 138.2 per Sony’s filings
  • Other Game & Network Services Segment Highlights
    • Reported FQ2 2022 PlayStation Plus subscribers of 45M, down from 47M in the same period of the previous year
    • Reported FQ2 2022 PlayStation Network MAUs of 102M, down from 104M in the same period of the previous year
    • Reported FQ2 2022 PlayStation 5 units produced of over 6.5M, which progressed faster than planned
    • The Company’s FY2022 unit sales forecast for PS5 hardware remains at 18M units, and the Company is now suggesting their aim to exceed this forecast into the year-end holiday season

Skillz releases FQ3 2022 earnings report (link

  • FQ3 2022 Results
    • Reported FQ3 2022 Revenue of $60M, representing a (41%) decrease YoY and exceeding consensus of $51M
    • Reported FQ3 2022 GMV of $360M, representing a (41%) decrease YoY and exceeding consensus of $283M
    • Reported FQ3 2022 Gross Profit of $53M, representing a (44%) decrease YoY
    • Reported FQ3 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of ($15M), exceeding consensus of ($30M)
  • FY 2022 Guidance & Capital Position
    • FY 2022 Revenue of $275M (maintained from FQ2 2022), exceeding consensus of $268M
    • FY 2022 Adjusted EBITDA Margin of approximately (56%)
    • Skillz currently holds $240M of cash and cash equivalents, $225M of current marketable securities, and $93M of non-current marketable securities
  • KPIs
    • Reported FQ3 2022 MAUs of 1.7M, representing a (44%) decrease YoY
    • Reported FQ3 2022 ARPU of $12.10, representing a 6% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ3 2022 pMAUs of 320k, representing a (37%) decrease YoY
    • Reported FQ3 2022 ARPPU of $62.80, representing a (6%) decrease YoY
  • Business Highlights
    • Selected Play Mechanix’s “QB Shootout” as winner of the NFL Developer Challenge
    • Executed a $11M debt buyback equal to 69.5% of the aggregate principal amount redeemed plus accrued and unpaid interest
    • Restructured the organization to realign resources and reduce operating costs
    • Recorded $48M impairment of intangible assets related to the developed technology and customer relationships for the Aarki acquisition
    • Re-opened San Francisco and opened Los Angeles offices
    • Appointed Vassily Filippov, former leader at Meta, Apple, and Riot Games, as Chief Technology Officer
    • Appointed Seth Schorr and Henry Hoffman to the Board of Directors

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II breaks franchise record with $800M sold in three days (link

  • The full title debuted on October 28 after hitting early-access release for the single-player campaign on October 20, breaking all previous three-day sales records since the franchise debuted in 2003
  • Players around the world took part in the new launch, setting new player participation franchise records for number of unique players and hours played through its first three days of premium release
  • Modern Warfare II is available worldwide on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC for, Blizzard Entertainment’s online Gaming service, and Steam

Gaming investments hit $2.2B during Q3, according to Digital Development Management (DDM) (link

  • The video games agency notes that the figure represents a decline of (55%) YoY at a volume of 156 deals
  • Blockchain Gaming investments totaled 63% of Q3 2022’s value at $1.4B
  • Meanwhile, total M&A transactions reached $6.5B and saw a decrease of (65%) YoY for the quarter

M&A and Capital Raises raises $8.4M to develop AI-driven play testing and QA bots (link) is a portfolio company of Griffin Gaming Partners

  • seeks to automate processes like debugging and quality assurance testing for game developers. Through the company’s AI and machine learning driven bots, game developers can test their projects more efficiently and effectively
  • uses human player behavior to teach their bots to play like real people
  • Currently, works with mid-size studios and will use the proceeds to make their product broadly available in 2023
  • The round was led by Griffin Gaming Partners and Microsoft’s M12 venture fund with additional participation from, PreSeed Ventures, and Transistormedia

Misfits Gaming Group launches $20M creator fund (link)

  • Misfits Gaming Group is announcing the launch of a $20M creator fund aimed at helping creators and influencers bring projects to life
  • The fund is specifically earmarked to provide the infrastructure so creatives can easily implement their ambitious and innovative projects
  • The Group is heavily involved in the creation of TubNet, a highly anticipated cross-platform Minecraft server. TubNet, when it launches, is aiming to provide a fun and engaging community space and exciting original content

Playgig raises $11M for cross-platform game studio (link)

  • The Company is creating cross-platform, free-to-play games that are accessible to a broad universe of gamers
  • The firm is headed by former Riot Games executive Bruno Schirch, who previously ran esports and global publishing for Riot Games
  • The Company will use the proceeds to recruit additional talent to join their fast-growing team of 40 game developers building the Company’s first game and original intellectual property, Mystic Kingdoms
  • March Gaming led the round with additional participation from Paramark, Aream, and Gaingels

Freedom Games raises $10M to publish indie games (link)

  • The Company is ~18 months old, but has published successful indie projects like Coromon, Dreamscaper, Dark Deity, Cat Café Manager, and Symphony of War
  • The Company will use the proceeds to publish additional indie games
  • Play Ventures led the round with additional participation from Nashville Capital Network (NCN) and GFR Fund

Netflix adds 6th Gaming studio with acquisition of Spry Fox (link)

  • Netflix has acquired its sixth Gaming studio, buying Seattle-based indie game studio Spry Fox
  • Spry Fox is an award-winning independent studio focused on cozy, original games
  • Netflix expects Spry Fox’s titles, such as Triple Town, Alphabear, and Cozy Grove, to help accelerate Netflix’s creative development in another beloved genre and add to the growing variety of Netflix’s games catalog that will have something for everyone

