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GGP Gaming Weekly – May 9


Stillfront Group reported FQ1 2022 earnings (link)

  • Financial Highlights
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Bookings of $170M, representing a 10% increase YoY (27% constant currency) and exceeding consensus of $168M by 1%
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of $62M, representing a 6% increase YoY (24% constant currency) but falling short of consensus of $65M by 4%
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Net Income of $15M, representing a 16% decline YoY (up 3% constant currency) and exceeding consensus of $14M by 1%
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Free Cash Flow of $113M, representing an 18% increase YoY (37% constant currency) and representing a cash conversion rate of 0.52 (LTM FCF / LTM EBITDA)
  • KPIs
    • As of FQ1 2022, Stillfront has 73 total games in its active portfolio
    • In FQ1 2022, the Company added 9 new titles to its active portfolio, 4 of which were organic game launches
    • Reported FQ1 2022 DAUs of 13M, representing a 76% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 MAUs of 69M, representing a 74% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 MPUs of 1.5M, representing a 29% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 ARPDAU of $0.14, representing a 28% decrease YoY (constant currency) 


Skillz reported FQ1 2022 earnings (link)

  • Financial Highlights
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Revenue of $93M representing a 12% increase YoY and beating consensus of $91M
    • Reported FQ1 2022 GMV of $552M representing a (3%) decrease YoY, compared to consensus of $537M
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Gross Profit of $84M representing a 6% increase YoY, compared to consensus of $86M
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of ($61M), compared to consensus of ($61M)
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Revenue After Engagement Marketing (RAEM) of $51M representing an 8% increase YoY
  • KPIs
    • Reported FQ1 2022 MAUs of 3.2M representing a 19% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 ARPU of $9.65 representing a (7%) decrease YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 pMAUs of 570k representing a 21% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 ARPPU of $54.7 representing a (9%) decrease YoY
  • Business Highlights & Recent Events
    • Improved User Acquisition marketing efficiency, which enabled the Company to reduce spend significantly over the prior quarter while maintaining RAEM
    • Eliminated low-return engagement marketing programs, resulting in a meaningful reduction in engagement marketing as a percentage of revenue over the prior quarter
    • Revealed cloud gaming technology, which has the potential to drive improvement in user lifetime value and UA costs
    • Rolled out chat system-wide to drive deeper user engagement
    • Signed a multi-year partnership with UFC for branded mobile game creation and marketing
    • Selected finalists for the NFL & Skillz Game Developer Challenge whose NFL-inspired game creations moved on to the soft launch phase


PLAYSTUDIOS Reported FQ1 2022 Earnings (link)

  • Financial Highlights
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Net Revenue of $71M, representing a 5% decrease YoY and consistent with consensus of $71M
    • Reported FQ1 2022 AEBITDA of $9M, representing a 37% decrease YoY and consistent with consensus of $9M
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Net Loss of $26M, falling short of a consensus Net Loss of $4M
  • KPIs
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Reward Purchases of 592K, representing a 54% increase YoY and 23% increase QoQ
      • This represents the highest level of engagement the Company has seen since the onset of the COVID pandemic
    • Reported FQ1 2022 DAUs of 1.6M, representing a 24% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 MAUs of 6.9M, representing an 85% increase YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 DPUs of 31K, representing a 14% decrease YoY
    • Reported FQ1 2022 Average Daily Payer Conversion of 2%, down from 2.9% in the same period last year
    • Reported FQ1 2022 ARPDAU of $0.50, representing a 23% decrease YoY
  • Business and Portfolio Highlights
    • In FQ1 2022, the Company focused on expanding its capacity by adding new talent and enhancing its European and Asian studios
    • The Company acquired the full rights to myVEGAS Bingo and assumed its ongoing development and operations
    • The Company also realized its first full quarter of Revenue and KPI contribution from its acquisition of Tetris’ mobile rights
    • The Company expanded its collection of playAWARDS partners and benefits, adding a number of affordable national and international options such as select Subway and Rally restaurant locations as well as rewards from experiential entertainment brand Lighthouse Immersive
    • The Lighthouse Immersive experience is currently running in fourteen different cities throughout the United States and Canada
    • The Company’s strategic priorities “…remain unchanged. As traditional leisure and retail businesses become more dependent on digital platforms to reach their audiences, we believe we are well positioned to deliver the scalable, cost-efficient consumer engagement they’re seeking”


Games revenue will surpass $200B in 2022, according to Newzoo (link)

  • Gaming revenues are projected to hit $203B in 2022 via consumer spending
  • Newzoo’s report indicates the US will generate $50.5B, and China $50.2B, with the Asia-Pacific region being the largest region by revenue, accounting for $96B
  • Mobile gaming revenue is expected to be $103B, accounting for over half of total Gaming revenue in 2022

