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BUSINESS
July 2, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher and Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Amazon.com Inc. is sticking by its vow not to collect California sales tax on Internet purchases — and state officials must decide what to do about it. But the showdown over the new tax collection law that took effect Friday could be months away. Companies don't send the taxes to the state until the end of each quarter, which means the California Board of Equalization won't know officially about Amazon's refusal to collect them until Oct. 1. The tax-collecting agency said Amazon accounts for about half the Internet sales in California from large out-of-state firms that, prior to the new law, did not have to collect sales tax for the state.
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BUSINESS
June 14, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
The video game industry hit the pause button on sales in May, posting its lowest monthly revenue from U.S. retail stores such as Best Buy Co. and GameStop Corp. since October 2006. Sales of games, consoles and game accessories such as extra controllers dropped 14% last month to $743.1 million, down from $866.8 million in May 2010, according to a report released Monday from NPD Group, a market research firm. "A light slate of new releases is at the heart of last month's performance," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
BUSINESS
June 5, 2011 | By Alex Pham and Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
At the video game industry's first Electronic Entertainment Expo 16 years ago, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation and Sega's Saturn dazzled attendees and defined the cutting edge of coolness with their CD drives and three-dimensional graphics. This week, as the industry gathers in downtown Los Angeles for its annual E3 extravaganza, some experts are questioning how significant those boxes of electronics really are in a rapidly changing video game business. After dominating the market for decades and making their way into 1 out of every 2 U.S. homes, consoles are beginning to face serious competition as teenagers and adults increasingly play games designed for smartphones, tablets and online social networks.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
The video game industry received a rare lift in February, with sales rising 3% in the U.S. as consumers dug deeper into their pockets to buy motion controllers and consoles from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. February's increase was only the third positive month of the last year for the industry. Americans spent $1.36 billion last month on games and consoles, up from $1.33 billion in February 2010, according to a report released Thursday by the market research company NPD Group. A 10% uptick in console sales helped to offset a 5% decline in the amount of money that players spent on games.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Striking the death knell for a once-hot music game business, Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that it would disband Guitar Hero and scrap development of a Guitar Hero title slated for this year. At the same time, the Santa Monica company told analysts during a conference call to announce fourth-quarter results that it would invest heavily in creating an online service dubbed BeachHead for an existing video game, Call of Duty. Activision, which provided little detail on the upcoming service, also dropped hints about a new product it plans to announce next week at Toy Fair in New York, as well as a new multi-player online title from its Blizzard Entertainment studio in Irvine.
BUSINESS
January 14, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
If the video game industry were an arcade, you would be hearing the disappointing bloops that signal the player to try again. For the second year in a row, U.S. video game sales posted a decline, down 5.7% to $18.6 billion in 2010 from $19.7 billion in 2009, which was a decline from $21.4 billion in 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the NPD Group. Both consoles and games were walloped as consumers curtailed spending in an uncertain economy. Console sales fell 12.5% to $6.3 billion in 2010, while software sales fell 5.6% to $9.4 billion.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
The video and computer game industry suffered its sixth consecutive monthly sales decline in September, pouring cold water on hopes of the industry ending the year on a high note. Sales of games, consoles and device peripherals totaled $1.2 billion last month, down 8% from a year earlier, according to NPD Group Inc., which tracks game sales. Despite the strong debut of Halo: Reach, sales of software fell 6% to $614 million. Hardware sales fared much worse, dropping 19% to $383 million in September.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Combined sales of video games and consoles fell for the fourth consecutive month in July, slumping 1% as U.S. consumers pulled back on buying new titles, with games for Nintendo Co.'s Wii suffering in particular. A 12% jump in sales of game consoles last month failed to entirely offset an 8% drop in sales of games to play on the devices. Overall, players spent $846.5 million for consoles, games and game peripherals in July, down slightly from $850.6 million a year earlier, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2010 | Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
June gloom hit the video game industry hard, knocking sales of games and consoles down 6% last month from a year ago as anxious consumers kept a lid on spending. The game industry rang up $1.1 billion in retail sales in June, down from $1.17 billion a year earlier. The decline marks the ninth monthly sales drop in the last 12 months, according to figures released Thursday by the NPD Group Inc., a market research firm. Buyers were more likely to pick up a console than a game last month, lifting sales of devices such as Microsoft Corp.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2010 | Alex Pham
Video game sales, which have been anemic in the past year, were partially rescued in May by an Italian plumber and a gunslinger. The dual debuts of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption in May helped resuscitate game software sales, which rose 4% to $466.3 million from a year earlier, according to the market research firm NPD Group. The uptick was much smaller than many industry watchers predicted. "The industry grew less than expected," said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Ore., who had predicted game sales would grow 15% in May. "This reflects the continued choppy industry that we have witnessed this year and last," Wilson said.
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