游戏邦在:
杂志专栏:
sepmw.com订阅到鲜果订阅到抓虾google reader订阅到有道订阅到QQ邮箱订阅到帮看

Zynga副总裁Chris Petrovic谈公司收购战略

发布时间:2019-11-25 09:04:03 Tags:,

Zynga副总裁Chris Petrovic谈公司收购战略

原作者:Dean Takahashi 译者:Vivian Xue

今年5月以6亿美金卖掉旧金山总部大楼后,社交手游公司Zynga为其收并购计划补充了大量资金。

Zynga高级副总裁兼企业战略主管Chris Petrovic对这笔交易感到十分满意。Zynga近来斥巨资收购了不少工作室。该公司以5.6亿美金买下了Small Giant Games 80%的股份,以2.5亿美金收购了Gram Games,以1亿美金买下了Peak Games的大部分股权。几年前,Zynga曾以5.27亿美金的价格买下NaturalMotion。这些收并购项目花去了该公司2011年首次公开募股所得的大量资金。

随着大笔资金再次注入,Petrovic可以思考Zynga的下一步发展计划了。Petrovic最近在加州安纳海姆市举办的“GameDaily Connect”大会上做了一个演讲。我在会后采访了他。

以下是编辑后的采访稿:

GamesBeat:就Zynga和整个市场而言,在进行收购交易时你们会进行哪些计算,从而确定出价?

Petrovic:正如你所想到的,我们首先会进行量化分析,但质性研究是一个同样重要的过程,甚至更重要。如果你观察我们自2016年来的收购历史,许多收购项目都以关系培养为基础。这是一个重要因素,因为我们意识到收并购牵涉到的不仅是近期的具体交易,还有长期的关系——你必须与对方公司共建和谐关系和凝聚力。确保双方在文化上达成一致认识——怎么管理游戏开发过程?怎么对待游戏运营?

GamesBeat:达成文化共识这没有问题,收购完成后,开发者们可以自行决定去留,对吧?

Petrovic:没错。接着你将面临管理上的挑战,因为你不是该公司的创立者。你只是负责人。我们采取的做法是尽早与目标公司确立规则——双方确立关系后,就像我们对Gram、Small Giant甚至是Peak所做的,我们会开启12-18个月的关系培养过程,首先从认识理解对方所建立的东西开始。

FarmVille 2 mobile(from gamezebo.com)

FarmVille 2 mobile(from gamezebo.com)

接着,我们会进入讨论阶段,对未来发展有何想法?我们会倾听对方公司对市场挑战和机遇的看法,接着提出对方面临的问题,我们公司可以通过X、Y、Z帮他们解决这些问题。这是一个关系培养过程,建立起这个基础后,我们将量化分析的角度认识了解双方业务。

我们谈了很多关于那些能够长期运营下去的游戏,以及同样具有潜力甚至能有所突破的游戏。显然我们刚开始讨论这些时,对方公司的人不一定在场,但用户留存、参与度和自然安装率等指标,这些是使我们对一款游戏产生兴趣的因素。质性研究结合量化分析,共同决定了我们的出资额。

GamesBeat:这个过程的重点之一是否在于尽早抓住这些公司,在他们尚未开发出一个可长期运营的游戏,但是具备这样的潜力之前?

Petrovic:显然我们投资的不是小数目。是的,我们的确希望在某个阶段(在我们看到许多发展机会时)把这些公司揽到我们旗下,但我们同样乐于和已具备一定规模的公司联手,使他们受益于Zynga的帮助,获得进一步发展,最终实现“1+1=3”的效果。

我们不介意他们的潜力产品是否处于早期阶段,他们是否实现了稳定持续的发展——特别是在当下,我们通过出售大楼获补充了资金库,我们得以把目标放得更长远。我们允许自己这么做,因为早先的收购项目一个个进展得都很顺利。我们有信心朝着更大的目标迈进。

GamesBeat:此前你们已经进行了数笔1亿美金以上的交易,花去了大部分初始资金。也许你们会更疯狂地用光所有资金或者举债去收购。你们在这么做之前想必经过了万里挑一的选择。

Petrovic:是的,当你决定把鸡蛋放到一个篮子里时,你得把门槛提得相当高。

GamesBeat:就你的观察和经验而言,这些潜在的交易多久才会出现?你遇到过机会太多只能拒绝的情况吗?

