As 2016 is drawing to an end this is a perfect time to summarize your portfolio. A year's end is usually when we stop and take a look back to see what exactly happened over the past 12 months. More often than not, we figure out that many things have actually escaped our attention.
In retrospect, 2016 was a very good year for gaming stocks. Several major gaming companies posted very encouraging results, clearly proving they still have much to offer loyal shareholders. Despite the fact that it sometimes feels like the gaming industry has reached its apex the best of the best always find a way to impress players and that fact reflects on the value of their stocks.
Nintendo a Clear Winner
The Japanese gaming company Nintendo has seemingly been around forever. The company has had its ups and downs, of course, but it has always managed to keep up the pace in the gaming race. They managed to strike the gold in 2016 with their Pokemon GO augmented reality mobile game, jumping far ahead of the rest.
Following the launch of Pokemon GO, Nintendo stocks experienced a huge surge, adding billions to the company's worth. Of course, the initial Pokemon craze has dwindled a bit, so it is uncertain what 2017 will bring about. Whatever happens, the Japanese company found a winning formula for this year, as their shares jumped 40% thanks to their novel idea.
EA Continues to Go Strong
Electronic Arts (EA) is one of those companies that you just know are doing well. You don't need to be a financial expert or even an expert gamer. In fact, if you’re just a casual gamer you've probably had an opportunity to play some of the EA titles.
Their most successful titles encompass the Star Wars franchise and many popular sports titles like FIFA, NBA Live, Madden NFL, etc. Thanks to continued development as well as a big increase in their mobile segment EA's shares experienced a growth of 12.9% in 2016. While they can't compete with Nintendo's magic this year this is certainly a very respectable number and one that the company will be more than happy about.
Decent Year for Activision
Activision is the company behind popular titles like Call of Duty, Diablo, and World of Warcraft (WoW). Given the fact most people who have any interest in gaming whatsoever have heard of (and probably played) these games it’s no surprise that their stocks are on a constant rise.
In 2016, the value of their shares grew 8.7% thanks in part to their $5.9 billion deal to acquire King Digital, a company that came up with mega-popular Candy Crush Saga mobile series. It’s safe to assume Activision will continue this positive trend in 2017 as well.
888 Holdings with 17.4% Increase
Unlike the other companies mentioned here 888 Holdings is the company behind numerous online gambling brands like 888 Casino and 888 Poker. Although this is a different type of gaming it shares similar characteristics to non-casino developers. In fact, not all players on 888 brands play for real money. Some just enjoy playing casino games or testing their poker skills against others playing for virtual currency.
The company saw a significant boost in value last year as their shares surged 17.4%. Apart from their B2C business, 888 also offers B2B model via their Dragonfish brand and this segment also contributed to the overall growth. Through Dragonfish partners of 888 have access to software solutions, marketing services, e-payment solutions, and more.
Mobile Gaming on the Rise
One thing that can be said for all companies mentioned here is that their mobile gaming segment experienced a significant boost. Players' interest in playing from their mobile devices is clearly on the rise and gaming companies need to keep up.
All four mentioned here, especially Nintendo and 888, have accepted and adapted to this fact. 888 went as far as to create an instant play interface for their online poker offering accessible from every mobile device without the need for a downloaded app.
The demand for mobile gaming is likely to increase in the years to come so we'll probably see more games following in the footsteps of Pokemon GO, offering exciting gaming experience without tying players to their consoles or even forcing them to go out there in search of an adventure.