Train2Game News 2018 Game Investment Doubles

Digi-Capital’s Games Report Q1 2019 tracked games companies raising $5.7 billion in 2018, which was over twice the previous record investment from 2017.

Tim Sweeney’s Epic Games’ $1.25 billion was not only the largest round raised last year, it was the largest non-IPO games investment of all time. The only larger single amount raised by a games company was when Netmarble Games held its IPO in 2017. Even that record might not survive given Fortnite’s extraordinary performance.

As a sign of both financial muscle and the need to expand beyond core markets, Tencent was either a major shareholder in or investor in four of the top five deals last year. As we’ve discussed before, this is becoming a familiar pattern. Tencent was behind investments in Douyu ($630 million raised), Shanda Games ($474 million) and Huya ($462 million raised). France’s Voodoo raised $200 million from Goldman Sachs to round out the top five.

11 other companies also raised $100 million plus rounds last year, with more in the single millions to tens of millions range. By far the largest categories for investors were mobile and games tech/other (particularly streaming), each of which took around one third of investment dollars last year. MMO/MOBA games, eSports, console/PC games and AR/VR games companies also raised significant amounts.

The games acquisitions market was also on fire in 2018, with over $22 billion games M&A making it the second highest year on record. Games M&A dollars are always dominated by mega-deals, which last year included Naspers selling 2% of Tencent for over $10 billion dollars for a 60,000% return, and Tencent and others acquiring Vivendi’s $2 billion plus stake in Ubisoft.

Zhejiang Century Huatong acquired Shenyue Network (the online games affiliate of Shanda Games) for $4.4 billion, PAI Partners picked up Asmodee Digital for $1.4 billion, and Aristocrat closed its Big Fish Games deal for nearly $1 billion. There were another eight acquisitions in the $100 million plus range, and more in the single millions to tens of millions range.

Unsurprisingly, mobile dominated acquisition activity last year as it did the year before. MMO/MOBA and console/PC made up most of the rest of the acquisitions market. The games market as a whole is incredibly consolidated, with the top 10 public (i.e. stock market listed) games companies taking over three quarters of public games company revenue and around four fifths of public game company valuations worldwide (note: this is not all market revenue/valuation, as privately held companies are also significant). The big keep getting bigger.

Over the last decade, games IPOs have gone through three year repeating cycles where one huge year is followed by two quiet ones. The last high came in the record year for games IPOs in 2017, with games IPOs in 2018 raising around 90% less than that high point (as Digi-Capital anticipated at the start of last year). While it’s too early to tell, if the 3 year cycle repeats in the same way 2019 could also see muted games IPO activity.

In such a highly consolidated, hit driven market, the level of games deal activity last year was extraordinary. Again it is too early to tell whether this year will continue in a similar vein, or if the cyclical nature of deal-making might see the market pull back. One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be dull.

(Full details and all transactions in Digi-Capital’s new 258 page Games Report Q1 2019)

Train2Game News 2018 Golden Joystick Award Winners

The wait is finally over as the results of the 36th Golden Joystick Awards presented with AMD are revealed.

The winners in 23 categories were announced today at the award ceremony held at London’s Bloomsbury Big Top and live streamed on Twitch.

The Golden Joysick Awards presented with AMD honour the people and products that have transformed the games industry in 2018.

The event features 23 categories, the majority of which are voted for by the global gaming public. The event was first held in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s largest public voted gaming awards brand.

Daniel Dawkins, Global Editor-In-Chief, GamesRadar+ said:
“2018 has been an incredible year for videogames. We have had year-defining blockbuster hits such as Fortnite Battle Royale, Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War, sitting alongside indie breakthrough games such as Subnautica and Dead Cells. This year’s Golden Joystick Awards received a record number of voters, casting millions of votes, and we are not surprised to see all these games being recognised for their inventive brilliance and the sheer joy they bring to so many people.”

“We are extremely honored to have awarded Hidetaka Miyazaki the Lifetime Achievement award, a man whose games are widely considered among the most influential of his generation. We are delighted that he could join us on-stage to accept the honour from fantasy luminaries Ian Livingstone CBE and Steve Jackson whose works were so influential on Miyazaki’s distinctive style.”

