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2018 so far for mobile game company stock

Winners and the losers
2018 so far for mobile game company stock

Compared to our 2017 roundup of game company stock performance, the first three months of 2018 have demonstrated more challenging conditions.

During the calendar 2017, only two established companies - Japanese outfits DeNA and Sega Sammy - experienced a decline in their stock value.

During 2018 Q1 however, while 16 companies saw their share price increase, 20 have seen a decline.

This trend was also reflected if we look at just the largest games companies that have a significant mobile games component.

Six saw their share price increase, while seven saw it decline.

Uppers and downers

Looking at the gainers first, the standout performer was tiny Hong Kong-based, Australia-floated Animoca Brands.

Its 100 per cent rise was driven by the successful launch of its Crazy Defense Heroes, which generated $1 million in its launch month.

Compounding this was the news Animoca is working with Canadian developer Axiom Zen to release its browser blockchain game CryptoKitties on mobile in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Other successful companies on stock exchanges during Q1 included South Korean publisher Com2uS, which is continuing its strong 2017 performance, and Chinese developer IGG, both of which saw their stock rise by more than 25 per cent.

Hard times

When it comes to the losers, Japanese companies COLOPL and Capcom were down by 25 per cent or more.

The worst performers were Mag Interactive and Rovio, both of which floated in late 2017 and both of which also experienced share price declines in 2017.

Looking at the larger companies in more detail, Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo and a Switch-fueled Nintendo were the top two performers.

EA’s share price has also rebounded from the sharp sell-off resulting from market concerns about how the company handled the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 loot box controversy.

When it comes to the losers, one-time buoyant Japanese publishers GREE and DeNA continue to struggle to implement long-term reinventions, while Chinese PC/mobile publisher NetEase was hit by rumours it’s planning to delist from the Nasdaq.

New kids' heads on the block

Our final graph highlights the performance of the five companies which IPOed in 2017.

The smallest - Finnish mobile developer Nitro Games - was the only one to see its share price rise, if marginally. The largest - Netmarble - was down 16 per cent, as the gloss rubs off its top grossing game Lineage 2: Revolution, which has been huge in Korea but performed less well in the West.

The continued declines of Next Games, Mag Interactive and especially Rovio demonstrate just how tricky floating a company can be, however.

All three are professionally run outfits, with profitable games, but for various reasons haven’t been able to project growth prospects.

Indeed, thanks to woeful communication and some odd corporate decisions, Rovio has managed to do the entire opposite, with its share price now down over 50 per cent from its IPO.

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