Why Online Gaming Companies Are Thriving In Spite of the Pandemic

Why Online Gaming Companies Are Thriving In Spite of the Pandemic

PR Newswire

PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 11, 2021

- Financialnewsmedia.com News Commentary

PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The gaming markets have not only survived the pandemic… they have actually thrived! The global media and entertainment market has consistently been on the rise during this time. The entire worldwide market is projected to grow from an estimated 1.72 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021. Gaming is an integral and ever-developing segment of this market. The two largest gaming regions, Asia Pacific and North America, are predicted to account for 78 percent of global evenues in 2017. Online gaming in particular is one of the branches that has evolved over the past decades. It includes social gaming, mobile gaming, as well as free-to-play and pay-to-play massively multiplayer gaming, otherwise known as MMO gaming. According to Statista, the latter two segments combined generated revenue of roughly 19.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and, judging by the data volume of global online gaming traffic alone, which is forecast to grow from 126 petabytes in 2016 to 568 petabytes in 2020, it is safe to assume online gaming is here to stay.   The Statista report disclosed that: "Revenue in the Online Games segment is projected to reach US$23,582m in 2021; Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 7.4%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$31,328m by 2025; User penetration will be 14.6% in 2021 and is expected to hit 16.4% by 2025; The average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to amount to US$21.49; and in global comparison, most revenue will be generated in China (US$5,599m in 2021)."  Active tech and gaming stocks in news today include:  Tapinator, Inc. (OTCPK: TAPM), Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU), Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA).

Statista continued: "The number of online console gamers is expected to grow to over 57 million by 2020 and the market for PC online games alone is projected to reach a value of around 33.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2019. In a 2016 survey, 25 percent of respondents claimed to have spent on average between 41 to 60 percent of their time playing multiplayer online games using a handheld console. Social gaming is tightly bound with mobile gaming, as the majority of social games are developed in the form of apps for iOS and Android devices. In the United States, the social app-based market largely exceeds browser-based social gaming. This trend has been apparent at least since 2010. That year, app-based gaming accounted for 70 percent of the social online market value, with the remaining 30 percent of the value attributed to browser social games.

Tapinator, Inc. (OTCPK: TAPM) BREAKING NEWSTapinator Announces 2020 Record Financial Results - Revenues Increase 18% to $4.5 Million; Bookings* Increase 32% to $4.4 Million - Adjusted EBITDA* Increases 479% to $1.0 Million - Adjusted EBITDA* Margin Climbs to 23% - Tapinator, a developer and publisher of category leading games for mobile platforms, today announced unaudited financial results for the period ended December 31, 2020, and the filing of its annual report for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.  The annual report and financial statements may be found at http://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/TAPM/disclosure.  The results provided below replace, in its entirety, any guidance or projections previously issued by the Company.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Tapinator achieved record revenue of approximately $4.5 million, record bookings* of approximately $4.4 million, net loss of approximately $548,000, and record adjusted EBITDA* of approximately $1.0 million.  The Company's revenue, bookings* and adjusted EBITDA* represent year-over-year improvements of 18%, 32% and 479%, respectively.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2020, Tapinator achieved revenue of approximately $1.2 million, bookings* of approximately $1.1 million, net loss of approximately $416,000 and adjusted EBITDA* of approximately $335,000. The Company's quarterly revenue and bookings* represent year-over-year changes of 55% and 35%, respectively. 

Ilya Nikolayev, CEO of Tapinator commented, "We had a very strong year in 2020. We continued to invest in our social casino games by both building new features and, in particular, expanding our Live Operations systems to drive increases in engagement and monetization. These systems are currently in place within Video Poker Classic and will make their way to our recently launched social casino game, Lucky Lotto, as well as our future titles. We see 2021 as characterized by the following:

Overall, we are more excited about the business now than we have ever been. Our existing games are performing well, we have built out a strong foundation in terms of Live Operations and feature systems that will be used across our key products, and we have a strong product pipeline of new games for 2021. We continue to believe that Tapinator is fundamentally and deeply undervalued and we have our heads down working diligently on behalf of all of our shareholders to grow and unlock this value in 2021 and beyond."

