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GGP Gaming Weekly – January 25

Highlights

Breakpoint 2 Summit on February 16th (link)
Griffin Gaming Partners is a sponsor

  • A free, virtual game developer summit featuring talks by industry leaders including Unity, Epic Games, AWS, O3DE, Google Stadia, Helpshift, Respawn, BitHeads, and IGDA
  • An opportunity to learn from each other, network, share best practices and ideas through technical talks
  • Discussions will focus on game quality, testing pipelines, and performance issues
  • To register or apply as a speaker, click here (link) 

Poll says gamers and game devs expect metaverse to arrive in one to five years, according to Improbable (link)

  • Improbable polled 2,000 gamers and 800 game developers across the US and United Kingdom to explore what the future of the metaverse looks like
  • The majority of respondents think it will take between one to five years for the metaverse to come to fruition (45%), with the UK being particularly bullish with at least 10% of gamers and devs predicting it will take less than a year for the metaverse to exist
  • While only one in three players say they would spontaneously consider trading with other people (34%) or investing to earn money in the metaverse (36%), 57% claim they would happily “play to earn”
  • In-game tokens would be the currency of choice for gamers (47%), but cryptocurrency remains a close second (45%)
  • 76% of gamers cited a key requirement for currency in the metaverse is that it is transferrable around multiple metaverses 

Mobile games consumer spending reached $93.2B in 2021, according to Newzoo (link)

  • This figure represents an increase of 7.3% YoY
  • The report also shows that mobile game revenue made up 52% of 2021’s global consumer spending for gaming
  • China led the market with $32B generated in mobile game revenue during 2021, with the US second at $15B and Japan third at $13.7B
  • Newzoo forecasts that the mobile games market will generate $116B by 2024

2021 sets record for US games spending at $60.4B, according to NPD (link)

  • US games sales set a record with total consumer spending reaching $60.4B, representing an 8% increase YoY, according to tracking firm NPD’s latest report
  • Software comprised most of the year’s revenue (85%), with game content spending reaching $51.7B in 2021, an increase of 7% YoY
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard was the best-selling game of 2021, followed by Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War and Madden NFL 22
  • Hardware sales saw more growth than software with console revenues reaching $6B last year, an increase of 14% YoY from $5.3B in 2020
  • Consumer spending on game accessories increased 2% in 2021 for a total of $2.7B

M&A and Capital Raises

Animoca Brands raises $358.8M at a $5B valuation for NFT games and open metaverse (link)

  • Animoca Brands is working to build the open metaverse by bringing digital property rights to online users through the use of blockchain and NFTs, having raised $216M in 2021
  • The Company will use the proceeds to continue funding strategic acquisitions and investments, product development, and licenses for popular intellectual properties
  • Liberty City Ventures led the round, with additional participation by 10T Holdings, C Ventures, Delta Fund, Gemini Frontier Fund, Gobi Partners Greater Bay Area, Kingsway, L2 Capital, Mirae Asset, Pacific Century Group, ParaFi Capital, Provident, Senator Investment Group, Sequoia China, Smile Group, Stable Asset Management, Soros Fund Management, Wildcat Capital Management, Winklevoss Capital, among others

Turkey’s Dream Games raises $255M at a $2.75B valuation (link)

  • Dream Games focuses on the mobile gaming market with its first game, Royal Match, which launched in March last year
  • It’s Dream’s third funding round in the last year, raising $50M in a Series A in March 2021, and an additional raise of $155M in Series B in June 2021, bringing the total funding raised to date to $468M
  • Index Ventures led the round, with additional participation by Makers Fund, IVP, BlackRock, Kora, and Balderton Capital

Stillfront announces intention to acquire 100% of 6Waves for $201M (link)

  • Founded in 2008, 6Waves is a leading publisher of mobile free-to-play strategy games in Japan
  • The acquisition is payable in cash at 92%, with the remaining 8% payable in newly issued shares, representing a 6.8x EV / LTM Adj. EBITDA ending 9/30/21
  • The transaction includes purchasing the 34.8% stake previously owned by Nexon for $93M
  • Stillfront will be using this acquisition to expand the Company’s presence in East Asia and specifically Japan, which has been a strategic priority for Stillfront

Carry1st raises $20M in Series A extension for mobile games in Africa (link)

  • Carry1st is a South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa, providing a full-stack publishing solution, handling user acquisition, live operations, community management and monetization for its partners
  • The Company will use the proceeds to expand its content portfolio; grow its product, engineering, and growth teams; and acquire new users
  • Andreessen Horowitz led the round, with additional participation by Avenir, Google, Riot Games, Konvoy Ventures, Raine Ventures, and TTV Capital, among others

Lit Protocol raises $2.2M to use NFTs for decentralized access passes (link)

  • Lit Protocol has raised $2.2M to build out its decentralized network that enables NFTs to act as access keys to exclusive content and experiences both online and in the real world
  • An open-source ecosystem that leverages encryption and blockchain technology, the Lit (Lockable Interactive Token) Protocol allows blockchain, decentralized app (dapp), and NFT developers to build applications online
  • Collab+Currency and Sfermion led the round, with additional participation by CMT Digital, Crowdcreate, G1 Ventures, Gumi Cryptos Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Lattice Capital, LongHash Ventures, Protocol Labs, Shima Capital, Tribe Capital, among others

Mythical Games buys Polystream for real-time 3D streaming for the metaverse (link)

  • Mythical Games, the maker of the Blankos Block Party game, has acquired Polystream for real-time 3D streaming for the metaverse, for an undisclosed amount
  • Polystream is a UK based streaming company with 20 employees, creating technology that delivers what is required for interactive 3D consumer entertainment

Other

Netflix discusses upcoming plans with video game platform and development (link)

  • “We’re open to licensing, accessing large game IP that people will recognize. And I think you’ll see some of that happen over the year to come” said Greg Peters, COO and Chief Product Officer of Netflix
  • Netflix said fans can expect the company to release more games in the “casual and core gaming genres” in 2022 as the company build out a portfolio of games
  • Netflix will look to make “interactive experiences” instead of just licensed games 

nDreams reveals new Studio Elevation for AAA and VR titles (link)

  • VR game developer and publisher nDreams announced it’s opening a new studio, nDreams Studio Elevation
  • The new studio will focus on AAA and core VR titles
  • nDreams has developed several VR titles, its most recent ones being Phantom: Covert Ops, Fracked, and Far Cry VR: Drive into Insanity

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