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GAMESbrief reading list – October 2016

Games VR: There will be blood:  Rob Fahey’s take on VR. Rob points out that even if VR hardware is a huge hit, there is a lot of money flying around, and it’s hard to see all the investors making their money back. The key for us all is to remember that if this bubble pops, it was predicted, and that there is still a…

The move East continues–DeNA shuttering ngmoco

It was part of the early wave of iPhone game developers, and one of the first to be snapped up by a Far Eastern partner. But now ngmoco is no more, as parent DeNA shuts its San Francisco office, taking a $29 million charge, and focusing on Japan and China (recently shown by AppAnnie to be the two countries with the highest ARPU amongst major…

Valuation multiples for F2P games–the Innogames valuation

It’s not often that you get details about the acquisition of private companies, but the recent acquisition of a stake in Innogames by Sweden’s MTG is a rare counter-example. In an extremely detailed official announcement, Innogames stated that the transaction gave innogames an Enterprise Value (i.e. the value of the equity plus any debt, minus any cash) of EUR260m. That is the value of the…

Bigpoint gets bought, but for half a billion dollars less than its most recent investment valuation, a fall of over...

In April 2016, lots of sites reported that Germany’s Bigpoint, one of the pioneers of browser and F2P gaming, was bought by Chinese firm Youzu Interactive, for Eur80m ($89.7m). They bought into the PR spin that this is a sign of the globalisation of the $100 billion game industry and most parrot the line that “Bigpoint is poised to launch Hocus Puzzle, with a marketing…

What I read last summer

My reading list has been delayed by a chaotic summer. A lot of holidays, which was good, but also a surge of 18" of sewage that flooded through my kitchen on the morning of Brexit day, leading me to move out into temporary accommodation which lots of people think is nice, but is nowhere near as nice as having your own home not flooded with…

Splash Damage bought by dodgy Chinese chicken farmer?

The Financial Times has a marvellous article on what it calls “a strong contender for the weirdest deal of 2016”, the acquistion by Leyou, a Chinese poultry farmer, of Splash Damage, the Bromley, UK-based developer of Wolfenstein, Enemy Territory and Brink, for $150 million. Not only is the deal surprising in its own right (raising chickens and making first-person shooters not being obvious bedfellows) but…

China now generates higher ARPU from its games than the US, South Korea or the UK

AppAnnie has just released a report on Average Revenue Per User in five major regions (Japan, China, the US, South Korea and the UK). Annoyingly, it doesn’t give actual ARPU numbers. Instead it indexes them to give a comparison between the markets. The key chart is below. This flies against conventional wisdom, particularly that China is a high volume, low ARPU market. You can now…

Our next F2P Masterclass – London, September 15th

GAMESbrief is pleased to announce that our next Business Masterclass will be held in London, UK, on September 15th 2016. The GAMESbrief Business Masterclass is the most trusted F2P business training in the industry. We’ve held classes in-house for dozens of the world’s top developers and publishers, training hundreds of their staff to face the challenges of F2P game design. Our public classes are an…

How one developer sold a “no cheating” pledge for $35

Gamasutra alerted me to this marvellous piece of DLC: a $35 “no-hint pledge” certificate. Yes, that’s right. One game developer, Zarfhome Software, is selling its game, Hadean Lands, for $12 and alongside it, it is selling a pdf that you can print out and sign, stating that you will complete the game with no hints, walkthroughs or cheats of any kind. The description is a…

What I read in May–Nicholas Lovell

These were the articles and books that grabbed my interest over the last month. I would welcome feedback on the list, and how to make it more useful to you.   Internet and business A Pyramid of Pivots, the five layers of possible pivot (customer, problem, solution, technology, growth) and how pivoting at different levels of the pyramid has far reaching consequences. This is probably…