Items tagged with Video Games

Nintendo Co. on Wednesday is back in black after reporting its first full-year loss in the history of the company last year. This time around, Nintendo's financial report reflects a profit of 7.1 billion yen (around $71.7 million) for its fiscal year ended in March, up from a loss of 43.2 billion yen ($436 million) in the prior year. At the same time, Nintendo posted an operating loss of 36.4 billion yen, or $366 million. What those numbers reveal is that Nintendo benefited from a recent weakening of the yen, which hit a four-year low earlier this month, ultimately helping the company squeeze out a profit. As for hardware sales, Nintendo sold 3.46 million Wii U consoles around the globe last... Read more...
Game related spending declined yet again last month, falling 10 percent $992.5 billion, according to the latest data published by the NPD Group. However, that number doesn't tell the whole store. In fact, it may account for only half of what gamers actually spent on game related software, hardware, and accessories. How so? "When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in March such as used and rentals at $190 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including micro-transactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $670 million, we would estimate the total consumer... Read more...
There's still a large audience for games with a high level of difficulty. Such would explain why Dark Souls, the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls and one heck of a tough game, has sold 2.36 million copies to date, according to data released by developer From Entertainment. The includes 375,000 sales in Japan on the PlayStation 3 console. The rest of the world accounts for 1.3 million copies for the PS3 and Xbox 360 game consoles. Add to that sales of the Prepare To Die Edition for the PC, which totaled 137,000 units in Japan and another 555,000 around the world, and you come up with the 2.36 million figure. What's impressive about this is that the game is still selling well. Barely over a... Read more...
If your moral compass doesn't dissuade you from pirating games, maybe the prevalence of malware will. According to the latest research from AVG, game hacks and cracks almost always contain malicious code, as in more than 90 percent of the time, depending on where the downloads originate. In other words, for every 10 times you download a keygen or cracked copy of a game, you're lucky if just one of those files isn't infected. This doesn't just apply to cracked copies of popular titles, either. Some gamers get more than they bargained for when they go in search of shortcuts to character development. AVG says World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Runescape, World of Tanks, and Minecraft are played... Read more...
What's that, you've never heard of Torment: Tides of Numenera? That's okay, because even without your knowledge, and therefore your support, developer inXile Entertainment was still able to raise nearly $4.2 million on Kickstarter, attracting pledges from 74,405 backers. That feat qualifies it as Kickstarter's most funded video game ever. "All of us made history yesterday, reaching a new record for the most funded video game on Kickstarter! Thank you so much for your support, both through your pledges and through your spreading the word to others," inXile Entertainment told fans after the campaign came to a close. Torment: Tides of Numenera is the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment. The... Read more...
Electronic Arts beat out AT&T, Ticketmaster, and several other companies to advance to the semifinals in the Consumerist's annual "Worst Company in America" award, as voted by the people (an anti-popularity contest, if you will). If EA pulls out a victory, it will repeat as Grand Champion of the not-so-prestigious award, and if you think companies aren't paying attention to the results, think again. Peter Moore, chief operating officer at EA, penned a blog post in defense of the company he works for, stating that "the tallest trees catch the most wind." Beyond deep thoughts, Moore points out that this is the same poll that last year voted EA a worse company than ones responsible for the biggest... Read more...
Rovio, creator of the wildly popular Angry Birds franchise, has every reason to smile. The developer announced its financial results for the company's full calendar year for 2012, noting that total consolidated full year revenue ballooned to €152.2 million (around $195 million), up more than 100 percent compared to 2011. "Year 2012 was another record-breaking year for Rovio. We doubled our revenue with an EBIT margin of 50 percent, more than doubled our headcount, established new offices and a New Business Ventures unit," said Rovio CFO Herkko Soininen. "Also, to protect our own, as well as our partners’ and our fans’ interests, we continue to invest heavily in brand protection... Read more...
