Phoenix-based Najafi Cos. announced that its Toronto-based Cinram Group is expected to close the deal for JAI, the games software division of JVC Americas Corp. The deal is excepted to be complete within 30 days. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. JAI provides manufacturing and fulfillment for software and video-game publishers, as well as turnkey solutions for packaging, shipping and inventory management.
In last week's poll we asked our readers, "Should Kickstarter adopt an equity-based investment model?." A majority of voters - 58 percent - said that it should be an available option to project creators. Around 31 percent said that offering equity based funding to Kickstarter was a bad idea all around. Finally, 10 percent said that it was a good idea. Kickstarter said last week that it had no plans to use that type of model for its crowd-funding services.
Even as an analyst appointed by Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee prepared to brief lawmakers on its findings about what would happen if the state fails to make payment on the 38 Studios loan debt, the Governor is taking his case to the public airways. Speaking to WPRI, Chafee reiterated his position on defaulting on the 38 Studios loan deal bonds.
Prior to Sony reporting its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending March 31, CEO Kazuo Hirai and other executives will not be taking bonuses this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
They may also take a 50 percent pay cut this year, according to the report. Sony's exit from the PC business as well as consumer disinterest in physical media such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs are the main reason for these reductions in pay and bonuses.
In its first earnings report as a publicly traded company Candy Crush Saga maker King.com reported revenue of $606.7 million for the first fiscal quarter of 2014. The company claims that it currently has 143 million active users participating in its games on a daily basis. King's profits reached $127.2 million and mobile gross bookings for the quarter reached a record quarterly high of $480 million.
Activision has set aside $500 million in total to develop, manufacture and promote the Bungie's Destiny series. That big number was revealed by Activision chief executive Bobby Kotick at the Milken conference in LA, as reported on by Reuters.
Sony announced today that it expects to report a net loss of 130 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the 12 month period that ended on March 31, 2014. That compares with a loss of 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion) forecast in February, a reduction from its October 2013 projection of a 30 billion yen ($294 million) profit. Sony won't report its consolidated results for the fiscal year until May 14, but it published a preliminary earnings report on Thursday to get investors prepared for the news.
Glu Mobile has acquired Diner Dash maker PlayFirst, according to this GII report. The transaction is expected to close this month. Glu Mobile bought the company by offering PlayFirst shareholders 3 million shares of the company's common stock and by taking on $3.55 million of PlayFirst's debt.
Angry Birds maker Rovio may have spent too much time focusing on its number one hit game franchise. According to this Gamasutra report, Rovio's profits were cut by more than 50 percent during the 2013 fiscal year.
Microsoft has finally completed its acquisition of mobile phone maker Nokia. The completion of the acquisition follows approval from Nokia shareholders and various governmental regulatory agencies around the world. Microsoft announced on Sept. 3 of last year that it intended to acquire Nokia for a total of $7.5 billion in cash. The deal consisted of approximately $5 billion and an agreement to license Nokia's patents for $2.17 billion.
Advocacy group Free Press is not happy about the FCC's future changes to the Open Internet Order of 2010. They have several useful links that will make it easier for you to let your voice be heard at the FCC and multiple articles on why FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal will do more harm than good to Net Neutrality.
Social and mobile game maker Zynga reported a first-quarter loss of $61 million, compared to a $25 million loss from its previous quarter and a profit of $4 million the same period a year ago. Zynga also announced that its founder Mark Pincus, who had already stepped down as its chief executive officer, would leave his role as chief product officer, basically ending his executive duties at the firm. Pincus remains the chairman of the board.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase have inked an agreement to license Blizzard Entertainment's Heroes of the Storm to a NetEase-affiliate in mainland China for a term of three years. Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard's upcoming free-to-play, online team brawler featuring heroes from more than 20 years of Blizzard gaming history. Gamers will be able to play some of their favorite characters from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes, and team up with friends to battle other teams online.
Last week Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) sent a letter to entertainment streaming service Netflix asking the company to weigh in on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. This week Netflix gave its opinion... to shareholders.
