Mobile devices help social gaming revenue climb more than 18 percent through March

Mobile devices help social gaming revenue climb more than 18 percent through March

  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
May 28, 2018 10:53 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

Interest in social gaming nationwide hasn’t slowed in the first three months of 2018 with revenue growing more than 18 percent to $1.27 billion, fueled primarily by users playing games on their mobile devices.

In a research note to investors released last week, Southern California-based Eilers & Krejcik Gaming said the market continues to be dominated by Playtika, which operates five key titles including Slotomania, WSOP and CZR Casino, and had a market share of more than one-quarter of the total social gaming realm.

Eilers Krejcik principal Adam Krejcik, who tracks social gaming companies and results, estimated the total market has grown almost 20 percent to $4.72 billion over the last 12 months. He said revenue derived from play on mobile devices – tablet PCs and smart phones – was up more than 25 percent from a year ago.

Krejcik wrote that in addition to Playtika, PlayStudios – operators of the myVegas platform – was also a “key standout” performer.

Social gaming is typically viewed as free-to-play slots, poker, table games, and bingo played on a desktop computer or a mobile device. Players have the option to pay nominal fees for virtual tokens — often less than a $1 for thousands of chips — to increase their bankroll. The fees are the primary revenue source.

According to Eilers Krejcik, Playtika – which is owned by privately held Shanghai Giant Technologies – had total revenue of $348 million in the quarter that ended March 31 and revenue of more than $1.26 billion over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, Aristocrat Technologies, which acquired Big Fish Games from Churchill Downs in January for $990 million, was the No. 2 social gaming company with $155.7 million in revenue in the quarter and $568.6 million in that last 12 months ending in March.

Aristocrat, which also operates the Heart of Vegas social gaming platform, has roughly 12 percent of the total market share, the only other company with a double-digit percentage of the overall total.

Meanwhile, Scientific Games – through SciGames Interactive – was No. 4 in the ranking with $97.4 million in total revenue in the quarter with a 7.7 percent market share.

Krejcik said one of the company’s product was down during the quarter, primarily due to the transition to an upgraded technology platform.

“Management also disclosed the release of a new Monopoly Slots themed social casino app (released in mid-April), which features some unique meta games,” he wrote.

Krejcik said there has not been another acquisition announced in the social gaming space since Aristocrat’s purchase of Big Fish. However, he wrote “we expect further consolidation in the social casino sector.”

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgamingreports.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.