Frontier acquires Complex Games (link)

  • Developer and publisher Frontier has acquired Canadian studio Complex Games for an upfront cash consideration of £8.3M, with a potential additional £3.3M based on company targets
  • Complex Games is the developer behind Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters, launched via third-party label Frontier Foundry in May

NetEase takes minority stake in Liquid Swords (link)

  • The Chinese firm has made an undisclosed investment in the Stockholm-based studio
  • Liquid Swords was founded in 2020 by Christofer Sundberg, best known as the founder of Avalanche Studios and director of the first Just Cause game
  • The studio is currently working on its debut project, an unannounced AAA open-world title
  • The investment will fuel the development of the title and support Liquid Swords move into a brand-new office space


Embracer Group Shuts Down Montreal Video Game Studio (link)

  • Video game publisher Embracer Group AB is shutting down Onoma, a Montreal, Canada-based video game studio that it acquired just months ago
  • Onoma, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, was best known for creating the Go series of mobile games such as Hitman Go
  • The company informed employees Tuesday that some staff would be transferred to a sister studio, Eidos Montreal

Former Niantic developers form new studio Bodeville (link)

  • Bodeville was founded in October by Alexia Mandeville and Bo Boghosian, who previously worked together at Niantic on its upcoming location-based pet game Peridot
  • Mandeville led the design of Peridot, before which she worked on a variety of virtual reality projects, including Meta’s Horizon Worlds. Meanwhile, Boghosian spent over six years working at Niantic on Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and was the engineering lead on Peridot
  • The two have self-funded the studio, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • They are currently working on two original narrative games, with the aim to release both in 2023

China games market to decline for the first time in 20 years, according to Niko Partners (link)

  • China Games revenues projected to decline (2.5%) to $45.44B. Mobile to shrink (5.1%) to $30B, representing 66% of total market
  • PC to increase 2.1% to $13.6B, representing the first year of growth since 2017. Meanwhile, the forecast for console revenues remains unchanged, expected to account for $1.8B (4% of the total market) and representing an increase of 14.7% when compared to 2021

PlayStation VR2 launches on February 22 (link)

  • The headset will retail for $549 and pre-orders open on November 15. Sony is also offering a bundle, which includes the headset, two controllers and a stereo headset
  • The new PlayStation VR headset has several additional features compared to its predecessor, including eye-tracking, headset feedback, and 3D audio
  • Sony also announced several of the headsets upcoming titles, predicting that the headset will have at least 20 games at launch

Wildlife Studios announces 8-Bit Bandits, new affiliated studio (link

  • The new Stockholm-based studio, founded by Stephen Jarrett and Robert Woodburn, intends to build mobile social experiences that emulate couch co-op
  • Both Jarrett and Woodburn have experience in the industry, most recently working on the endless runner Crash Bandicoot: On the Run. Jarrett worked as a director of game design with Disney/Pixar, Bandai Namco, Warner Bros Games and King. Woodburn also previously worked at King, overseeing its global design craft

Magic creator Richard Garfield releases new PvP card game (link

  • Game designer Richard Garfield, in partnership with Tyranno Studios, is launching a new card game named Blockchain Brawlers
  • Richard Garfield is responsible for many popular board and card games including Magic: the Gathering, RoboRally, Netrunner, and King of Tokyo
  • New players can purchase bits of land, called Brawl-O-Seums, to craft different moves and assets to use in PvP mode. Blockchain Brawlers operates on the WAX blockchain

Parsons School of Design and Roblox partner up for digital fashion (link

  • Starting in Spring 2023, students will work with experienced designers from Parsons and Roblox to create new items for sale
  • Part of the challenge will be learning how to set up a retail space in the real and digital world. Physical designs will be on sale at Parsons, while their digital counterparts will be available in the Roblox avatar marketplace

Build A Rocket Boy to open Montpellier studio (link)

  • Build A Rocket Boy will be opening a new studio in Montpellier, France, in 2023
  • Build A Rocket Boy was created in 2017 as Royal Circus Games by former Rockstar producer Leslie Benzies. The Company currently has offices in Edinburgh, its headquarters, and Budapest

Rovio has 10 new games in the pipeline, and a cross-platform Angry Birds is one of them (link)

  • Rovio is soon to release Hunter Heroes, Hunter Assassin 2, and has already soft-launched an idle puzzle game in the Moomins franchise titled Moomin: Puzzle and Design
  • Most upcoming titles utilize the Angry Birds IP, such as Bad Piggies 2
  • An Angry Birds RPG is also officially in the works, under development by the Copenhagen studio formerly known as Darkfire Games

Jagex and Titan Publishing partnering to create RuneScape comics & books (link

  • Jagex and Titan Publishing announced an official partnership to begin in 2023, that will see the publishing house work with the developer of RuneScape to produce comics, graphic novels, original fiction, and even coloring books based on the MMORPG
  • Originally released back in 2001, RuneScape has remained a venerable franchise throughout the years and the announcement follows the release of RuneScape Mobile last year

NetEase announces new studio led by former Resident Evil & Devil May Cry producer (link

  • NetEase announced the formation of a new game studio named GPTRACK50
  • Hiroyuki Kobayashi will lead the studio in the creation of original IP’s for the PC and Console markets, a move which represents a major step beyond NetEase’s usual market

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