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GLUU > SEC Filings for GLUU > Form 10-K on 15-Mar-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-K for GLU MOBILE INC


Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

You should read the following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included in Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this report. In addition to our historical consolidated financial information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in this report, particularly in Item 1A, "Risk Factors."

Our Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") includes the following sections:

An Overview that discusses at a high level our operating results and some of the trends that affect our business;

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates that we believe are important to understanding the assumptions and judgments underlying our financial statements;

Recent Accounting Pronouncements;

Results of Operations, including a more detailed discussion of our revenues and expenses; and

Liquidity and Capital Resources, which discusses key aspects of our statements of cash flows, changes in our balance sheets and our financial commitments.


This overview provides a high-level discussion of our operating results and some of the trends that affect our business. We believe that an understanding of these trends is important to understand our financial results for fiscal 2012, as well as our future prospects. We do not intend this summary to be exhaustive, or to be a substitute for the detailed discussion and analysis provided elsewhere in this report, including our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes.

Financial Results and Trends

Revenues for 2012 were $87.5 million, a 32% increase from 2011, in which we reported revenues of $66.2 million. This increase was primarily due to a significant increase in revenues that we generated from our games that we publish for smartphones and tablet devices, such as Apple's iPhone and iPad and mobile devices utilizing Google's Android operating system, such as Samsung's Galaxy product line and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Our smartphone revenues increased from $35.1 million in 2011 to $74.4 million in 2012, and our feature phone revenues declined from $31.1 million in 2011 to $13.1 million in 2012. We believe that the migration of users from feature phones to smartphone devices will continue during 2013 and for the foreseeable future as consumers increasingly upgrade their mobile phones. Accordingly, we have concentrated our product development efforts exclusively towards developing new titles for smartphones, tablets and other advanced platforms, such as the Mac App Store and Google Chrome, and intend to continue to devote significantly fewer resources towards selling games for feature phones in future periods.

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The significant majority of our smartphone revenues have historically been derived from Apple's iOS platform, which accounted for 54.0% of our total revenues in 2012 compared with 34.0% of our total revenues in 2011. We received the majority of these iOS-related revenues directly from Apple, which represented 35.7% of our total revenues in 2012 compared with 20.7% of our total revenues in 2011, with the balance of our iOS-related revenues generated from offers and advertisements in games distributed on the Apple App Store. In addition, we generated approximately 25.5% and 11.0% of our total revenues in 2012 and 2011, respectively, from the Android platform, of which 17.6% and 6.8% we received directly from Google for distribution of our games through the Google Play store and the balance of which we received from other platforms that distribute apps that run the Android operating system (e.g., the Amazon App Store). We expect the percentage of our total revenues that we derive from each of Apple and Google to increase in 2013.

To increase our revenues we must continue to execute on our strategy of becoming the leading developer and publisher of freemium games for smartphones, tablets and other advanced platforms. Freemium games are games that a player can download and play for free, but which allow players to access a variety of additional content and features for a fee and to engage with various advertisements and offers that generate revenues for us. Because our games can be downloaded and played for free, we are able to more quickly build a significantly larger customer base than we could if we charged users an upfront fee for downloading our games, which was our previous feature phone business model.

However, for us to continue to execute on our strategy, we must improve our monetization of our players. We believe that deep monetization is one of the primary areas in which we must be proficient to succeed in the mobile gaming industry in 2013 and beyond. Accordingly, we have implemented a number of measures designed to improve our game monetization These include: (1) hiring a number of new personnel with monetization expertise, (2) including new categories of games in our planned 2013 product portfolio that often have higher monetization rates than our single-player focused action/adventure and casual games (such as role-playing games and real-time strategy games), and
(3) including deeper "meta game" functionality in our games, by which we mean increasing the player's ability to continue to create content or otherwise invest in the game outside the core gameplay loop, which we believe should result in increased player retention.

