Is Tetris Worth $137 Million?


jamdat mobileNow I love Tetris as much as the next guy, but I won’t pay $137 million for it. But Jamdat would, and did! MobilePlaya points out that “Tetris could be the perfect mobile game,” and lauds the Jamdats’s $137 million purchase of Blue Lava Wireless. The deal gives Jamdat a 15-year worldwide license for all Tetris properties. Jamdat is flush with cash these days it seems.

The company pre-announced Q1 2005 revenues of approximately $15.0 million, a 30% sequential increase over the fourth quarter 2004 (prior guidance said $14.1 million) The Company expects GAAP and adjusted diluted earnings per share to be above previous guidance as well. (When was the last time a company did that!) The main reason – sharp increase in game downloads world wide, especially on CDMA and EV-DO platforms.

The downloadable games market is going to be about a billion dollars in 2005. According to M:Metrics, nearly 33 percent of US wireless subscribers play a game on their handset at least once a month, nearly 10 percent play at least once a week. Jamdat has an estimated 25 percent of the US market, owning the pole position. Arcade puzzle games represent 33 percent of all the wireless games played–hence everyone’s sudden interest in titles like Tetris.



where do you get your data on jamdat? i look at the public filings and i see a very different picture: they indeed get ~$12MM rev/qtr, but they lose money on that revenue, or barely break even (see their P&L). More important, they are gushing cash — they had negative cash fklow of $6MM in Q4’04 (see their cash flow statement). Finally, they are diluting ~50% to buy Blue Lava, and forking out nearly their entire cash reserve ($60MM — see their most recent balance sheet).

I wish these guys well, but jeez louise, the froth and hype surrounding cel phone games is a bit scary.

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