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October 23, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Six-year-old Jericho Rodriguez sprinted into Toys R Us like a cheetah chasing its prey. "Mommy, Skylanders! Skylanders!" he yelled as he ran through a crowd gathered around the biggest display in the store, larger even than ones for Legos and Marvel superheroes such as Iron Man. Jericho and other young boys were gathered in Atwater Village early Sunday morning for the new video game "Skylanders: Giants" and dozens of action figures associated with...
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Video game publisher Electronic Arts said Monday that John Riccitiello will step down as chief executive, as it warned that fourth-quarter earnings could fall short of expectations. The board appointed Larry Probst, the chairman of the board and its former chief executive, to serve as executive chairman while the company conducts a search for a new chief executive. Riccitiello was named to the post in 2007, and led the company as the industry has undergone dramatic changes. His resignation is effective March 30. Probst had served as the company's chief executive from 1991 through 2007, and was elevated to chairman of the board in 1994.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
A new basketball game and a sequel to the combo game/toy line "Skylanders" were two spots of good news in what was otherwise a grim month for the video game business. Take-Two Interactive's "NBA 2K 13" was the best-selling video game during October, according to the NPD Group, and outsold last year's "NBA 2K 12" by more than 60%. Activision Blizzard's "Skylanders: Giants" was only the No. 10 game, but outsold last year's "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure" during its first month on sale.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
The launch of the biggest video games of the year was only enough to lessen the long-running slump in retail video game sales. U.S. game industry receipts were down 11% in November, the month that saw the debut of such hot titles as “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” “Halo 4” and “Assassin's Creed III” -- the top three titles of the month, in that order. Searching for a silver lining, NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan noted that “November had the smallest year-over-year decrease we have seen for dollar and unit sales so far this year.” Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the No. 1 console for the 16th month straight, selling 1.26 million units.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
The launch of the biggest video games of the year was only enough to lessen the long-running slump in retail video game sales. U.S. game industry receipts were down 11% in November, the month that saw the debut of such hot titles as “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” “Halo 4” and “Assassin's Creed III” -- the top three titles of the month, in that order. Searching for a silver lining, NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan noted that “November had the smallest year-over-year decrease we have seen for dollar and unit sales so far this year.” Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the No. 1 console for the 16th month straight, selling 1.26 million units.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
It's beginning to look like not as many gamers are answering the "Call of Duty" this year. Though publisher Activision Blizzard has revealed very little sales data for the latest installment of the most successful franchise in the console video game business, mounting evidence indicates that this year's "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" is selling fewer copies than last year's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. " On Nov. 16, Activision reported that...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Gamers can finally start carjacking again. "Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the spring of 2013, publisher Take-Two Interactive announced Tuesday. The company's Rockstar Games subsidiary confirmed earlier this year that the sequel to 2008's hit "Grand Theft Auto IV" was in the works, but did not disclose a release date. The spring timing is significant as Take-Two's fiscal year ends on March 31. With spring not officially starting until March 20, it is very likely that "Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the company's fiscal 2014.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Video game publisher Electronic Arts said Monday that John Riccitiello will step down as chief executive, as it warned that fourth-quarter earnings could fall short of expectations. The board appointed Larry Probst, the chairman of the board and its former chief executive, to serve as executive chairman while the company conducts a search for a new chief executive. Riccitiello was named to the post in 2007, and led the company as the industry has undergone dramatic changes. His resignation is effective March 30. Probst had served as the company's chief executive from 1991 through 2007, and was elevated to chairman of the board in 1994.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2012 | Bloomberg News
Activision Blizzard Inc., the largest U.S. video-game maker, posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates on gains from its "Skylanders" and "Diablo" titles. Net income rose 53% to $226 million, or 20 cents a share, from $148 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier, the Santa Monica company said Wednesday. Excluding items, profit of 15 cents beat the 8-cent average of 24 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Its "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria" game helped the company gain about 1 million online subscribers in the quarter, and its "Skylanders Spyro's Adventures" generated the most revenue of any console game, including accessories such as action figures, the company said.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2011 | Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Independent studio Relativity Media is jumping into the fast-growing Chinese film market with a deal that gives it a stake in a local production company and a means to release its own movies in the country. Relativity said Sunday evening that it was investing in SkyLand Film & Television Cultural Development Ltd., a China-based entertainment production company. By doing so, Relativity is joining forces with SkyLand's two other financial backers: SAIF Partners, an Asian private-equity firm with $3.5 billion under management, and IDG China Media, the Chinese arm of Boston-based tech firm International Data Group.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
It's beginning to look like not as many gamers are answering the "Call of Duty" this year. Though publisher Activision Blizzard has revealed very little sales data for the latest installment of the most successful franchise in the console video game business, mounting evidence indicates that this year's "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" is selling fewer copies than last year's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. " On Nov. 16, Activision reported that...
