Gaming stocks have soared over the past year as children and adults alike searched for ways to pass the time while being stuck at home during COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders.
What Happened: Roblox Corp RBLX went public Wednesday in a highly anticipated direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
The popular multi-player program, currently played by more than 50% of American children under the age of 16, has many free games, but offers in-game purchases for skins, storage and special game passes through its Robux digital currency.
Although all eyes were on Roblox as it began trading, investors may find value in other popular gaming stocks that have recently made big moves to compete in the gaming space.
Why It Matters: The pandemic has changed consumer habits, perhaps forever. Similar to the retail sector concern that shoppers will continue to shop mostly online, gaming companies can feel confident that their popularity will stay heightened for a long time.
Roblox might be the shiny new coin this month but, unlike older companies who have spent years proving themselves, it still remains to be seen if the company has what it takes to maintain the interest of its school-aged fans.
Zynga Inc ZNGA, Electronic Arts Inc. EA and Skillz Inc SKLZ have seen share prices soar as a result of increased interest in their gaming products. All three companies have reacted by growing their businesses and introducing new games to the market.
Zynga: Zynga, the company that brought Farmville to Facebook Inc FB, recently made a big move to dominate the gaming market when it acquired Echtra Games on March 3. A company co-founded by veteran game developer Max Schaefer, Echtra is the developer of famous RPG games, including Diablo and the Torchlight Franchise.
Under Zynga’s leadership, the Echtra team is working to develop a new RPG style game under the Zynga brand. Zynga also develops games available on the Snap Inc SNAP platform, including shoot-and-loot style game Tiny Royal.
Zynga’s stock is currently trading up over 50% from its March lows.
Electronic Arts: This company is a global leader in the digital gaming space with more than 300 million registered users worldwide. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts is the second-largest video game company by revenue, according to Motley Fool.
Dominating the sports genre, the company has a portfolio of wildly popular games including Madden NFL, EA SPORTS FIFA, Battlefield and Need for Speed. It also developed the cult classic Plants Vs. Zombies, in which players kill zombies to collect gold.
On Feb. 18, Electronic Arts announced it had completed its acquisition of Codemasters and together will develop a range of new racing style games. The acquisition is the latest in Electronic Art’s growth strategy.
Like Zynga, Electronic Art’s stock is also trading up 50% from March.
Skillz: Since going public on April 27, 2020 through a SPAC, Skillz has been a popular stock in investing circles especially after Cathie Wood announced Ark Next Generation Internet ETF ARKW had purchased 215,897 shares of the company back in January.
Skillz offers a wide selection of mobile games such as Solitaire Cube and Blitz Solitaire. The company generates revenue through in-game advertisements and competition fees. And, it has had to jump through a few hoops to avoid gambling regulations in some states, according to a report by Market Realist.
Skillz has taken advantage of recent moves in the U.S. and Canada to legalize sports betting and the company has expanded into the e-gaming and online sports betting market, snagging a deal with the NFL to create an NFL-themed sport betting game.
Since going public at an opening price of $9.95, Skillz stock has soared over 140%.
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