Petrovic:一般来说,在公司发展和收并购过程中,你总是要拒绝98%的东西。在我看来这是高效有序的收并购过程的标志。我的意思不是一开始就把对方拒之门外。我们公司的大门永远向任何希望与我们交流的人敞开。但同时我们严守自己的标准,从而防止我们在一些根据基本商业判断成功率很低的事物上投入过多精力。这种做法使我们既能接触到广泛的机会,又能有效率地对它们进行筛选。

此外,我们在当前市场上处于一个有利的位置。Gram和Small Giant两个最具代表性的工作室走到了各自发展的分岔路口,我们没有参与他们的决策过程。他们所面临的抉择是利用当前的业务盈利建设一家成熟的游戏公司(像Zynga这样的公司花了10年时间铺设管道)还是继续投入到游戏研发上。

我们很高兴看到两家公司都选择了后者。Small Giant的经营理念是保持小规模而强大。他们坚持这么做。他们专注于自己擅长的领域,而我们提供任何他们需要的服务和工具。无论是Small Giant还是Gram都从中受益。我们不会强硬干涉他们的经营。我们让他们自由发展,保持自己的文化,进行有利于公司发展的日常管理,但就加速他们发展和实现目标进程的伙伴关系而言——我希望Zynga总部作为一个支持中心,支持我们当前和新的工作室。

GamesBeat:你能提供一些新鲜的例子证明Zynga帮助了它收购的公司吗?

Petrovic: 我们为Small Giant和Gram提供的帮助——我们想让他们自己谈,因为他们才是最终使用我们的服务的人。有时我们提供技术或人力资源,处理他们遇到的某些状况,出现的问题,或是他们某个阶段的发展想法。技术接入、业务洽谈、数据分析、或是借助我们的谈判经验达成目标,这些服务都在不同程度上被使用。

再次说明,他们选择接入已存在的生态系统,而不是自己建立一个。长期以来,我们对自己的游戏采用的都是这种做法,这在两家公司取得了良好的成效。

GamesBeat:就平台而言,你认为Zynga在纯移动平台上还有多少发展空间?你们考虑过别的平台,如PC和主机吗?

Petrovic:我们经常思考广泛的游戏生态,这对Zynga的全球发展来说意味着什么,我们的潜在市场有哪些。Frank(Zynga现任首席执行官)在公开声明、财报会议等场合中经常直言谈到新的分销渠道,Zynga尚未触达的现有或新的游戏平台。显然就移动平台而言,Facebook Messenger和Snapchat是我们尚未触达的两个平台。

我们越发重视消费者对跨平台游戏期望的上升,以及这对未来产生的影响。确切的说,消费者对于能够在不同设备上体验游戏的期待,与他们对其它形式的媒体的期待是一样的。游戏行业迎来了技术飞速发展的时期——5G和流媒体技术等等——还有Epic Games Store这样的新平台,并且我们看到了Stadia云游戏的未来潜力——游戏公司不再依附于某个具体平台作为他们的首要平台。他们只是游戏制造者,制作优秀的游戏。这些游戏相比过去能够被更广泛的用户在不同平台上所体验。

Zynga当然将自己视为其中一员。我们花了大量时间与主机、PC和Switch市场再次接轨。我们的管理层掌握了大量这些平台的背景知识。不仅只有Zynga公司,但这里的管理和领导层投入了大量时间研究零售、主机和PC市场以及其他发展形式。我们适应了在这些环境内发展,不仅如此,我们在这些领域内拥有广泛的人脉,这将为Zynga扩大其潜在市场范围铺平道路。

GamesBeat:今天Sprint和Hatch宣称将联手在5G网络上推出免费的云游戏服务。

Petrovic:没有真正免费的东西。(笑)我对迪士尼订阅服务Disney+为D23粉丝会员提供的价格更感兴趣。

GamesBeat:云服务将创造各种各样的机会,但可能也会带来更多竞争,特别是对手游市场的冲击。

Petrovic:相比于过去我们对这个问题的看法——在OnLive和Gaikai等第一代云技术诞生时——我感觉如今这些云服务商真正具备了谈判竞争的能力。他们的基础设施规模已经足以应对云游戏的内在挑战——规模经济和延迟问题。谷歌、微软、索尼、苹果和亚马逊——这些公司控制了大部分游戏基础设施和流量。如果他们不能应对这些问题,我不知道还有谁还能解决。显然他们在投入资源解决这些问题。

GamesBeat:从某种程度上说,你的竞争力是否来源于帮助内部工作室从零开始制作游戏?Zynga是否会在他们失败后插手整顿项目?

