Investor’s “News of the Week” (April 1st – April 8th)
Would you like to know what happened between April 1st and April 8th in the Gaming economy?
Then take a look and read further!
1) Nexon Invest $874 Million On Bandai Namco, Hasbro, Konami, and Sega Sammy
The Tokyo-based Maplestory publisher company “Nexon” is moving into “long-term friendly investments with no intention of acquisition to activism,” with those four companies in particular due to their “well-managed global IP.”
The $847 million they’ll invest in these companies is the 58% of $1.5 billion they raised in 2020 to keep developing such big-scale franchises.
Own Mahoney, the president, and CEO at Nexon said:
“We believe companies with strong, well-managed global IP are often overlooked and undervalued in a market that is narrowly focused on introductions of new IP.
These investments reflect our respect for management teams that create and grow global properties over a period of years and decades. We believe that each has the potential to capitalize on the secular shift from linear formats to interactive entertainment.”
2) TiMi Studios (Call of Duty: Mobile Dev) Made $10 Billion in 2020
Trustable sources commented about the $10 billion Call of Duty: Mobile developer TiMi Studios made throughout 2020. That would make them the “world’s largest developer.”
To not misunderstood: the record applies for a single studio, so we’re not talking about larger parent companies (as Activision Blizzard, owner of the Call of Duty franchise).
Analyst Daniel Ahmad believes TiMi is looking to expand with more games, for new audiences. This is because Tecent’s graphs show half of revenue comes from overseas.
Scott Warner, former Halo and Battlefield industry veteran was recently hired for the LA studio. They have also developed Arena of Valor and Pokemon Unite.
3) Microsoft HoloLens-based Headset: $22 Billion Military Contract
Another one coming from Reuters: a Microsoft spokesperson announced the estimated $21.88 billion 10-year deal that started in 2018 after the company won a contract to build AR headsets for the US Army Army Close Combat Force (valued at $479 million back then).
This partnership entered its next phase after Alex Kipman confirmed that the gadget is officially going into production now.
Source: Microsoft Blog Post
According to Kipman, the Integrated Visual Augmented System (IVAS) prototype is based on the HoloLens and Azure cloud services to “deliver enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios.”
4) Pokemon Charizard Card Sold for $300K+ In Auction
PWCC Auctions has enlisted and officially sold a 1999 first-edition, “PSA 10 Gem Mint” Shadowless Charizard on eBay for $311,800.
Only 122 cards with this “basically perfect” distinction were made.
In the YouTube video, they call it “the single-most important and prolific card in existence.”
“Featuring the highest attack power of any of the original Pokemon cards produced; the ferocity of the artwork coupled with the might of its Fire Spin caused most Pokemon fanatics to use it with pride.
[The Charizard card] is the 52 Topps Mantle, the 86 Fleer Jordan, the 79 O-Pee-Chee Gretzky of the Pokemon hobby.
It is one of the most coveted trading cards ever produced.
Widely considered one of the holy grails of the Pokemon world, this Flame Pokemon is poised to show continuous returns for years to come and become a premier investment piece for any portfolio to have.”
5) “Heroes in Rivalry”: BMW Campaign Made Manga
The luxury car brand keeps expanding its “United in Rivalry” campaign with more partnerships and initiatives. This time, it is the time for the shonen manga “Heroes in Rivalry” to be tested.
The manga series, created by Acky Bright (Japanese artist) merges Cloud 9, Fnatic, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports, and T1 into eight episodes of engaging fantasy adventures.
The release date is yet to be announced but you can keep up with it on bmw.com and the brand’s respect esports social media channels.
6) Kickstarter: The Ultimate, Unofficial Amiibo Handbook/Guide
The UNofficial Amiibo Handbook is being crowdfunded by the creator of magazines “Switch Player” and “Ninty Fresh”, Paul Murphy. The Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its $4,147 goal (with $22,451 at the time of this writing) with 708 backers in total.
The amiibo collector plans to get his first published book out this summer. It will include in-depth information on all the 208 amiibo figures currently available for purchase.
Contributors can access three reward tiers. Early bids (sold out) included a checklist poster, the chance to appear as a sponsor inside the handbook, and the digital download version.
The “Super Mario 128 Edition” tier (that’s how many total copies are available) comes with Murphy’s sign and a “Certified amiibo Fan” badge.
7) Raised: Play Venture ($135m) + Manticore ($100m) + Lowkey ($7m) + Graffiti Games ($1.5m)
Four different raising rounds have taken place in the first week of April, accumulating over $200 million.
The first one comes from Play Ventures, a VC fund that closed a $135 million /round to invest in game studios, as they have done for 24 other game companies, across 10 countries.
The second is Manticore Games, which just raised $100 million in Series C (led by XN and supported by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, London Venture Partners, among others) for Core, its user-generated game creation platform.
They plan to launch exclusive Early Access on the Epic Games Store on April 15.
Then, Andreesen Horowitz led the Series A funding round for the gameplay-capture app “Lowkey” which raised $7 million to allow users to capture gameplay without lag, edit it, share them online and watch them later on.
It was also a good $1.5 million round for Graffiti Games and their new indie games.
8) Sumo Grows +40% In Revenue After Acquisitions
It’s been a good time for the UK development group who won two BAFTAs for the “Sackboy: A Big Adventure” platformer and now, reported 40.7% growth in revenue, over last year (£23.9 million to £31.5 million).
Although they don’t have as much cash in hand after they proactively purchased more developing studios (as Lab42, PixelAnt, and Pipeworks) over the past 12 months.
According to CEO Carl Cavers, the number of employees grew from 766 to 1,045, despite the challenges of having other parent companies also proactively seeking to acquire studios.
9) Ghostrunner IP Acquired by 505 Games for €5m: New Roadmap Is Revealed
505 Games, the company that made the game’s initial release possible in October 2020 with the help of “All in” Games has now taken full control of the cyberpunk ninja action IP: Cyberpunk, with “all licenses for the technological solutions used in the game.”
The acquisition cost €5 million, which is minimal, considering Ghostrunner recovered the production costs on launch day (€2.5 million) and its ongoing sales keep producing a great share of profits to All In. They competed with 505 for the IP’s acquisition at launch.
Now, Ghostrunner’s player base finally knows what’s coming to 2021 thanks to the released roadmap exposed below. It includes next-gen console versions, Amazon’s Luna addition, and 3 DLC bundles, as well as new “Kill Run” and “Photo” modes for Spring.
10) Sales of Mario Games Grew 276%, Almost Beating MH: Rise
The UK market has spoken and the Switch-exclusive “Monster Hunter: Rise” was set as the best-selling game of the week. While that’s not surprising at all, the second spot is: Super Mario 3D All-Stars and a list of other Mario Games followed next.
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” dropped the first spot and jumped right into third place.
Similarly, “Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” went from second to fourth after increasing sales by 1%.
Retailers ran Nintendo Switch promotions during the whole week and Nintendo’s global injection 35th anniversary of the Mario franchise was smart. They announced the delisting of 3D All-Stars which led to the mentioned 276% growth.
Esports Marketer. Marco is the Founder of DFY Gaming. He types for a living but writes awfully on pen and paper.