Video game engagement continues to grow and that could mean big returns for investors interested in the space, Samantha Greenberg, chief investment officer and managing partner at Margate Capital Management, told CNBC.
As technology expands so will video content, products, virtual reality, special events and video game tournaments. These are just some of the ways the industry is turning into a “recurring revenue model” and capitalizing on increased demand, Greenberg said.
“That means that the initial purchase of a game is just the beginning of a game’s monetization,” Greenberg said Wednesday on “Closing Bell.”
Whereas the industry “used to be a very hit-driven business tied to new game releases,” she said, now investors have a “more predictable and valuable earnings stream.”
Gamers around the world will likely spend around $138 billion on games this year, according to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report. The market research firm tracks usage and trends of video games, mobile and e-sports. The figure represents a 13.3 percent increase year over year, or an extra $16.2 billion.
And Greenberg predicts the trend will only accelerate, as engagement grows with young people and on college campuses. She said more than half of teenagers play video games and for several hours each day. Video games are also cheaper to consume than cable television or going to the movies, she said.
Greenberg declared Take-Two Interactive, a video game holding company, as her best stock idea during CNBC’s eighth annual Delivering Alpha conference in New York Wednesday.
Take-Two Interactive is up more than 60 percent in the last 12 months. Greenberg said valuations for the company will continue to rise and set a best-case price target for the company of $176. That’s an increase of nearly 40 percent from current levels.
Another company to watch, Greenberg said, is privately held Epic Games, developer of last year’s Fortnite Battle Royale game.
The buzz around Fortnite has continued strong. Greenberg said that’s because the game “hit on the zeitgeist of what appeals to tweens and teens,” with its cartoonish look and elements of pop culture.
In fact, she said, the game is “training an entire user base on in-game monetization and continual purchases, even after you’ve downloaded the initial game.”