Puerto Rico has implemented a tax incentive plan which gives a 40 percent tax credit on salaries and production costs on projects with budgets of $100,000 or higher, and the first company to take advantage of it is an Juan-based Space Rhino Games The company is currently hard at work on Breach TD, a tower defense game that was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign in June.
Nintendo announced that the releases of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Amiibo on November 21 are already smashing successes. In fact the company has put these products as some of the best-selling properties in 2014.
Together Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire sold nearly 1.5 million copies during their first ten days of availability in the US at retail and through digital channels. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have performed even better in Japan, with 1.5 million copies sold in just three days.
New data from Superdata shows that November's digital sales revenues jumped 23 percent to hit the $1 billion mark (as reported on by GII). Superdata's monthly US digital games market update for November shows that Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains and sales helped significantly helped push US digital game revenues totals to $1 billion. This data includes mobile, PC, and console digital sales.
The PlayStation 4 has been outselling the Xbox One since February, but it looks like Microsoft might have finally broken that streak in the month of November - according to this Ars Technica report. Microsoft announced that the NPD retail sales data shows the Xbox One outsold the PS4 in both the US and the UK.
It looks like this year's Call of Duty is not faring as well as last year's Call of Duty, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson - as reported by Street Insider. Olson said the NPD Group's November US retail sales of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare were down 27 percent compared to last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts.
UK video games industry trade body Tiga says that games should officially be recognized as art. Speaking to BBC's Newsbeat program, Tiga CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said that video games should officially be classified as cultural products on the same level as Television, film, animation, etc.
The popular RPG platformer hybrid Shovel Knight has sold over 300,000 units. The announcement about this major milestone came from developer Yacht Club Games via Twitter.
Shovel Knight launched on 3DS, PC, and Wii U in North America this summer, but the game has only been out in Europe for about a month.
Microsoft has issued an apology to members of its Xbox Live Indie Games development community who have not been paid in the most recent round of payouts. The apology came after a member of the Destructoid community posted a rather scathing blog post about the situation, which was then shared across social media.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said today at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference that, while digital revenues are growing, some maybe overstating the impact revenues from digital sales have on a company's bottom line. Zelnick claims that Take-Two generates roughly 15 - 30 percent of its revenue from digital sales.
Electronic Arts says that the days of it acquiring developers and big franchises to be successful has had mixed results and is something the company plans on doing rarely moving forward. For every successful acquisition (BioWare, an DICE) there are a number of companies whose work did not flourish under the auspices of being an EA owned brand. EA has acquired many companies that were later shut down or turned into a brand like Mythic Entertainment and Pandemic.
According to analyst firm Infoscout, the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4 on Black Friday at retail. The firm claims that Microsoft's lower price point of around $50 gave the Xbox One an edge: it had 53 percent of total spend at retail, compared to the PS4's 31 percent. The Xbox One was also the top-selling console at both Walmart and Target, according to the firm.
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen says that while Sony has hit the ground running in the current generation of console wars with its PlayStation 4 console, he expects Microsoft is catching quickly.
"Clearly Sony has jumped out to a lead with a great console and I think a great pricing strategy," said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, but "Microsoft is catching up quickly."
While exact sales figures were not revealed, NPD Data for the month of October shows that the PlayStation 4 is the number one selling console in the US. Sony confirmed the position of its console via Twitter.
"The results are in, and PlayStation 4 is the top-selling console in the US for October! Thank you!," Sony wrote in a Twitter.
This week Microsoft announced that it has sold nearly 10 million Xbox One consoles since the system launched almost a year ago. The last time Microsoft revealed numbers on sales - way back in April - it said that its newest system had sold five million units.
Part of this growth is likely due two factors: the unbundling of the Kinect and a holiday price cut that runs until January of 2015. That price cut puts the system - including several bundles that include games - down to $349 - about $50 less than a PS4.
A new report released by the Entertainment Software Association (the trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry in the United States), details the healthy state of the computer and video game industry in Texas, which it says grew by nearly 16 percent from 2009 to 2012.
The ESA report also revealed that the video games industry added $764 million to the state's economy and the number of video game-related companies doing business in Texas grew from 80 in 2009 to 127 in 2012.
According to this Gamasutra report, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have thrown their support behind video game industry personality Geoff Keighley's The Game Awards. The new annual awards show is a replacement of sorts for Spike TV's Video Game Awards and will be produced and hosted by Keighley.
While Microsoft's Xbox division has closed its Xbox Entertainment Studios, there is one property it produced that will see the light of day near the end of this month. Microsoft announced today that the Atari: Game Over documentary will be released on November 20. The project between Microsoft and Lightbox will debut on Xbox Live and xboxvideo.com. The film chronicles the quest of film makers to either prove or disprove an urban myth: that a massive graveyard of old Atari 2600 cartridges existed in a New Mexico dessert. Spoiler alert: it's true.
Speaking on Major Nelson's podcast recently, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says that the Xbox One price cut that went to effect today and runs until January of 2015 helps the company compete against Sony's PS4 during the holiday shopping season.
"The pricing that's going to run through the holidays is a big move for us. I think it's a good time for us to go in, and, let's just say it--compete," Spencer said during the latest Major Nelson Radio podcast.
While Sony is "killing it" with PlayStation 4 hardware sales, the company's latest financial results show that the company (overall) was not profitable in its most recent fiscal quarter. A 176 billion yen ($1.59 billion) impairment charge of goodwill against its mobile business caused these losses, according to the company. Sony's game business (Playstation family hardware and software) actually saw an increases in both sales and operating income, thanks to PlayStation 4 hardware and software sales.
Ubisoft announced today that it has shipped (or "sold in") more than nine million copies of its hacking-themed action game Watch Dog since it launched. The news was part of the French publisher's latest financial report. Two-thirds of total Watch Dogs sales (to retailers) came from the Xbox One, PS4, and PC versions, according to the company.
Microsoft announced this morning that - from Nov. 4 to January 3 - it will knock $50 off the price of all Xbox One units being sold at select retail outlets in the United States. This follows a price cut in the UK last month. This price reduction will be available at leading retailers including Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us, Walmart and Microsoft stores.
Microsoft says that it has sold more than 60 million Halo titles worldwide since the franchise debuted on the original Xbox thirteen years ago - Halo: Combat Evolved. This number is up substantially from the 50 million sold milestone announced in December of 2012.
That massive figure includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo Wars, Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Microsoft also claims that gamers have played various Halo titles for more than 6 billion hours on Xbox Live over the years.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is making the rounds in Silicon Valley this week, according to Politico's Morning Tech.
According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, the Xbox One outsold the PS4 at retail during the month of September. According to GamesBeat, the outspoken analyst estimates that Microsoft sold 325,000 new Xbox Ones at U.S. retail last month, while Sony sold 250,000 PS4s.
If Pachter's estimates hold up (retail numbers for the month of September will be released on Thursday), September will be the very first month since launch that the Xbox One has beaten the PS4 at retail.
According to ICO Partners analyst Thomas Bidaux, game-related Kickstarter campaigns are set to generate half as much money in 2014 as they did in 2013. Last year video game-related campaigns generated an impressive $58 million in pledged funding. But in the first half of 2014 only $13.5 million has been pledged. Bidaux expects about $27 million will be pledged by the time 2014 is over.