The winners are:

  • Best Storytelling: God of War
  • Best Competitive Game: Fortnite Battle Royale
  • Best Cooperative Game: Monster Hunter: World
  • Best Visual Design: God of War
  • Best Indie Game: Dead Cells
  • Best Audio: God of War
  • Still Playing Award: World of Tanks
  • Best Performer: Bryan Dechart, Detroit: Become Human
  • Esports Game of the Year: Overwatch
  • Best VR Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
  • Studio of the Year: SIE Santa Monica Studio
  • Best New Streamer / Broadcaster: Bryan Dechart and Amelia Rose Blaire
  • Mobile Game of the Year: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile
  • PC Game of the Year: Subnautica
  • PlayStation Game of the Year: God of War
  • Xbox Game of the Year: Forza Horizon 4
  • Nintendo Game of the Year: Octopath Traveler
  • Breakthrough Award: Unknown Worlds
  • Most Wanted Game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Critics Choice Award: Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Hidetaka Miyazaki
  • Outstanding Contribution: Xbox Adaptive Controller
  • Ultimate Game of the Year: Fortnite Battle Royale

If you missed the action, you can still watch the whole show on Twitch.

Train2Game News Golden Joystick Awards on Friday

Voting is now closed for the 36th Golden Joystick Awards presented with AMD.

A record number of voters had their say, casting millions of votes and there’s only five days to wait until the winners are revealed live via Twitch on Friday.

The excitement starts with a pre-show hosted by GamesRadar’s James Jarvis, Zoe Delahunty-Light and Brandon Saltalamacchia. Zoe, Brandon and James will discuss the big nominations of the day with familiar faces from the world of gaming, as well as unveiling an exclusive interview with Pete Hines about Fallout 76, and developer walkthroughs of Hitman 2 and Pokémon: Let’s Go.

Next up the fiercely-contested Golden Joystick Awards themselves, hosted by comedian Danny Wallace. Over the past seven weeks, millions of votes have been cast in categories such as Ultimate Game of the Year, Most Wanted Game and PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and PC Game of the Year. Many awards were still in the balance right up until the final hours of voting – with the lead changing hands multiple times in key categories.

Along with the 18 categories voted for by the public, five critics choice awards will be revealed on the day, including Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Contribution and the Critics Choice Award.

The awards will also feature exclusive video reveals from forthcoming games such as Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown and The Dark Pictures – Man of Medan, plus titles from Warner Bros., Koch Media, Devolver Digital, Atlus and Bigben Interactive.

  • When to watch: The pre-show is live from 3.00pm GMT / 7.00am PST / 10.00am EST. The Awards start at 4.00pm GMT / 8.00am PST / 11am EST on Friday 16th November.
  • How to watch: Tune into the event’s official Twitch channel (twitch.tv/goldenjoystickawards) for the exclusive live stream.

Dan Dawkins, Global Editor-In-Chief, GamesRadar+ said: “This year’s Golden Joystick Awards live show will be bigger and better than ever, with more exclusive interviews and video reveals, plus the chance to find out which games the public has chosen as their favourites of the year. 2018 has been an incredible year for gaming, so join us on Friday to watch all the action unfold live on stage.”

The Golden Joystick Awards presented with AMD honour the people and products that have transformed the games industry in 2018. The event features 23 categories, the majority of which are voted for by the global gaming public. The event was first held in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s largest public voted gaming awards brand.

To stay up to date with news from the Golden Joystick Awards presented with AMD follow us on Twitter or Facebook or visit the website.

Train2Game News One Special Day Today

Some of the biggest names in the world of gaming will be coming together in partnership with their communities today to help the gamers’ charity SpecialEffect transform the lives of disabled gamers all over the world.

Now in its third year, One Special Day is a flagship fundraising day for SpecialEffect and is supported by a stellar line up of over 50 partners across the games industry including SEGA, Supercell, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Seriously, Miniclip, Rovio, Splash Damage, Nordeus, Outfit 7, Logitech, CCP and many others.

PC and mobile partners are donating a day of their UK revenue (and in some cases making corporate donations) to help the charity get more of the world’s most severely disabled people enjoying the fun and inclusion of digital gaming. A Humble Bundle Store promotion was also launched last night to go alongside the One Special Day Humble Bundle, and fundraising events are taking place across the UK.

Nikki, the mother of Chase, a young gamer with a severe form of cerebral palsy that SpecialEffect has helped, is urging other gamers to play games, buy games and donate to One Special Day:

“Gaming is a huge part of our lives and I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is that Chase can game thanks to SpecialEffect.”

For more information on who is taking part in One Special Day 2018 and to find out how you can support the biggest games industry fundraiser of the year, go to www.onespecialday.org.uk or call Nick Streeter on 01608 810055.

Train2Game News Golden Joystick Awards 2018

Gamers get ready – the ever popular Golden Joystick Awards will return this November.

