Interim report Q4 2017
Below questions about the interim report that has been posted to Starbreeze. Latest update: 19 February 2018.
Q: What’s the latest on Geminose?
A: Geminose is on track to exclusively premiere on Nintendo Switch. Work is progressing and wrapping up with the porting, what’s even more important is that we’re working closely with Nintendo to hit the right release window. Also, you might see an all new VR LBE light version including your favourite Geminose’s in Dubai…!
Q: What are your expectations for PAYDAY 2 on the Switch considering how well the console itself seems to be performing?
A: We’re following the official reporting and it certainly looks impressive. We believe that PAYDAY 2 suits the platform well, but it is a young platform and the game is after all soon five years old. We’re very excited to take our heisting on the go and hope that our community feels the same.
CORRECTION to the Stream: The Switch content included is up to the Most Wanted console update. See the latest update from our marketing team where we describe the included content in detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unR5c3z08AA
Q: PAYDAY for the Switch, will Joy come to other platforms?
A: Yes! She will indeed, she’s a “timed exclusive” for the Switch, meaning she’ll appear on both PC and other consoles in due time.
Q: Are you planning to release more titles on Switch?
A: We’re always investigating other potential releases and platform expansions.
Q: Where’s PAYDAY CrimeWar (mobile)?
A: In my pocket on my phone! Jokes aside, the soft launch in select territories will happen soon.
Q: You sign on independent developers and they might still be called “independent”. I always thought that independent meant a developer that doesn’t have a publisher. What is your definition of an independent developer?
A: A studio who’s in control of their own destiny, in most cases meaning IP. No one’s best at everything and being a 5-100 person studio making great games doesn’t mean your great at physical distribution for example. But if you own your IP, you are free to work with who you want and more on your own terms. We learnt this with PAYDAY ourselves, and we’re transferring this knowledge to our Publishing partners. This is why we like to present ourself as the “Good Publisher”.
Q: Which products will Starbreeze display on E3?
A: We don’t want to spoil the fun, but we might show a game starting with “O” and ending with “TWD”.
Q: So, will OTWD be a story-driven or open world game?
A: A co-op game, which basically means neither. You will play mission based assignments in co-op.
Q: How come we haven’t seen a gameplay for OTWD yet?
A: We have a marketing plan set and leading up to release this autumn you will progressively see more and more of the game, including gameplay and the other main characters.
Q: What’s the status for Crossfire?
A: The game is in pre-production. Please see the release list on our website for the latest official communication of status of our projects: https://www.starbreeze.com/starbreeze-games/games-release-schedule/
Q: Could you give an update on the Smilegate platform?
A: The progress of the distribution platform and the communication whereof is owned by Smilegate.
Q: Are you working with the IP for Assault on Mythos that was part of the acquisition of Orange Grove Media?
A: Please see the release list on our website for the latest official communication of status of our projects: https://www.starbreeze.com/starbreeze-games/games-release-schedule/
Q: Does Starbreeze have any plans on entering the e-sport scene?
A: We have no active spoken strategy for e-sports and our own games primarily live in the co-op space of gameplay. But we’re of course always open for new possibilities should there be a fit with one of our games.
Q: Are there any new acquisitions on Starbreeze Agenda?
A: We are now focusing on polishing our organization, returning to profitability and delivering on our portfolio, so no major expansions are being planned at the moment. But we cannot preclude supplementary acquisitions of skills, technology or geographical presence.
Q: When will the VR Park in Dubai open?
A: Soon! Honestly, we’re dying to talk more about the park but it’s up to our partner EMAAR to communicate.
Q: What experiences will be available in the VR Park in Dubai?
A: Some of the one’s you’ve heard of, some new! We’ll announce more information with our partner. When this will happen is decided by EMAAR.
Q: When does Enterspace in Stockholm open?
A: We’ve focused our resources and Dubai is first priority, seeing that we’re deploying over 100 VR stations in the Park. Enterspace at Sveavägen is directly next in line for the final tech implementation as soon as the Dubai VR Park is open.
Q: Are Starbreeze planning to keep the patents regarding StarVR even if an IPO for StarVR Corporation would be realized?
A: We only in discussion with Acer and no decisions has been made.
Q: Could you explain how you are planning on making money in Dubai?
A: Starbreeze receives 20-25 % of the revenues from ticket sale in the VR Park. The business model will at opening be a ticket per experience type of model.
Q: When will the StarVR headset go to mass production?
A: Due to the increase in demand for the headset (through customers like SEGA and the partnership for the VR Park in Dubai), the StarVR HMD is already in serial production, in its current generation. The next generation headset that will include eyetracking will be presented in 2018, and StarVR Corporation will announce further updates in line with becoming more of an independent company.
Q: How will you see Eyetracking being utilised in VR in the future? How will it increase immersion?
A: FOVATED Rendering, where the technology enables you to know where the person is looking.
Q: What’s the status about the Tobii Eyetracking for your VR HMD?
A: The next generation headset that will include eyetracking will be presented in 2018 and more information about the next generation HMD will come from StarVR Corporation.
Q: Why is the write down for RAID only SEK 20 million? Wouldn’t it be better to pull the bandaid?
A: All impairment tests are based on the future cash flows of the underlying asset. The tests are renewed every quarter. In this case the underlying assets, RAID World War II, was tested and per 31 December 2017 the projections for RAID resulted in an impairment loss of 20,2 MSEK. Also depreciation plans can be updated and changed for an asset / game investment due to changes of the game’s anticipated economic lifetime.
Q: Total cash flow for the quarter was SEK -197,7 million. What has it been spent on?
A: The significant part is related to the production of OTWD and Crossfire. In the segment reporting for Starbreeze Games you’ll find the amount, 60.2 MSEK for Capitalised development cost. Roughly, the rest of the amount in Capitalised game development cost in the cash flow statement are investments in our publishing business i.e 50 MSEK. In the cash flow statement there is 42.8 MSEK in Purchase of property plan and equipment which is investments in IT and tech and investments in the VR venues in Dubai and Stockholm. The third more substantial investment done during the quarter is 59.4 MSEK for the shares in Dhruva.
Q: What kind of costs does other external expenses consist of?
A: Everything else that aren’t employee related or currency related.