Petrovic:我们采取的是另一种方式。我们投资众多工作室,从而打造下一款长久运营的游戏。显然我们有了测试发行的《乡村度假2》(Farm Ville 2)。我们还有Gram和Small Giant的游戏。我们对他们的游戏抱有很高期待。NaturalMotion正在研发一些东西。我们并不是从零开始制作,更多的是利用现有工作室结束某些项目周期(关闭某些项目)时留下的资源,把它们挪用到新产品的开发上。我们把它和获取新的长周期产品以及总的收购策略并行起来。我认为这是一个很好的“双拳出击”战略。

最终我们会从公司层面上判断哪些产品能够被推向市场。对我们来说,人才投资、项目投资以及把产品推向市场前的严格筛选过程至关重要。这是自2016年以后我们所采取的管理方式,它为我们创造了许多价值。我们追求的不是游戏数量,而是规模和质量。我们将会坚守这个原则。

Gamesbeat:我觉得挺有意思的是像Riot这样的公司,就算不发行新游戏也能在行业内勉强发展下去。

Petrovic:(笑) 他们一直在研发中,真的。他们在研发新东西。不过话说回来,这就是IP的力量。要知道当你的产品达到一定规模,每天被数百万用户使用着,这是很难复制的,并且会越来越困难。当你拥有了一个优秀的产品后,你可以基于它做出同样优质的东西,甚至更好。从零开始研发的产品同样可以具备极大潜力,但你得保证产品能引发消费者的共鸣,执行过程足够好。

这也是为什么像《乡村度假》这样拥有超高品牌价值的IP,结合赫尔辛基顶尖开发团队——具备如此大的潜力。显然Gram和Small Giant都通过他们的游戏取得了成功,并基于这些新游戏实现进一步发展,这很令人兴奋,他们似乎找到了门路。你很难去定义他们的成功,除了根据玩家们在这些游戏上付出的时间。加倍投资成功的公式,并在此基础上不断迭代和创新,这对我们来说至关重要,也是公司宗旨的一部分。

GamesBeat:你之前提到一些公司,他们要么收购操作频繁,要么可能走上收购这条路,你还提到他们出于不同的目的。我想了解你对全球收并购市场的看法,亚洲公司似乎在其中占据了主导地位,特别是中国公司,偶尔是以色列公司。你认为这些收购背后的动机是什么?

Petrovic:这些公司越是壮大,他们的收购实力就越强。其中一些公司是Zynga目前无法匹敌的,至少我们无法调动那么高额的资本。但这并不意味着我们无法与他们竞争,在许多有亚洲公司参与的收购竞争中,我们都幸运地胜出了。

这些公司的收购动机是多种多样的,许多是我们无法获知的。正如你所能想象的,收购动机可能是实现多元化经营、稳固市场占有率,降低专注于单一领域的风险等等。对Zynga来说,收并购的动机之一是把可长期运营的产品揽入我们旗下。这些都可能成为公司收购的原因。我认为这个问题应该让我们的同行自己回答。我所能想到的就这些。

Gamesbeat:我所担忧的是,未来这些公司会不会都被亚洲公司买走?就目前收购市场的趋势来看,这似乎还不太可能。按照游戏行业的发展规律,即便他们收购了所有游戏公司,总有人会重新创建新的公司。

Petrovic:特别是就中国公司而言(这不太可能),鉴于他们国家出台越来越多有关资本输出的法规——你们对这方面内容进行了广泛的报道。相关报道已经持续两年多了,并且我们看到——他们的非游戏类上市公司收购游戏公司的步伐已经放缓。这是一个退出市场的信号。可对于腾讯和网易这样的游戏公司来说又是另一码事了,因为这涉及他们的关键业务。

世界各地的公司将自行决定与哪些地区的公司合作,但愿他们能够从文化契合度、合作融洽度、双方愿景的一致性等角度考虑。在我看来,这些因素在很多情况下比对方的出价重要得多。

GamesBeat:这些因素也使你们从中受益了对吧?

