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July 18, 2009 | Alex Pham
A Massachusetts businessman who paid a mere $100,000 for an 87% stake in Midway Games Inc. scored nearly $5 million from its sale, chalking up a 4,900% return on his eight-month investment. Mark E. Thomas, an investor in Concord, Mass., bought his shares in the troubled Chicago game publisher in November from financially strapped media magnate Sumner Redstone, who got rid of his holdings in time to claim a $700-million 2008 tax write-off.
July 17, 2009 | Alex Pham
The recession is hammering the video game industry. Marking the sector's fourth consecutive monthly decline, sales of video games and consoles in the U.S. fell 31% last month to $1.2 billion, down from $1.7 billion in June 2008, according to a report released Thursday from market research firm NPD Group Inc. It was the largest monthly decline since September 2000, when industry sales slumped 41%, said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
July 6, 2009 | Alex Pham
To video game publishers, Mark Weiner is both a dream come true and a nightmare. The 23-year-old San Francisco Bay Area operations analyst likes to pounce on the latest blockbuster releases. He spends dozens of hours a week playing a wide range of titles. "I am passionate about games," he said. This should be good for game companies such as Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Ubisoft Entertainment, which publish many of the titles Weiner likes to play. But it's not welcome news.
May 6, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. posted a smaller net loss for its fourth quarter as the company continued to slash costs in a quarter with fewer hit game launches. Redwood City, Calif.-based EA also reaffirmed its guidance for the current fiscal year, and Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown said the company was "ahead of schedule" on its cost-cutting measures that include eliminating 1,100 jobs. EA posted a loss of $42 million, or 13 cents a share, less than half the loss of $94 million, or 30 cents, in the same period a year earlier.
April 17, 2009 | Alex Pham
Sales of video games plunged 17% in March as shoppers found fewer blockbuster titles to choose from this year than last, according to a report Thursday from the NPD Group Inc. "This industry is driven by hits," said Jesse Divnich, director of analytical services with Electronic Entertainment Design and Research. "It just so happens that there were fewer hits last month than there were [in March] last year."
March 25, 2009 | Alex Pham
Shoppers are buying an increasing amount of their music and movies via Web downloads. But video game sales remain firmly rooted in old-fashioned stores because many games require enormous software files that can take hours to download. That's now poised to change. One company, OnLive Inc., showcased one such effort at the Game Developer Conference on Tuesday night. The service promises to let players buy or rent the latest games and start playing within seconds on their television or computers.
November 6, 2008 | Alex Pham, Pham is a Times staff writer.
The video game industry's rising tide has not lifted all boats. Activision Blizzard Inc. on Wednesday posted a doubling of quarterly revenue and predicted strong holiday sales. But THQ Inc., whose games have failed to connect with players recently, said it would slash 250 jobs, or 17% of its developers, as it cancels projects and closes five development studios across the country.
October 27, 2008 | Alex Pham, Pham is a Times staff writer
Nintendo Co.'s sales are speeding along faster than a getaway car, shrugging off economic woes as if they were bugs on the windshield. Its Wii video game console continues to be sold out in many stores. Sales of its DS hand-held console remain hot despite its being a 4-year-old product, ancient by game-technology standards.
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