Back for the 36th time, to celebrate everything that makes gaming great, the show will be presided over by comedian and previous host Danny Wallace, who will give out the gongs in more than 20 award categories.

Known as the ‘People’s Gaming Awards’, last year saw millions of votes cast globally, with hundreds of games battling it out to be the very best. This year will see the return of the hotly contested ‘Still Playing Award’, ‘Ultimate Game of the Year’ and ‘Most Wanted Game’, and updated categories ‘Best Competitive Game’ and ‘Best Cooperative Game’. It’s all there for the taking, with the world’s gaming public deciding who goes home a winner.

Danny Wallace is back as host for the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards: “I’m delighted to be returning to the much-loved Golden Joysticks for a third year, because it means I won’t have to stay at home and pay for a party to celebrate the very best in gaming on my own, which is pointless and needlessly expensive. This has been a cracking year for gamers. Let’s find out who’s responsible and why…”

Dan Dawkins, Global Editor-In-Chief, GamesRadar+ commented. “We’re working hard to make sure this is the best Golden Joysticks yet, with new and revamped categories designed to ensure that players have a chance to celebrate the games they loved most in 2018.”

Key dates to remember:

  • The Golden Joystick Award categories and shortlist will be announced on Friday 21st September, with public voting commencing that night.
  • The public vote closes on Thursday 25th October.
  • The Awards take place on Friday 16th November at London’s Bloomsbury Big Top, the entire event will also be livestreamed.

To stay up to date with news from the Golden Joysticks follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Train2Game News Nintendo at EGX 2018

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Super Mario Party exclusively for Nintendo Switch will be playable for the first time in the UK at EGX 2018, running 20th-23rd September 2018 at The NEC, Birmingham.

Alongside these highly anticipated debut appearances, fans of social competitive gaming will be pleased to learn that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will also be available to play throughout the event, while Saturday 22nd September will offer the next opportunity for the freshest squads in the UK to go head to head in the next Splatoon 2 UK Championship 2018 Qualifier!

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! make their first European appearance!

Attendees at EGX 2018 will be among the first people in Europe to experience a new style of Pokémon adventure as they explore Viridian Forest in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! ahead of their release on 16th November 2018.

Prove you’re a minigame champion in Super Mario Party!

Super Mario Party will also make its UK debut, giving visitors the opportunity to try out a range of mini-games from the upcoming multiplayer game as they compete for the Toad Cup! This is the perfect opportunity to get some practise in before hitting the boards alongside friends and family anytime, anywhere on 5th October 2018.

See legendary game worlds and fighters collide in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will also be available for attendees to play, giving UK fans another opportunity to get to grips with newcomers Inkling and Ridley, as well as the game’s new mechanics, ahead of its release on 7th December 2018.

Splatoon 2 UK Championship 2018 Qualifier Tournament – Saturday 22nd September

EGX will also play host to the next Splatoon 2 UK Championship 2018 Octo League qualifier on Saturday 22nd September, and Nintendo UK is accepting pre-registration now from full teams of 4 or 5 people! For teams to secure their place in the tournament they should send an email to NintendoCommunity@Nintendo.co.uk with the subject line “Splatoon 2 Tournament EGX 2018”, providing the names or tags of their team members. Teams will need to purchase a ticket to enter EGX 2018, which can be done from the EGX website.

Teams and players can also register at the event from 2pm on Friday 21st September, if there are spaces available. For players not in full teams that attend the event and wish to compete, Nintendo UK will endeavour to match any squids (or Octopi) for hire with others looking to create a team if there is space in the tournament.

Those not at the show, will be able to watch the Octo League tournament streamed live on Twitch and YouTube on Saturday 22nd September. To find out more about the Splatoon 2 UK Championship 2018 and catch up on the tournament so far visit the Splatoon 2 UK Championship 2018 hub.

And more to come!

Nintendo UK will have more EGX announcements over the coming weeks regarding playable games, tournaments, and stage and livestream activities, so make sure to follow @NintendoUK and @NintendoUKVS on Twitter to stay up to date with everything going on at the show!

If you’re attending the event, make sure to bring your Nintendo Switch so you can play whatever you want with other fans at the show. There will be charging stations available at the event, as well as docks and screens available for use as well**.

For those that can’t make it to the event, fear not! Nintendo UK will be livestreaming on Saturday 22nd September and Sunday 23rd September, bringing the action from the headline tournaments, as well as interviews with top players, and general coverage from the event. Make sure to tune in at Twitch.tv/NintendoUK or YouTube.com/NintendoUK, and follow @NintendoUKVS and @NintendoUK on Twitter to learn about the full schedule closer to the event.