© All rights reserved. Griffin Gaming Partners 2021

GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 51

Highlights

Apple wins delay on App Store changes from Epic antitrust ruling (link)

  • Following the ruling, Apple did not have to allow third-party payment options on the App Store by December 9, and it’s unclear if they will be ordered to make these changes at all
  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the delay, stating that Apple will not have to make the changes to the App Store until after the appeal is settled
  • The court’s decision implies that it may be open to overturning the original ruling

Consumers will spend $135B across iOS and Google Play stores in 2021 globally, according to App Annie (link)

  • Spending on mobile games reached $90B this year, representing a growth of 11% YoY
  • Gamers spent the most money out of any user category, accounting for 60% of revenue on iOS and 80% of dollars spent on Google Play
  • The top breakout game of 2021 in terms of downloads was Bridge Race, closely followed by Hair Challenge, Count Masters, and High Heels
  • Metaverse mobile games are projected to generate $3.1B in 2022

Revenues from Asia will generate over $41B in revenue by 2025, according to Niko Partners (link)

  • The Asia-10 gaming market is projected to reach 941M mobile and PC gamers by 2025
  • Japan and Korea account for 80% of the regional market
  • India is projected to generate $1.5B in revenue by 2025, from $534M of revenue in 2021, representing a 32% growth rate YoY

NFTs have seen $26.9B worth of trading volume in 2021, according to Chainalysis (link)

  • About $16B of the $27B in NFT trading volume has routed through OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace
  • Just 29% of NFTs purchased during minting then sold on the OpenSea platform result in a profit. Buying NFTs on the secondary market from other users and flipping them, however, leads to profit 65% of the time, according to OpenSea
  • Roughly 50% of first-time sales are completed within two days of the initial mint (or creation of the NFT on the blockchain). It takes about five days to reach this mark for secondary sales after purchase
  • Axie Infinity has been the most popular NFT collection with over $3.7B in sales volume, according to DappRadar

FaZe Clan partners with MoonPay on crypto and NFTs for esports (link)

  • The deal will give millions of users access to the crypto economy by offering an easy and secure way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and NFTs
  • The FaZe Clan and MoonPay partnership includes a series of content and media that will launch in early 2022. MoonPay will integrate into existing content across the FaZe Clan platform and the two brands will create new original content tailored to the FaZe Clan community
  • FaZe Clan will also utilize MoonPay’s platforms and ecosystem for its forthcoming NFT and digital goods initiatives

Discord enables creators to sell premium memberships to fans (link)
Discord is a portfolio company of Griffin Gaming Partners

  • Discord has enabled creators to sell premium memberships to fans so they can monetize through multiple tiers of subscriptions
  • With Premium Memberships, creators and community owners will have the ability to gate part or all of their servers behind a paid subscription
  • Discord will let creators keep 90% of the revenue, with 10% going to Discord

It Takes Two wins Game of the Year (link)

  • The nominees also included Deathloop, Psychonauts 2, Resident Evil Village, Metroid Dread, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • It Takes Two, published by Electronic Arts, was a story game where two players are played as a husband-and-wife team

M&A and Capital Raises

Sony acquires Valkyrie Entertainment (link)

  • Valkyrie Entertainment is a Seattle-based support studio and helped produce widely successful titles such as God of War: Ragnarok and Halo Infinite
  • Valkyrie was also the primary developer of the free-to-play PS4 title, Guns Up

NZXT raises $100M for PC gaming hardware and gaming lifestyle brand (link)

  • NZXT has raised funding for the first time since it debuted as a PC gaming hardware company in 2004
  • The Company will use the proceeds to bring on more senior talent, expand its product offering to include new hardware categories, expand its direct-to-consumer offering in new global markets, invest more in the community, and focus on continuing to build the NZXT brand
  • The round was led by Francisco Partners, which held a majority stake at Corsair until 2017, with additional participation from strategic investors in NZXT and other leaders and entrepreneurs

Krafton leads $11M investment in Jordan’s Tamatem Games (link)

  • Tamatem Games focuses on publishing games for the Arabic-speaking market. Its titles have attracted more than 100M downloads to-date
  • The company will use the proceeds to amplify its efforts, bringing a wider selection of games with bigger and more popular titles to the Arabic-speaking market
  • The round was led by Krafton with additional participation from Venture Souq, Endeavor Catalyst, and existing investors