M&A and Capital Raises

Irreverent Labs raises $40M for NFT robot rooster fighting game MechaFightClub (link)

  • Irreverent Labs has raised $40M to further boost its efforts to create MechaFightClub, a robot rooster fighting games that utilizes NFTs
  • Players will collect, train, and battle robots in a futuristic, mixed martial arts-inspired experience, with each mechabot developing unique fighting styles and abilities over time through machine learning models paired with NFTs
  • Irreverent Labs is building on the Solana blockchain, which will be the home of MechaFightClub


Untamed Planet raises $24M for nature-oriented NFT games (link)

  • Founded in 2020, Untamed Planet is building 3D immersive nature games utilizing metaverse concepts and NFTs
  • Untamed Planet is digitizing the world’s wildlife ecosystems and creating fun, nature-based experiences through which engagement in the digital world directly benefits conservation in the real world
  • The Company will use the proceeds towards development of Untamed Metaverse, an immersive nature-based metaverse experience through wildlife ecosystems
  • Animoca Brands led the round, and it will support the development of Untamed Metaverse along with Animoca’s subsidiary Nway


LootRush raises $12M to make blockchain games easier to play (link)

  • LootRush is trying to address three problems that game developers face when trying to get games to reach mass adoption: they’re expensive, time-consuming to start playing, and hard to set up
  • LootRush is building an abstraction layer with different blockchains that are easy to use and partnering with NFT owners to make a large amount of game NFTs available on its platform for an affordable price
  • LootRush also provides NFT rental services for games, aiming to lower the threshold for new gamers and earn income for NFT owners
  • The round was led by Paradigm, with additional participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Brex founders, among others


Decrypt raises $10M for publication covering the crypto economy at a $50M valuation (link)

  • Decrypt, a media publication company demystifying crypto and the decentralized web, has raised $10M in funding as it spins out from blockchain accelerator ConsenSys Mesh
  • Decrypt also has a Web3 studio specializing in metaverse activations named Decrypt Studios
  • The round included participation from Hack.VC, Hashkey Capital, Canvas Ventures, Protocol Labs, SK Group, and four DAOs (Global Coin Research DAO, Own.fund, Honey DAO, and Orange DAO), among others


SnackClub raises $9M for blockchain gaming in developing countries (link)

  • A sister company to esports brand Loud, Brazil-based SnackClub is creating a DAO for its community to vote for and benefit from investments in blockchain platforms, game developers, and community building efforts
  • SnackClub will source, educate, and build its community of active gamers by mobilizing Loud’s current audience of 300M fans across popular social media platforms, introducing new games, currencies, and developers to the community
  • The round was led by Mechanism, with additional participation from Animoca Brands, Ascensive Assets, Formless Capital, Jump Crypto, OP Crypto, ROK Capital, and Shima Capital


AppLovin acquires Wordle! app (link)

  • Steven Cravotta’s Wordle!, published on iOS, has been acquired by AppLovin for an undisclosed amount
  • According to data from Sensor Tower, the mobile game was downloaded approximately 19M times, the vast majority of which (>99.6%) arrived after the web game went viral
  • From February 12th and onward, the game has seen 14M downloads — or about 72% of its lifetime installs since its April 2016 launch


Wave launches first NFT collection with OneOf and Teflon Sega (link)
Wave is a portfolio company of Griffin Gaming Partners

  • Wave, a virtual concert technology company, in partnership with OneOf, an NFT platform built specifically for the music community, is launching its first NFT collection with metaverse artist Teflon Sega 
  • The NFT drop coincides with Teflon Sega’s follow-up performance on Wave, Dimensions Vol. 2, which will occur on May 12th

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film beats predecessor, speeding to $332M at the box office (link)

  • This milestone makes Sonic the Hedgehog 2 the most successful video game adaptation of all time
  • The film’s US box office gross topped $163M surpassing the previous film’s $149M, and also recorded $169M in box office sales internationally
  • Since inception 30 years ago, the Sonic franchise created by SEGA has amassed over 1.38B combined game sales and downloads across premium and free-to-play games, announced in SEGA’s latest FY 2021 annual report

Spotify enters the metaverse with Spotify Island on Roblox (link)

  • Spotify announced its venture into virtual words through Roblox with the creation of Spotify Island, a place where users can create music, hang out in virtual venues, and get access to exclusive merchandise 
  • The virtual world is currently available to play, and Spotify says its first “themed experience” will debut in a few weeks, titled K-Park, a nod to K-Pop

Netflix announces the launch of Relic Hunter: Rebels (link)

