Business

Wargaming, Stardock, and Rebellion Score Big IP from Atari Auction

July 22, 2013 -

New U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents obtained by Gamasutra reveals some of the companies that managed to successfully bid on various Atari franchises that were being sold off at auction as the company liquidates its assets as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Report: Vivendi May Make Activision Blizzard Pay Special Dividend

July 22, 2013 -

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Vivendi may force Activision Blizzard to pay a special dividend that would give the company $2 - $3 billion to help it pay down some of its debt. The company's board will discuss the move at a regular meeting on Monday and may seek Activison's board members to approve it at a meeting later this week, WSJ claims in its report. Since six of eleven Activision board members are from the Vivendi group or its units such a vote would likely be approved.

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Bankruptcy Court Approves THQ's Liquidation Plan

July 17, 2013 -

THQ as a company will soon be gone. For all intents and purposes THQ has been dead for several months, but this week a U.S. bankruptcy court approved liquidation plans. Earlier this year THQ sold off assets including intellectual property and studios from its massive studio system. U.S. bankruptcy court judge Mary F. Walrath officially ended the company's bankruptcy case this week, by approving the company's plans to liquidate and pay creditors the cash that remained.

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Julie Larson-Green to Lead Xbox Division and More

July 11, 2013 -

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer detailed a sweeping restructuring plan in an internal email to employees. In the memo Ballmer said that Microsoft will be organized by function within four groups: OS, Apps, Cloud and Devices.

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Microsoft Pitches Xbox One to Small Businesses

July 11, 2013 -

Microsoft thinks that every small business should spend money on an Xbox One.

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inXile Signs Distribution Deal with Deep Silver for Wasteland 2

July 11, 2013 -

Developer inXile Entertainment and publisher Deep Silver signed a distribution deal for inXile’s crowd-funded computer role-playing game Wasteland 2. inXile is developing Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, both funded via highly successful Kickstarter campaigns. inXile Entertainment says that this deal allows the studio to focus on the creative aspects of developing the game, while Deep Silver will handle the retail release of the game and the physical good fulfillment for the Kickstarter backers.

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Linden Labs Acquires Desura

July 10, 2013 -

Linden Labs - best known for creating the sandbox virtual playground Second Life, has purchased digital distribution platform Desura for an undisclosed amount of money. Linden Labs did not say exactly why they purchased the platform, but one would guess that it was an easy way for the company to get into the business of digitally distributing games.

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Activision CEO Second Highest Paid Executive in America in 2012

July 1, 2013 -

A New York Times report detailing executive pay for the top companies in the United States shows an increase that the median 2012 pay package came in at $15.1 million a leap of 16 percent from 2011. But the more interesting aspect of the report is who is on top. It should be noted that when the NYT says executive pay that includes any bonuses, benefits and salary - and sometimes these bonuses are spread out over multiple years.

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Atlus at Risk as Parent Company's Future is Uncertain

June 27, 2013 -

Publisher Atlus has an uncertain future today as its parent company in Japan, Index, wrestles with what seems like an insurmountable amount of debt. According to a CNet Japan report, Index has filed for civil rehabilitation proceedings as it faces bankruptcy. The company owes an estimated ¥24.5 billion - roughly $224 million - in debt and its current president Ochiai Yoshimi has hinted that he will resign soon.

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Oculus VR Raises $16 Million for Virtual Reality Hardware

June 18, 2013 -

Oculus VR has secured $16 million in its first round of funding as the company moves towards bringing its virtual reality hardware technology to the masses. According to reports from Panodaily and AllThingsD the series A funding round was led by Spark Capital and Matrix Partners.

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BMO: Next-Generation Future Will Bring a Sustained Period of Growth

June 14, 2013 -

With E3 over, equity research firm BMO Capital Markets offers its perspective on all the big players and the industry as a whole going forward. According to BMO analyst Edward Williams the video games industry has earned an overall rating of "outperform." In a note to investors Williams says that the interactive entertainment industry is on the cusp of a "period of sustained growth."

Williams comes to this conclusion based on the press events this week at E3 which fully revealed two new consoles and a healthy line-up of games for them.

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Analyst: Sony Wins at E3

June 13, 2013 -

Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated analyst Colin Sebastian offered his E3 Expo wrap-up report to investors, saying the Sony's PlayStation 4 was the clear winner at the trade show which ends in a few hours.

Sebastian said that after meeting with multiple publishers and evaluating all of this year's E3 press conferences, his firm remains cautiously optimistic on the sector. He said that platform holders still need to offer a compelling reason to upgrade, and a clear value proposition for mainstream audiences.

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THQ Details Asset Sales Transactions in SEC Filing

June 6, 2013 -

In a FORM 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), bankrupt game publisher THQ disclosed that certain transactions that were the result of a massive asset auction have closed. The company also disclosed particulars on the current employment of its interim president Edward L. Kaufman.

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Atari Seeks Permission to Hold Asset Auctions in July from Bankruptcy Court

May 23, 2013 -

Atari Inc., the US division of French parent company Atari S.A., has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court for permission to auction off its assets in July. The assets include the Atari logo, the Test Drive, Asteroids, Pong, Total Annihilation, and Rollercoaster Tycoon franchises.

Atari filed for bankruptcy in January and tried to solicit bids for its entire catalog, but the 15 offers it received were deemed unacceptable. Now the company hopes to divide its assets up and sell them separately in hopes of generating more cash to pay down its debtors.

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Sony Considers Suggestion for Entertainment Division IPO

May 22, 2013 -

Bloomberg is reporting that, under pressure from its shareholders, Sony executives and board members have decided to discuss billionaire Daniel Loeb’s proposal for an initial public offering of its entertainment business. Loeb's firm Third Point owns a fair share of Sony stock, giving him some influence over what Sony does.

