Even though Activision warned (earlier in the year) that it expected this year's iteration of the Call of Duty series to be down compared to last year's Black Ops II because of the transition to new console systems, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz is sounding alarm bells with investors today. The analyst noted that sales of the franchise year-over-year are down 19 percent and could ultimately be down a lot lower than that for the life of the title.
Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga are the top iPhone and iPad apps of 2013, according to Apple's annual year-end report on its free and paid apps for its iOS devices.
On both the free iPhone and iPad charts, Candy Crush Saga was the king of the hill, while paid apps on both platforms were ruled by Mojang's pocket edition of Minecraft.
Both games beat out some pretty powerful competition including YouTube, Google Maps, Skype, and even Instagram.
The full list can be found below:
Top 10 Free iPhone Apps
Oculus VR has raised $75 million to help complete the consumer version of the Rift virtual reality gaming headset. Venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz helped find most of the Series B funding money, which comes from Spark Capital, Matrix Partners and Formation|8. This injection of cash follows $16 million in Series A funding the company received in June of this year, $2.4 million in crowdfunding generated from its highly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012, and direct sales of more than 30,000 development kits.
As the supposed console war kicks off, it looks like Sony has a slight edge over Microsoft. According to data released by retail research firm NPD Group, the PS4 edged out the Xbox One in sales, but Microsoft says it won a battle on a different front during the launch window for the next-gen consoles. More PS4 software was sold as well during the period, but more sales of PS4 consoles and software makes sense given that the system went on sale a week before the Xbox One did in North America.
According to a brief report in Tax News the French government is pushing to reform the country's video games tax credit (known as the CIJV). French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti, Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, and Innovation Minister Fleur Pellerin, have all embraced the French National Assembly's adoption of plans to reform the country's video games tax credit (CIJV).
A new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) claims that video games, video game systems, and accessories are the most wanted items for the 2013 holiday season. according to the report, approximately 79 million Americans intend to purchase video games during the holiday season, according to new market research and analysis.
Microsoft said today that it has sold more than two million Xbox One consoles worldwide in a little over two weeks since the system launched on Nov. 22.
Sony said earlier in the month that it had managed to move 2.1 million hardware units in roughly the same timeframe after it launched a week before the Xbox One. The Xbox One launched in 13 regions, while the PS4 only launched in the U.S. and Canada to begin with, and was subsequently released in multiple other regions two weeks later.
According to a Wall Street Journal report (membership required), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent a considerable amount of money and effort in fighting anti-videogame laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey - and in Oklahoma last year. Many of the bills have either died or are locked in legislative committees waiting for approval.
The ESA is also taking aim at a federal bill, according to records and a co-sponsor of the bill.
PS4 sales are outpacing Xbox One sales in Spain, according to PlayStation Spain and Portugal CEO James Armstrong. Armstrong claims that the PS4 is outselling Xbox One by more than three units to one. The console has sold about 80,000 units in Spain since the European PS4 release date of November 29, he also claims. Armstrong said that the company is working hard to fulfill another 12,000 - 15,000 pre-orders that have yet to be met due to supply constraints.
Rakuten, owner of the UK-based games retailer Play.com, claims that Nintendo’s Wii U has seen a 75 percent sales spike in October. The company predicts that Wii U and iPad will be more popular than Xbox One and PS4 amongst children during the holiday season. The company also cites a Twitter analysis that comes to the conclusion that its Wii U and iPad range are "the most talked about presents for children this Christmas."
Gamasutra has the exclusive scoop on the Stardock Staffing Company, a new unit put together by Galactic Civilizations developer Stardock. Thaw company announced earlier this year that it had put together a multi-million dollar fund called the Stardock Investment Fund, with the goal of using it to invest in "promising, small companies."
Capcom announced that the latest title in its Monster Hunter series has helped push the franchise to 28 million units sold to date. In October, Capcom said that the franchise had sold 26 million units total. It also revealed that the latest game in the series - Monster Hunter 4 - had sold four million copies since its release in September. The 3DS game has only been released in Japan. That four million figure included sales of the downloadable version and is up from the three million figure announced in October.
DFC Intelligence predicts that the global market for video game software on console systems will grow by right around 30 percent to somewhere in the neighborhood of $22 to $23 billion a year from 2016 to 2018. This figure includes revenue from game software from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, but excludes additional revenue these platforms will receive from non-gaming sources such as streaming video.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter estimates that Sony, who has promised "substantial resupplies" of the PlayStation 4 consoles in North America before the end of 2013, is making one million units per month. Pachter says that Sony is shipping about one million units to North America per month, with about half of those units going to retailer GameStop.
