CEO’s Review H1/2019

Next Games continued to strongly focus on renewing its operations during the first half. We successfully completed the first step of the three-step turnaround project; balancing and stabilizing the company’s cost structure to a new level. 

The company previously communicated that it aims to achieve a monthly fixed cost level of approximately 1.1 – 1.2 million euros. The cost savings program was successfully implemented and we achieved a 1.2 million euro fixed cost level during the second quarter. The company’s profitability continued to improve during the second quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was -0.5 million euros during Q2 2019, whereas it was still -1.3. million euros in Q1 2019. The company’s long term goal towards remaining consistently cash flow neutral has therefore proceeded as planned. 

Next Games revenue grew 83% compared to January-June 2018 and 65% compared to  April-June 2018 period. Our World achieved another record-breaking in-app purchase ARPDAU of 0.34 Euros in June. The game still experienced challenges with retention however, and thus the marketing investment level was on a higher level than the company’s objectives. The team now focuses on improving the game’s retention and further developing the product.

In order to achieve revenue growth, the company has actively developed it advertisement revenue model. The company implemented video ads, similar to No Man’s Land, to Our World mid-June 2019. Additionally, the company has piloted an innovative location-based ad solution for Our World with a significant global partner with promising preliminary results during the first half of 2019. 

The second step of the turnaround plan, rebuilding the company’s product development pipeline according to its new focus, has started off well. Our new operating model focuses on reusing existing technology and code, which has the potential to significantly reduce product development times. The collaboration with Netflix on a mobile game based on the Stranger Things series, that received significant international media attention after its announcement in July, has been built utilizing the new practices. The company has continued active discussions over potential collaboration with other significant international license holders. 

Thanks to the renewed game development process, the company has initiated multiple new projects in the prototyping and concepting phase. It’s important to have a robust early development pipeline, as it’s typical for the mobile games industry that only a portion of the games in development are published to the market. At the moment, 46% of the company’s personnel works on live games and 42% on new projects.

Third, and the final step of our turnaround project, is to secure additional funding for future investments such as new product development and marketing. Thanks to the stabilized business operations, the company is in a good place to continue assessing alternatives to strengthen its financial position.

I would like to warmly thank our staff and our board of directors for the extraordinary contribution to achieve the turnaround this far. I am especially pleased about the enthusiasm surrounding the building of our new product portfolio.

Teemu Huuhtanen