Activision 'somewhat disappointed' with Wii U launch
February 8, 2013

(Credit: Nintendo) Nintendo investors aren't the only ones bummed by Wii U's uptake. Speaking yesterday during an earnings call with investors, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick said he was "somewhat disappointed with the launch of the Wii U." That...

The DeanBeat: Apple and Samsung give console makers a reprieve
June 15, 2012

This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game trade show had all the potential for disruption but none of the follow-through.

Always nipping at the edges of the game industry, Apple and Samsung have the means to exterminate the video game console makers. But for some reason, they have held back on pulling the trigger. Apple was rumored to be working on a television that could bring apps to the living room. Faced with free or 99 cent apps, would consumers still plunk down $60 for console games? Maybe not.

May Video Game Sales Fall 28 Percent
June 14, 2012

Video game sales fell 28 percent in May, with total industry sales falling to $516.5 million from $718.9 million a year ago, according to consumer market research firm NPD Group. That happened despite the launch of the fantasy action role-playing game Diablo III from Blizzard Entertainment and the first-person shooter Max Payne 3 from Rockstar Studios. The poor performance in May was a little better percentage-wise compared to April, when sales fell 42 percent year-over-year. The strong sales of Diablo III did create a bright spot: PC game sales were up 230

E3 Struggles to Keep Up with a Transforming Game Industry
June 5, 2012

As gaming goes digital, what's the future of a show like E3?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, the game industry's annual gigantic trade show, began Tuesday in Los Angeles. The big three hardware makers are in town for the annual war of the press conferences, which since E3′s debut in 1995 have grown from stiff-armed PowerPoint decks delivered from the podium of a hotel ballroom into sensory assaults held in rock concert venues. Microsoft went Monday morning, with Sony and Nintendo following. Announcements from these industry giants still have a major impact

The Agony of Japan Inc.
May 25, 2012

Companies like Apple, IBM and Microsoft once stood in the shadow of much larger and more powerful Japanese electronics giants. Those days are long gone -- and, lately, it looks like they may never come back.

"This country is in a war and some people understand it and some people are siding with the enemy."

Believe it or not, someone once wrote those paranoid words about Japanese corporations. It was only two decades ago, when people fretted - wrongly, if profitably - about the awful and certain specter of Japan eating America's economic lunch.

Gaming: A Boon or Bane for Facebook?
May 23, 2012

Gaming is a huge revenue generator for Facebook. However, what investors would do well to ponder is how big a profit generator it has been, and, more importantly, will this profit stream continue to flow in the future? Before its IPO, Facebook said that substantially all of the payment transactions between their users and game developers were for virtual goods used in social games. This means that, for the most recent reported nine-month period starting July 1, 2011 (when Facebook payments became mandatory for all game developers accepting payments on Facebook), gaming represented

Video Game Industry Shifting Focus to Mobile Devices
April 6, 2012

The video game industry has shifted from one dependent on the sale of packaged goods and perpetual licensing, to one dominated by digital distribution. As result traditional video game companies are finding it harder to monetize the industry. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Video Game Industry and provides equity research on Activision Blizzard, Inc.

Consumers have taken gaming to their smartphones and tablets, where games are priced under $5 while console games still range from $30 to $60. As a result video game sales in the U.S. have dropped drastically

Best Buy Snags Starbucks Tech Guru
March 9, 2012

Stephen Gillett, the Starbucks chief information officer who revamped the retailer's technological approach to selling coffee, is joining electronics giant Best Buy. The 36-year-old former college football player is charged with no small task: helping Best Buy go up against Amazon while continuing to sell products in brick-and-mortar stores.

Gillett joins Best Buy Monday as president of the company's digital business, including its online stores, as well as replicating the information-systems responsibilities he held at Starbucks. At the Seattle coffee company Gillett was instrumental in offering free wireless Internet service to customers

Digital Game Revenues Weren't Enough to Offset Broader Industry Declines in Q3
December 21, 2011

Revenues from mobile and social games, among other categories, are growing, but not at a fast enough clip to offset the declines witnessed in the traditional games market.

The NPD Group released a new report today that calculated the amount of money Americans are spending on games from the nontraditional market. That includes a lot of digital content, such as subscriptions, digital downloads, social games and mobile games, but also used games and rentals.

In the third quarter, it found that the amount spent on that "other content" totaled $1.64 billion.

Videogame Consoles Still Selling Like Hotcakes, But How Much Life is Left in the Aging Hardware?
December 1, 2011

Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Wii sold in record numbers last week as Americans kicked off their holiday shopping.

Microsoft sold more than 960,000 consoles last week, with a majority flying off the shelves within a single 24-hour period.

Nintendo also said the Wii had the biggest Black Friday ever, selling more than 500,000 units on the day after Thanksgiving.

At one point during the shopping madness, a shopper pepper sprayed a crowd at a Wal-Mart to get her mitts on an Xbox (although reports now say police are investigating the incident to determine the cause of the attack).