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    6758   JP3435000009

SONY GROUP CORPORATION

(6758)
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Feel-good hit 'Fall Guys' knocks out the competition on PlayStation, PC

08/28/2020 | 02:37am EDT
Characters from the Fall Guys title from Tonic Games

Independent British firm Tonic Games has delivered the latest feel-good gaming hit, "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout", after Sony Corp offered it to subscribers and by tapping the power of streamers and social media.

Taking inspiration from classic TV shows such as "Takeshi's Castle" and "It's a Knockout", players navigate clumsy, costumed avatars through a series of life-or-death mini-games in what has been widely praised as a fresh spin to the saturated battle royale genre.

The title's popularity comes as consumers have flocked to gaming after the coronavirus outbreak shut down other entertainment options, with Nintendo Co Ltd's escapist "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" among the breakout hits.

"Fall Guys" has been available through August to the near 45 million subscribers of PlayStation Plus - a service which is part of Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida's strategy to drive recurring revenue across the group.

The title has become the service's most downloaded game.

Launching on PlayStation Plus helped ensure each game could quickly attract the starting 60 players, said Paul Croft, co-founder of Tonic Games.

"We knew we needed to go big at the start," Croft said in an interview.

"Fall Guys" has been also purchased more than 7 million times on Valve's Steam platform for PC, following the dual-platform launch strategy successfully employed in 2015 for "Rocket League" from developer Psyonix, which was later acquired by Epic Games.

Its TV influences and emphasis on fun and humour, with avatars racing chaotically through levels and tumbling from platforms, have helped ensure watchability, propelling the game above big-budget peers in rankings on streaming platforms like Amazon.com Inc's Twitch.

Buzz around the game has also been driven by a savvy use of social media to banter with players, retweet fan art and tease game updates.

Revenue streams for "Fall Guys" include via players buying costumes for avatars, dressing them, for instance, as a pineapple or T. Rex. Costumes are acquirable by playing and winning the game too, with updates including new levels as the developer seeks to drive continued player engagement.

Tonic Games is currently auctioning costumes to companies for charity, saying on Twitter "the thirst from brands has been unreal" and reflecting the commercial interest hot titles draw.

The firm, which currently has no plans to take on external financing, hopes to bring the game to other platforms, Croft said.

By Sam Nussey


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM, INC. -0.05% 3503.82 Delayed Quote.7.58%
NINTENDO CO., LTD. -1.70% 64080 End-of-day quote.-2.66%
SONY GROUP CORPORATION -2.02% 10650 End-of-day quote.3.55%
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Financials
Sales 2021 8 866 B 79 974 M 79 974 M
Net income 2021 1 075 B 9 697 M 9 697 M
Net cash 2021 2 729 B 24 613 M 24 613 M
P/E ratio 2021 12,2x
Yield 2021 0,52%
Capitalization 13 196 B 119 B 119 B
EV / Sales 2021 1,18x
EV / Sales 2022 1,06x
Nbr of Employees 109 700
Free-Float 98,2%
Chart SONY GROUP CORPORATION
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Technical analysis trends SONY GROUP CORPORATION
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 22
Last Close Price 10 650,00 JPY
Average target price 14 466,32 JPY
Spread / Average Target 35,8%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Kenichiro Yoshida Co-Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Hiroki Totoki CFO, Director, VP & Head-Business Administration
Shuzo Sumi Co-Chairman
Adam Alexander Crozier Non-Executive Chairman
Toru Katsumoto Chief Technology Officer, Executive VP, Head-R&D
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