Glu Mobile freemium transaction revenues grow


Glu Mobile announced smartphone gaming revenues increased 192 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to year-ago totals, signaling the publisher's sixth consecutive quarter of freemium smartphone revenue growth.

Glu reported first-quarter smartphone revenues of $17.4 million. Freemium revenues derived from in-game micro-transactions, offers and advertisements surged 242 percent to $16 million, up from $4.7 million in the first quarter of 2011.

"In Q1, Android revenues were approximately 30 percent of total freemium revenues," said Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi on the company's earnings call. "Glu's strength on the Android platform enabled two titles in Q1, Stardom and Samurai vs. Zombies, to achieve significantly higher total revenues on Android than iOS."

De Masi added that 89 percent of first-quarter smartphone revenues were derived from Glu-owned IP. Last month, the publisher acquired the Deer Hunter game trademark and license from Atari, releasing Deer Hunter Reloaded a few weeks later. De Masi added that Glu is on pace to launch 23 new titles throughout the course of 2012, including Mutant Road Kill, Tavern Quest and Summer Camp, all coming in July. 

Glu registered total first-quarter revenues of $21.5 million, up from $16.4 million in the year-ago period. The firm's revenue gains offset operating losses of $6.0 million, up from $2.6 million in the first quarter of 2011, credited to restructuring charges and related costs associated with the August 2011 acquisition of gaming startup Blammo.

Glu's revenue growth is likely to renew speculation the company is ripe for acquisition. Analysts and investors have considered Glu a viable merger candidate since social gaming giant Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) scooped up Draw Something maker OMGPOP for $180 million.

"[Glu happens] to be in the right space at the right time," Daniel Niles, senior portfolio manager at AlphaOne Capital Partners, told Bloomberg in late March. "If you're looking at this and saying 'I know I need to get into the freemium business, and I'd like exposure to the fastest growing pieces of that--which are the guys that produce stuff for cell phones and tablets,' this is a logical candidate that's also not that expensive."

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