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GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 53

Highlights

Games market to reach $180B in 2021, according to NewZoo (link)

  • Mobile Gaming revenue increased by 7.3% YoY to $93B, and now accounts for 52% of the global Games market
  • PC Gaming revenue declined by 0.8% and Console Gaming revenue declined by 6.6%
  • Global active smartphones have reached 4.6B
  • The global Games market is projected to hit $200B by 2024

Forte teams with Zynga to take blockchain games to the mainstream (link)
Forte is a portfolio company of Griffin Gaming Partners

  • Forte’s platform provides best-in-class interoperability mechanics and compliance measures to bring safety, stability, and trust to both developers and players
  • The partnership will leverage Zynga’s IP, brands, and community coupled with Forte’s blockchain game solutions to develop blockchain-enabled games that are fun and engaging
  • The companies plan to drive faster development and create more “economic opportunities for players in blockchain gaming” through their strategic partnership

Mobile game publishers continue to reach $1M at high rates, according to Sensor Tower (link)

  • 906 app publishers reached $1M of earnings in 2021, representing a 90% increase from 2016
  • Mobile game publishers represent the largest contingent of publishers that reached $1M of earnings in 2021
  • 185 game publishers will likely reach the milestone across both the App Store and the Play Store

The Game Awards 2021 hits a record 85M livestream views (link)

  • This year’s Awards took place in-person at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles
  • This year’s 85M livestream views topped 2020’s record-setting 83M, which represented an 84% increase YoY as a result of the pandemic’s gaming boom
  • The Awards consisted of more than 30 world premieres of upcoming projects, including Star Wars Eclipse, The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience, Alan Wake II, Sonic 2, and Sonic Frontiers, Wonder Woman, Horizon Forbidden West, and more
  • The Awards were viewed on over 30 digital networks globally, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok Live, and Steam, as well as more than a dozen digital platforms in China and India

M&A and Capital Raises

Rec Room social gaming platform raises $145M at $3.5B valuation (link)

  • Rec Room is a global virtual platform hosting millions of user-generated experiences, including escape rooms, adventure games, battle royale islands, and birthday parties
  • The Company launched in 2016 and has had 37M lifetime users to date
  • The Company’s monthly user count has increased by 450% since November 2020, driven primarily by mobile user growth
  • The Company will use the proceeds to grow headcount and expand its capabilities, potentially through M&A
  • The round was led by Coatue Management, with additional participation from Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, and Madrona Venture Group

Embracer Group buys Perfect World Entertainment for $125M (link)

  • Specifically, Embracer has acquired Perfect World North America Corporation and Perfect World Publishing from Perfect World Europe
  • The acquisition includes notable studios like Cryptic Studios, best known for MMOs such as Neverwinter and Star Trek Online
  • The acquired companies will be integrated into Embracer’s Gearbox Entertainment
  • The acquisitions are expected to strengthen Gearbox’s publishing operations and add MMOs to Embracer’s portfolio

Embracer acquires Dark Horse, Shiver Entertainment, and Spotfilm Networx (link)

  • The acquisition of Dark Horse bolsters Embracer’s cross-media capabilities, as it gains access to over 300 Dark Horse IPs as well as its comics publishing and TV production arms
  • Embracer’s Saber Interactive has acquired Shiver Entertainment, a Florida-based development studio that focuses primarily on game co-development and porting projects across multiple platforms
  • Embracer’s Koch Media has also entered an agreement to acquire Spotfilm Networx, a German video-on-demand channel

Keywords acquires Waste Creative and Wicked Witch for up to $20M (link)

  • Keywords Studios is a globally scaled external development partner that partners with game developers to extend their geographical reach and capabilities
  • Waste Creative provides creative production services to mobile game companies, including Supercell, Nintendo, and Riot Games
  • Wicked Witch is a Melbourne-based team that provides work-for-hire development for large publishers, including Microsoft and Riot Games
  • The Company expects the acquisitions to accelerate its growth and add valuable capabilities to attract leading gaming companies as clients

