George Tsemberlis, Kapitall: The ESPN of gaming secured $20m in funding, so are there investment opportunities among its partners? Twitch.tv is a free online social gaming service allowing users to watch live or recorded video of other people playing video games from their computer or console, or to even broadcast themselves. [Read more on gaming from Kapitall: Video Game Stocks Counter Mobile Options with Price Cuts] Recently the site has become a standard for users to watch large eSports tournaments live around the world, covering major games such as the Riot Games’ League of Legends, Valve’s DOTA 2, and Counterstrike: GO. Twitch has proven itself to be incredibly successful – the platform had 34 million unique monthly viewers in May. That number surged up to 45 million in August after a deal with Steam to allow viewers to win prizes through watching the third International DOTA 2 Tournament on their platform. As the next generation of gaming consoles looms, game developers have taken note of the growing interest in e-sports and social gaming, and have rushed to integrate themselves with the Twitch.tv platform. Let's consider some of the gaming stocks among Twitch's partners. Click on the interactive chart below to see quarterly sales over time. Both the Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox One and Sony (SNE) PlayStation 4 consoles will feature native Twitch support allowing users to post recent gaming moments directly to Twitch with a single button. Perennial blockbuster game companies such as Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision (ATVI) have offered support for Twitch.tv in their respective Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises in the past, and will continue to do so in upcoming installments. Most shocking however was that developer Take Two (TTWO) of Grand Theft Auto fame, was one of the investors in Twitch's Series C round of funding. And considering the company’s recent acquisition of developer Rod Fergusson ( Bioshock Infinite, Gears of War) Take Two may be entering the competitive shooter market in the near future. It may seem a bit crazy that Twitch is attracting such significant attention from major developers, but some surprising numbers exist. A recently released Google (GOOG) white paper from YouTube shows that game-related content viewership is growing faster than the overall rate of viewership in the US. But perhaps even more interesting is the finding that over a product lifecycle, the amount of community-created “post launch” content (walkthroughs, reviews, gameplay) nearly equals developer-created “pre-launch” content (trailers, announcements, demos).
In the age of “AAA Gaming” where large developers struggle to connect to their customer base, Twitch integration allows developers to increase interest and lifespan of their product.So can the rise of social gaming boost your portfolio? Consider the list of Twitch.tv’s partners below. Click on the chart below to see the analyst ratings for these stream-savvy companies over time. Do you think streaming is here to stay? Will it have an impact on how games are marketed or designed? Use this list below as a starting point to your own analysis 1. Activision Blizzard, Inc. ( ATVI): Activision Blizzard, Inc. publishes online, personal computer (PC), console, handheld, and mobile games of interactive entertainment worldwide. Market cap at $19.93B, most recent closing price at $17.83. 2. Electronic Arts Inc. ( EA): Develops, and distributes game software and content for consoles, PCs, mobile phones, tablets, hand held game players, and the Internet. Market cap at $7.48B, most recent closing price at $24.59. 3. Google Inc. ( GOOG): The world's most popular search engine. Market cap at $291.29B, most recent closing price at $876.11. 4. Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT): Develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. Market cap at $287.49B, most recent closing price at $34.45. 5. Sony Corporation ( SNE): Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. Market cap at $20.15B, most recent closing price at $19.93. 6. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. ( TTWO): Develops, and distributes interactive entertainment software, hardware, and accessories worldwide. Market cap at $1.49B, most recent closing price at $17.12.
( Written by George Tsemberlis, a Kapitall Writer. Analyst ratings and quarterly sales sourced from Zacks Investment Research, all other data sourced from Finviz.)