In addition, our revenues will continue to depend significantly on growth in the mobile games market, our ability to successfully compete against a continually increasing number of developers and the overall strength of the economy, particularly in the United States. Our revenues also depend on maintaining our continued good relationship with the digital storefront operators, primarily Apple and Google, each of whom could unilaterally alter their terms of service in ways that could harm our business. For example, Apple has beginning in the second quarter of 2011 made several changes to its app store developer agreement relating to privacy and our ability to include certain types of third-party advertising in our games. These changes have in the past, and may in the future, negatively impact our smartphone revenues.

Our net loss in 2012 was $20.5 million versus a net loss of $21.1 million in 2011. This decrease in our net loss was primarily due to an increase in revenues of $21.3 million due to continued growth in sales of our smartphone games, a decrease in our cost of revenues of $5.6 million due to a decrease in royalty-burdened revenues as we continued to focus on developing games based on our own original intellectual property, and a decrease in our tax provision of $2.6 million due primarily to the expiration of statutes of limitations in certain jurisdictions and the subsequent release of uncertain tax provisions. These favorable factors were partially offset by an increase in operating expenses of $27.8 million driven by additional personnel and facility costs associated with the acquisitions of Griptonite, Blammo and GameSpy, increased research and development and sales and marketing expenses associated with the developing and launching our freemium titles, goodwill impairment charge in our APAC reporting unit and additional contingent consideration expense related to the Blammo acquisition. We also had increased expense in our other income and expenses of $1.1 million related primarily to unfavorable foreign exchange movements in 2012 compared to 2011. Our operating results were also affected by fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates of the currencies in which we incurred meaningful operating expenses (principally the British Pound Sterling, Euro, Chinese Renminbi, Brazilian Real and Russian Ruble), and our customers' reporting currencies, and these currencies fluctuated significantly in 2012 and 2011.

Our ability to attain and sustain profitability depends not only on our ability to grow our revenues, but also on the extent to which we must incur additional operating expenses to grow our business. The largest component of our recurring expenses is personnel costs, which consist of salaries, benefits and incentive compensation, including bonuses and stock-based compensation. We significantly increased our spending on sales and marketing initiatives in 2012 from 2011 in connection with the launch and promotion of our freemium games, and we anticipate that our sales and marketing expenditures will continue to increase during 2013, since advertising costs in our industry have generally been rising. We expect that the restructuring measures we implemented during in the fourth quarter of 2012, which primarily consisted of headcount reductions in our Kirkland studio and winding down our studio in Brazil, will enable us to hire additional personnel with monetization expertise without increasing our overall research and development expenses. Overall, we expect our operating expenses to slightly increase in 2013 from 2012, so we must significantly grow our revenues from current levels to achieve profitability.

Cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2012 totaled $22.3 million, a decrease of $9.9 million from the $32.2 million balance at December 31, 2011. This decrease was primarily due to the $5.0 million in cash we used to purchase the Deer Hunter brand assets, $6.7 million of cash used in operations and $2.0 million of capital expenditures. These outflows were partially offset by $3.2 million of proceeds received from warrant exercises, option exercises and purchases under our employee stock purchase program and $913,000 of cash received from the GameSpy acquisition. We expect to have cash and cash equivalents of at least $14.0 million at December 31, 2013.

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Key Operating Metrics

We manage our smartphone business by tracking various non-financial operating metrics that give us insight into user behavior in our freemium and premium smartphone games. The three metrics that we use most frequently are Daily Active Users (DAU), Monthly Active Users (MAU), and Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). Our methodology for calculating DAU, MAU and ARPDAU may differ from the methodology used by other companies to calculate similar metrics.

DAU is the number of individuals who played a particular smartphone game - either premium or freemium - on a particular day. An individual who plays two different games on the same day is counted as two active users for that day when we aggregate DAU across games. In addition, an individual who plays the same game on two different devices during the same day (e.g., an iPhone and an iPad) is also counted as two active users for each such day when we average or aggregate DAU over time. Average DAU for a particular period is the average of the DAUs for each day during that period. We use DAU as a measure of player engagement with the titles that our players have downloaded.

