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GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 36

Highlights

Judge rules Apple can’t block access to Epic’s Unreal Engine (link)

  • A federal judge on Monday blocked Apple from shutting down Epic’s Unreal Engine
  • The ruling safeguards Fortnite creator Epic’s computer graphics software Unreal Engine, which it offers through an affiliate business and which hundreds of games and other apps use to power their apps on Apple’s iPhones

Facebook says Apple’s forthcoming privacy moves will throttle publisher revenue on its Audience Network (link)

  • Facebook said publishers should “expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease.”
  • “Ultimately, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14” the blog post continued

Pokémon GO had its second best month ever for revenue in July 2020 (link)

  • Niantic’s Pokémon Go proved to be the top-grossing mobile title last month according to SuperData Research
  • In July, the augmented reality title experienced its second best month in terms of revenue ever, having earned just 0.4% less than what it generated in August 2016, back when the world had just been introduced to the hit game
  • Last month, it was revealed that the mobile title is closing in on $4 billion in lifetime revenue

Fall Guys crosses 7 million copies sold on Steam as it becomes the most downloaded PS Plus game ever (link)

  • Released earlier this month by UK studio Mediatonic, Fall Guys landed on top of the Steam charts on PC and Sony’s PlayStation 4, where it’s available for free
  • The game’s official Twitter account has more than 1.2 million followers, and the game has been a constant on the Twitch viewership charts. According to publisher Devolver Digital, the game has sold more than 7 million copies on PC

Fate/Grand Order’s English version exceeds 11 million downloads (link)

  • Sony’s English version of mobile RPG Fate/Grand Order has accumulated 11 million downloads
  • As announced via its US website, the milestone will be celebrated with some in-game freebies and new in-game missions as thanks to all the players who downloaded the game

Oculus rebrands as Facebook Reality Labs (link)

  • In a post on the Facebook blog, the firm revealed that Oculus was being rebranded to Facebook Reality Labs. This is where the company’s AR and VR businesses will be based from now on
  • The social media giant has also put its name on the firm’s Oculus Connect event, which is now called Facebook Connect

The Call of Duty League delivers a throne and a $4.6 million prize pool (link)

  • The winner will take home $1.5 million, and the total prize is around $4.6 million
  • For the first time, the league has been organized along a city-based franchise model, like the Overwatch League that preceded it and professional sports franchises
  • Disrupted by the pandemic, this year’s physical events were canceled and everything moved online in April

M&A and Capital Raising

Unity files for IPO (link)

  • Unity Technologies has filed for an initial public offering to help its business of making it easier for developers to create video games as well as developers in other industries outside of gaming to create applications
  • As of the filing date, 50%+ of all games are made with Unity, software built with Unity runs on more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide. Within the top game developers, 93 out of the top 100 game development studios by global revenue in 2019 were Unity customers
  • Key Financial Highlights:
    • The company reported revenues of $380.8mm and $541.8mm in 2018 and 2019 (42% YoY growth), and 1H 2020 revenue of 351.3mm (39% YoY growth)
    • Of the company’s 3 independent but related businesses: Create Solutions, Operate Solutions, and Strategic Partnerships and Other, Operate Solutions is the fastest growing and largest segment, including Unity’s advertising business
      • 48%, 54% and 62% of the revenue are from Operate Solutions for 2018, 2019 and 1H 2020 respectively, growing 58% YoY in 1H 2020
    • Of its customers contributing more than $100,000 in revenue in 2019 and 1H 2020, outside of gaming accounted for 8% of the total customers in this category, with the remaining 92% all coming from Gaming customers
    • Customers that represented more than $100,000 in revenue were 484, 600, and 716 in 2018, 2019, and 1H 2020 respectively; this accounted for 68%, 74% and 74% of total revenue in the same period
    • 34% and 38% of revenues were generated from EMEA, 33% and 32% of revenue were generated from Asia-Pacific, and 33% and 30% of revenues were generated by Americas in 2019 and 1H 2020 respectively

Tencent and Leyou file joint announcement of Tencent’s proposed take-private of Leyou (link)

  • The announcement values Leyou at up to 11.61 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$1.5 billion) in an all-cash deal
  • Tencent’s offer, including options, is at HK$3.3219 per share for Leyou with an intention to delist the company from the Hong Kong stock exchange

Restream launches Studio tool and raises $50 million (link)

  • The platform has grown more than 300% since January. It serves more than 2 million creators and businesses that want to broadcast one video feed over multiple platforms
  • Investment firms Insight Partners and Sapphire Ventures led the funding. And Restream plans to use the influx of cash to bring in more workers and expand its marketing efforts

Others

New Batman Video Game ‘Gotham Knights’ Revealed at DC FanDome (link)

  • “Gotham Knights” was revealed at the DC FanDome virtual event. It’s being developed by WB Games Montreal, the studio behind “Batman: Arkham Origins” from the popular “Batman Arkham” video game series
  • The initial teaser trailer showed a dark Gotham City where crime has run even more rampant after the apparent death of Bruce Wayne, whose alter-ego Batman was last seen in “Batman: Arkham Knight.” Following their mentor’s demise, Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing and the Red Hood emerge as the city’s new protectors

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Set in Batman: Arkham Universe (link)

  • At DC Fandome, Rocksteady Studios revealed Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, a new action game starring the infamous super villain team. The game will be launching on in 2022 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X according to the teaser
  • Rocksteady Studios’ Sefton Hill confirmed Suicide Squad is a “continuation of the Arkhamverse” that began in Batman: Arkham Asylum and came to its seeming end in Batman: Arkham Knight. Hill explained that Suicide Squad is part of this world and will actually let players see the continuation of plot threads and characters first introduced in those Arkham games

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is coming in spring 2021 (link)

  • Shown off at gamescom 2020’s Opening Night Live, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’s new trailer showcased some of the famous recreated scenes, gameplay, and humor to come

Call of Duty: Black Ops — Cold War arrives with cross-generation, cross-platform play on November 13 (link)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops — Cold War will launch November 13 on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and will be “cross-generation”, meaning players will be able to play multiplayer with each other on both the current generation consoles and with next-generation players on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when those consoles launch

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion launches October 27 (link)

  • The Gamescom opening ceremonies revealed that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is launching on October 27. This is the MMO’s eighth expansion. It has players exploring the fantasy universe’s afterlife

Little Nightmares II is coming on February 11 with big creepy things that scare little creepy things (link)

  • Bandai Namco and Tarsier Studios announced that Little Nightmares II is coming to PC and consoles February 11, with next-generation console versions coming later in 2021

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will release in PS5’s ‘launch window’ (link)

  • Rift Apart is the latest in insomniac’s 3D action-platformer series. The franchise mixes traditional platforming puzzles with shooter aspects and wacky guns. The first Ratchet & Clank came out for PlayStation 2 in 2002 and has had over a dozen sequels. The last one came out for PlayStation 4 in 2016

Doom Eternal expansion The Ancient Gods Part One arrives October 20 (link)

  • Bethesda and id Software announced that the first single-player campaign expansion for Doom Eternal is The Ancient Gods Part One, and it will debut October 20

Voodoo expands with multiple offices across Asia (link)

  • The regional headquarters will be based in Singapore and will be headed by Julian Corbett. He has a strong background within Asia, as he is the co-founder and chairman of Ksubaka, and served as Take-Two Interactive’s Asia vice president of publishing

Frontier Developments reveals two games from its new publishing label (link)

  • Founded in 1994, Frontier Developments has created and self-published hits like Planet Coaster and Jurassic World: Evolution. Now it is getting into the business of publishing games from other developers

Gaming Public Multiples

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