The years 2020 and 2021 were some of the best years for the video game market. Sadly, 2022 didn’t really live up to the expectations. It started off on a shaky ground, and throughout the year, there were significant headwinds.
According to Newzoo’s analysis for 2022, the video game market was expected to only generate $184.4 billion, which indicates a year-over-year decline of 4.3% in revenue. In addition, the mobile game market was only expected to generate revenue of $92.2 billion, representing a decline of 6.4% from the year prior.
The mobile game market was largely affected by privacy developments for iOS users, as well as a shift in consumer priorities in 2022 after the lockdowns ended and disposable income becoming tighter with heightened inflation.
But it isn’t all negative: the sweetest spot within the video game market was Virtual Reality (VR) installs and cloud gaming.
In 2022, the VR install base grew to 27.7 million and is expected reach 46.0 million by 2024. Revenue for this portion of the video game market is expected to surge from $1.8 billion to $3.2 billion.
Cloud gaming is also seeing some encouraging developments with 20 million paying users that spent an estimated $2.4 billion on cloud gaming services in 2022.1
COMPANY SPECIFIC UPDATES
Activision Blizzard and Microsoft
In January 2022, Activision Blizzard Inc. was given an offer of acquisition from Microsoft Corporation for $68.7 million. The deal was expected to close in June 2023 and represented one of the biggest deals in the video game industry.
However, recently the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an antitrust case against Microsoft, citing that the deal would violate U.S. law. In the complaint, the FTC said that with Activision Blizzard’s content, Microsoft would essentially reduce the competition and could impact product quality, price, and innovation. Ultimately, less competition would hurt consumers.
In a memo to employees, Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s CEO, said that this deal being anti-competitive doesn’t hold true to facts. He insisted that it’s for employees, competition in the industry, and players.2
JOYCITY and Hasbro
JOYCITY Corporation engages in developing video games across all platforms globally. Some of the company’s flagship video games include Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War, Gunship Battle: Total Warfare, and Game of Dice.
On December 21, 2022, JOYCITY announced that it is collaborating with Hasbro, Inc. to bring G.I. JOE to the Gunship Battle: Total Warfare game. It will be a follow-up to its popular COBRA-themed collaboration. This collaboration is expected to bring G.I. JOE-themed equipment and characters to the game. Players can get the iconic “Skystriker” Jet and participate in a Gunship Battle: Total Warfare x G.I. JOE storyline.3
HERO ETF: Investing in the Growing Gaming Industry
Interested in a diversified approach to investing in video games? Evolve E-Gaming Index ETF (TSX Ticker: HERO) may be the right investment for you. HERO ETF gives investors access to equity securities of companies, listed domestically and globally, with business activities in the gaming industry. This ETF invests in companies involved in hardware, software and services relating to the electronic gaming industry. Learn more about this fund by clicking here.
HERO ETF PORTFOLIO STRATEGY AND ACTIVITY
For the month, Activision Blizzard Inc. made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Netmarble Corp. and Netease Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Krafton Inc. followed by Electronic Arts Inc. and Roblox Corp. On last rebalance, these securities were added to the portfolio: JOYCITY Corp., Neptune Co., Drecom Co Ltd., Gumi Inc., and Netronix Inc.
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- Wijman, T., “The Games Market in 2022: The Year in Numbers,” Newzoo, December 21, 2022; https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/the-games-market-in-2022-the-year-in-numbers.
- Novet, J., “FTC sues to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” CNBC, December 8, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/08/ftc-sues-to-block-microsofts-acquisition-of-game-giant-activision-blizzard.html.
- “Gunship Battle: Total Warfare x G.I. JOE Unleash the Biggest Game Event of the Year,” Games Press, December 21, 2022; https://www.gamespress.com/Gunship-Battle-Total-Warfare-x-GI-JOE-Unleash-the-Biggest-Game-Event-o.