TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Facebook enters cloud gaming market; Esports Entertainment Group in dual acquisition; and MY.GAMES revenue climbs by 33%.
Facebook enters cloud gaming market
Facebook has announced the launch of cloud gaming capabilities across its Facebook Gaming platform and web browsers, joining other big tech giants Google (Stadia) and Amazon (Luna) in launching similar products. While other platforms have primarily catered towards PC and console titles, Facebook is initially prioritising mobile-native games, with five launch titles from Gameloft (Asphalt 9: Legends); Moonton (Mobile Legends: Adventure); Concrete Software (PGA Tour Golf Shootout); Qublix Games (Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale); and 2K Games (WWE SuperCard). Notably, cloud streaming functionality will not be available on Facebook Gaming via iOS as a result of Apple’s policies forbidding platforms that do not submit individual titles for review, though executives are considering a browser-based platform to work around the issue in a similar approach to Microsoft with its xCloud service.
In a blog post, Jason Rubin, VP of Play at Facebook, wrote, “As crazy as it sounds, the values of Facebook’s social games from 2010 are nearly identical to the promise of cloud games in 2020: instant access to games on any browser and playable with your friends wherever they are. We’ve always wanted to make games more accessible and give people a place to enjoy a shared love of gaming. Thanks to cloud gaming on Facebook Gaming, we can continue to help people play together, wherever and whenever they want.”
Esports Entertainment Group in dual acquisition
Video game tournament and betting firm Esports Entertainment Group has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire esports technology company ggCircuit and venue operator Helix eSports for a combined sum of approximately USD$43m (£33m), with the transactions expected to close before January 2021. Malta-based Esports Entertainment also gains the gaming analytics firm Genji Analytics via the purchase of Helix, following the merger between Helix and Team Genji in May this year. Following the dual acquisition, Esports Entertainment Group has revised its guidance for the 2021-2022 financial year from USD$25m (£19m) to USD$42m (£32m). The move continues a busy 2020 for Esports Entertainment Group, following its USD$8.4m (£6.4m) uplisting to the Nasdaq exchange in April, and the closure of a naming rights deal for Dignitas’ Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) roster in August. Securing ggCircuit and Helix eSports closely follows the acquisition roadmap outlined by CEO Grant Johnson to TheGamingEconomy earlier in the year, which detailed iGaming firms and tournament organisers as targets.
Of the latest deals, Johnson commented, “With the acquisition of Helix and ggCircuit, we have created the most diversified, US-listed esports entertainment asset in the entire ecosystem. These acquisitions significantly strengthen our Three Pillar Strategy, adding state-of-the-art esports entertainment centres, an esports-focused vertical enterprise software business, a best-in-class esports analytics platform, and a player-vs-player skill-based wagering platform to our diversified asset base. Together with what we’ve already built and further near-term acquisition opportunities, Esports Entertainment Group is well on its way to becoming a global industry leader.”
At close of trading, Esports Entertainment Group Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL) was up 4.35% at USD$4.80 (£3.68) per share.
MY.GAMES revenue climbs by 33%
MY.GAMES has announced that its revenue for Q3 2020 has increased by 33% year over year to USD$145m (£111m), accounting for approximately 40% of parent Mail.ru Group’s total quarterly earnings. The growth was driven by the strong performance of the publisher’s mobile portfolio in the United States, with new players and monthly active users increasing by 10% in the country from the previous quarter. Three quarters (75%) of the studio’s sales can be attributed to mobile titles, with its first-party IP generating 90% of its total revenue. The results from MY.GAMES closely follows the acquisition of a controlling stake (51.16%) in Moscow-based mobile developer Deus Craft for a maximum consideration of USD$49.1m (£37.7m) earlier in October.
MY.GAMES CEO Vasiliy Maguryan commented, “Despite the lifting of global COVID-19 lockdowns in June and people making the most of the summer, we have still seen steady growth throughout Q3. Our recent consolidation of Deus Craft is an important step on our path as a global gaming brand. We will continue to invest in our business through 2020 and beyond, delivering strong growth across all of our titles. Despite the current global situation, we continue to provide quality games and services to our loyal players. Our new mobile titles have been very popular with our players, as has the remastered edition of the mobile classic War Robots. We will maintain this positive trend in Q4 with the highly anticipated launch of Skyforge on Nintendo Switch and continuing steady growth of Conqueror’s Blade.”