Petrovic:再次说明,我们非常重视交易的质性,可能在许多收购者眼中这不是重点。迟早有一天这些交易的问题会涌现出来。这些问题存在于世界各地,包括Zynga早期发展阶段。

收并购是一个复杂繁琐的过程,人们意识不到——这个过程的关键不在于短期交易的执行情况,而是长期合作关系的发展,双方随时间达成的价值共识。真正的投资周期要长得多。

我对市场上活跃的收并购交易感到兴奋。我们正处于一个黄金时期,我们将坚持我们的愿景,但愿我们能挖掘下一个Gram Games或Small Giant工作室。

GamesBeat:游戏公司的首次公开募股(IPO)活动会更频繁吗?

Petrovic:取决于不同的市场。Sciplay(全球第四大社交博彩游戏公司)的IPO大获成功。这或许能为希望上市的美国本土游戏公司增添一点信心。就我们和Glu过去三年的情况来看,西方市场的IPO同样活跃。

北欧市场的上市规则一直很引人注目,这为他们的游戏产业增加了知名度,无论其中的公司表现如何。这也增添了我们的游戏产业在IPO市场上的知名度。我总是很乐于观察亚洲公司如何出海、他们选择西方还是东方市场。许多年前曾出现亚洲公司海外上市的热潮,近来因套利空间不足纷纷退市返回亚洲。我不清楚这进展到了什么阶段,但我相信历史终将会重复。

IPO市场会继续表现强劲,还有投资市场。你可以观察通过Blackstone和KKR(均为美国金融投资机构)流入游戏行业的私人资本。他们所进行的收购——看到这类从未出现在游戏市场上的公司加入进来很有意思。这证明了游戏行业的成熟,它吸引了更广泛的投资者,这是非常令人兴奋的。

GamesBeat:你认为大型平台公司会走上收购之路吗?随着亚马逊、谷歌、脸书、苹果和微软活跃起来,这似乎刺激索尼收购了一家游戏公司。有时这种现象会形成多米诺效应。但你认为大型平台公司会这么做吗?

Petrovic:过去我会说这极不可能,但看看微软和索尼,看看Valve的发展史——他们依靠自己的内容运营,还有Epic商店……

Gamesbeat:这些不是真正的平台公司。我们认为他们是游戏公司。

Petrovic:苹果和谷歌在全球的发展将会是引人注目的。这会使整个行业忙碌起来,我们将看到游戏公司对此作何反应,这将如何反过来影响苹果和谷歌的决策。苹果订阅服务的发展将从一定程度上反映这一点,我们将看到这些加入苹果订阅的公司与其它公司相比发展如何。这也将从某种程度上预示这种内容生态今后的运作方式。

GamesBeat:苹果正在向影视剧领域发展。但我想这个过程最大的阻碍来自反垄断法,正如我们所看到,谷歌和亚马逊一直在小心规避这个方面,特别是当他们准备收购新领域的公司时——我想这也是谷歌最终放弃收购Twitch的根源性原因之一,他们担心美国政府介入调查。

Petrovic:这是一个原因。显然谷歌已经有了云游戏平台Stadia从某种程度上生产自己的内容。亚马逊大举收购了很多公司,他们下了很大赌注,不过这些收购与你所说的垄断没有直接联系。尽管有打擦边球的嫌疑。苹果是其中少数把业务延伸到其它媒体领域的公司。观察他们在游戏领域将有何作为是一件很有意思的事。

不知为何,媒体和娱乐平台一度认为游戏制作不在他们力所能及的范围内。即便游戏开发过程中不乏媒体公司的参与。同样是娱乐内容制造,但他们把游戏视为和音乐、影视剧截然不同的事物,这种观念蛮有趣的。我不知道这种观念的形成原因是什么,为什么他们觉得做游戏比制作其它娱乐产品难得多。在我看来它们都是娱乐产品。唯一的区别是在游戏里你需要通过按下按钮进行操作。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

When Zynga sold its San Francisco headquarters for $600 million in May, the social mobile game company received a lot of fresh gunpower for acquisitions。

The man who is happy about that is Chris Petrovic, senior vice president and head of corporate strategy at Zynga. The company has spent a lot of money on acquisitions recently. It bought 80% of Small Giant Games for $560 million. It acquired Gram Games for $250 million. It bought most of Peak Games for $100 million. And years ago, it bought NaturalMotion for $527 million. All of that activity burned up a lot of the money that Zynga had from its initial public offering in 2011.

