Market Wire | Feb 13, 2023
Who's going to acquire Rovio?, Stream Hatchet's 2022 streaming report, CS:GO smashes all-time player record 11 years after release
Good Evening! Hope you had a great Monday.
Top 10 Charts
Genshin Impact and Fate/Grand Order strong upward moves this week. Congrats!
Thanks to Cameron and Dafna from Scientific Games for talking about liveops with me last week. Note they continue to hold the top 10 revenue ranking by killing it on liveops!
Literally, every top revenue game in China is developed out of China.
Top 10 Publishers by Rank
Strong upward move by Bandai Namco this week, bursting back into the top 10!
Top 5 Trending Downloads & Revenue
Somebody should figure out how Dumb Ways to Die got so many installs organically: 465K installs in 1 week, only 1% paid based on data.ai estimates.
Top 3 News
#1. Rovio enters preliminary proposals with potential buyers (GamesIndustry.biz)
Since the announcement of Playtika’s non-binding offer to acquire the company at €8.50 per share to the board of directors in November 2022, we are now seeing a competitive bidding process. Rovio stock currently sits at €8.30 (Mon Feb 13, 2023).
According to GamesIndustry.biz:
“Angry Birds maker Rovio has announced that it is in multiple talks with potential buyers.”
The article quoted Rovio: “There can be no assurance that the strategic review and the preliminary non-binding discussions will result in any cash or other tender offer or any other transaction, or the pricing of any such possible transaction.”
From the rumor mill and as reported by mobilegamer.biz’s Neil Long in a post titled “How Rovio staff reacted to Playtika’s takeover bid - and what could happen next”:
“Rovio staff are not feeling good about potential new owner Playtika.”
“Sources within [Rovio] plus others close to the Angry Birds maker told us that the internal reaction to Playtika’s offer was bad. Responses have ranged from ‘oh no’ to ‘slanderous’ remarks about Playtika’s practices. ‘Overall the pulse on this is negative,’ one person said.”
“The staff that had moved from Seriously to Rovio after Playtika closed the Best Fiends studio ‘lost their minds’ as the news came through, our source said.”
So who else could acquire Rovio?
According to the post from Neil Long and other sources (bankers), some of the key acquirers could include:
Rovio also recently reported Q4’23 (summarizing from PocketGamer):
Year-on-year decline in revenue of 2.5% in Q4 to $82.8B
Adjusted EBITDA declined 42.1% to $10.3M
UA budget increased 12.9% to $25.1M in Q4
Remember, folks, most big acquisitions fail. For example, this HBR article suggests: “between 70 and 90 percent of acquisitions fail.”
While the games industry is starved for growth, given the recent challenges Playtika had with its Finnish acquisition, I’d likely suspect something else may be up with their offer. I’ve posted on this conspiracy theory behind Playtika’s acquisition offer in a previous Market Wire: here (see News #3).
In any event, let’s hope for the best for all parties involved and as always, we can count on the games industry to be filled with excitement and dynamic changes.
#2. Video Game Streaming Trends, 2022 Yearly Report (Stream Hatchet)
In the video games industry, influencers are the new marketing. As we’ve seen with Among Us, Valorant, Apex Legends, Escape from Tarkov, and other games, streamers have significantly driven the visibility and adoption of new games.
In this context, I think it’s important to understand the trends and state of the streaming market, especially for the PC gaming market and, increasingly, for the mobile gaming market.
Stream Hatchet, the esports data intelligence company, released an annual report on the state of video game streaming covering 2022.
Here are some key takeaways from their findings.
Live game streaming watch time decreased 13.5% YOY
All major western platforms decreased, but Facebook Gaming got decimated
The top games in the top genres gain the majority of watch time
The top 3 games, all #1 in their respective genres of Action-Adventure, MOBA, and FPS, each generated over 1B hours of watch time
Twitch Drops Can Drive Viewership Significantly
It’s a really great report with lots of additional data and details you should check out. Download the report: here.
#3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive smashes all-time player record 11 years after release like the boss it is (PC Gamer)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive launched on 21 August, 2012, and on 11 February 2023 it has just surpassed its all-time record of concurrent players: At the time of writing, 1,320,219 players are in-game, while the previous record was 1,308,963 players around three years ago.
The Stream Hatchet report (see above) shows CS:GO was the #3 streamed FPS game in 2022. The enduring popularity of CS:GO is an incredible accomplishment for a game that’s 11 years old and reaching all time highs in popularity.
Some interesting facts about CS:GO:
“Counter-Strike dates back to 1999, and began as a mod for Half-Life that became popular enough for Valve to take notice, and make one of the best decisions in its history. It bought the rights and hired the co-creators to work on making it into a standalone release.”
“CS: GO didn't launch in the best conditions, and the first few years saw big changes.”
What saved CS:GO? According to PC Gamer’s article “How $400 virtual knives saved Counter-Strike”:
“For a year after release, CS:GO wasn’t even the most popular version of Counter-Strike—some players were still actively debating the merits of GO against its thirteen- and nine-year-old predecessors.”
“Almost exactly a year after release, Valve introduced Team Fortress 2-style weapon drops to CS:GO, an event that coincides with the game permanently overtaking its older siblings.”
“As ex-pro Tomi ‘lurppis’ Kovanen puts it, ‘Without the item economy Counter-Strike would be smaller. We would likely be at a level slightly above that of late 2013, and one similar to the peak years of Counter-Strike 1.6. There would be less money, no Valve-sponsored majors, and no one-million-viewer grand finals,’ says Kovanen.” Further: “In hindsight, the addition of the skins has been the most important development in CS:GO's history, bar none.”
“Valve directly incentivized the act of watching CS:GO majors in-game or through Twitch with a linked Steam account: spectators of the biggest tournaments can win special edition “Souvenir” skins. Souvenir versions of rare weapons are some of the most valuable in the game—a Souvenir Cerebus Galil, the second-tier Terrorist rifle, might fetch $230.”
“Skins became status symbols, bling that says something about you as a player. Holding a $2100 Dragon Lore AWP, the CS:GO equivalent of a gold-plated Lamborghini, instantly validates you as a savvy or ultra-dedicated player—not only do you have taste, but you have the means or the passion to acquire something unavailable ‘in stores’—the Steam Market places a $400 limit on listings.”
Let’s hope CS:GO keeps going for another decade at least!
Naavik wrote a post on how Dumb Ways to Die got the installs, but Ana has the bulk of it... TikTok - https://naavik.co/digest/how-to-leverage-tiktok
"Somebody should figure out how Dumb Ways to Die got so many installs organically: 465K installs in 1 week, only 1% paid based on data.ai estimates."