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Starbreeze's earnings drop during self-described 'expansive phase'

Starbreeze's earnings drop during self-described 'expansive phase'

November 16, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

Starbreeze Studios' latest earnings report shows the Swedish game company's fortunes are on the wane, the result of a self-described "expansive phase" of company-wide investment with the goal of hitting SEK 2 billion ($238.1 million USD) in revenues by 2020.  

The company reported a loss (before tax) of SEK 35.3 million ($4.2 million USD) on SEK 77.7 million ($9.2 million USD) in revenues generated during its third quarter, which ended in September. That's a bit of a drop from the same period last year, when the company reported SEK 11 million ($1.3 million USD) in profits on SEK 102.7 million ($12.23 million USD) in revenues.

Behaviour Interactive's Dead by Daylight accounted for the lion's share of the revenue this quarter, and the company announced today that the Starbreeze-published title (an asymmetrical horror game released last year on PC, this year on consoles) has sold 3 million copies since its debut last summer.

While Starbreeze's own Payday franchise took a back seat to Dead by Daylight in terms of overall sales, when you drill down into Starbreeze Games' (the company's in-house game dev division) financial performance it's Payday 2 that brought in the biggest piece of the division's revenues, which rose year-over-year by ~16 percent.

Looking ahead, Starbreeze's latest report is very clear about the company's intentions to expand and continue focusing on "games-as-a-service" projects that can be launched, then monitized over time with new updates.

"We will continue to develop games where the gameplay sets the stage for ongoing development and new updates for the lifetime of the game," reads an excerpt of the report. "Accordingly, our primary focus is to ensure that the organization has the capacity to develop major game titles while delivering a steady stream of new content that enhances previously released games to extend their lifetime. The plan is to have at least three parallel development teams and to optimize team staffing for ongoing game projects."

Also, here's some fun facts that Starbreeze (and not many other game companies) provides in its earnings release: at the end of its third quarter, the company reportedly had 303 employees -- 258 men and 45 women. The average number of full-time workers during the quarter was 290, and their average age was 34.

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