  • Netflix has announced the launch of Relic Hunters: Rebels for mobile devices
  • Developed by game studio Rogue Snail, its CEO Mark Venturelli explained that the choice to release the game exclusively with the streaming platform was in part due to monetization
  • Netflix continues to expand out its games division since its announcement last year, following its acquisitions of Next Games and Boss Fight Entertainment, which occurred earlier this year 

Jam City white paper details Champions Ascension NFT game (link)

  • Jam City is creating its first blockchain game, Champions Ascension, a theme-park gladiator “play-to-earn” experience where users can play, earn, socialize, and create new content 
  • Champions Ascension will be an arena-based combat game in an immersive world where players can collect, train, equip, and manage their own stable of gladiators, earning rewards for defeating enemies in battle 
  • Jam City details the game in its white paper, highlighting a token economy ($ESSENCE and $MASSINA), land ownership, and a staking mechanism through its $DIAMOND token


Quicksave Interactive and gif.games launch Tezotopia Battles (link)

  • Quicksave Interactive, a Helsinki, Finland-based game developer, has announced the launch of Tezotopia Battles, in partnership with gif.games, a California-based blockchain developer 
  • Tezotopia Battles is a “blockchain space adventure” tactics game with a quick 5-minute playtime per round format where teams can win resources and other prizes


Indielab launches new games accelerator (link)

  • TV-focused accelerator program Indielab announced the launch of its games branch, Indielab Games
  • Indielab Games will be targeting small to mid-size studios across the UK, with the aim to develop their commercial and growth potential, along with particularly focusing on diversity and inclusion


Epic Games & Apprenti announce new Unreal Engine apprenticeship initiatives (link)

  • Epic Games and non-profit Apprenti have announced a partnership to introduce new Unreal Engine-based apprenticeship programs
  • To jumpstart the program, Epic Games will be matching a $100k grant from the Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and will provide access to their Unreal Authorized Training Centers, offering support and world-class training through CG Spectrum to help meet the overwhelming requirement for Unreal Engine skills, like 3D graphics and real-time 3D, in the workforce
  • Founded in 2016, Apprenti has provided people from underserved communities resources in training, education, and alternative access to careers in tech


WPP and Epic Games partner to accelerate innovation for clients in the metaverse (link)

  • The partnership will include a new training program to upskill thousands of WPP creatives and technologists on how to create custom brand experiences in Fortnite, and how to use Unreal Engine for real-time 3D creation and virtual production
  • This new metaverse curriculum will consist of three separate tracks for executives, creative practitioners, and media experts and strategists
  • As a part of this partnership, WPP teams will work closely with experts at Epic to learn how to build next-generation interactive experiences leveraging Unreal Engine, an advanced real-time 3D creation tool used across a range of industries including games, film, architecture, fashion, automotive, music and live events


Tilting Point partners with Polygon on Web3 games (link)

  • Tilting Point and Polygon Studios announced a multi-year partnership on Web3 games, including 10 games currently in development that all utilize the Polygon Network to integrate Web3 features
  • Out of the 10 games, 3 are existing titles, including Astrokings, The Walking Dead: Casino Slots, and Chess Universe
  • In addition to Polygon, Tilting Point has also partnered with Stardust, a platform that helps developers integrate NFTs into their titles, which was announced earlier this year


Ready Games shows how blockchain games can debut on Apple and Google stores (link)

  • Ready Games has launched a division to help traditional mobile game developers bring mobile blockchain games and NFTs to the Apple and Google app stores
  • To be compliant with Apple and Google in Web3, the developer must (1) ensure that the purchase of the NFT-backed asset occurs using traditional in-game currency, purchased through the normal in-app purchase flow, and (2) not run in-app screens with links to external means to purchase in-game assets, like an NFT marketplace on the open web
  • Ready’s live operations tools allow for compliant Web3 game creation, and its recent token sale ($AURA), raised $3M in sales led by Bitkraft and Hashed, with additional participation from Tribe, IOSG, Spartan, Mapleblock Capital, Mulana Capital, Dweb3, Fundamental Labs, IBA, GSR, Polygon, SnackClub, and Warburg Serres 


Genshin Impact surpasses $3B mobile revenue milestone (link)         

  • HoYoverse’s Genshin Impact has surpassed $3B in global revenue across the App Store and Google Play Store, ranking as the third most successful title for all-time mobile revenue generation since its release
  • Since launch September 2020, the title has averaged $1B in revenue every half year, and reached the $2B milestone within its first year
  • The average number of monthly Genshin Impact players has increased 44% YoY and the majority of spending has come via the App Store


NetEase Games launches first US studio (link)

  • NetEase Games has announced the founding of its first US-based first-party studio, Jackalope Games, in Austin, Texas
  • Jackalope Games will be focused exclusively on the development of PC and console titles

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