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Glu Mobile Inc  (GLUU)
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    Sector  Technology    Industry Software & Programming
   Industry Software & Programming
   Sector  Technology

Glu Mobile Inc

Business Description

Glu Mobile develops, publishes and markets a portfolio of free-to-play mobile games designed to appeal to a broad cross section of users who download and make purchases within our games through direct-to-consumer digital storefronts, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore and others.   Free-to-play games are games that a player can download and play for free, but which allow players to access a variety of additional content and features for a fee and to engage with various advertisements and offers that generate revenue for us.   We have a portfolio of compelling games based on our own intellectual property such as Contract Killer,  Cooking Dash,  Covet Fashion,  Deer Hunter,  Design Home and QuizUp, as well as games based on or significantly incorporating third party licensed brands including Restaurant Dash with Gordon Ramsay,  Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,  MLB Tap Sports Baseball and Racing Rivals.  We are headquartered in San Francisco, California, with U.S. offices in California in the cities of Burlingame and San Mateo, and international locations in Canada and India.    

Our goal is to become the leading developer and publisher of free-to-play mobile games. Our strategy for achieving this goal is comprised of three parts:

Building Growth Games and Maximizing the Value of Evergreen Games

The first prong of our strategy is to build growth games for smartphones and tablets as well as maximize the value we derive from our evergreen games. Growth games are titles that we continue to update with additional content and features and which grow revenue year over year. We believe a key component of driving revenue growth year over year from a growth title is the inclusion of community features which may involve users competing with each other, forming clubs or groups to cooperate in completing goals or events, or contributing their own original content to the game.¬†¬†Covet Fashion, ¬†Design Home¬†and¬†MLB Tap Sports Baseball¬†are examples of our existing titles that are, or have the potential to be, growth games. ¬†We are focused on building growth games in what we refer to as “blue oceans,” meaning that we seek to identify genres that are not oversaturated with competitive titles and where we believe we can become the leader in that genre.¬†¬†We currently publish titles primarily in four genres: home d√©cor, sports and action, fashion and celebrity, and time management. We believe these are genres in which we have already established a leadership position, are otherwise aligned with our strengths or are conducive to the establishment of a growth game.

Evergreen titles are similar to growth titles in that we continue to update them with additional content and features, but differ from growth games in that our focus is to reduce and potentially reverse their year over year revenue declines; to the extent that we succeed in our efforts to grow annual revenue from an evergreen title, we would then consider such evergreen title to be a growth game.  For example, we have recently succeeded in growing the quarterly revenues from Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a title that we first released in June 2014. Cooking Dash,  Deer Hunter 2018,  Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,Restaurant Dash with Gordon Ramsay and Racing Rivals are examples of our existing evergreen titles.

While we have generally designed our games to incorporate social features that enhance the user’s gameplay experience, as part of our product strategy we have further prioritized adding new social and community-based features, systems, and modes into our growth and evergreen titles.¬†¬†For example,¬†Covet Fashion¬†allows users to join “Fashion Houses” with other users and then borrow each others’ clothes, receive advice on their looks, chat and work together to unlock additional rewards in special style challenges,¬†Racing Rivals¬†enables players across Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms to compete against each other in real-time, synchronous racing, and our¬†Tap Sports Baseball¬†franchise allow players to challenge their friends to head-to-head matchups.¬†¬†We intend to continue to innovate to further enable our titles’ ability to function as successful growth or evergreen titles. Many of our games also leverage technologies such as Apple’s Game Center or Facebook Connect, which enables players to compare their high scores and achievements with their friends and against the global leaderboard.¬†

We have begun to emphasize developing new titles based on original intellectual property.  Reflecting this strategy, revenue from games based on our own intellectual property increased from 39.7% of our total revenues in 2016 to 59.1% of our total revenues in 2017. However, we also seek to selectively license and utilize key brands within our titles if we believe this will maximize their consumer appeal and revenue potential. For example, in 2017, we added content from Major League Baseball, or MLB, for the first time in our Tap Sports Baseball franchise, which helped us to meaningfully grow revenue from this franchise year over year. In addition, in 2018 we intend to release WWE Universe, a title featuring WWE Superstars, logos and marks, and have recently announced that we will be collaborating with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media on the development of an upcoming game.  We have also worked with our

celebrity licensors to engage their social media audiences and build games that will resonate with their unique fan bases.¬†¬†In particular,¬†Kim Kardashian: Hollywood¬†utilizes transmedia storytelling, leveraging Ms. Kardashian West’s built-in social media fan base to drive installs and awareness of the game, and then attempts to surprise and delight those fans with real-world events and other game content based on her life.¬†¬†Our¬†Gordon Ramsay DASH¬†title utilizes Gordon Ramsay’s personality to guide users to become a restaurateur in the image of Mr. Ramsay. We believe that we can continue to drive installs and awareness of our games through our licensing efforts with recognized brands, celebrities and social influencers that resonate with potential players of our games.¬†¬†Partnering with desirable licensing partners and renewing our existing licenses requires that we continue to develop successful games based on licensed content and are able to compete with other mobile gaming companies on financial and other terms in signing such partners.¬†¬†We also plan to continue introducing third-party licensed brands, properties and personalities into our games as additional licensed content, for cameo appearances or for limited time events in order to drive awareness and monetization.

We also plan to continue monitoring the successful aspects of our games to drive downloads and enhance monetization and retention as part of our product strategy, whether by optimizing advertising revenue within each title, including deeper meta game features, building enhanced and more complex core gameplay, adding additional social features, tournaments and events or otherwise. 

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