MAU is the number of individuals who played a particular smartphone game - either premium or freemium - in the month for which we are calculating the metric. An individual who plays two different games in the same month is counted as two active users for that month when we aggregate MAU across games. In addition, an individual who plays the same game on two different devices during the same month (e.g., an iPhone and an iPad) is also counted as two active users for each such month when we average or aggregate MAU over time. Average MAU for a particular period is the average of the MAUs for each month during that period. We use the ratio between DAU and MAU as a measure of player retention.

ARPDAU is the total freemium smartphone revenue - consisting of micro-transactions, advertisements and offers - for the measurement period divided by the number of days in the measurement period divided by the DAU for the measurement period. ARPDAU reflects game monetization. Revenues for purposes of our ARPDAU calculation are our freemium revenues from micro-transactions and offers. Under our revenue recognition policy, we recognize these revenues over the estimated average playing period of a user, but our methodology for calculating our DAU does not align with our revenue recognition policy for micro-transactions and offers, under which we defer revenues. For example, if a title is introduced in the last month of a quarter, we defer a substantial portion of the micro-transaction and offer revenue to future months, but the entire DAU for the newly released title is included in the month of launch.

We calculate DAU, MAU and ARPDAU for only our primary distribution platforms, such as Apple's App Store, the Google Play Store, Amazon's Appstore and the Mac App Store; we are not able to calculate these metrics across all of our distribution channels. In addition, the platforms that we include for purposes of this calculation have changed over time, and we expect that they will continue to change as our business evolves, but we do not expect that we will adjust prior metrics to take any such additions or deletions of distribution platforms into account. We believe that calculating these metrics for only our primary distribution platforms at a given period is generally representative of the metrics for all of our distribution platforms. Moreover, we rely on the data analytics software that we incorporate into our games to calculate and report the DAU, MAU and ARPDAU of our games, and we make certain adjustments to the analytics data to address inconsistencies between the information as reported and our DAU and MAU calculation methodology.

The table below sets forth our aggregate DAU, MAU and ARPDAU for all of our then-active smartphone titles for the periods specified, followed by a qualitative discussion of the changes in these metrics. Aggregate DAU and MAU include users of both our freemium and premium titles, whereas aggregate ARPDAU is calculated based only on revenues from our freemium games. Aggregate DAU and MAU for each period presented represents the aggregate metric for the last month of the period. For example, DAU for the three months ended December 31, 2012 is aggregate daily DAU for the month of December 2012 calculated for all active smartphone freemium and premium titles in that month across the distribution platforms for which we calculate the metric. In addition, in the fourth quarter of 2011, we changed our methodology for calculating DAU and MAU to more accurately reflect these metrics. This change increased our fourth quarter 2011 DAU and MAU by less than 5% over the prior methodology, and the information for the first three quarters of 2011 has not been adjusted to reflect the methodology change.

                                                                                       For the Three Months Ended
                                                                2011                                                                2012
                                   March 31       June 30        September 30        December 31       March 31       June 30        September 30        December 31
                                                                                (In thousands, except aggregate ARPDAU)
Aggregate DAU                            953         1,639               2,103              2,873          3,218         3,412               3,835              3,535
Aggregate MAU                         11,882        16,516              22,090             31,363         29,814        29,034              37,675             34,795
Aggregate ARPDAU                   $    0.04      $   0.05      $         0.04      $        0.03      $    0.05      $   0.06      $         0.05      $        0.05

