It has been a week since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut but the country has no more answers for what caused the horrific tragedy than it did last week. In the weeks ahead you can expect the media and politicians to talk about violent media, guns, and metal health care in this country, but one analyst believes that all of this media attention won't have much of an effect on what entertainment consumers will buy (thanks to The Escapist).
Publisher THQ announced today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., who will serve as a "stalking horse bidder," the agreement allows Clearlake Capital Group to acquire THQ’s assets including THQ’s four wholly-owned studios, any licenses it currently holds, and all games in development.
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business professor Sydney Finkelstein picked the "worst CEOs of 2012" for Bloomberg's Business Week and one of those five CEOs is Zynga's Mark Pincus. So why did Pincus end up on the list? Well a series of "rookie mistakes" by the social game maker CEO had a lot to do with it.
Here's a not-so-shocking revelation about 2012: games were the most popular software on iOS devices in 2012 according to data released by Apple and collected by Inside Mobile Apps. Seven of the ten highest-grossing iPad apps and ten highest-grossing iPhone apps were games, according to the data.
If you think that the biggest selling game of the year is Call of Duty or some other huge franchise then you are likely not taking into account digital sales across all platforms. As this MCV report points out, the biggest games of the year are likely Angry Birds or Minecraft related. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel, the two week period that ends on January 1, 2013 will account for almost seven percent of all games downloaded across mobile, tablet, console and PC platforms this year.
According to new data from MediaCreate on sales in Japan for the week of Dec. 3 - 9, the Nintendo 3DS has sold more units to-date than the PlayStation 3. The 3-D enabled hand-held system managed to do this in the region in less than two years to boot.
Lifetime sales of the 3DS came in at 8,799,378, beating out the PS3 which came in at lifetime sales of 8,716,260 units in Japan. The PS3 has been on the market in Japan for six years. In terms of sales in Japan for the week, the Wii U came in on top at 308,142, followed by the 3DS at 211,499, and the PS3 at 36,994.
Valve Software has launched the Steam Community Market in open beta, allowing Steam users to buy and sell in-game items using Steam Wallet funds. Sale items can be listed on the Community Market page or in players' personal inventories. Currently only Team Fortress 2 is supported and only consumables and tools can be sold at this time.
As the beta goes on, Valve plans to allow other items to be sold in Team Fortress 2 and to add the Steam Community Market functionality to other games. That will start to happen early next year.
A new report from GameTrack shows that America is a gaming super power, with American gamers outnumbering the rest of the world when it comes to playing games online and across a wide variety of platforms. The data finds that 48 percent of the American gaming audience play online games, compared 42 percent who play packaged games. Around 27 percent of that online gaming in America is done through browsers. Around 31 percent of American gamers enjoy playing through apps on their phones and tablets.
Episode 5 of Telltale's horror adventure series The Walking Dead based on the popular comic series took the top spot on the PlayStation Store charts for the month of November, according to Sony. In fact all five episodes in the series managed to make the Top 20. Coming is second was Assassin's Creed 3, followed by Sonic Adventure 2, Okami HD, and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Eurocom has entered administration and ceased trading, with the remaining staff laid off, according to a statement from administrators given to Eurogamer. Last month the studio was forced to let a large portion of its staff go. Eurocom most recently developed 007 Legends for Activision. Today a statement from administrators revealed just how bad the financial situation is for the company:
U.S. video games sales at retail fell 11 percent overall, despite seeing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4, and Assassin's Creed III released during the month and a robust start to the holiday shopping season. Overall total software sales fell 11 percent to $1.46 billion, hardware fell 13 percent to $838.9 million, and accessories fell 8 percent to $280.9 million. Overall the video game industry saw an 11 percent decline at retail in the month of November, coming in at around $2.55 billion.
This is sure to put analyst Michael Pachter on someone's naughty list: Recently he said that Activision needs to start charging a fee for the multiplayer portion of its Call of Duty games. Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter made his comments during the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, California (as reported by GamesIndustry International). During his presentation he said that Activision made a serious mistake when it didn't implement a subscription-based model for Call of Duty multiplayer.
According to analysis by Gamasutra columnist and blogger Ryan Langley, the Xbox Live Arcade version is almost as popular as its PC and Mac counterpart in terms of sales. According to the analysis Mojang's popular world-building game for Xbox Live Arcade is currently selling between 40 - 60,000 copies every week.
Today the UK Government published a document proposing strong support of Chancellor George Osborne's earlier Autumn Statement, which would give qualified games companies tax-relief set at a rate of 25 percent.