Andrew Merkatz, President of Tapinator, also commented on the Company's results, "We are extremely proud of the following operating accomplishments in 2020:

In other gaming industry news and developments of note:

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, and Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU), a leading global developer and publisher of mobile games including Design HomeCovet Fashion, and MLB Tap Sports Baseball, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Electronic Arts will acquire Glu Mobile. Under the terms of the agreement, EA will acquire Glu for $2.1 billion in enterprise value. Glu stockholders will receive $12.50 in cash for each share of Glu stock, representing a 36% premium to Glu's closing share price on February 5, 2021. Upon closing, the acquisition will be immediately accretive to Electronic Arts' total net bookings, and is expected to grow underlying profitability beginning in its first year.

The acquisition will immediately add significant scale to Electronic Arts' mobile games business. The combination of Electronic Arts and Glu creates a leading mobile product portfolio that includes more than 15 top live services across fast-growing genres with a combined $1.32 billion in bookings over the last twelve months. Bringing together the best-in-class mobile development teams at Glu and Electronic Arts' mobile business, with a collective portfolio of powerful IP in sports, lifestyle, RPG, casual and other genres, and leveraging Electronic Arts' marketing and distribution strength to generate global reach, the combined organization will build on EA's network of 430 million players, including more than 100 million monthly active players in mobile, and expand to new audiences and demographics all over the world.

"Our acquisition of Glu combines amazing teams and deeply-engaging products to create a mobile games leader with proven expertise across many fast-growing genres," said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. "Mobile continues to grow as the biggest gaming platform in the world, and with the addition of Glu's games and talent, we're doubling the size of our mobile business. With a deep IP portfolio and an expanding global audience, we'll deliver more exciting experiences for our players and drive further growth for Electronic Arts."

Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU), a leading global developer and publisher of mobile games, recently announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020.   "Our fourth quarter results capped off another strong year for Glu," said Nick Earl, Chief Executive Officer. "The performance of our Growth Games and the resurgence of Kim Kardashian: Hollywoodcoupled with a strong contribution from the title we launched during the year, Disney Sorcerer's Arena, drove a 32% year over year increase in bookings in 2020. The operating initiatives we put in place to improve productivity and scale our business took hold in the second half of 2020 resulting in a significant increase in profitability and increased margin expansion."

"Our financial results reflect the tremendous progress we made throughout the year in effectively scaling our business to increase profitability and meaningfully expand our adjusted EBITDA margin," said Eric R. Ludwig, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. "We reached a milestone with record profitability and operating margin on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter and full year 2020. Our key operating metrics – player conversion, engagement and monetization reflect the initiatives we have put in place to optimize our user acquisition and marketing spend. Our debt-free balance sheet remains in excellent shape with $364 million in cash."

DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) a leader in the digital sports entertainment and gaming industry known for its top-rated daily fantasy sports and mobile sports betting apps and the National Football League (NFL) have recently reached an agreement to expand their current daily fantasy sports (DFS) and content partnership to Canada. Previously, the landmark marketing and content deal between DraftKings and the NFL was limited to the United States. The announcement of an expanded deal further deepens the relationship between the two organizations and enhances the DFS fan experience in Canada as the NFL season approaches the Super Bowl.

"The relationship we share with the NFL is important for DraftKings to provide customers a great experience," said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer at DraftKings. "This expanded agreement gives us a unique opportunity in the Canadian market, and we look forward to working with the team at the NFL Canada as we continue to shape the modern fan experience."

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, released financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020 by posting management's Q4 2020 Quarterly Earnings Letter to its Investor Relations website. Please see the attached Quarterly Earnings Letter or visit http://investor.zynga.com/financial-information/quarterly-results  to access the letter.

"In an unprecedented year, our talented and resilient teams finished Q4 strong, delivering our highest quarterly revenue and bookings in Zynga's history. Our execution throughout 2020 added meaningful scale to our live services platform and strengthened our position as one of the leading mobile game publishers in the world," said Frank Gibeau, Chief Executive Officer of Zynga. "Our live services portfolio is off to a tremendous start in 2021 led by our Forever Franchises, momentum in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells and two new top downloaded hyper-casual games from Rollic. Zynga's multi-year strategy of growing our live services, launching new games and investing in exciting growth opportunities has us well positioned for growth in 2021 and beyond."

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