Long-time Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton is leaving the company, on March 31, 2014. According to what SCEA tells GamesIndustry International, it was mutually agreed to that Tretton's contract would not be renewed. Shawn Layden, the current SCEA executive vice president and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International will become President and CEO of SCEA on April 1. Tretton has worked for SCEA since 2005.
Funcom reported less-than-stellar revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013, citing a drop in the performance of its MMO, The Secret World. In the quarter that ended December 31, 2013 Funcom reported $4.3 million in revenue, down from the $7.8 million it generated in the same period a year earlier. Funcom's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $233,000, down from $2 million the prior year. The company also reported a $4.2 million impairment on The Secret World and its underlying technology due to a decrease in its projected revenue.
OnLive isn't back because it never left, but it is making headlines today by introducing several new services that it hopes can get it back on top of the video game streaming heap. First the company revealed that former IGN chief Mark Jung is its new executive chairman, and that it has launched OnLive Go and CloudLift. It has been working on this new technology since 2012 when the company fired most of its staff, sold itself to an investment firm and reformed under the same name.
Danish developer Interceptor has bought 3D Realms, according to this Eurogamer report. Initially there was some confusion because the company said it bought Apogee Software LTD. The new Apogee - a separate company doing business under the name Apogee Software LLC - denied the report. This caused Interceptor CEO Frederik Schreiber to later clarify on Twitter.
Putting aside the fact that the Arizona law that would allow businesses to refuse services to gays and lesbians is likely unconstitutional, critics are saying that it will also hurt the state's ability to engage in commerce across state lines, damage local businesses who do not want to refuse service to anyone and will be lumped in with those who do, and may cause companies who want to bring jobs to the state to find somewhere else to go (either they are publicly opposed to the bill or do not want to be associated with the state or its controversial legislation).
Speaking to MCV today, Marks & Clerk trademark attorney Aidan Clarke says that King did the logical thing when it tried to trademark "Candy" in the United States with the USPTO. Clarke said that the company would be "mad" not to make such a move to protect its intellectual property.
According to what Majesco Chief Financial Officer Michael Vesey has told Joystiq today, the company will fend off a Nasdaq stock exchange delisting by launching a reverse stock split in April. Majesco has not been in compliance with Nasdaq rules which require that companies trading on the exchange maintain a minimum price per share of at least $1. The company has not been in compliance with that rule since March of 2013.
More details have emerged on what Sega plans to do with Atlus and its parent company, Japan-based Index. Sega acquired the original North American publisher of Tactics Ogre, Disgaea, Steambot Chronicles, Trauma Center, the Persona series, and many other popular Japanese games in September 2013 in a deal that cost the company an estimated $140 million.
Candy Crush Saga maker King has filed the paperwork to become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company has filed an application to register with the Stock Exchange under the name King Digital Entertainment, in an IPO that some believe is worth upwards of $500 million.
Nexon's newly appointed CEO Owen Mahoney tells Reuters that his company is keen on acquiring North American IP to gain a better footing in Western markets. Nexon runs the still-popular MOO Maple Story and plenty of other online free-to-play titles.
According to a research note from Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter to investors, game sales dipped 20 percent on the weakness of current generation sales in the month of January. Pachter is making his predictions ahead of the NPD Groups' retail report for the month of January. When those numbers are released on Thursday, Pachter says that they will show that retail software sales fell 20 percent in January to around $300 million - down 20 percent from the $373 million generated in the same period a year ago.
Sony's games division (which covers PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, and PlayStation Network) recorded sales and operating revenue of 441.8 billion yen (or $4.35 billion USD) for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013. That's a 64.6 percent year-on-year increase thanks to the launch of the PlayStation 4 in major markets around the world last November.
Here's an odd but true story. Online retailer and Kindle Fire maker Amazon has acquired Killer Instinct creator Double Helix for an undisclosed amount of cash. The Irvine, California-based company that created Killer Instinct for the Xbox One console, was founded in 2007 through the merger of The Collective and Shiny Entertainment. The company currently employs around 75 people, who will continue to operate out of their Orange County offices, according to TechCrunch.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is reporting that Disney Interactive is getting ready to lay off several hundred employees from its global workforce. The layoffs are expected to begin shortly after the company releases its latest quarterly results - which will happen tomorrow. Currently the company employs about 3,000 people across various studios.
