We are currently in the midst of an arms race for gaming content, especially within mobile. About every week a mobile game company is acquiring another. In media, value is determined by where the eyes are and, based on recent acquisition data, these eyes are definitely within gaming. Here is a look at game studio acquisitions since December 1st, 2019.
We expect to continue to see continued studio consolidation in mobile.
Laura Higgens, the head of digital civility for Roblox (that's a new one), did an interview on DoF about how they approach protecting their 100M+ MAUs. The majority of their players are under the age of 17, and many of the players are under the age of 13; therefore, safety for minors is top of mind at Roblox. Laura identifies three major ways they attempt to keep their players safe:
89% of the Roblox parents surveyed said they were “fearful of online gaming for their children.” Ironically, 88% of the same parent dataset said they “could see the benefits of gaming for skills needed in future employment.” Parents are often stuck in this spot of seeing the benefits of gaming, while also being all too aware of the risks.
Overall, I am very impressed with Roblox’s proactiveness in arming parents with safeguards for their kids. Protecting the gaming social square to be a place of play where kids learn teamwork and civility is paramount.
One of our portfolio companies, EQU8, is rolling out a feature to reward players for good behavior (e.g. 30 days w/o toxic behavior and no cheating detected). Toxicity and cheating has gotten out of hand in gaming, and I am excited to see more entrepreneurs tackle it head-on as we hopefully rebuild the online gaming social square with foundations of civility.