• Pre-orders for the game currently exceed 870,000
  • Google Play trials show users spent $36 on in-app purchases
  • ESH introduce ‘custom match-making’ in Fortnite tournaments

Shares in iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI) jumped again in morning trade, after the company announced strong trial results on Google Play for its new Masketeers game.

September has been a good month for the mobile gaming platform, after the stock doubled last week on the back of a new capital raising announcement.

After starting the month at 2.4 cents, another 15 per cent gain this morning saw ICI shares rise to their highest level since April 2019:

The Masketeers

ICI’s new game release, Masketeers: Idle Has Fallen, is one of four development projects the company first announced back in July last year.

Now slated for an October release, ICI said pre-orders for the game currently exceed 870,000, a new record high for the business.

ICI also said it got promising results from a trial run of the game on Google Play in which 80,000 gamers participated, which indicated stronger market performance than Crab War, currently the most successful game in the company’s portfolio.

The company said “Day-1” retention rates — an industry-standard measure for consumer behaviour — hit as high as 40 per cent.

Like most of the games in ICI’s portfolio, Masketeers is free to download with a revenue model based on in-game purchases and mobile advertising.

For customers that made an in-game purchase in the trial run, iCandy said their average spend was $US25.99 (~$36).

Average advertising revenue per user amounted to US46c in the USA (ICI’s core market) and US25c outside of the US.

Compared to Crab War, which has generated around $3.5m for the company to-date, those indicative figures represent “approximately two times (2x) potential in in-game purchase and in-game advertising”.

The operational update follows a big week on the capital markets, after ICI scaled back $5m of bids to complete a $1.2m share placement priced at 2c per share last Tuesday.

That raise saw the stock promptly double, and ICI followed up with an additional announcement yesterday — raising $1.2m from a new strategic investor at 4.5c per share.

The new investor, Acorn Managed Investments Pty Ltd, is led by digital marketing specialist Joseph Sedmark, who “will work closely with the Management of iCandy to enhance its digital marketing capabilities”, the company said.

In other gaming news…

Online tournament platform eSports Mogul (ASX:ESH) had an operational update, announcing it has built out the functionality on its Fortnite tournament series.

The company said it will introduce “custom match-making” to enhance the user experience for its gamers, and allow Mogul’s partner brands to deliver exclusive tournament content and other streaming features. Shares in ESH were unchanged at 1.4c.