Frameplay raises $8M for in-game advertising (link)

  • Frameplay focuses on intrinsic in-game advertising and provides developers and designers with creative freedom to test the boundaries of adtech and bring new sources of entertainment to the video game industry
  • The Company will use the proceeds to offer new opportunities for developers, advertisers, and gamers to change the way games are played and monetized by allowing developers and designers to use Frameplay’s intrinsic in-game advertising platform
  • Hiro Capital led the round with additional participation from Razer and other investors

Affyn raises $7M for F2P AR metaverse mobile game (link)

  • The Company’s first mobile game is a metaverse project that will integrate geolocation and augmented reality features, and in which every in-game character is an NFT
  • Affyn aspires to progress its in-game currency, FYN tokens, to have real-world applications to create a closed-loop economy
  • The funding was spread across two rounds participated in by over 50 venture capital firms, institutional investors, and partners, including Vespertine Capital, Avalon Wealth Club, Herd Ventures, and others

Rainmaker Games raises $6.5M for play-to-earn gaming platform (link)

  • The studio’s titular product is a platform for blockchain games —specifically play-to-earn games
  • The Company will use the proceeds to lower the barrier for entry to NFTs and play-to-earn games
  • Investors include CoinFund, Polygon Studios, and Animoca Brands among others

Bayz raises $4M for NFT gaming (link)

  • Bayz will allocate a portion of funds to a community fund as the Company uses a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) structure which will allow its community members to determine how to allocate proceeds
  • The Company will use the proceeds to bring play-to-earn games to Brazil and to actively invest and partner with leading blockchain game developers
  • The round was led by Yield Guild Games with additional participation from Valor Capital, Ascensive Assets, Fabric Ventures, Arca, Bitkraft, and Delphi Digital

Other

Alethea AI, beingAI, and Binance NFT launch NFT-based AI game characters (link)
Alethea AI is a portfolio company of Griffin Gaming Partners

  • The companies will launch a limited-edition selection of 100 NFT characters, including beingAI’s Sophia, a virtual version of Sophia the Robot
  • Alethea AI’s intelligent NFTs can interact in a gamified environment with people in real-time. Alethea AI will host its own intelligent metaverse gaming environment on Alethea.ai

PUBG: Battlegrounds goes free-to-play on January 12 (link)

  • PUBG: Battlegrounds has generated more than 75M in sales since it debuted in 2017
  • When PUBG: Battlegrounds transitions to free-to-play, it will introduce Battlegrounds Plus, a premium account upgrade that allows players to access a variety of new and exclusive in-game features

Roblox launches Ralph Lauren Winter Escape experience (link)

  • The holiday-themed experience will allow fashion fans to explore the world of Ralph Lauren through Roblox’s platform. The exclusive gender-neutral digital clothing collection features multiple limited-edition items
  • The Ralph Lauren Digital Collection, exclusively available for purchase on Roblox, allows users to customize their avatars with iconic styles that they can try on and purchase at the Polo Shops within the Roblox platform

Tencent Games reveals Level Infinite publishing brand (link)

  • The new studio is based in Amsterdam and Singapore and will provide support to other studios in the Tencent Games portfolio
  • Level Infinite’s initial publishing slate will include Synced: Off Planet by NExT Studios for PC, Don’t Starve: Newhome for mobile, and unnamed titles from Lightspeed & Quantum Studios and TiMi Studio Group
  • In addition to the above games, Level Infinite will also provide support to other studios that are self-publishing their games

Star Trek: Resurgence revealed by Dramatic Labs at Game Awards (link)

  • Dramatic Labs, a new independent development studio, is working on a choice-based adventure game called Star Trek: Resurgence with ViacomCBS Consumer Products
  • Star Trek: Resurgence will launch in Spring 2022 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and the Epic Game Store on PC

Monolith’s Wonder Woman game revealed at the Game Awards (link)

  • Monolith is best known for the first two F.E.A.R. titles, Condemned, and the Middle-Earth games
  • The Wonder Woman game will be an open-world, third-person action-adventure game. The game will be powered by the Nemesis System, originally created for Shadow of Mordor

Rocksteady confirms Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League for 2022 (link)

  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is publishing the action game and releasing it on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC

Alan Wake 2 in the works at Remedy Entertainment and Epic Games (link)

  • Remedy revealed an announcement for the game that it is developing in partnership with publisher Epic Games. It is expected to release in 2023

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