Out this week:
- Need For Speed Payback (EA
Out next week:
- Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon (Nintendo)
- Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (EA)
- The Sims 4 (PC)
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.
Not only is November the biggest month in the gaming year in terms of key releases, the past couple of weeks have seen the release of company financials, and for most, the news has been good. That’s especially the case for Take-Two, which raised full-year guidance and saw its stock pop 15%.
More production rumors swirl around Nintendo’s production plans for its Switch console in FY19, with some now talking of 25-30 million, up substantially on FY18’s guidance of 14m, and even higher than the 24m suggested by earlier rumors about 2m a month capacity.
As for blockbuster games, it’s EA’s time in the retail spotlight, with three key launches released over the next week. It also decided to buy development partner Respawn Entertainment ( Titanfall) in a deal that could be worth as much as $455m but will likely end up closer to $300m.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)
- FY17 Q3 - GAAP revenue up 3% YoY to $1.6b. Income down 6% to $188m
- Blizzard - now has 42 million monthly active players - its largest Q3 total ever
- Call of Duty: WW2 - is PlayStation 4’s best-selling digital full game at launch, and sold twice as many units as 2016’s Infinite Warfare in its first 3 days
- Destiny 2- the game’s first expansion DLC -Curse of Osiris - will be released on 5 December
- FY18 Q2 - GAAP revenue up 7% YoY to $959m, but losses widened to $22m
- EA Sports- EA CEO floats the idea games like FIFA and Madden might lose their annual release schedule to a subscription model
- Respawn - EA is buying the Titanfall developer for $151m cash and up to $164m in equity (vesting over 4 years), plus an additional $140m dependent on future performance
- PowerPass - GameStop announces new $60 program for the unlimited rental of pre-owned games over a six month period
Glu Mobile (GLUU)
- FY17 Q3 - GAAP revenue up 59% YoY to $81m, but still made a $12m loss
- Design Home - One year since launch, the interior design game has generated $71m in revenues from 30 million downloads
- Switch - will have surpassed Wii U’s lifetime sale in 6 months time, while rumors now suggest Nintendo is looking to ship 25-30m units in FY19. That compares to guidance of 14m in FY18
- Super Mario Odyssey - sells two million units in 3 days
- Super Mario Run - despite over 200 million downloads, Nintendo’s first free-to-start game hasn’t matched financial expectations
- FY17 Q2- GAAP revenue was up 6% to $444m and losses declined from $30m a year ago to $3m
- FY17 - an increase in full year guidance to also popped its stock more than 15%
Tencent ( OTCPK:TCEHY)
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Tencent investment) - will the #1 Steam game be banned in China.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - Tencent rumored to still be interested in a takeover of developer Bluehole
- Snap -Tencent acquires 12% of troubled US ‘camera’ company for $2b to help turn it around with the addition of games and better newsfeed
- FY17 Q3 - GAAP revenues up 23% YoY to $225m. Income up 36% to $18m
- Peak Games - Zynga acquires the Turkish developer’s card and board games for $100m cash
- Words With Friends 2 - sequel to one of the top 10 most downloaded mobile games of all time is released globally
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has sold 20 million units, while a knock-off mobile copy from NetEase is now the #1 top grossing game in China.
This weekly roundup is a new service I'm experimenting with. If you have any comments, please let me know.
Disclosure: I am/we are long ZNGA, GME.