PlaySide Studios (ASX: PLY) is the latest IPO to hit the ASX before the end of the year with plans to become the exchange’s largest non-gambling gaming stock as billions continue to cascade into the global market.
The company raised $15 million via the issue of 75 million shares at $0.20 each, giving investors a chance to secure a slice of the company and its plans to be part of the global gaming market which is forecast to reach US$200 billion by 2023.
PlaySide’s ASX debut this morning saw its shares surge more than a 100% on the IPO price to reach an intraday high of $0.405 before settling around $0.325 by early afternoon – still up over 62%.
Institutional and retail investors showed strong support for the IPO with the top 20 shareholders owning 81.39% of the company.
Proven track record
The Melbourne-based company was established in 2011 and is already one of Australia’s largest independent video game developers.
PlaySide has demonstrated it can grow revenue with the figure for FY 2020 56% higher than FY 2019, with the majority of revenue coming from mobile games.
Co-founder, managing director and chief executive officer Gerry Sakkas said the company had “proven its ability” over the last few years in making games that are loved by millions of people while building a profitable business on a global stage.
“Having now listed on the ASX, we believe we’ll be able to scale our skills, science and art to unlock significant value for PlaySide shareholders,” Mr Sakkas added.
More than 70 game creators and staff work at PlaySide which has a portfolio of 52 games across mobile, virtual reality, augmented reality and PC platforms.
Since the end of June, PlaySide has already achieved a number of key milestones including the launch of Animal Warfare in late August.
The gaming title launch was on time and budget and has already exceeded PlaySide’s expectations with more than 5.4 million downloads to date.
Meanwhile, partnership title World of Pets has had a positive level of test registrations from its closed beta testing.
Another game in the pipeline Project Achilles has officially been named Age of Darkness: Final Stand. This game is designed for the PC with an early access release scheduled for April next year. PlaySide will look at developing the game for console in a later release.
PlaySide’s partnership title with GoGallop Studios Equestriad World Tour underwent a soft launch last month and has achieved “positive retention and monetisation metrics”.
Moving forward, PlaySide said there will be a focus on boosting monetisation metrics and adding new content for the user base.
IPO funds growth strategy
PlaySide will use its IPO proceeds to finance its multi-pronged growth strategy.
With the mobile gaming market being the industry’s fastest-growing segment – achieving about $77.2 billion in revenue this year and forecast to continue this strong trajectory, PlaySide said it will focus on this platform.
The company plans to develop new mobile game titles and secure rights to select media brands as well as expanding on its original intellectual property.
Other strategies include using its strategic partnerships to increase its presence in the eSports space, while establishing a US office to boost its international presence.
To underpin these plans, PlaySide will invest in new personnel across design, art, engineering and production.
It will also explore merger and acquisition options.
PlaySide has China in its sights and plans to penetrate the country’s massive gaming market.