But with fresh money in its coffers, Petrovic can think about what makes sense for Zynga to do next. Petrovic gave a talk at the recent GameDaily Connect event in Anaheim, California. I spoke with him afterward.

Here’s an edited transcript of our interview。

GamesBeat: What kinds of calculations go into deals where you can figure out what should be the right price to pay for an acquisition? For Zynga, and for the market in general.

Chris Petrovic: For Zynga, as much as you would think we’d start with the quantitative aspect, for us the qualitative one is equally important, if not more so. If you look at the history of our acquisitions since 2016, a lot of those have been built on cultivation of relationships. The reason that’s important because for us is because we realize that doing M&A involves not just a near-term transaction, but a long-term relationship where you have to work in harmony and cohesion with one another. Making sure that both sides feel like it’s the right fit, culturally–how do you approach game development? How do you approach live services?

GamesBeat: Culturally that makes sense, because if you buy a company, the developers can choose to walk, right?

Petrovic: That’s right。 Then you’re left with something you can’t manage well, because you’re not the founders。 You’re not the principals of that company。 For us, creating the rule set with the acquired entity early on — once the relationship has been established, with Gram and Small Giant and even with Peak, those were 12-18 month relationship-building exercises that were first and foremost started on an appreciation of what they had built。

Then, obviously, we progressed into discussions around, how are you thinking about the future? Then hearing about some of their perceptions of challenges and opportunities in the market, and then making that triangulation around — these are problems you’re facing。 Companies like us can help you solve them through X, Y, and Z。 It was a relationship-building exercise, and then once you establish that foundation, you move to the next level of learning about each other’s businesses from the quantitative aspect。

We’ve talked a lot about forever franchises and being able to see games that have the ability to meet and exceed that trajectory。 Obviously they don’t have to be there at the moment in time when we start talking, but there are metrics around retention, engagement, and organic install ratios, things of that nature, that really get us interested in a game。 The qualitative plus the quantitative leads us to a point of making a decision on interest。 From there it’s off to the races。

GamesBeat: Is part of that to catch them early, before they have a forever franchise, but have the potential to be one?

Petrovic: For those two — those were obviously not insignificant amounts of money we spent. The message there is, yes, we’d like to get them at a point in time where we see a lot of runway, but we’re just as happy to engage with companies that are already at a massive scale, and that we feel still have the ability to benefit from an involvement from Zynga in helping their business grow and ultimately getting to that “1 + 1 = 3” calculus.

Whether they are at an earlier stage side of the forever franchise, whether they’re already on the other side and have a stable growth annuity business that’s continuing to grow — especially now with what we’ve done as far as being able to replenish the coffers through the building sale and the convery, we have the ability to look bigger. We’re giving ourselves permission to do that, because we’ve been fortunate that these previous acquisitions, one after the other, have worked out so well to date. We’re getting a lot more confident in our ability to continue to look at larger and larger scale things.

GamesBeat: Before, if you were making $100 million deals here and there, you eventually ate away at a lot of the original capital Zynga had. You might be crazier to try to use all that capital or to use a lot of debt to get something. It has to be the one in a million deal to justify that kind of behavior.

Petrovic: Yeah, to put all the eggs in one basket, that’s a pretty high threshold.

GamesBeat: As far as what you see and what you’re finding, how often are you coming across these potential deals? Do you wind up having to pass on them because they’re so plentiful?