Blizzard was very forthcoming in admitting that Diablo III is "not living up to its full potential" in terms of the co-op experience, adding that "it can often feel not worth the effort" to jump into multiplayer when playing solo "can often feel easier and more efficient." If you feel the same way, you'll be happy to know that co-op was a major point of focus in the latest patch (version 1.0.8). One of the multiplayer improvements Blizzard introduces in version 1.0.8 is the ability to specify a "matching tag" for Public Games. In addition to selecting a difficulty, quest, and MP level, gamers can also select a tag that will identify what kind of gameplay they're looking for, such as Questing,... Read more...
Ouch. There just aren't too many other ways to say it. As the video game world enters a period of rapid transition, the old players are starting to show signs of wear. The home console market just isn't what it used to be, and neither is the importance of physical media and retail shops. As more and more gamers find their fix in mobile gaming, it's getting tougher for the mainstays to remain relevant. GameStop is a company in search of its next move, and it's losing a lot of money as it tries to find it. The company's Q4 2012 earnings saw a loss of $270 million, on sales of $3.56 billion. Consolidated comparable store sales decreased 4.6% compared to the prior year quarter, while Q4 sales were... Read more...
Creating a stable economy in an online game is difficult to do – and the only people surprised to discover that were Diablo’s game director and the higher ups at Blizzard, it turns out. The game’s auction houses, which let players hawk in-game loot for virtual gold and real-world money, were a bigger draw than its creators expected. The result was bad news for the quality of the game, says former director Jay Wilson. Who knew gold could cause so much trouble? Image credit: Blizzard Wilson, who spent seven years on Diablo III and left the game (though not Blizzard) earlier this year, commented on the game this week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, CA.... Read more...
Ouya yesterday began shipping its $100 Android console to early backers of the project that took Kickstarter by storm, blowing past the initial $950,000 goal and raising nearly $8.6 million by the time it was all said and done. Everyone else has to wait until June 4, which is when it will be on store shelves, real and virtual (Amazon.com, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target). Alternately, you can pre-order an Ouya for a Benjamin along with an extra controller for $50 more. Either way, June 4 is the console's big day. In case you need a refresher, Ouya wields an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage expandable via USB. It has built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth support, and... Read more...
Apple iPad and iPhone owners are in for a treat. Come this summer, Firaxis and 2K Games will port the turn-based tactical role-playing strategy game to iOS, the game's developers announced at PAX East. The ported title will come with all the same features found on the PC and console versions. "It's a straight port. We have not made any game play exceptions," XCOM: Enemy Unknown Lead Designer Jake Solomon told Joystiq at the event. "You play the exact same game, it's just now fully playable on an iPhone or an iPad." Solomon was decidedly more coy when pressed for pricing information, saying only that it will be "priced appropriately for what it is."  He also added that it will come in at... Read more...
Call of Duty: Black Ops II couldn't hold onto the top spot in game sales in February, yielding pole position to Dead Space 3, a spooky third person shooter developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronics Arts, according to the latest data by The NPD Group. Total software sales dropped 27 percent to $352 million from $484 million a year prior. Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC) Crysis 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) NBA 2K13 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3, Xbox 360) Aliens: Colonial Marines 2013 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Just Dance 4 (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U) Far Cry 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Sly Cooper: Thieves... Read more...
Electronics Arts over the weekend announced that it's been able to improve server response time by 40x for its new SimCity title, thus reducing serving server downtime due to its decision to incorporate a DRM scheme that requires a persistent Internet connection. Not a moment too soon, EA also noted that the number of SimCity players has doubled since the title launched. There's still more work to be done. "The situation is good, but not good enough," said Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of EA's Maxis Label. "And since my boss is one of the negatively affected (!) - we’re still driving hard to get everyone online, playing together, and no hitches. "Tens of thousands of new players are logging... Read more...
The Boy Scouts just made it tougher for parents to crack down on kids for playing too many video games by introducing a new Game Design merit badge. That's right, there's more to Boy Scouts than learning how to whittle your way out of an emergency situation. Through Game Design, the Boy Scouts of America is looking to encourage creativity and help children hone their logic, strategy, and even mathematics skills, the organization explained in a press release. "Whether it's soccer, a family night board game, or a handheld electronic device—playing challenges us to overcome long odds, tell compelling stories, and work with or against one another," the Boy Scouts said. "Games motivate both... Read more...
