Investor’s “News of the Week” (March 16th – March 23th)
The videogame market spoke big money (billions) last year and 2021 shows no signs of stopping.
This week’s news (16th – 23rd) indicates it won’t be for the UK only but every other country as well.
1) £7 Billion. That’s How Much the UK’s Games Market Is Worth Now
According to the “Ukie“, the UK’s video game market value reached the £7 billion tag in 2020, which is around $9.7 billion.
Surprisingly enough, both physical and digital sales contributed to this sum, while the numbers from software alone get closer to £4.55 billion ($6.30 billion).
This would mark the first time the non-profit association firm “United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment” provides a breakdown like this from PC, console, and Mobile sales, respectively. You can see a brief overview of sales between 2019 and 2020, down below:
Consulting firm “GfK Entertainment,” says the Nintendo Switch saw a growth of “almost 300%” throughout the first lockdown period (starting in March 2020). For that reason, the Switch can be considered the second best-selling Nintendo console ever.
Despite low supplies, sales of next-gen consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series) also received an increment in overall revenue figures.
2) Playstation Buys EVO, Super League Gaming Gets Mobcrus, and ByteDance, Mooton Technology
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s blog post revealed the acquisition of EVO (Evolution Fighting Games Tournament), as “the new chapter for PlayStation’s efforts in esports entertainment.” EVO 2021 will be online-focused, taking place on August 6-8 and 13-15.
Also very important to note. @EVO is still open to all platforms. The teams at PlayStation and RTS are enabling us to continue working with our community to support fighting games. https://t.co/NKMQUSvkfj
— Mark Julio (マークマン) (@MarkMan23) March 18, 2021
More esports investment comes shaped by the acquisition of the live streaming platform “Mobcrush” from Super League Gaming. SLG spokesperson admits it expects to reach a good slice of the multi-million monthly viewership market opportunities.
Last, but not least, we found out about this $4 Billion deal between ByteDance (Tik Tok owner) and Moonton Technology (Shanghai-based studio, developers of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang).
3) Cloud Gaming “Ubitus” Receives Investment from Tencent, Sony, and Square Enix
Major game companies Tencent, Sony, and Square Enix invested in cloud gaming service provider Ubitus. They provide GPU virtualization technology and have planned to pursue both AR and VR compatibility.
Between the outlined plans, they’ve also included “find new game associated applications,” referring to a scalable/flexible end-to-end model for the Ubitus GameCloud and its HTML-5-based solution, Ubitus Click2Play.
Wesley Kuo, CEO of Ubitus stated:
“We are very excited to have some of the most important players in the game industry as our strategic shareholders. Their investments represent a vote of confidence in our technology, our achievements, and our potential role in the rapidly growing cloud game market. With our innovative technology and their resources, we shall help more partners roll out cloud game contents and services, and accelerate the industry’s transformation to the cloud.”
4) Luck Box, Overwolf, Star Citizen, and the Embracer Group +$1 Billion Funds
Embracer Group, the parent company of THQ Nordic and Koch Media, has issued 36 million Class B shares at $27.71 per share, which they expect to raise over $800 million from them, to “further strengthen its financial position and continue its ongoing acquisition strategy.”
Probably unexpected, Cloud Imperium Games revealed that Star Citizen earned more than $350 million, which might bring up new milestones shortly. The biggest milestone it had for months, was the International Aerospace Expo by getting $16.9 million in revenue.
In the meantime, Overwolf (An in-game apps platform) raised the $52.5 M in Series C financing round, to bring it up to a total of $75 Million raised to date.
Esports betting platform Luckbox (from parent company Real Luck Group Ltd.), was the latest from this week, raising $17.8 million thanks to Gravitas Securities for leading the private placement.
5) .jpg File Sold On $69 Million, Work Stolen, and Square Enix’s NFTs
Mike Winklemann (aka “Beeple”) is the artist behind this piece of digital art, titled “Everydays – The First Five Thousand Days.” More than a single piece, he combined 5,000 he started publishing since 2008, into a collage-like collection and sold it for $69 million.
While biddings started at $100, over 180 bids came in the very first minutes of auction. It almost closed at $30 billion but it was led to $69.3 million as the final price.
This news clearly proved that NFTs can be a versatile gold mine, as they can be the key to hatred for some and an environmental threat for the planet.
For example, Jason Rohrer listed “digital art” displayed in his game “The Castle Doctrine.” It turns one, he wasn’t the original creator of such pieces he advertised on Twitter.