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Report: Activision Blizzard Interested in Buying Back Some of Vivendi's Holdings in Company

May 15, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard majority stakeholder Vivendi is still interested in selling off the 61.2 percent it owns in the company but according to the Wall Street Journal, Activision Blizzard would like to buy back some of it. The WSJ reports that Activision Blizzard management is interested in using some of the cash reserves it has managed to stockpile to buy back at least some of what Vivendi owns. This is probably a good idea since Vivendi has been looking to offload its stake in the company since last year.

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Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Encourages Sony to Spin Off Entertainment, Sell Insurance Divisions

May 14, 2013 -

An interesting story in the New York Times (as unearthed by Develop) reveals that a hedge fund manager that controls billions in investment in Sony has suggested that the company break up parts of the company.

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Report: TimeGate Lays Off Entire Staff

May 9, 2013 -

According to this Kotaku report citing two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation, TimeGate Studios has laid off its entire staff. The developer behind Section 8 and the co-developer of Aliens: Colonial Marines sent everyone home early today according to the sources.

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TimeGate Studios Files for Bankruptcy Protection

May 2, 2013 -

Aliens: Colonial Marines co-developer and Section 8 developer TimeGate Studios has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas Southern Bankruptcy Court, according to court documents obtained by Polygon.

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More Than 10 Million Copies of Minecraft - Pocket Edition Sold To-Date

May 2, 2013 -

Minecraft developer Mojang announced that Minecraft - Pocket Edition for Android and iOS devices, has sold more than 10 million copies to-date. The portable version of Mojang's popular sandbox building game joins other versions of the game - PC and XBLA which have sold millions upon millions of copies to-date. It just goes to show that people never get tired of a game that is decent and is constantly updated by its creators.

"We are very thankful to all the support that we have gotten and people playing and talking about our game," said Mojang's Daniel Kaplan.

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Sony Executives to Give Back Bonuses for Second Year in a Row

May 2, 2013 -

According to this Bloomberg report Sony executives have agreed to forgo salary bonuses for the second year in a row following another year of less than stellar profits from the electronics giant. According to a Sony spokesperson (speaking to Bloomberg), around 40 of the company's executives will return bonuses scheduled to be paid out following a general shareholders meeting this June.

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T-Mobile Completes Acquisition of MetroPCS

May 1, 2013 -

The Associated Press is reporting that the country's fourth largest mobile carrier T-Mobile USA has completed the acquisition of rival mobile phone carrier MetroPCS. T-Mobile will add the company's estimated 9 million customers to its own 34 million users. While T-Mobile has no plans to make any immediate changes, the company does plan on shutting down MetroPCS’s network over the next two years.

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Bobby Kotick: The $65 Million Dollar Man

April 29, 2013 -

Update: A representative for Activision points out that Bloomberg has updated its original story, and that because Activision is a public company it has to account for compensation in the year it is granted, even though the amount of performance-based compensation Kotick would receive under the new agreement he signed in 2012 would be vested over a five year period. Here's the update from the Bloomberg story we sourced:

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EA Acknowledges Layoffs in Statement, Avoids Numbers

April 25, 2013 -

Electronic Arts released a short statement today confirming that layoffs are happening across the company on a worldwide basis, but did not give any specific details on any of its decisions in the last month:

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Report: German Browser Game Operator Travian Lays Off 60 Employees

April 24, 2013 -

German browser games operator Travian has laid off up to 60 employees due to "internal restructuring," according to a GamesIndustry International report - as reported by its German sister site. Multiple sources have confirmed the move with GII's German reporter during the Quo Vadis event, which is taking place this week in Berlin.

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Satoru Iwata to Absorb Nintendo of America CEO Role

April 24, 2013 -

With the current chairman of Nintendo of America, Tatsumi Kimishima, set to move over to his new position as managing director of Nintendo Co. Ltd. - assuming shareholders approve the move (which they likely will), Nintendo wants to move its global president Satoru Iwata into the role. More specifically he will absorb Kimishima's current responsibilities as the CEO of Nintendo of America. Nintendo of America president and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime isn't going anywhere, and will remain in his current positions, reporting directly to Iwata.

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Nintendo Records Fiscal Year Loss

April 24, 2013 -

Nintendo released its earnings report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, revealing that it had taken a loss much like it did in the last fiscal year. Nintendo recorded a 36.4 billion yen operating loss ($366 million) for the fiscal year, with less than expected sales of the Wii U continue to have a "negative impact on Nintendo's profits." Thanks to a depreciation of the yen, Nintendo's net income was 7 billion yen ($71 million). Net sales for the year were forecast at 635.4 billion yen ($6.38 billion), down from the year before.

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Microsoft: Xbox Live Subscriptions Hit 48 Million

April 19, 2013 -

During its Q3 earnings report, Microsoft announced that Xbox live subscriptions have reached 46 million worldwide - an 18 percent increase from last year - and that it has sold 1.3 million consoles over the past three months - down nine percent from the same period a year ago. Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division revenues rose 56 percent to $253 million despite the drop in console sales.

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Capcom Revises FY Forecast Due to 'Special Loss' from Game Cancelations

April 18, 2013 -

Capcom is blaming development projects overseas for a revised financial forecast that takes into account a special loss due to game cancellations. The company said today that it will take a $73 million hit from cancelling various projects. The company also said that it will be making more of its games in-house due to a "drop in quality" from outsourcing projects to Western studios...

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IBM Executives to Lobby Hard for CISPA

April 15, 2013 -

According to The Hill, IBM - as a strong supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) - will send over 100 executives to Washington D.C. to hold nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers over a two-day period.

"We’re going to put our shoe leather where our mouth is," Chris Padilla, vice president of governmental affairs at IBM, told The Hill.

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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