"If the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the combined company’s footprint will pass over 60 percent of U.S. broadband households," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a letter to shareholders, adding, "Comcast could control high-speed broadband to the majority of American homes."
Online game maker NCsoft has invested an estimated $4.8 million in South Korean web comics firm Lezhin Entertainment, according to GII.
NCsoft said that the ₩5 billion ($4.8 million USD) investment in Lezhin will offer opportunities to leverage its IP in new ways, and that it will also allow Lezhin to leverage its portfolio of intellectual property for creating interactive entertainment.
Sony Computer Entertainment announced this morning that it has sold all of its holdings - its entire 9,520,000 shares - in Square Enix to SMBC Nikko Securities. An income of nearly 4.8bn yen will be marked down in Sony's financial report for the year ending 31st March 2015, with the exact sale price of the shares to be revealed tomorrow. Sony's annual financial report for the year ending March 31, 2014 will be released on May 14 and will likely contain a forecast for the year ahead that will include the sale of the shares.
CCP Games recorded a loss of over $21 million for financial year 2013, the company announced today. This is a major decline from a profit of $4.6 million in the previous year. Revenues for the company rose to $76.7 million from $56.3 million. So what caused the massive drop for 2013? According to CCP, a massively increased R&D budget. That budget climbed from $16.5 million in FY 2012 to $56.5 million in FY 2013. The costs are likely related to the development of Eve: Valkyrie, Eve Online, Dust, and costs related to the now cancelled World of Darkness MMO.
Capcom announced that it is building two new research and development facilities in Osaka, Japan. The cost of these new facilities is estimated at around eight billion yen, or $79 million. Construction of the first building (R&D Building S) began in May of 2013 and is expected to be completed by January 2015 at a cost of 2.5 billion yen, or $24.6 million. Construction on the second building (R&D Building N) began this month and is expected to be completed in February 2016 at a cost of 5.5 billion yen, or $54.1 million.
Last week we asked our readers, "How Will Oculus Rift Be Affected By Facebook's Acquisition of the Device?" A slim majority of our readers believe that the Facebook acquisition of the popular VR gaming technology company is very bad news.
Wargaming CEO Victor Kisyli has pledged that his company will invest $10 million into improving and developing features that support eSports in 2014. At a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Wargaming CEO Victor Kisyli said that there has been a huge upswing of interest in World of Tanks for eSports in the last two years. In 2012, 30,000 pro players took part in 120 World of Tanks tournaments, while in 2013 that number climbed to 200,000 players across more than 1,000 World of Tanks tournaments, according to Wargaming's calculations.
Activision Blizzard announced today that its first expansion for Diablo 3 is selling like hotcakes. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls topped 2.7 million units in the expansion's first week of availability, according to Activision Blizzard.
The data is based on internal company sales tracking and reports from key distribution partners. We assume that these numbers also include digital direct-to-consumer sales by Blizzard.
Diablo 3's first expansion pack launched on PC and Mac on March 25.
In late February Sega announced that it would split Atlus away from 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.
Phil Spencer has been named the new Head of Xbox at Microsoft. In his new role he'll be in charge of Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios. Spencer says that he will employ a "gaming first" philosophy at the Microsoft division, making sure that video games are the most important component of the Xbox One.
Last week former id Software programmer and founder had very little to say about Facebook acquiring the company he recently joined (save that having some financial backing would help them avoid future scaling issues).
But over the weekend, Carmack responded to a post on the blog of Peter Berkman, detailing why he thinks Oculus VR being owned by Facebook isn't such a bad thing. Carmack sympathizes with fans who wanted Oculus Rift to follow a model similar to what Valve did with Steam, he says that virtual reality is too significant a technology to remain at that level.
eSports brand Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced that parent company Turtle Entertainment GmbH, has entered into an agreement to acquire U.S. -based ESS Agency and that it would open a full production studio and offices in Los Angeles, California. This will mark the seventh international office for the eSports company to date. ESL’s North American operations will be conducted from two U.S. offices, New York and Los Angeles.
In an interview with Game Informer, Oculus VR vice president of product Nate Mitchell expressed his surprise to the publication about the general negative reception it received from fans concerning the acquisition by Facebook earlier this week.