With Blizzard exploring the possibility of a switch to free-to-play for World of Warcraft, digital goods analytics firm Superdata says the move could be good for Blizzard — and its playerbase. …
Los Angeles-based children’s entertainment company Spin Master Inc is searching for a monetization analyst using “both economic and psychological best practices.” …
Equity research firm Cowen responds to yesterday’s news of Don Mattrick’s move to Zynga as new CEO, noting there are more hurdles facing Mattrick’s transition to the free-to-play market. …
We hope that Sony reveals the price of the PlayStation 4 next week at E3, but even if they don't Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia thinks the system will be under $ 400.
In an investors' note, Bhatia reasoned that because of the high price of the PlayStation 3 ($ 600 for one model), Sony will avoid pricing the PS4 too high. "Given that experience, we believe Sony will aim to keep the price point for PlayStation 4 below $ 400," Bhatia said.
Bhatia also believed that Sony is so committed to this price point that they will accept losing money on the console. This is not unusual early in the life of a new system.
Wargaming.net seeks a Quality Assurance Analyst for “planning and conducting testing of game infrastructure services featuring high-load, high-complexity architecture.” …
Zynga shed plenty of users in the first quarter, and shut down some major Facebook games, but analysts haven’t completely given up on the company yet. …
Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz estimates that BioShock Infinite moved 878,000 copies in the US last month. This figure comes from an analyst note sent out to investors as reported by GameSpot; we’ve contacted the NPD to confirm firsthand.
BioShock Infinite was the top-selling game in the US for March, besting Tomb Raider and Gears of War: Judgment for top honors. Compared to March 2012, last month’s physical retail game sales were ten percent weaker, while hardware pulled in 32 percent less revenue.
Analyst firm Cowen & Company estimates high-profile March launches God of War: Ascension and Gears of War: Judgment both sold far less than their predecessors. The firm projects (via GI.biz) that Ascension sold 360,000 in the US during March and Judgment moved 425,000, down from first-month sales of 1.1 million for God of War 3 and over three million in Gears of War 3‘s first week of availability.
A much better March for Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite is predicted. The Crystal Dynamics reboot has amassed 696,000 sales in the US over March, while the firm says BioShock Infinite is near 665,000 in just 10 days.
Cowen & Company predicts NPD data for March will show a decline in software and hardware spend compared to last year, though the firm is hopeful the launches of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and SimCity will help contribute to a substantial increase in PC game sales.
Michael Pachter, renowned video game analyst, held a presentation at South by Southwest (SXSW), where he shared his predictions about the upcoming generation of video game consoles.
Images of Pachter's presentation come care of Geoff Keighley on Twitter. Among his many predictions, Pachter said that this will be the last generation of home consoles, games will cost an extra $ 10 than the previous generation, and he shared his lifetime sales predictions for the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and whatever Microsoft's next console will be.
Pachter believes that the Wii U will under-perform, and sell about half as many units as the Wii. For the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's next console, he is predicting that both consoles will outsell their predecessors by about 20 million units.
What do you think about Pachter's latest batch of predictions?
Rumors are coming at a faster clip as we approach the inevitable release of next-gen consoles, and an analyst has added his post-CES predictions to the heap. They include potential price points, release windows, and a surprisingly grim outlook for Nintendo.
Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research, says he's based these predictions on conversations with developers and distributors.
Sebastian says he expects that Sony and Microsoft will unveil their new hardware shortly before E3, which he predicts will be the biggest show since 2000. The next generation of console hardware will be based on high-end off-the-shelf PC components, which could ease the transition, since developers are likely to be familiar with the basic hardware architecture. These consoles could be priced between $ 350 and $ 400, which puts them in line with the 360's initial $ 399 price point, and the PS3, which had launch configurations ranging from $ 399 to $ 599. As Sebastian sees it, we'll be seeing both consoles in stores before the end of the year, possibly in October or November.
The sky isn't necessarily falling for brick-and-mortar retailers, though Sebastian says the wider transition to digital is inevitable. He does say that we'll be seeing a similar sales ratio of digital downloads to physical sales for at least the first few years of next-gen.
He doesn't have much in the way of good news on the Nintendo front. Citing what he calls a lackluster launch, Sebastian conjures up a grim future for the Wii U. He predicts that Nintendo could be forced to cut the console's cost before the company had planned, and that we'll need to see major first-party games such as Zelda on the system soon to prevent it from entering a free fall. In the worst-case scenario, he sees Nintendo farming out its first-party franchises to previously competing platforms.
What do you think? Is this guy on to something, or is he just tossing darts around?