Publisher Take-Two Interactive released financial results for its fiscal third quarter ending December 31, 2013, revealing that it raked in a whopping $578 million in profits. The company attributed the lion's share of this profit to its latest game in the popular Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto V.
The PC version of Minecraft has passed the 14 million copies sold mark, according to Mojang co-founder and game creator Markus 'Notch' Persson. Over the weekend Persson tweeted the latest milestone for his hit building game. That's up from the number of 13 million in sales by the end of December 2013.
Mojang also recently announced sales of 10 million copies of the Xbox 360 version and one million copies of the PlayStation 3 version. The PS3 version hit that impressive milestone after only five weeks of availability on the platform.
Norwegian MMO developer and publisher Funcom is under investigation for insider trading, according to this Eurogamer report. According to the report, staff were sent home today as Norwegian authorities collected documents related to an investigation into insider trading, though specific details about the investigation remain unknown as of this writing. Funcom's stock has also been temporarily frozen on the Oslo stock market.
EA COO Peter Moore says that weaker sales of Battlefield 4 on last generation consoles are due to the turbulence of the console transition and not 'quality issues' that plagued the game's launch. EA announced last night that next-gen software sales were robust, but not strong enough to offset a massive decline in last-generation software during the holiday season.
Electronic Arts announced financial results for the fiscal third quarter of 2013 that ended on Dec. 31. The company said that sales of next-generation software (PS4, Xbox One) were robust, but not enough to offset a massive decline in last generation software sales (PS3, Xbox 360). EA said that it was the number one third-party publisher of next-generation software, taking a 35 percent market share during the holiday season.
Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online expects to rake in around $1.2 billion in revenue this year, and because it keeps its overhead low, it expects to keep about $700 million of that figure after expenses. These numbers are from CEO Kazuki Morishita, who recently spoke with CNN Fortune about the company's runaway hit game and business in general.
He attributes at least some of his company's success to his experience as a Manzai artist and stand-up comedian - believe it or not.
Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo has raised $40 million in a brand new round of funding, the company announced this week. The money, which it earned the old fashioned way (not through crowdfunding, but soliciting investments from high profile lenders), will be spent to expand its business globally, and allow it to better support mobile platforms. Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin also wants to use the money to raise the funding engine's profile worldwide. Indiegogo raised the $40 million from Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Microsoft has purchased the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, much like it did with Halo. The company now owns the franchise and all previous versions of the game. The Globe and Mail has all the details on the deal, including the fact that Microsoft's Vancouver-based studio, Black Tusk Studios, will be in charge of the franchise moving forward.
Disney's game and toy tie-up Disney Infinity has managed to sell through three million "starter packs" according to the New York Times. The game launched in August of 2013 and managed to move three million units. Starter packs come with the game, an Infinity Base peripheral, three character figures, three Play Sets, one Disc and unique Web codes for online and mobile content. The Xbox 360 version of the starter pack starts at right around $80.
On Friday Nintendo projected that it would take a $240 million net loss for the fiscal year ending in March on weak holiday sales of its Wii U console and related software, and scaled back its sales projections for its home console and its 3DS hand-held. This morning the company is seeing the effects of that news in its stock price, according to this BBC report.
Publisher Majesco released results for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2013 as well as for the full year, and it is not good news. For the quarter, the Zumba publisher said that net revenues were down a whopping 62 percent to $10.1 million, with a net loss of $4.6 million. For the full fiscal year, Majesco's net revenues declined 64 percent to $47.3 million, leading to an operating loss of $12.6 million.
GameStop said today that it generated $3.15 billion in total worldwide sales over the nine-week holiday shopping season of 2013. The numbers represent a 9.3 increase over the same period a year ago, which can be directly attributed to new consoles and new console software sales. In fact, GameStop said that hardware sales were up 99.8 percent over the same period a year ago. Go figure.
Dave Roberts, chief executive of Electronic Arts’ PopCap Games division, will retire next week, according to a GamesBeat report. Roberts, who joined the company almost nine years ago will officially exit the company on January 8, with PopCap co-founder John Vechey taking over the job of CEO at the Seattle-based studio responsible for the Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled franchises.