If nothing else, give Electronics Arts (EA) credit for acknowledging how "dumb" it was to not be fully prepared for the demand its SimCity game would attract, given that the publisher is insisting on a DRM scheme that requires an always-on Internet connection. Unfortunately, that's not where the boneheaded decisions end, that's just the beginning. To make matters worse, EA offered frustrated gamers a refund, only to renege on that promise. If you're a publisher wondering how not to launch a product, just follow EA's lead on this one. All that said, EA is at least attempting to make nice with angry gamers, first with a candid explanation of what went wrong, followed by a free game offer. "So what... Read more...
The problem with DRM schemes is they tend to punish honest paying customers with a level of inconvenience that's annoying at best, and crippling at worst. Every once in awhile we're reminded of this, such as the current server SNAFU that's affecting SimCity, an otherwise well-received game with favorable reviews. Electronics Arts (EA) is a big proponent of DRM, and when you load SimCity, it has to first check in with the mother ship to make verify you're not a digital pirate. After that, it requires an always-on connection. Fair enough, but if you're going to go through the trouble of attempting to weed out unscrupulous users who may have obtained the game through illicit means, you better make... Read more...
The last Tomb Raider movie -- Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life -- grossed just $67 million domestically and $157 million worldwide when it debuted in 2003. Those kind of figures don't inspire subsequent attempts to capitalize on a franchise, but with Tomb Raider recently getting a reboot, Hollywood may once again give Lara Croft a shot on the silver screen. According to a report in Variety, Crystal Dynamics is working closely with GK Films on another Tomb Raider movie, a rare move when game makers typically just hand off film licensing rights and hope for the best. GK Films, by the way, has produced a number of hits, including The Departed, Argo, Rango, and Hugo. "They are working from... Read more...
It seems like most of the studies involving video games have to do with trying to link real-world violence with violent video games (intermittently broken up by voices of reason). It gets old, so try this on for size. In a refreshing change of pace, a new study shows that seniors who play video games have a higher sense of emotional well-being. Researchers from North Carolina State University asked 140 people aged 63 and older if they play video games, and if they do, how often. Around 61 percent said they play games on occasion, while 35 percent said they play at least once a week. Those who said they play video games demonstrated higher levels of well-being. And the non-gamers? They tended... Read more...
Believe it or not, there are some in Washington who don't blame real-world violence on violent video games. Shocking, we know, but it's true. Former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole is one of them, and during a panel discussion over the weekend, she pointed out that there isn't evidence to support the notion that video games cause violence. "It's my experience that video games do not cause violence," O'Toole told CBS News, according to The Raw Story. "However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently. It's important that I point out that as a threat assessment and as a former FBI profiler, we don't see these as the cause of violence. We see... Read more...
The life of a PC gamer isn't always easy. Sometimes we have to watch our console brethren play a particular title while we wait months for the PC release, as will probably be the case with Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, and in other instances, we're saddled with crappy ports (Resident Evil 4, anyone?). We only bring this up to underscore the significance of Ubisoft saying it wants a tighter relationship with us PC folk. Ubisoft has gotten grief in the past for its DRM policies, and while its always-on anti-piracy measures are a thing of the past, Ubisosft hasn't stopped listening to player feedback. The game developer is also looking to beef up its Uplay service by offering a bigger... Read more...
At its New York City event earlier this week, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4. The device, which will be designed to compete with the next Xbox and Nintendo’s Wii U, includes a beefed up processor and a new GPU that the company says will deliver dramatically improved graphics in games. In fact, the console's GPU alone will be able to deliver almost 2 teraflops of compute performance. But perhaps the big story behind the event was that Sony didn’t even show off its hardware. Instead, the company talked about the many features its hardware will offer and focused on streaming. When it’ll actually unveil the PlayStation 4 console itself remains to be seen.   That Sony... Read more...
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