Sony says that it has sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide since its launch in North America on November 15. The company claims that it sold one million PS4s in its first 24 hours of availability in the United States and 250,000 units in its first 24 hours in the United Kingdom. The PS4 is currently available in 32 territories.
Microsoft fared considerably better than Sony on Black Friday, according to data analysts InfoScout. The firm claims that Xbox One was the highest selling console during the period, comprising 31 percent of total hardware sales. The Xbox 360 also fared pretty well, grabbing a 30 percent share resulting in a joint Microsoft lead of 60 percent. Joint sales of the PS3 and PS4 amounted to 30 percent share in sales total, while sales of the Wii U and Wii combined was 7 percent.
EA Studios executive vice president Patrick Soderlund predicts that the life cycle of the newest consoles from Sony and Microsoft will not be as long as the last console cycle (which has not ended yet) Soderlund says that he expects the PS4 and Xbox One console cycle to last for five to six years. Soderlund, who is in charge of EA's console and PC games development, also said that the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation "may have gone on a little bit longer than I would have wanted."
Research firm NPD Group has released a new report called Q3 2013 Games Market Dynamics: U.S., which details the spending habits of video game consumers in the United States during the third quarter of this year. The report notes that $3.45 billion was spent on games in Q3 2013. Around $1.30 billion of that total was spent on physical game software, while $1.75 billion was spent on digital content (digital purchases, DLC, subscriptions, social, and mobile games), $436 million went towards used games and game rentals.
According to this GamesBeat report, the new controller for Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Xbox One console cost the company $100 million to research and develop. While consumers may not see much of a difference between the gamepad that comes with the Xbox One and the one they are currently using with the Xbox 360, the company spent a lot of money looking at new features - many of which did not make it into the final gamepad design.
Are big publishers finally turning a corner on trying to tame the used games market? If you believe some Sony and Electronic Arts executives this week, it sounds like they are finally acknowledging that the used games market is an important part of the video games ecosystem. Yesterday Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House told Game Informer that used games sales generally go back into buying new games.
Sony's new PlayStation 4 retails for $399, but - according to this AllThingsD report - the system costs $381 to make. This is according to research firm IHS iSuppli, who are old hands at electronics teardowns and cost analyses. The firm tells AllThingsD that the components and the cost of assembly comes to roughly $381.
According to a new report released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) this week, 48 percent of adults age 50 and older say that they play video games. The data comes from new research released by the ESA called "Gamers Over 50 Study: You're Never Too Old to Play." The data in the report is based on a survey of 1,800 adults age 50 and older conducted by the ESRB.
In a note to investors today, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams called October's video game retail numbers (NPD Group on Thursday said U.S. retail sales of new videogame hardware, software and accessories rose 5 percent to $791.1 million) a "video game sector reset" and said that the transition to next-gen systems beginning today with the launch of the PS4 and next week with the Xbox One brings promising growth and more than a little uncertainty for investors.
According to research firm IHS, Sony's PlayStation 4 will "comfortably" outsell the Xbox One over the next four years. IHS head of games research Piers Harding-Rolls forecasts that, while both systems will be "neck and neck in terms of sales during the launch period, Sony's system will pull ahead significantly by the end of 2017. Harding-Rolls predicts 2.4 million PS4 unit sales by the end of 2013, and 2.2 million Xbox One sales.
Research firm IHS forecasts is suggesting that 34 percent of the money consumers spend on software for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be done in the digital space by 2017.
"A key driver for this digital transition will be publisher ambition to release most games digitally at the same time as boxed versions at retail outlets," said the report prepared by Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games.
Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz is saying something publicly that must be music to Activision's ears: what critics say about Call of Duty: Ghosts does not matter. Speaking to GII, Creutz says that latest title in the series is "somewhat review-proof."
"We think [Call of Duty] has become such an embedded franchise that it is somewhat review-proof," said Creutz to GII.
Introversion's alpha for its prison simulation game, Prison Architect has managed to generate almost $8 million in early funding, according to the UK-based developer. Introversions says that more than 250,000 users have downloaded the alpha version of the game.
The money was generated as part of an early funding program that Introversion put in place. It allowed consumers to play the game while it is being developed with the promise of a final build of the game when development is complete and the game is widely released to the public.