WHO ARE WE:
Keywords Studios is an international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry. Established in 1998, and now with over 70 facilities in 23 countries strategically located in Asia, Australia, the Americas and Europe, it provides integrated art creation, marketing services, game development, testing, localization, audio and player support services across more than 50 languages and 16 games platforms to a blue-chip client base of over 950 clients across the globe.
WHAT WE DO:
Keywords Studios has a strong market position, providing services to 23 of the top 25 most prominent games companies. Across the games and entertainment industry, clients include Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Konami, Microsoft, Netflix, Riot Games, Square Enix, Supercell, TakeTwo, Tencent and Ubisoft.
Usually operating under framework agreements, our clients can easily award work to us, project after project, for a single service or multiple services, for a specific geography or globally. We provide our services on a time and materials basis, billing in the month for the work done in the month.
We are structured in globally managed services lines which are supported by regional and country-based general management teams. We currently have 8 service lines that provide support to our clients at various stages along the lifecycle of games, from concept to live operations support:
- Art Services – we are a leading producer of video game graphical art, including concept art, 2D and 3D art asset production and animation on behalf of game developers
- Marketing Services – we are at the early stages of building our marketing platform that provides game trailers, marketing art and materials, PR and full brand campaign strategies
- Game Development – our largest service line, provides external development services to game developers and publishers including full game development, co-development, porting and general software engineering consultancy
- Audio Services – we provide multi-language voiceover recording, original language voice production, music management, sound effects and related services for the video games industry, film and TV
- Functionality QA – we provide quality assurance, including test games for defects and compliance with hardware manufacturers’ and distribution platforms specifications
- Localization – we lead the world in video game translation of in-game text, audio scripts, cultural and local adaptation, accreditation, packaging and marketing materials in over 50 languages
- Localization QA – we test for out of context translations, truncations, overlaps, spelling, grammar, age rating issues, geopolitical and cultural sensitivities, and console manufacturer compliance
- Player Support – we provide multilingual customer support delivered in-game and on-digital community and social platforms, where we ensure our customers have a safe player environment
OUR INVESTMENT CASE:
Keywords is better placed than ever to continue to capture an increasing share of our robustly growing market, by deepening our relationships with customers who already trust us with their high value IP, having significantly extended our services and geographical reach during the year.
Access to a dynamic growth market – Keywords has minimal direct exposure to the successes or failures of individual game titles. Our focus on content means we are platform agnostic and well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by mobile gaming, cloud streaming, next generation consoles and AR/VR. The increasing sophistication of games and the development of new platforms all add to the complexity of the video games market which is driving demand for larger, professional, outsourced specialists, such as Keywords, in a highly fragmented supplier market.
Market leading position – As a digitally native company, providing technology-enabled services, Keywords has a market leading position as the only global provider of fully integrated outsourced creative and technical services to the global video games industry. With an industry reputation for quality, reliability and flexibility, our scale and reputation mean we are well placed to take advantage of the trend for customers to move to more collaborative partnerships with fewer, larger suppliers.
Strong growth record – We continue to deliver strong organic revenue growth as we benefit from both the growth in the video games industry and the trend towards greater outsourcing of our services. In addition, we have successfully completed over 50 acquisitions since IPO. Recent acquisitions have bolstered our capabilities, particularly in Game Development and Marketing services, while bringing us even closer to our customers around the world.
Opportunity to grow further – Having made strong progress in extending the Group’s client base, market penetration, geographic footprint and service lines, we are now beginning to realise the significant potential for increased cross-pollination of our service lines and geographic locations, including taking advantage of our dual-shore capabilities which enable us to be close to our customers and provide services from lower cost studios, as we increasingly become a strategic partner to our customers.
A strong business model – Keywords’ flexible resourcing and charging model, with charges levied for time or output, combined with relatively low working capital and capital expenditure requirements, support our ability to grow the business whilst also achieving strong underlying cash conversion. Our business model also provides an opportunity to invest in the exciting video games market, without the risk of exposure to the successes or failures of individual game titles.
Adjacent market potential – Our expertise in providing outsourced solutions to the video games industry is already being sought after in adjacent markets such as film and television, and Keywords is well placed to deliver this. Video games represent the pinnacle of interactive content. Our mastery of this most interactive of content forms positions us well as other forms of content continually seek ways to be more interactive and engaging.
Complementary to the Group’s organic growth opportunities, the Directors will continue to consider selective acquisitions in line with its objective to become the “go-to” technical and creative services provider to the video games industry and beyond. Since its IPO in June 2013, the Group has successfully made a number of acquisitions which have significantly extended its geographic reach, capacity and expertise. The Directors maintain a healthy pipeline of selected acquisition candidates which are considered value enhancing where they enlarge the Group’s client base, market penetration and / or service lines and where the Group can use its existing expertise, multi-service platform, scale and global reach to generate synergies and increase profitability. The Group may also consider acquisitions or joint ventures which provide a platform for it to take its core technical expertise into new, adjacent markets such as, E-learning, film dubbing and subtitle services, online gambling and other markets where interactive content is increasingly being developed using game engine technology.
* – NewZoo 2021 Global Games Market Report