Weekly News Digest #25
# of announced deals
announced deals’ size
# of closed deals
Electronic Arts Has Acquired Playdemic For $1.4B
US-based multiplatform entertainment company Electronic Arts acquires Golf Clash developer and publisher Playdemic Ltd. from WarnerMedia’s subsidiary TT Games for $1.4B in cash. WarnerMedia divested Playdemic as part of its plan to focus on games based on the WB IPs.
Earlier this year, EA acquired US-based mobile game developer Glu Mobile for $2.1B, which broadened the company’s mobile games portfolio with such sports titles as Tap Sports Baseball, Deer Hunter, and Tap Sports Fishing. Now the company further expands its mobile sports portfolio with Golf Clash — a PvP sports game with over 80 million downloads globally. Since its launch, the game has amassed over $780m in player spending. Last year, Golf Clash’s gross revenue reached approximately $185m.
Currently, the mobile business generates ~13% of the EA’s revenue, so the mobile market is still a promising direction and an opportunity to diversify revenue streams. Playdemic’s expertise can help the company on the way and bring some new elements to EA’s mobile sports universe — we may consider that the clash mechanics (something Playdemic is definitely good at) can be introduced into other EA games in the future.
Playdemic — the story behind
Playdemic was founded in 2010 with a focus on Facebook gaming platform. In Jan’21, the company was acquired by RockYou, the US-based mobile game publisher that focuses on building in-game ad networks. However, later that year RockYou faced financial difficulties, and the founders of Playdemic decided to buy their company back. In Feb’17, TT Games, the UK-based company known for LEGO-based video games, announced the acquisition of Playdemic to accelerate the mobile market expansion.
Playdemic is Electronic Arts’ fourth major acquisition in the past seven months:
— In May’21, EA announced the acquisition of a Canada-based PC&console game developer Metalhead Software. The sum of the deal remains undisclosed
— In Feb’21, EA acquired US-based mobile game developer Glu Mobile for $2.1B
— In Dec’20, EA entered into an agreement to acquire UK-based racing games developer Codemasters Group for up to $1.2B. The deal was closed in Feb’21
In Q1’21, EA entered top-5 Most Active Strategic Investors in our Rating. Q2’21 is almost over, and we are preparing some new insights on the gaming market, so stay tuned!
(Written by Andrei Zubov and Vladimir Sergeevykh)
Tencent Has Acquired A Majority Stake In Yager
Chinese tech giant Tencent increased its stake in Berlin-based studio Yager and became a majority shareholder of the company. Founded in 1999, Yager has come a long way before receiving its first minority investment from Tencent in February 2020.
In 2019, the company released The Cycle — a new multiplayer FPS with PVP, PVE, and battle royale elements. When Tencent invested in Feb’20, some of the proceeds from the investment went to support the development of The Cycle, but the game is still in early access on EGS today. Given its recent investment, we suspect that Tencent is satisfied with The Cycle and its development process. Moreover, with the majority stake, the German developer gets access to Tencent’s vast development and publishing resources, which could ultimately boost The Cycle’s production and distribution.
Read more at Master the Meta.
(Written by Andrei Zubov and Vladimir Sergeevykh)
Unity Has Acquired Pixyz For An Undisclosed Sum
US-based video game software developer Unity Software acquired 3D data preparation and optimization company Pixyz Software for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 2017, Pixyz develops reparation tools that optimize CAD data for real-time 3D development. The company has a vast range of software tools and plugins for Unity developers: Pixyz Studio, Pixies Review, Pixyz Plugin, Pixyz Batch, and Pixyz Scenario Processor. Pixyz supports 35+ 3D file formats and can work with the most popular 3D tools, including AutoCAD, Autodesk Alias, Inventor, and VRED.
Unity and Pixyz have been working together since 2018, when the company released Pixyz Plugin, which allowed a direct import of CAD files (with 3D & 2D designs) to Unity engine. From now on, Pixyz products will be available both through Pixyz and Unity sales websites/representatives for the same price as before. Pixyz will continue working on the accessibility of Unity engine but this time the company will have access to Unity’s vast resources, expertise, and first-hand information about the engine.
This is the second tech studio Unity has acquired this year. In Mar’21, Unity bought AR development solutions company VisualLive for an undisclosed sum. In 2020, Unity made four acquisitions (all about tech solutions) and was included in the Most Active Strategic Investors Ranking we mentioned earlier.
(Written by Andrei Zubov)
VR social platform VRChat has closed an $80m Series D round led by Anthos Capital, with participation from Makers Fund and other investors. The funding will help the platform to develop its own creator economy and support its user-generated content model.
India-based Loco has raised $9m of Seed funding to accelerate the development of its gaming streaming platform. Among the participants of the round are Krafton (which recently announced its upcoming IPO) and Lumikai — the first VC fund in India focused solely on the gaming industry.
South Korea-based GXC holding company, creator of the global community platform for gamers G.Round, has secured $4.73m of funding to support the development of community feedback tools for mobile game developers, among other solutions.
Denmark-based GamerzClass has raised $2.5m to leverage the development of its platform, where gamers can learn how to play from more experienced players.
Finland-based mobile game developer Boom Corp has raised $1.8m in a Seed round led by VGames. The funding will be used for the development of social games.
Video game retail company GameStop has raised $1.1B through its “at-the-market” equity offering program, selling 5 million common shares.
US-based social casino game developer PLAYSTUDIOS has entered into a $75m five-year secured revolving credit facility to finance growth initiatives the company has planned.