Announcing the preview period for the Dutch auction of one-of-a-kind non-fungible crypto tokens of the pixel paintings from The Castle Doctrine. Only one person can own each painting. View the collection here: https://t.co/3Xh8LSCzs7 More details here: https://t.co/qiu8J4tMtv pic.twitter.com/qk0L3Tdamd
— Jason Rohrer (@jasonrohrer) March 9, 2021
The Art Director at Insomniac Games (Gavin Goulden), also claimed how several of his creations (Deathlok and Spider-Man: Miles Morales) were stolen and transformed into NFTs.
— Gavin Goulden (@GavinGoulden) March 11, 2021
While $69 million seems like a stupidly-high figure for one single piece of digital art (especially a .jpg file), the really impressive numbers come from Memo Atken, revealing:
The tracking of individual NFT sales/bids often produces +200kg of carbon dioxide, as a two-hour flight.
This has mostly produced hatred on Square Enix, after issuing its plans to become the first game developer to hop into the NFT trend for his Million Artur series this summer.
6) Nvidia Won Billion-Dollar Crypto-Mining GPU Lawsuit
False claims were spread about Nvidia misleading investors to buy all of their GPUs, spread like wildfire. In fact, they’re currently designing their GPUs (as the RTX 3060 12GB) with an Ethereum mining limiter, to reduce their crypto-mining power, therefore, its value for them.
This is the complete opposite case for what Nvidia was accused of.
Their bid consisted of preventing a billionaire market from buying all of their stock. And they’re planning to keep it that way, at least for the next few years.
The won lawsuit was filed in 2020 because allegedly 60-70% of Nvidia’s sales in China come from crypto miners. At least it was that high between 2017 and 2018, but the exact numbers were kept private to the public.
It was Haywood Gilliam, U.S. District Court Judge of the Northern California District which requested its dismiss, after no real evidence against Nvidia was found
7) The Reality Behind Nvidia’s GeForce GPU Shortage
In reality, it seems like Nvidia GeForce ain’t having such a profitable year so far. The company still suffers from a graphic card shortage and it might remain this way until Q3.
This is what the daily IT news site “Digitimes” reports, despite what the CFO at Nvidia said back in January:
“We expect overall channel inventories will likely remain throughout Q1.”
It seems like they were too optimistic and expected things to move faster and with ease. But not even May, June, or July (Q2) will be the months where we see new equipment.
If you’re part of the disappointed group, then you might also be wondering why the stock is so limited. While it was speculated that either COVID’s supply chain issues or the increasing demand due to cryptocurrency price-spike; Digitimes suggest a different story.
It is probable (but not entirely confirmable) that Korean Samsung’s manufacturing yields are having trouble producing GPU chips from each wafer.
8) Small Developers Get 15% Revenue Cut on Google Play Store in 1st Year
Google plans to reduce the standard 30% share revenue (to 15%) from apps submitted to the Play Store, for at least the $1 million produced annually.
Boosting developers success 🌟
We’re reducing our service fee for the first $1m developers earn each year on Google Play ↓ https://t.co/UWHCrqSRLw
— Android Developers (@AndroidDev) March 16, 2021
This was exactly what Apple made in November of 2020, after the Epic Game’s conflict.
What differentiates the change in policies from both companies, is that Google Play is one of many stores included in Android devices. As in the case of the App Store, which every iPhone device has.
Still, the change will take place starting July 2021 for developers to make more money than last year, but fortunately for Google, it wasn’t: it would have cost the company $587 million.
9) Surviving Mars Reaches the 5 Million Playerbase & Brings Update + DLC
Free on the Epic store, Surviving Mars has had one of its best weeks, so the team has decided to announce a summary of everything they’re developing and planning to release soon, during the Paradox Insider stream.
This Monday, the also free “Tourism” update was released (with all kinds of recreational installments to improve the Holiday Experience Rating), as well as its In-Dome Buildings DLC at $4.99, including 8 new buildings from the community modder “Silva.”
Netherlands-based studio Abstraction is now taking care of the updated development of Surviving Mars, as well as the optimized Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
10) Toys R Us New Stores Will Open in North America
New ownership of Toys R Us plans to extend the struggling brand across North America.
For those who don’t remember: the video game and children’s toy firm declared insolvency in America and world-wide bankruptcy in 2017. They have been working online-only since then, before getting acquired by WHP Global. They own +900 stores across 25 countries.
While the trademarked mega-stored model fails to work for Toys R Us’, the focus of this alliance is to distribute smaller shops inside larger department stores.
Others like GameStop might consider a similar approach after their downfall, rise of stocks, and recently-announced new committee.
Esports Marketer. Marco is the Founder of DFY Gaming. He types for a living but writes awfully on pen and paper.