Mana raises $7M in seed funding round (link)

  • Mana allows mobile gamers to earn vouchers, gift cards, and virtual currency by completing challenges in popular titles, including League of Legends and Clash Royale
  • The round includes participation from One Way Ventures, Pillar, Quasar Holding Co., and Sundance DiGiovanni
  • The Company will use the proceeds to develop its rewards-driven financial ecosystem that provides everything gamers need in one place

SPACE raises $7M for arts and commerce virtual projects (link)

  • SPACE is a metaverse project that aims to provide tools for users to design and create immersive commerce spaces
  • SPACE’s product has launched an Early Access Alpha version that features the ability to host over 10K users
  • The Company has over 100 partnerships with leaders in the fields of art, fashion, and music
  • The round includes participation from CoinFund, Dapper Labs, Digital Currency Group, Animoca Brands, and Hof Capital
  • The Company will use the proceeds to foster a vibrant user-owned economy and evolve alongside the metaverse as the center of social commerce experiences

Dynasty Studios raises $5M to take traditional games into blockchain (link)

  • Dynasty Studios originates from Logic Artists, the developer of the Expeditions series who is marked to complete Expeditions: Rome before joining the Dynasty Studios team
  • Dynasty Studios’ goal is to combine blockchain technology with high-quality games to deliver rich gameplay experiences inside robust in-game economies
  • The Company’s first title will be the upcoming massively multiplayer survival game, codenamed HAN
  • The round was led by Framework Ventures, with additional participation from CoinFund, Dapper Labs, and Wood Investment Partners

Mystic Moose raises $5M to build game metaverse Planet Mojo (link)

  • Mystic Moose is a new independent game studio developing a browser-based gaming platform Planet Mojo
  • Planet Mojo’s signature game is an auto-chess game in which players can buy their teams as NFTs
  • The round was led by Animoca Brands, with additional participation from Courtside Ventures, Republic Crypto, Polygon Studios, and Sky Vision Capital

Kixeye Studios to acquire Rise of Firstborn (link)

  • Stillfront developer Kixeye Studios has announced that it intends to acquire mobile strategy game Rise of Firstborn
  • Rise of Firstborn is a real-time strategy game that Kixeye believes can be improved leveraging its experience operating similar titles
  • Rise of Firstborn was developed and published by Netmarble, and released in May 2018

Monumental acquires MMO Crowfall (link)

  • Monumental, a Texas-based independent studio, has acquired MMO title Crowfall from developer ArtCraft
  • Crowfall launched in July 2021 after raising multiple rounds to fuel its development and expansion
  • The acquisition includes the current live operations team behind Crowfall, which brings deep experience in building and operating MMOs

Other

Jam City unveils blockchain division and first NFT game Champions: Ascension (link)

  • The announcement represents the mobile game developer’s first major move into the blockchain-enabled game space
  • Jam City believes there is a big opportunity in empowering players with direct ownership of their characters
  • Ahead of the game launch, Jam City plans to drop a limited run of 10K NFTs called Prime Eternals via a private sale
  • Owners of Prime Eternals will have the highest in-game earning potential and access to unique perks not available to other players

Ubisoft partners with Aleph.im on blockchain games (link)

  • The partnership aims to bring playable NFTs to Ubisoft’s AAA-titles, including Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
  • Aleph.im is a cross-blockchain decentralized storage and computing network
  • Ubisoft’s new blockchain-powered platform, Ubisoft Quartz, will develop dynamic NFTs that can be integrated into live gameplay
  • Players will be able to acquire the dynamic NFTs, called Digits, and use them inside of games as playable weapons, equipment, and more

Apple seeks dismissal of App Store antitrust case in India (link)

  • Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) claimed that Apple’s App Store payment processing rules hurt Indian mobile developers
  • Apple is claiming that it takes up an “insignificant” 0-5% of the market in the country, compared to Google’s 90-100% share
  • The Company claims that without market dominance, there can be no abuse of power
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) will review Apple’s response to the filing over the next few weeks

Trading Comparables

Blockchain Gaming

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