BUSINESS
November 8, 2012 | Bloomberg News
Activision Blizzard Inc., the largest U.S. video-game maker, posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates on gains from its "Skylanders" and "Diablo" titles. Net income rose 53% to $226 million, or 20 cents a share, from $148 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier, the Santa Monica company said Wednesday. Excluding items, profit of 15 cents beat the 8-cent average of 24 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Its "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria" game helped the company gain about 1 million online subscribers in the quarter, and its "Skylanders Spyro's Adventures" generated the most revenue of any console game, including accessories such as action figures, the company said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
A new basketball game and a sequel to the combo game/toy line "Skylanders" were two spots of good news in what was otherwise a grim month for the video game business. Take-Two Interactive's "NBA 2K 13" was the best-selling video game during October, according to the NPD Group, and outsold last year's "NBA 2K 12" by more than 60%. Activision Blizzard's "Skylanders: Giants" was only the No. 10 game, but outsold last year's "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure" during its first month on sale.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Gamers can finally start carjacking again. "Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the spring of 2013, publisher Take-Two Interactive announced Tuesday. The company's Rockstar Games subsidiary confirmed earlier this year that the sequel to 2008's hit "Grand Theft Auto IV" was in the works, but did not disclose a release date. The spring timing is significant as Take-Two's fiscal year ends on March 31. With spring not officially starting until March 20, it is very likely that "Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the company's fiscal 2014.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Six-year-old Jericho Rodriguez sprinted into Toys R Us like a cheetah chasing its prey. "Mommy, Skylanders! Skylanders!" he yelled as he ran through a crowd gathered around the biggest display in the store, larger even than ones for Legos and Marvel superheroes such as Iron Man. Jericho and other young boys were gathered in Atwater Village early Sunday morning for the new video game "Skylanders: Giants" and dozens of action figures associated with...
BUSINESS
February 10, 2012 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Bolstered by the continued dominance of the Call of Duty military shooter franchise and a new hit in its Skylander video game and toy line, Activision Blizzard Inc. swung to a profit in its fourth quarter, beating Wall Street's expectations and pumping up its stock price Thursday by 1%. The Santa Monica game publisher also reported that subscribers to its World of Warcraft online game fell to 10.2 million as of Dec. 31, down from 10.3 million customers...
BUSINESS
February 10, 2012 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Bolstered by the continued dominance of the Call of Duty military shooter franchise and a new hit in its Skylander video game and toy line, Activision Blizzard Inc. swung to a profit in its fourth quarter, beating Wall Street's expectations and pumping up its stock price Thursday by 1%. The Santa Monica game publisher also reported that subscribers to its World of Warcraft online game fell to 10.2 million as of Dec. 31, down from 10.3 million customers...
BUSINESS
August 14, 2011 | Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Independent studio Relativity Media is jumping into the fast-growing Chinese film market with a deal that gives it a stake in a local production company and a means to release its own movies in the country. Relativity said Sunday evening that it was investing in SkyLand Film & Television Cultural Development Ltd., a China-based entertainment production company. By doing so, Relativity is joining forces with SkyLand's two other financial backers: SAIF Partners, an Asian private-equity firm with $3.5 billion under management, and IDG China Media, the Chinese arm of Boston-based tech firm International Data Group.
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