Petrovic: The general trajectory of corporate development and M&A practice is that you’re saying no to things 98 percent of the time。 To me, that’s a sign of running a good, disciplined M&A practice。 When I say that, it doesn’t mean saying no at the first instance of engagement。 Our proverbial office doors are always open to anyone who wants to talk to us。 I think what we do well is stay disciplined to the guardrails we give ourselves about what we’re willing to consider, and that allows us to not get overly exuberant about something that we know, based on the fundamentals of that business, will ultimately have a low likelihood of working。 Having that disciplined approach to managing the funnel of opportunities allows us to have a wide top of the funnel, but allows us to efficiently narrow things pretty quickly。

We’re also in a fortunate position at this stage of the market, and with Gram and Small Giant being two great examples of studios that were coming to a fork in the road of their own making, that had nothing to do with us necessarily. They were deciding whether they wanted to invest all of the profits from their existing business into building out a full-fledged game company, which includes a lot of the plumbing that companies like Zynga spent 10 years building, or whether they wanted to just keep making games and plug into somebody else.

In both cases we’re lucky that they made the latter decision。 In Small Giant’s case they had this mantra of wanting to stay small and mighty。 They continue to do that。 They focus on what they do well and we give them access to anything and everything in our suite of services and tools that they want to use。 In both cases, with both them and Gram, it’s been beneficial。 We don’t make it compulsory。 We let them run their business, maintain their culture, do what they need to do to run the business day to day, but in terms of being partners with them to help accelerate their growth and realize their goals — I like to think that headquarters is a support center for our studios, both existing and new。

GamesBeat: Do you also have fresh proof, then, that Zynga can help the companies that it acquires?

Petrovic: Some of the stuff that you’ve done on that front with both Small Giant and Gram — we’ve let them speak for it, because they’re ultimately the ones that are using our services。 There have been cases where we’ve availed them of resources, either technological or human capital in nature, to address certain situations that they were considering, or issues they were having, or thoughts they had about where they wanted to go at a certain point in time。 Whether it’s plugging into a technology or talking to a person or looking at data or using our negotiation acumen to help them get something across the finish line, all of these things have been utilized to varying degrees。

Again, they chose to plug in to an existing ecosystem versus building it themselves。 We have a long, good history of doing that stuff for our own games。 In both cases there have been many instances we’ve seen internally where that has borne fruit。

GamesBeat: As far as platforms go, do you think there’s still room for a Zynga to operate purely where it is, within mobile? Or have you given thought to going outside into PC or consoles?

Petrovic: We think a lot about the broader gaming ecosystem and what that means for Zynga on a global basis, what the total addressable market is for us. Frank has been pretty vocal in his public statements, earnings calls and otherwise, about new channels of distribution, as well as new or existing platforms for games where Zynga doesn’t currently exist. Obviously Facebook Messenger and Snapchat have been great examples of that on the “mobile” side.

We have started looking more and more at what the future looks like in a world where consumer expectation around cross-platform play is only growing。 Specifically, the expectations consumers have about being able to play games across a myriad of devices, just like they do with other forms of media。 We think that this is the time in the life cycle of the gaming industry where technologies are coming along at such a rate – 5G and streaming and so on – along with new entrants like Epic, and we’ll see the future potential of Stadia — game companies are no longer going to be affiliating themselves with a specific platform as their primary focus。 They’ll just be game-makers that make great games。 Those games have the ability to show up to consumers across a wider array of devices than before。

Zynga definitely sees itself in the mix on that. We’re spending a lot of time reconnecting ourselves to the console and PC space, to the Switch space. Management has a lot of background in that. Not necessarily Zynga as a company, but the management and leadership here has spent a lot of time in everything from retail to console and PC and other forms of development. We’re comfortable operating in those environments, and the good thing is, we know a lot of the people in that environment. I can see that being a path that Zynga continues to look at as a way of expanding our total addressable market.

GamesBeat: There was the announcement today from Sprint 5G and Hatch about free cloud gaming。

Petrovic: Well, nothing’s ever free。 [laughs] I’m more excited about the Disney+ subscription rate for D23 members。

GamesBeat: Cloud is going to create all kinds of opportunities, but maybe more competition too, on the mobile devices。

Petrovic: The one thing I’m encouraged about relative to when we’ve talked about this in the past, in the first generation of cloud when it was OnLive and Gaikai and so on — I feel like it’s the right set of technology players at the table. They already have the scale of infrastructure to address the inherent challenges associated with cloud gaming around economies of scale and latency. When you have Google, Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Amazon — those are the people that control most of the infrastructure and traffic around games, the bits and bytes that are delivered around gameplay. If they can’t solve it, I don’t know who will. But they’re certainly putting their resources toward it.

