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Moshi Monsters Maker Mind Candy Fears For Future As Debt Repayments Loom

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/12083103/Moshi-Monsters-maker-Mind-Candy-fears-for-future-as-debt-repayments-loom.html

Mind Candy, the developer behind the children’s online game Moshi Monsters, is seeking a delay to loan repayments over fears its future is threatened by mounting losses.

The company said it was in negotiations with its lender, the technology start-up specialist TriplePoint, to push back the first repayment on a loan it took out in 2014.

The bill is due in July and Mind Candy said that if it is forced to begin paying the £6.5m at an interest rate of 12pc there may be “significant doubt over the company’s ability to continue as a going concern” if sales do not improve.

In documents filed at Companies House it added: “The company has a good relationship with the lender.

“In the event that the negotiations are not successful or that the company cannot generate sufficient revenues then the company would be unable to continue within the current finances available to them and, therefore, require [a] further cash injection to continue operational existence.”

Mind Candy’s financing problems were revealed as the plunge in popularity of Moshi Monsters was laid bare in accounts covering the calendar year 2014.

Revenues, mostly drawn from subscriptions to the online game and licensed toys, fell by more than half to £13.2m. Losses ballooned from £2.2m in 2013 to more than £14m in 2014.

At the peak of the Moshi Monsters craze in 2012, Mind Candy’s turnover topped £46m and it delivered an £8m profit.

.......

Once more another company crippled by debt. At 12% interest that's doubling your money in just under 6 years. So in 2012 they made £8m in profit and someone decided to lend them money and seek repayment of £6.5m which equates to roughly 80% of that profit. Not much margin for error on those figures.

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Erm ... TriplePoint (aka TotallyPointless) rings a bell. Basically a hedge fund accessed through a series of VCT wrappers to get tax breaks, pushing the boundaries of the rules but still regularly losing money for investors.

Never looked in to it myself, but I think the original proposition may have been that the probably-loss-making investments are the price of getting the tax breaks.

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Guest eight

yeah keep an eye on rovio too and a coupel of others they have one big hit and expect it to last but fads are tapering off faster than ever.

Hopefully BTL included.

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WOW, that's a surprise, fads go out of fashion. Better come up with another fad ASAP Mr Genius.
yeah keep an eye on rovio too and a couple of others they have one big hit and expect it to last but fads are tapering off faster than ever.

Exactly, most of these companies got lucky with one good idea and don't even know how or why it happened. I have to laugh at people giving them tons of money and expecting them to keep producing massive hits. For example, Activision paying nearly £4bn for King (Candy Crush)

http://uk.businessinsider.com/candy-crush-creator-king-avoids-becoming-rovio-2015-11

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£4bn isn't a lot of money to Activision. They were worried about all the hype surrounding King.com etc and didn't want to risk passing up the opportunity to invest now rather than seeing King potentially eat them for lunch in a few years time.

Of course to the layman it was obvious all along, but multinational companies squander cash willy nilly.

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The business model for the games industry is fooked right now.

The technology has come back to bedroom developers where some bloke with a mate can make the next billion dollar hit. The older companies think just throwing a few hundred million at a game will make it a hit but the market seems to be fragmenting and disintegrating. Even the sure thing stuff is falling flat on its face. People are tired of COD now and dare I say it but the people who are going to survive this will be the creative risk takers. Big companies like EA or Activision are very much lost at the moment relying on the same tired franchises and abusing staff to an even greater level. This has led to literally hundreds of new startups as folk chuck in the job and go it on there own.

The only thing that matters in this industry is the talent and letting them do there thing and this is an ever decreasing pool of people. The actual numbe rof talented people who can make a good game is not that many, even although the game credits may list hundreds your probably looking at 30 key guys who got it done.

Look at the current rumblings in Konami and Nintendo as two examples of the current chaos. Activision are just panic buying stuff in a hope to secure there position. I dont know if any industry this big has ever had so much chaos and uncertainty.

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The business to be in is the "infrastructure", and let people make the content for free.

What was it, Facebook the biggest social network, that makes no content

Amazon the largest retailer, that carries no stock.

Money Supermarket, one of the largest comparison websites, that provides no financial services.

Minecraft, one the most popular games, it provides the tools, and lets the players create the mods and maps.

---

Buy to let you see but you see in gaming. Why throw 10m into developing a game that might not be a success, but the infrastructure you seek the rent, year after year.

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The business to be in is the "infrastructure", and let people make the content for free.

Yes, but you either have to be in at the beginning or have an absolute ton of money to fight your way in to compete with those whoe already have the infrastructure - look at Myspace, only anough room for one infrastructure company in that particular niche - pretty bad odds expecting to be the unicorn company.

The problem this market is so fast moving - what works one year won't necessarily work the next. Amazon used to be great for small or independent publishers, now they don't seem to get a look in. If your product does not get seen it does not sell quick enough to get you up the charts. Same with mobile games - the thrend is for the top slots to be taken by the big publishers as they have the marketing budgets to shoehorn their way to the top.

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I think the current rate of breaking even on a mobile game is only 1 in 10. Rovios Developers made over 40 games before they had a hit with angry birds but now they are all out of ideas.

Like anything its high risk high reward, it is very rare now to find someone who has consistent success in relation to how much they spend.Sega Nintendo Konami THQ were all topdogs and now they are either bust or in all sorts of trouble.

Activision will go the same way. One of the main failings they have is when success comes they expand like crazy and hire loads of folk creating massive unnecessary overheads.

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Not really surprised to be honest. If the founder had any sense they should have cashed out and left a bigger company/greater fool carrying the baby. Nothing as fickle as kids - and the years coming up below them tend not to adopt the same fads. 

The last time I heard about moshi monsters was several years ago when a friend's daughter was around 10. She's now closer to 16 - and has zero interest in virtual pets. 

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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