Rovio Said to Be Planning a $2B IPO as Early as Next Month

Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Oy, maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile games and movie, is said to be planning an IPO valued at $2 billion as early as September. “A listing would test investors’ appetite for entertainment software, a group whose shares have declined an average of 18 percent from their offer prices following IPOs this year,” reports Bloomberg, citing social gamer King Digital Entertainment (creator of “Candy Crush”) and South Korean publisher Netmarble Games (maker of “Lineage” and “Stone Age”) as examples. A successful IPO for Rovio could help finance “The Angry Birds Movie 2,” slated for a 2019 release. Continue reading Rovio Said to Be Planning a $2B IPO as Early as Next Month

Facebook Messenger to Launch New Instant Games Platform

Facebook is again advancing into gaming. The company not only introduced Facebook Gameroom, its desktop PC gaming platform but now is preparing to launch Instant Games, a platform on Messenger for lightweight HTML5 games. King, of “Candy Crush” fame, is already testing an Instant Game, “Shuffle Cats Mini,” in New Zealand, and game studio Big Viking is also planning on debuting titles for the upcoming Instant Games launch. Facebook added chess, basketball and soccer mini-games to Messenger earlier in the year. Continue reading Facebook Messenger to Launch New Instant Games Platform

Major Growth Predicted for App Store in the Next Four Years

App intelligence firm Sensor Tower projects that Apple’s App Store will reach 5.06 million apps by 2020, making its catalog 73 percent larger than figures expected this year. The App Store debuted in 2008, reached 5,000 apps by the end of the year, and totaled 1.75 million apps by 2015. “New games fuel the App Store’s growth, because of both their popularity and because game makers have to release new titles often to keep users engaged,” reports TechCrunch. “48,231 new apps were released this May, with 43 percent of those being games.” Those were followed by apps for Education, Entertainment, Business and Lifestyle. Interface upgrades and search ads are expected to help with app discovery moving forward. Continue reading Major Growth Predicted for App Store in the Next Four Years

‘Pokémon Go’ Rakes in Over $200 Million After its First Month

App analytics platform Sensor Tower reports that Niantic’s location-based, augmented reality game “Pokémon Go” is continuing its rise in popularity, with more than $200 million in net revenue generated during its first month of availability. The meteoric rise “compares favorably to in-game revenue generated by other huge in-app purchase-driven games,” notes TechCrunch. “Pokémon Go” has nearly doubled “the first month revenue of ‘Clash Royale,’ the other big in-app star this year” and “made almost four times as much as ‘Candy Crush Soda Saga’ managed during its first 30 days of availability.” “Pokémon Go” experienced a significant spike when it launched in Japan. The game was just introduced to 15 additional Asian countries. Continue reading ‘Pokémon Go’ Rakes in Over $200 Million After its First Month

Activision to Open Film/TV Studio to Repurpose Game Library

Gaming company Activision Blizzard is creating an internal film/TV studio, headed by former Walt Disney Company executive Nick van Dyk, to produce content based on its 1,000-title library. The first production is animated TV series “Skylanders Academy,” based on the “Skylanders” game that’s earned $3+ billion since its 2011 launch. The first film is likely to be based on “Call of Duty.” This move comes on the heels of Activision’s stated intent to acquire King Digital Entertainment, creator of “Candy Crush,” for $5.9 billion. Continue reading Activision to Open Film/TV Studio to Repurpose Game Library

Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Revenue from mobile gaming is expected to rise 16.5 percent this year to $3.04 billion, surpassing the revenue growth of e-books, music, and videos. An estimated 60 percent of that growth is expected from in-app purchases. Mobile gaming companies will likely make most of that revenue from only a few strong-performing games because the revenue distribution is highly skewed towards the top. Currently, European gaming companies are making the most successful mobile games. Continue reading Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Disney is making a major push with its “Star Wars”-themed properties. Disney Interactive announced “Star Wars: Commander” yesterday, a new free-to-play game designed for mobile devices. And while construction plans are underway for “Star Wars”-themed “lands” at Disney theme parks, the Disney Channel announced this week it would debut animated movie “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion” on October 3, and the Disney XD channel plans to premiere its “Star Wars Rebels” series ten days later. Continue reading Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Game Sales Fall in December, Despite New Console Releases

Millions of game consoles were sold in December, but the weak sales of game software came as a surprise. This has raised a troubling question about the health of the gaming industry. NPD Group reports that sales of new games at retail shops fell 17 percent to $1.31 billion while hardware sales rose 28 percent to $1.37 billion. The lean software sales have come despite the successful launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, that sold in record numbers after release. Continue reading Game Sales Fall in December, Despite New Console Releases