If you’re thinking of investing in gaming stocks in 2022, there’s no shortage of contenders to pick from. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Dec. 14, Fool.com contributors Demitri Kalogeropoulos, Asit Sharma, and Rachel Warren discuss one top gaming stock for investors to buy and hold for the long haul.
Demitri Kalogeropoulos: Quickly, my company is Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA). EA is the ticker symbol. You’re probably aware, this is one of the biggest video game developers on the market. It owns dozens of really massive global brands.
Some of their biggest are EA Sports, which is their separate franchise, but they own FIFA soccer franchise, Madden NFL, and they’ve got dozens of other hit franchises including Apex Legends is one of their biggest recent launches, that free-to-play Battle Royale video game franchise that has just so much engagement right now, captivated so many people.
I just want to throw out a few engagement numbers when we talk about the virtual universe and people spending time in there. EA has 500 million engaged users at its last count. It obviously got a big lift over the pandemic and the growth has slowed a bit, but it’s still growing compared to that huge number a year ago. Listen to this. This is from their recent conference call.
People spend over 130 million hours watching live-streaming content from Apex Legends on Twitch, that gaming service that allows you to watch players play live. 130 million hours in the last quarter. Obviously, that’s a really huge engagement figure.
They loved that. Another reason I like EA, I like the video game industry. Activision Blizzard is the only one I own in this space. But I like all these companies because video games are becoming more valuable to franchises, have really way longer life cycles than they used to have. It’s not one year. Activision has several titles that they released four or five years ago that still have huge engagement levels because they keep releasing content.
It’s more like our service now. People are signing up for these games in a subscription model versus just to pay one. It’s got a lot of the things you love about software-as-a-service in terms of what it does for cash flow and profitability. Companies like EA have already demonstrated that they can monetize this content really well.
Finally, another good reason to watch EA right now is because, as you may have heard, Activision Blizzard has been stumbling in a few ways in the last year, so they’ve got some management shakeup. They’ve got challenges around workplace safety and things like that that they’re trying to fix and they had to delay two really big games out of 2022, which is really uncharacteristic for the industry leader to do that.
EA meanwhile has said that our pipeline is completely set for 2022. We’ve got all our big stuff’s going to come out. It’s interesting to see that maybe EA has an opportunity to challenge the leader here for maybe the top spot in a few of these spaces. That we’ll be watching. The stock has trailed the market this year too. That’s just another reason to keep this one on your list.
Asit Sharma: Always intrigued by the gaming companies which have these franchises that they just seem to reap more and more out of or eke more out of each year. I shouldn’t even say that. The revenue growth is pretty impressive.
We need to give symbols, I forgot. Etsy, ETSY, Electronic Arts, EA, correct, Demitri on that one?
Demitri Kalogeropoulos: That’s right.
Asit Sharma: Wonderful. Any thoughts, Rachel, and we’ll move to mine? Go ahead.
Rachel Warren: Yeah. A couple of quick thoughts. The gaming industry is one I’ve been more recently acquainted with, but I don’t invest in stocks as of yet in that area.
But I was curious thinking about how Activision Blizzard is such a big competitor to EA. Obviously, Activision Blizzard has had its fair share of issues this past year. I was curious, what kind of a market share does Electronic Arts have?
Apparently, most recent stats show it has a 27% market share of the gaming industry compared to Activision Blizzard, which is about 31%, so slowly creeping up to that.
And the mobile gaming industry, things have slowed a little bit from where they were in pandemic highs. But mobile gaming industry, according to GlobalData, is still on track to be a $272 billion industry by 2030. Definitely a lot of opportunity in this space.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.