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Each of our aggregate DAU and MAU have generally increased sequentially from quarter to quarter because we have released more freemium games and expanded our portfolio of titles. Our aggregate ARPDAU has fluctuated slightly quarter to quarter primarily based on the ARPDAU performance of new titles released during the quarter. For the most recent quarter-to-quarter comparison, each of aggregate DAU and MAU decreased from September 30, 2012 to December 31, 2012 primarily because we released only four new freemium titles during the fourth quarter of 2012 - Contract Killer 2, Contract Killer Zombies 2, Death Dome and Dragon Slayer - compared with 11 titles released during the third quarter of 2012 and additionally due to decreases in these metrics for our catalog of previously released titles. These decreases were partially offset by increases to DAU and MAU attributable to Eternity Warriors 2, Contract Killer 2 and Contract Killer Zombies 2. Our aggregate ARPDAU remained relatively flat from September 30, 2012 to December 31, 2012 since higher ARPDAU from titles released during the fourth quarter were offset by declines in ARPDAU in our catalog titles. The ratios between DAU and MAU (that is, DAU divided by MAU) decreased due to poor player retention on both our catalog of previously released titles and newly released titles that were not generating meaningful revenues; in general, increases in the ratio between DAU and MAU indicate better player retention.

Each of our aggregate DAU, MAU and ARPDAU increased from December 31, 2011 to December 31, 2012. Aggregate DAU and MAU increased primarily due to increased downloads related to the introduction of 21 new freemium titles during 2012, and aggregate ARPDAU increased due to higher revenues associated with those 21 new titles, which supplemented the revenues that we received from certain of the more popular games in our catalog of existing titles. These increases were partially offset by declines in aggregate DAU, MAU and ARPDAU for our catalog titles, primarily because we are no longer releasing content updates for them. Future increases in our aggregate DAU, MAU and ARPDAU will depend on our ability to retain current players, attract new paying players, launch new games and expand into new markets and distribution platforms.

Significant Transactions

Acquisition of GameSpy

On August 2, 2012, we completed the acquisition of GameSpy from IGN Entertainment, Inc., or IGN, by issuing to IGN 600,000 shares of our common stock, of which 90,000 shares will be held in escrow until November 2, 2013 as security to satisfy indemnification claims.

Purchase of the Deer Hunter Brand Assets

On April 1, 2012, we acquired from Atari, Inc. its Deer Hunter trademark and associated domain names and also took a license to the other intellectual property associated with the Deer Hunter brand for total consideration of $5.0 million in cash.

Acquisition of Griptonite

On August 1, 2011, we completed the acquisition of Griptonite from Foundation 9 Entertainment, Inc., or Foundation 9, by issuing 6,106,015 shares of our common stock to Foundation 9. In addition, we may be required to issue up to an additional 5,301,919 shares or in specified circumstances pay additional cash to satisfy indemnification obligations in the case of, among other things, breaches of our representations, warranties and covenants in the merger agreement.

Acquisition of Blammo

On August 1, 2011, we completed the acquisition of Blammo by entering into a Share Purchase Agreement among Glu, Blammo and the owners of Blammo's outstanding share capital (the "Sellers"). Under the Share Purchase Agreement we purchased all of the Blammo share capital, and we (1) issued to the Sellers an aggregate 1,000,000 shares of our common stock and (2) agreed to issue to the Sellers up to an aggregate of an additional 3,312,937 shares of our common stock (the "Additional Shares") if Blammo achieves certain baseline and upside net revenue targets during the years ending March 31, 2013 (up to 909,091 Additional Shares), March 31, 2014 (up to 1,250,000 Additional Shares) and March 31, 2015 (up to 1,153,846 Additional Shares).

Public Offering

In January 2011, we completed the a public offering in which we sold an aggregate of 8,414,635 shares of our common stock at a price to the public of $2.05 per share for net proceeds of approximately $15.7 million after underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. The underwriters of the 2011 Public Offering were Roth Capital Partners, LLC, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Merriman Capital, Inc. and Northland Capital Markets.

Private Placement

In August 2010, we completed a private placement of our common stock in which we issued and sold to certain investors an aggregate of 13,495,000 shares of common stock at $1.00 per share and warrants exercisable to purchase up to 6,747,500 shares of common stock at $1.50 per share for initial net proceeds of approximately $13.2 million (excluding any proceeds we may receive upon exercise of the warrants).

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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. These accounting principles require us to make certain estimates and judgments that can affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the dates of the consolidated financial statements, the disclosure of contingencies as of the dates of the consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the periods presented. Although we believe that our estimates and judgments are reasonable under the circumstances existing at the time these estimates and judgments are made, actual results may differ from those estimates, which could affect our consolidated financial statements.

