“Let’s build the sh*t out of this farm.” – Jason
Hey there carnivores,
Markets were mixed on Monday.
And today we’re talking about the new game in town.
Jeff & Jason
San Francisco based gaming company Zynga, which created Farmville, is buying Turkish gaming company Peak for $1.8B in a half stock, half cash deal.
This isn’t the first time Zynga & Peak got it on. Back in 2017, Zynga bought Peak’s mobile card game business for a crispy, cool $100M. They should be legally required to give some of that to us for all those Farmville requests.
So, why Peak?
While you may not have heard of Peak, you may have a couple of its games on your phone. The Istanbul based company created popular mobile games Toon Blast and Toy Blast, which have been in the top 20 most popular mobile games on the iTunes app for the past two years. Hopefully, they use some of that fresh cash for a couple more creatives for their game names.
This acquisition potentially benefits Zynga in two big ways. The first being that Zynga gets these two popular games under its belt without investing in the development. This is huge, considering massive R&D tabs don’t necessarily translate to a successful game. As Curt Schilling knows oh so well.
Additionally, this gives Zynga a whole new international market to advertise and cross-sell its games to. Peak’s 12M+ daily active users are primarily abroad. I wonder how they say “Farmville” in Armenia?
The bottom line…
This is the second billion-dollar-plus deal in two weeks that was done completely remotely thanks to COVID-19 (if you recall, Cisco bought ThousandEyes on May 28 for $1B).
This shows that the pandemic is changing the way mergers and acquisitions are being done. Companies can save time and money by handling deal closing via Zoom and the use of other technology. RIP in peace to the three-martini lunch.
Gilead Sciences shares fell 2.8% following news that its remdesivir only showed “limited” benefit in treating COVID patients as part of a phase 3 clinical trial. Slacker.
Non-critically ill, hospitalized patients that received remdesivir for five days showed “moderate” improvement compared to those receiving standard care, which is good. Those who received it for 10 days? They showed no statistically significant improvement. Not so good.
☑️ Blood brothers.
In other COVID treatment news, Eli Lilly announced on Monday that it’s begun the first stage of a study using a drug derived from the blood of a COVID-19 survivor. This is some ‘Hocus Pocus’ sh*t.
The goal of the study is to understand whether or not antibody-based treatments could be used to prevent further infection. If it works, the drug could bridge the gap between today’s treatments, and the vaccine that could be at least another year out.
☑️ Walk it like you talk it.
Facebook employees staged a “virtual walkout” on Monday, showing disdain for the company’s recent treatment of politically charged posts. Facebook employees took their talents to Twitter, of all places, to show their disappointment in Facebook’s handling of posts by Donald Trump.
At least 600 employees took part in the protest, though with everyone remote, who knows how many just closed their laptops and started drinking early. Zuck plans to address employees on Thursday to talk shop. Presumably, an empathy software patch will be uploaded to Zuckerbot before that.
☑️ Rough start.
HBO Max’s first few days have gone about as well as you’d expect amid an ecosystem already oversaturated with streaming services: not great. Just 90k people downloaded Max on launch day.
While HBO Max owns the rights to the likes of “Looney Tunes,” “DC,” and “Harry Potter,” it turns out streamers have other, more appealing options. Analysts blame HBO’s rough start on confusion. Maybe HBO Go, Now and Max was overkill? Not to mention the app isn’t available on Roku or Amazon.