June 15, 2012 |
May was another crushing month for video game sales. Or was it? At first glance, the numbers look dismal. Game sales declined 16% in May to $335.2 million compared with a year earlier. Sales of game consoles and hardware peripherals dropped 23% to $261.2 million, according to the NPD Group Inc., a market research firm. Overall sales of both hardware and games fell 19.7% to $596.4 million last month, down from $743.1 million a year earlier. Only game accessories saw an increase, fueled by gift cards for online games and brisk sales of physical toys for Activision Blizzard Inc.'s "Skylanders" game.
June 4, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - How young is too young to join Facebook? The Menlo Park, Calif., company currently bans anyone under age 13 from joining the world's most popular social network. Yet an estimated 7.5 million preteens - most of them under age 10 - are already using the service, many with their parents' approval. The highly charged debate over privacy and safety in the Internet age picked up steam this week as word leaked that Facebook was considering allowing kids younger than 13 to use the service with parental supervision.
May 19, 2012 |
Facebook Inc.'s initial public offering isn't just a flop on Wall Street. It's also not making waves in social gaming land. Facebook, whose popularity among its nearly 1 billion users has been partly fueled by social games published by Zynga Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and others, may be facing a collapse of its gaming ecosystem, according to a book released this week by P.J. McNealy, a media analyst with Digital World Research. "Early Days: The Social Gaming Market and Facebook's Achilles' Heel" argues that developers are no longer making as many Facebook games because it has become impossible for them to make money.
May 19, 2012 |
Wall Street didn't get the Facebook effect it was hoping for. In a sign that the social networking giant may have already become a bellwether for its sector, shares of virtually every social media company sank Friday with Facebook Inc.'s lackluster debut on the stock market. Anticipating that Facebook would have a big day, investors had loaded up on social media stocks in recent weeks. Many backpedaled when Facebook's shares barely budged, rising just 23 cents, or less than 1%, from the initial public offering price of $38. "They were playing for a pop and didn't get it," said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities.
May 18, 2012 |
It may be a financial bonanza for investors riding on the coattails of Facebook's grand initial public offering today, but in social gaming land, few are celebrating. Facebook, whose popularity among its nearly 1 billion users has been partly fueled by social games published by Zynga, Electronic Arts Inc. and others, may be facing a collapse of its gaming ecosystem, according to a book released this week by P.J. McNealy, a media analyst with Digital World Research. Titled " Early Days: The Social Gaming Market and Facebook's Achilles' Heel ," the book argues that developers are no longer making as many Facebook games because it has become impossible for them to make money.
May 11, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Dustin Moskovitz, at 27 the world's youngest billionaire, gained fame and fortune after founding Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg. He also gained the "Facebook 15. " He packed on the extra pounds while chowing down on free snacks and guzzling four sodas a day at the social networking giant. Today, Moskovitz is a svelte version of his former self. He runs Asana, a start-up named after the Sanskrit word for traditional yoga sitting positions. That's fitting since the company holds twice weekly group yoga classes at its San Francisco offices.
May 7, 2012 |
The apps on your smartphone or tablet are all bought and paid for, right? They may be paid for, but it doesn't necessarily mean you own them. Last week, iOS fans of Electronic Arts game Rock Band got a little shock when a warning popped up on their screens that the music would stop May 31. "Dear Rockers, On May 31, ROCK BAND will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!" The message said the game wasn't going to be updated due to the upcoming shutdown.
May 3, 2012 |
As a hurricane barreled toward the Florida Keys, John Schappert, the chief operating officer of Zynga Inc., was on a charter boat to catch lobsters with half a dozen friends. When the winds kicked up and large waves tossed the small craft about, several passengers felt too seasick to dive. But Schappert insisted on diving until he caught close to a dozen lobsters before he was willing to call it a day. "Most of us were begging to get back to shore," recalled Steve Chiang, a close friend who was on the boat that day in July.
April 26, 2012 |
Picture this: Kindle Fire users finally get to join in the addictive fun of Draw Something. Amazon announced the app's release in a tweet on Wednesday night. Google Android users were already drawing stuff with the app, but the Kindle Fire tablet, which runs on an altered version of the Android operating system, doesn't have access to the apps on Google Play . Draw Something is also available for iOS users . Zynga's popular social sketching and guessing game comes in the free and ad-free $1.99 versions for the Fire.
March 22, 2012 |
Zynga Inc., eager to fast-track its presence in mobile games, has snatched up Omgpop, the New York-based developer of Draw Something and more than 35 other titles. The companies did not disclose the purchase price when the deal was announced Wednesday, but VentureBeat reported this week that Zynga and Japanese mobile company Gree were both considering buying Omgpop for about $200 million. Although Omgpop has been around since 2006, it wasn't until it released Draw Something six weeks ago that the company vaulted into prominence.