GamesBeat: Is your competition, in a way, the creation of internal studios from the ground up? Do you have to see those fail before you get to do yours?

Petrovic: [laughs] I don’t think it’s a binary thing。 I think we have a number of studios that we’re investing in to bring the next forever franchise to market。 Obviously we have the FarmVille game in soft launch。 We have the games from Gram and Small Giant。 We have high hopes for those。 NaturalMotion is working on a few things。 It’s not so much building from the ground up as it is taking the existing studio resources as they’re cycling off existing projects and putting them on new ones。 Putting that in parallel with acquiring new forever franchises and our acquisition strategy in general, I feel like that’s a good one-two punch。

Ultimately we’re judged on the ability to bring games to market as a game company. For us, investing in our people, investing in these projects, and having a rigorous process around getting those to market is super important. It’s what’s driven a lot of the value of the company since management came on in 2016. We’ve launched fewer, bigger, better games. We’ll continue to do so.

GamesBeat: It’s interesting how some companies like Riot can get by without ever launching new games.

Petrovic: [laughs] They’re perpetually in the works, yeah. They’re working on something. That’s the power of a franchise, though. When you have something at that level of scale, that goes back to what were some of the early tenets of the turnaround for Zynga. Reminding the company that we had all these franchises that millions of people a day were coming to. That’s hard to replicate, and getting harder. When you have a good thing, you can create just as much value, if not more, by building on top of that foundation, instead of building from scratch. Building from scratch also has high potential, if it resonates with the audience and is executed well.

That’s why something like FarmVille, which has so much brand equity, combined with a crack, top-tier team in Helsinki — there’s a lot of excitement around the potential for that. Obviously with Gram and Small Giant having demonstrated success with games and then building the next phase of their growth through these new games, there’s a lot of excitement around that, because they seem to have cracked some code. It’s hard to define what that is, except by virtue of the audiences voting with their time in those games. Doubling down on formulas that have worked and then iterating and innovating on top of those things are both super important and part of the mission of the company.

GamesBeat: You started talking a bit earlier about companies that are acquisitive or likely to acquire, and how they’re motivated by different things。 I wonder what you think of the world as it is, with the M&A charts that are so dominated by Asian companies, the Chinese companies and once in a while the Israelis。 What do you see as the different motivations for the acquisitions that are happening?

Petrovic: The larger these companies are, the larger swings that they can take at doing deals。 There’s a stratosphere in which some of these companies exist where companies like Zynga can’t currently compete, at least when it comes to deploying that amount of capital。 It doesn’t mean we can’t compete in the sphere of deals we are able to look at, and in many cases we have been fortunate enough to win out in competitive situations, presumably with strategics from Asia in the mix。

The motivations for these companies can span any of a number of things, a lot of which we’re not privy to。 You can imagine that diversification, maintaining a certain level of market share, de-risking themselves from too much concentration in one location around development — any of a number of these things。 For Zynga one of the pillars of the turnaround is to bring in new forever franchises through M&A。 Any and all of these things could be factors for these companies。 I think our peer set’s better suited to answer that on their behalf。 But I can only imagine that a lot of these factors go into their thinking。

GamesBeat: One thing I worry about is, will all these companies wind up being Asian-owned at some point? Given the trend in acquisitions, it sounds like a world that still might not happen。 The way the game industry has been, even if they acquire all these companies, people will just leave and start new ones wherever they are。

Petrovic: Especially as it related to China, before there was more regulation that came down from the Chinese government around exporting capital — you covered that extensively。 It’s been about two years post on that, and we’ve seen — non-gaming companies that are publicly traded in China are not making game company acquisitions anywhere near the rate they were at one point。 That was a big source of exit。 It’s another thing when gaming companies like Tencent and NetEase and others are deploying capital, because it’s within the wheelhouse of what they do。

Companies around the world are going to make their own decisions about how they feel about working with a company from any geography, hopefully from a culture fit perspective, from a quality of life perspective, from an alignment of vision perspective。 Those considerations, in my mind, transcend, in many cases, price。

GamesBeat: These things come back to helping you benefit during deal-making as well。

Petrovic: Again, we align so much on the qualitative aspects of what makes a deal successful。 In many cases other acquirers don’t。 It’s a matter of time before there are enough use cases of companies that come out of experiences that have not been positive, regardless of who the owner is。 It’s happened everywhere, including at Zynga throughout its time。

M&A is a very tricky thing to manage, because what people don’t realize — it’s not dependent on the successful execution of the transaction. It’s dependent on the successful long-term working relationship. That’s where the value is created for both sides over time. That’s a much longer investment cycle.