We believe the following to be critical accounting policies because they are important to the portrayal of our financial condition or results of operations and they require critical management estimates and judgments about matters that are uncertain:

revenue recognition;

fair value;

business combinations - purchase accounting;

long-lived assets;


stock-based compensation; and

income taxes.

Revenue Recognition

We generate revenues through the sale of our games on traditional feature phones and smartphones and tablets, such as Apple's iPhone and iPad and other mobile devices utilizing Google's Android operating system. Smartphone games are distributed primarily through digital storefronts, such as the Apple App Store, and feature phone games are distributed primarily through wireless carriers.

Smartphone revenue

We distribute our games for smartphones and tablets on digital storefronts such as the Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. Within these storefronts, users can download our freemium games and pay to acquire virtual currency which is redeemed in the game for virtual goods. We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the service has been provided to the user, the price paid by the user is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. Determining whether and when some of these criteria have been satisfied requires judgments that may have a significant impact on the timing and amount of revenue we report in each period. For the purpose of determining when the service has been provided to the player, we have determined that an implied obligation exists to the paying user to continue displaying the purchased virtual goods within the game over the virtual goods' estimated useful lives.

We sell both consumable and durable virtual goods, and we receive reports from digital storefronts, such as the Apple App Store, which breakdown the various purchases made in our games for a given time period. We review these reports and determine on a per-item basis whether the purchase was a consumable virtual good or a durable virtual good. Consumable goods are items consumed at a predetermined time or otherwise have limitations on repeated use, while durable goods are items accessible to the user over an extended period of time. Our revenues from consumable virtual goods have been immaterial since we launched our first freemium title in the fourth quarter of 2010. We recognize revenue from the sale of virtual currency and other virtual items ratably over the estimated average playing period of paying users, which has generally been three months. If a new game is launched and only a limited period of paying player data is available, then we also consider other qualitative factors, such as the playing patterns for paying users for other games with similar characteristics. Where we do not have the ability to differentiate revenues from durable and consumable virtual goods, all revenues are deferred ratably over the average playing period of paying users.

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We compute our estimated average playing period of paying users at least once each year, and more frequently if qualitative evidence exists that would indicate a possible change in estimated average playing life, including consideration of changes in the characteristics of games. We have examined the playing patterns of paying users across a representative sample of our games including both the action-adventure and casual genres. To compute the estimated average playing period for paying users, we consider the initial purchase date as the player's starting point. We then group the daily populations of paying players (the "daily cohort") from the date of their first purchase within the game and track each daily cohort to understand the number of players from each daily cohort who played the game after the initial purchase. To determine the ending point of a paying player's life beyond the date for which observable data is available, we extrapolate the actual observed attrition rate for each daily cohort. For this extrapolation we use the actual observed attrition percentages for each daily cohort in each of the games in our sample and forecast future declines based on the continuation of the attrition trend line from the actual observed player data. We then compute a weighted average using this larger dataset (actual observed attrition + extrapolated attrition) to arrive at the weighted-average playing period of paying users for each game. We then compute a revenue-based weighted average of the estimated playing period across all of the games in the sample to arrive at the overall weighted average playing period of paying users. We apply this weighted average playing period for all paying users to all of our games because the computed weighted average playing period for each game is generally consistent across all of our games analyzed. While we believe our estimates to be reasonable based on available game player information, we may revise such estimates in the future as the games' operation periods change. Any adjustments arising from changes in the estimates of the lives of these virtual goods would be applied prospectively on the basis that such changes are caused by new information indicating a change in game player behavior patterns. Any changes in our estimates of useful lives of these virtual goods may result in revenues being recognized on a basis different from prior periods' and may cause our operating results to fluctuate.

We also have relationships with certain advertising service providers for advertisements within our smartphone games and revenue from these advertisers is generated through impressions, click-throughs, banner ads and offers. Revenue is . . .

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