The Gaming Week - 15 Sept 2017
Software, Long/Short Equity
Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2013
20 year veteran of video games industry, past decade focused on mobile games, past 5 years on F2P mobile games. My investing style is long (& longterm) and is oriented towards analysis of current product and industry trends.
- GameStop positions itself for iPhone 8/X trade-ins
- Nintendo Switch gains some surprising new adult titles
- The Overwatch League adds 2 new US franchises
- But Blizzard asks Overwatch players to be less 'toxic'
Out this week: NBA Live 18 (EA), NHL 18 (EA)
Out next week: NBA 2K18 (Take-Two)
Welcome to our roundup of games news as it relates to publicly-owned companies such as Activision Blizzard, EA, Glu Mobile, Take-Two, Zynga and more.
As we enter the key fall release schedule, the critical and commercial reaction to 2017’s blockbuster games starts to dominate the news. On that basis, Activision Blizzard’s Destiny 2 seems to have been a success, although we still await hard sales data.
Apple’s iPhone 8, iPhone X announcements didn’t feature heavily in terms of game content, although GameStop was quick to position its AT&T authorized Spring Mobile stores as the place to trade-in your old phone.
Finally, publishers reacted to the success of Nintendo’s Switch console announcing some surprising new titles for the platform including gory shooters such as Doom.
As an aside, I pondered Angry Birds developer Rovio’s forthcoming IPO, although this is only available to private investors in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)
- Destiny 2 - was the top-selling game in Japan in its launch week
- Overwatch - goes free from 22-25 Sept on PS4, Xbox One and PC
- Overwatch - Blizzard has ‘punished’ 480,000 accounts for ‘toxic behavior’, which the development team says is slowing down the game’s update cycle.
- Overwatch League - rumors says two more US franchises - Houston and Philadelphia - have been sold
- King - adds the Netherlands to the soft launch markets where it’s testing its first social casino game Royal House Slots
- Star Wars: Battlefront II - pre-order now to get access to the beta two days early on 4 October
- NHL 18 - currently scoring 5 percentage points better on Xbox One than PS4 according to Metacritic
- NBA Live 18 - actually good?
- Madden NFL 18 - was the top selling game in North America in August
- iPhones 8/X - aggressive trade-in deals for your old smartphones gain headlines
Glu Mobile (GLUU)
- Switch - The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim will be released on 17 November
- Switch - Bethesda will also release versions of Doom and Wolfenstein 2 for Nintendo’s console in late 2017 and early 2018 respectively
- GTA V - new Motor Wars mode in GTA Online is PlayerUnknown’s Battleground with vehicles
- NBA 2K18 - NBA 2K18 vs NBA Live 18
- Honor of Kings - a version of the top grossing Chinese game will be released for Nintendo’s Switch console under the title Arena of Valor
- CSR Racing 2 - partners with Ferrari to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary with in-game events and cars
- Exiting - SVP, GM of Games Pete Hawley leaves Zynga to become CEO of Telltale Games
- Rovio - Angry Birds developer prices itself at around $1 billion as it announces the price range of its 3 October IPO on the NASDAQ Helsinki exchange.
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Analyst's Disclosure: I am/we are long GME, ZNGA.
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