The group gathered en masse in a conference room, as it does with every Apple reveal, to watch a broadcast that faded in and out (and occasionally came through in Chinese). But while the rest of us were gnashing our teeth in frustration, the mobile teams were already riffing on ideas about what they could do with the technology being introduced.
The reports, after all, had been quite definitive: Google was going to be the buyer. But on Monday, everything turned upside down.
The publisher has just shy of $1 billion in cash on hand – even after spending $227 million last year to repurchase shares. And it’s trying to decide what to do with it – and CEO Strauss Zelnick says he see three options.
“We have the opportunity to support organic growth with our balance sheet,” he says. “We also have the ability to do inorganic growth. And we have the opportunity to return money to our shareholders.”
While a few competitors have tried to make inroads over the years, when it comes to the better-than-$2 billion per year used game business, GameStop has had a pretty secure lock on king of the hill status. Starting March 26, though, the world’s largest retailer will be looking to steal a significant piece of the pie.
Walmart has announced plans to launch a large-scale video game trade-in program at 3,100 stores across America. Working in conjunction with CE Exchange, the store will allow consumer to swap games for store credit, which can be used to purchase anything that Walmart sells. Used games could be available to in-store shoppers as early as this summer.\
While many video game publishers are racing to embrace the mobile world – and seeing some significant earnings in the process – Take-Two Interactive Software CEO Strauss Zelnick is moving cautiously.
There’s certainly potential in the market, he concedes – but, so far, the hardware isn’t where it needs to be to be a proper showcase for the company’s games. And he’d rather wait than make compromises.
The Oculus Rift could open up new realms of immersion for gamers – but those experiences may come with a price.
Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus, notes that – as a hardware manufacturer – his business has no say in what software companies will charge for Oculus-enhanced games, but admits he would not be surprised to see them come at a premium price.
During the months walking up to a console launch, there’s a great unspoken truth the press, publishers and gamers all choose to conveniently ignore: The first batch of games are going to be pretty bad.
Sure, there might be an occasional standout, but the majority of the titles people heap with praise and say they can’t wait to try are titles that will mostly be forgotten before the following holiday. Even installments of well-known franchises are generally just graphically enhanced versions of what we already know.
No one had a better view of the development and evolution of the Wii than Satoru Iwata.
Throughout the console’s seven-year life-cycle, the president of Nintendo acted as its biggest cheerleader, defender and, at times, critic. He was a driving force in the company selling over 100 million systems and is now trying to spur that sort of interest in the Wii’s successor.
Nintendo will be the first company to tell you about the importance of must-have titles at a console launch. The more you have, the better – as it not only increases the initial frenzy (attracting the wandering eye of the mass media), but keeps demand alive long after Christmas has come and gone.
With Ubisoft’s announcement on Tuesday that it would be delaying Watch Dogs until Spring 2014, both Microsoft and Sony saw their new systems take a painful body blow.
With Grand Theft Auto V shattering entertainment industry sales records, the Houser Brothers and the team at Rockstar Games have once again justified the freedom and independence Take-Two affords them.
They’ve also got the gaming world wondering what they’ll do next.