I’m excited for the M&A activity in the market in general to continue。 We’re in a prime spot to continue to execute on our vision, and hopefully we can continue to uncover the next Gram Games and the next Small Giant。

GamesBeat: Are more game company IPOs likely?

Petrovic: It depends on what market. We had Sciplay that went out relatively successfully. It maybe gave folks here in the U.S. a bit of renewed confidence in the public markets. Between our relative performance over the last three years and Glu’s as well, that’s also done well for the western markets.

The Nordic markets have been interesting in terms of the rule sets that allow companies to go public there。 That creates a lot of increased visibility for the gaming industry, regardless of how the companies perform。 It adds another layer of visibility to our industry when it’s on a public market。 It’s always interesting to see how Asian companies are riding the waves, which markets – western or eastern – that they like to leverage。 There was momentum many years ago around Asian companies coming west, and more recently delisting and relisting back in Asia, because of the arbitrage on multiples。 Now I don’t know where that is, but I’m sure the pendulum will keep swinging。

The public markets will continue to be robust, as well as the investment markets. You look at the slew of private equity money that’s starting to come in the game industry, through Blackstone and KKR. The acquisitions they’ve made — it’s interesting to see these kinds of companies coming into the mix, that historically haven’t been in there. It speaks to the maturity level of games. It’s now barkering to a wider audience of financial investors, which is super exciting.

GamesBeat: Do you think it’s unlikely that the platform companies, the biggest ones, would start buying game companies? The likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple。 Microsoft got active and then it looks like it caused Sony to buy one company。 Sometimes there can be a domino effect。 But do you think this is unlikely, that the large platforms would do this?

Petrovic: At one point in time I would have said very unlikely, but if you look at, to your point, Microsoft and Sony, if you look at the history of Valve, which operated on the back of its own content, and the Epic Store…。

GamesBeat: These are platforms we didn’t really think about as platforms. We thought of them as game companies.

Petrovic: The Apples and Googles of the world, that would be an interesting development in our category. It would cause you to have some very busy cycles, with all the feedback loops coming in around how game companies would feel about that. [laughs] It’s going to be interesting seeing that to a limited degree with the Apple subscription and how companies in that subscription fare versus ones that aren’t. That will be somewhat of a harbinger of how that kind of curated ecosystem will work.

GamesBeat: Apple is moving into owning its movie and TV content. But I guess the inhibitor I saw was that both Google and Amazon have to be wary of anti-trust. For them to acquire companies in some new space — I think that was one of the original reasons why Google never followed through on buying Twitch, a certain fear of the government stepping in.

Petrovic: That’s one thing. Google obviously has Stadia working on its own content to a certain degree. Amazon, to their credit, has taken a lot of swings at buying companies, made a lot of bets on their side, although not in the direct anti-trust nature that you’re talking about. Even these platforms are doing it on the periphery. Apple has been one of the few — their periphery has been in other media verticals, to your point. It’s going to be interesting to see how that manifests itself with games.

Somehow, media and entertainment platforms have historically thought of games as a bridge too far. Even with the media companies ebbing and flowing in and out of game development. It’s entertainment content creation, but they’ve seen it as a different beast from music or TV or movies, which has been interesting. I don’t know what to ascribe that to, why it’s exponentially harder for them to do that form of entertainment versus others. To me it’s all entertainment. The only difference is you’re pressing a button that makes the action move forward.(source:)

 


下一篇:

拉菲彩票计划群 上海11选5 k8彩票计划群 极速赛车彩票规律 王者彩票开户 极速赛车冠军规律 博乐彩票计划群 上海快3走势图 9A彩票计划群 极速赛车登陆