"Following consultation on their design, the Government will ensure that the reliefs are among the most generous in the world by offering a payable tax credit for all three reliefs worth 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure," the document read in part.
Two more employees from social gaming giant Zynga's management team have reportedly left the company for greener pastures, according to this GII report. They join many other high profile executives that used to work at Zynga who ultimately jumped ship for better offers or to start new companies.
Recently Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson said that he was considering the possibility of charging a monthly fee for one game mode in his upcoming space-themed game 0x10c. The game will offer three modes, two of which would be free to play without a fee: Single Player and Multiplayer online or via LAN.
According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, the Wii U has sold 400,000 units in the United States. Speaking to CNET, Fils-Aime said that 300,000 Wii consoles and 500,000 portable devices also sold during the same period, for a grand total of 1.2 million hardware units sold in the US.
All it will take for the Wii U to be profitable will be the sale of one game with the system, claims Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. Fils-Aime made the comments in a recent interview with Mercury News. Without having that one-game attach rate the Wii U is selling at a loss. Fils-Aime's comments would suggest that the console is very close to breaking even if all it takes is the sale of one game - we assume he means a first-party title developed and published by Nintendo...
A new report from research firm Newzoo, the "2012 US Country Report," comes to the conclusion that the U.S video games market spending grew one percent, or $21.9 Billion, in 2012. The report also notes that, of the 157 million gamers in the U.S., 86 million spend money on games. Time spent on games in the US is also up significantly: 26 percent versus 18 percent for Europe.
Another day, another milestone met for Mojang's ultra popular sandbox building game, Minecraft. It has managed to surpass the 8 million sales mark on the PC platform, according to a tweet from Mojang co-founder and Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson.
"The PC version of Minecraft just passed 8 million sales," said series Persson via Twitter.
"My face is making grinning sounds, so I assume it's grinning," he added.
With the Wii U launch less than a week away, many game publishers have strong opinions about Nintendo's newest platform. In an upcoming interview with GamesIndustry International, CEO Yves Guillemot offers his. While Ubisoft is one of the biggest third-party supporter of Wii U at launch, the company's CEO Yves Guillemot acknowledges that Nintendo may have to lower the price of the console.
Following yesterday's poor financial results for the fiscal second quarter, THQ had delayed several titles and has an outside firm to explore its options. The titles getting pushed included South Park: The Stick of Truth, Metro: Last Light and Company of Heroes 2. THQ recorded a loss of $21 million during its fiscal 2013 second quarter on sales of $107.4 million. The company says that it has about $36.3 million of cash and equivalents, down nearly half from the $76 million it had a year ago.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that Electronic Arts and Activision's mismanagement of big first-person shooter titles could end up contributing to another month of "terrible" software sales for the game industry in October. He is referring to Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a game that was supposed to be a major release for EA in October and Activision's 007 Legends, which fared worse than Medal of Honor.
New sales figures from Microsoft reveal that its ultra popular Halo franchise has generated nearly $3 billion in revenue since launch, with more than 46 million Halo games sold. Halo: Reach was responsible for around $200 million of that revenue in just 24 hours across Europe and the US, with Halo 3 managing to bring $170 million in the US on day one. Halo 2 was no slouch either; it raked in $125 million.
Take-Two Interactive today released its earnings report for the three months ended September 30, posting booming revenues for the quarter, but warning that it would fall drastically short of its full year projections. It posted net revenues of $273.1 million, up from $107 million from the same period a year ago. During that same period a year ago Civilization V: Game of the Year Edition helped drive the company's revenues.
A federal antitrust complaint filed by virtual-currency and payment-processing provider Kickflip (doing business as Gambit) claims that Facebook destroyed its business when it took over the virtual currency used in games on its social network. Prior to that move, Kickflip claims that it was a "leading virtual-currency and payment-processing provider to software developers that published games on Facebook and other social networks."
Today publisher Take-Two announced that it would delay releasing its second quarter earnings report for the fiscal year 2013 and conference call due to the "catastrophic weather conditions in the regions of its corporate headquarters." New York City is currently suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread flooding, power outages, and a closure of most means of transportation in and out of town.
After dealing with a child sex scandal earlier this year, Sulake - the owners of the social teen hangout Habbo Hotel - had to make some serious changes and win back the trust of the community. With that controversy mostly behind them (the company changed much of how it handles communications within the virtual world and added other features that protect its young members), the company says that it wants to make Habbo Hotel a place where third-party developers can launch their own game titles.