(1) Tencent's 'Honor of Kings', The First Mobile Game to Earn 10 Billion Dollars in Lifetime Revenue
Tencent's mobile game 'Honor of Kings' has become the first mobile game to earn 10 billion dollars over its lifetime. 'Honor of Kings' is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) that was released in 2015. After 7 years, Honor of Kings has been at the top of monthly revenue charts with a large user base in the Chinese market, and has earned 2 billion dollars this year.
The 2nd highest earning MOBA, Supercell's Brawl Stars, earned 320 million dollars so far in this year, putting Honor of Kings revenue into scale. Tencent not only owns the number 1 earner of MOBAs, but also the most downloaded mobile MOBA, 'Pokemon United'. Pokemon United reached 15 million download two days after launch, and 30 million downloads a week after launch.
(2) Apple, Requests a Stay on the Order to Allow Third Party Payment Processing Systems
In last month's gaming industry news, we wrote about the Epic vs Apple decision, and discussed how the decision impacted both companies. While the judge for the case did not consider Apple a monopoly, they did declare that the steering methods employed by Apple were anti-competitive, and that Apple would have to allow third party payment processing systems by December 9th.
Apple decided that it would appeal the decision and has asked the court to stay the order to allow for third party payment processing. Apple argues that this change could cause damage to its business and customers, and that security may be compromised by allowing third party payment processing systems.
The court will decide on the request from Apple during November..
Also, as both Epic and Apple are appealing the decision, it will be interesting to see how their second time in court will play out.
Furthermore, the day after Apple decided to appeal the decision in the US, the Dutch anti-monopoly organization Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) reached a decision that Apple's anti-steering measures were anti-competitive. The investigation into Apple started in 2019, following complaints made by Match Group, the developers of the dating application Tindr. Apple is also preparing to appeal this decision as well.
It will be important to keep an eye on the future of payment processing systems in the mobile game market.
(3) Roblox Servers Go Down for the Entirety of the Last Weekend of October
Roblox's servers went down for the last weekend of October, finally being repaired. The servers went down on October 29th, 8 A.M. KST and came back online on November 1st, 8:50 A.M. Roblox has announced that they have found the issue and fixed it, but have not disclosed what was the specific issue was. They have announced, however, that it was an internal system issue, not an external issue.
After the servers went down, many users suspected that the traffic caused by an in-game event by the fast food chain Chipotle was to blame. Chipotle was hosting a Halloween event for about 1 million dollars worth of free burritos. So, the event started just as the servers went down. However, Roblox, through their official twitter, announced that the server issues had nothing to do with the Chipotle event/promotion.
<The error message shown during the time while the servers were down>
Roblox has over 40 million users that log in daily, with over 50% of these being children under the age of 13. A game of this scale having server issues for over 3 days is not a common occurrence. While the servers have been repaired, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the situation to see if there will be further consequences.
(4) Facebook Re-brands as Meta
Facebook, the largest social media company in the world, has re-branded to the name "Meta".
Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the change during Meta's annual Connect Conference, and explained the reasoning and background for re-branding as the following.
"Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can't possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future," Zuckerberg said (Read the full Founder's Letter)
As one can guess from the name Meta, Mark Zuckerberg wishes to build the company from a social media company to one that enters the realm of social tech and the Metaverse. As such they have also decided to sunset the brand Oculus and re-brand it under the Meta title by 2022. Also, in the long term, it seems as they are preparing services that utilize AR and hologram technology also.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, the long term goal is to build a Metaverse platform and acquire 1 billion users within 10 years. It will be interesting to see what kind of Metaverse 'Meta' will decide to build.
(5) Acquisition News!
1. Sony FINALLY Acquires Bluepoint Games
In June, as Sony reported that it had acquired Housemarque, on the official Japanese account they accidentally tweeted an image about Bluepoint games and deleted it quickly. Since then, there have been rumors of Sony being in talks to acquire Bluepoint games. On September 30th, Sony posted news that Sony had acquired Bluepoint Games on their official Playstation blog. The price of acquisition has not been released.
2. Voodoo Acquires Israeli Startup Beach Bum
The French hypercasual game publisher Voodoo has acquired the Israeli startup game developer Beach Bum. Beach Bum is a game studio that was founded in 2015, and have reached 70 million in revenue over the last 12 months. Through this acquisition, Voodoo hopes to add the in-app purchase based profit expertise with their own advertising based profit expertise to create a synergistic effect.
3. Niantic Acquires API Software Solution Developer Hoss
Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go, has acquired the API software solution developer Hoss. This is the third acquisition this year following the community platform Mayhem and the 3D scanning application Scaniverse. Niantic has explained that Hoss's technology and expertise will be utilized to help accelerate the development of Niantic's AR development kit, the Lightship ARDK..
4. Scopley Acquires GSN Games for $1 Billion
The US game publisher Scopley has acquired GSN Games from Sony Pictures Entertainment for a reported 1 billion dollars. Half of the payment will be made in cash, half will be paid in preferred equity, providing Sony Pictures Entertainment a minority interest in Scopley.
GSN Games was founded in 2007 and is casual/casino game developer well known for games such as Solitaire TriPeaks, Bingo Bash, GSN Casino Slot Games, etc. Scopley's Chief Revenue Officer Tim O'Brien said, ""We hope to take what is already a strong business and accelerate it through our publishing and technology infrastructure, unlocking even more value."