Angry Birds continues its explosive growth. Almost 21 months after its December 2009 launch, the bird-flinging game now boasts of 350 million downloads and over 300 million minutes of gameplay each day. And its merchandising side is seeing similar gains. According to Andrew Stalbow,Rovio’s General Manager for North America, monthly sales of plush toys and T-shirts are now in the millions. Not resting on its laurels, the franchise is readying two new games for release by the end of the year and is working on new features like geolocation to spicen things up.
Last month, we sat down with Microsoft for a quick look at the Xbox’s upcoming Dashboard update – it was sleek, searchable, and extremely camera shy. A quick trip to Europe seems to have cured it of its bashful ways, however, and the budding update can now be seen in a slightly blurry piece of French cinema. This leaked video shows a Dashboard with a smidge more polish than the demo we saw in September, and silently plods on without so much as a bleep or bloop. Our mute host briefly peeks at the Xbox Live Marketplace, casually glances at the Bing search page and scrolls leisurely through the new Dash’s very Metro menu. The whole shebang is en fran ais, of course, and the update’s snappy voice-control gimmick is sadly absent. Sure, there’s not a lot of depth here, but if you want a glimpse of what’s coming when the update drops later this Fall, it’s definitely worth a look.
What do we have here? It’s the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, priced at just 179.99 at Argos! If you remember, it was launched with a price tag of 599 which quickly dropped to 499, and more recently, retailers were offering it for a bargain basement 299.
So to see it on Argos for 179.99 is just mind blowing. The good side for Sony Ericsson, is that it is now sold out on Argos, which means people are willing to part with cash when they see a good bargain. Keep an eye on Argos for more stock.
Article: Local via Go Gadget News
Zynga’s revenues for the second quarter of 2013 declined 31% year-over-year to $231 million in the midst of a challenging transition that saw former CEO Mark Pincus hand over the reins to Don Mattrick.
The company had a net loss of $16 million compared to last year’s net loss of $22.8 million during the same quarter (which also had $95.5 million of stock-based compensation expenses). If you account for that then, the company’s net loss was $6.1 million compared to last year’s net loss of $4.6 million based on non-generally accepted accounting principles. Zynga said when it laid off nearly 20 percent of its staff last month that it expected to see a net loss of between $39 million to $28.5 million so this is actually a slight earnings beat.
“We need to get back to basics and take a longer term view on our products and business, develop more efficient processes and tighten up execution all across the company,” wrote Mattrick in the release. “We have a lot of hard work in front of us and as we reset, we expect to see more volatility in our business than we would like over the next two to four quarters.”
Last quarter, COO David Ko said the company was in the midst of a “pause” to re-evaluate its entire game slate and that this decision would be financially apparent in this quarter.
This quarter’s revenue is projected to be even lower in the range of $175 million to $200 million, with a net loss of $43 million to $14 million.
Through the company’s pivot onto iOS and Android, Zynga has had to compete against older and historically smaller rivals from the Facebook platform like King and Kabam. Both of those companies have fared well with King’s Candy Crush Saga bringing it the top grossing spot and numerous Kabam titles in the top 25.
In contrast, Zynga just has its longstanding Poker franchise in the U.S. top grossing 25. Even today, nearly 70 percent of the company’s monthly active users remain on the web.
The losses in Zynga’s user base from not being able to hold onto its core Facebook customers are staggering. The company’s level of daily active users is not much higher than half of where it was a year ago at 39 million this quarter compared to 72 million in 2012. It also saw 187 million monthly active users, down from 306 million users in the same time period a year before.
The company’s launches like Draw Something 2 have also underperformed without any slots in any of the top 100 charts and Zynga’s other big mobile launch, Running With Friends, remains in 45th place in the U.S. top grossing chart. Zynga had six major releases this quarter including War of the Fallen, Draw Something 2, Battlestone, Solstice Arena and Running With Friends.
But older franchises like FarmVille and FarmVille 2 continue to do well as both games have grown combined bookings by 29 percent year-over-year.
Zynga’s struggles in diversifying away from Facebook and missing the pivot to mobile ultimately convinced Pincus to give up the CEO role, although he remains chairman of the board and serves as chief product officer. It’s now Mattrick’s 15th day on the job.
Zynga is giving up what many investors had hoped might be its trump card: a real-money gaming business in the U.S. The company, which has been testing out real-money casino games in the U.K., said it won’t be pursuing a U.S. license after all in its second quarter earnings report today.
Sources tell us this is a decision to focus and not spread the company too thinly between real-money gaming, diversifying onto mobile and maintaining a core on Facebook. If it weren’t for the political and legal complexities of opening up real-money gaming in state after state, the business could have been interesting for Zynga, especially considering how long Zynga Poker has dominated both on the Facebook platform and on iOS and Android. None of Zynga’s social casino games, which use virtual currency, are affected by this. Shares declined 13 percent in after-hours to $3.02.
In the release today, Zynga said:
Zynga believes its biggest opportunity is to focus on free to play social games. While the Company continues to evaluate its real money gaming products in the United Kingdom test, Zynga is making the focused choice not to pursue a license for real money gaming in the United States. Zynga will continue to evaluate all of its priorities against the growing market opportunity in free, social gaming, including social casino offerings.
Zynga has long been exploring real-money gaming. It partnered with operator Bwin.Party to offer titles in the U.K. Then last November, the company took its first steps toward real-money gaming in the U.S. by applying for a “preliminary finding of suitability” from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
It’s not that this option is forever off the table. It’s just that the company is in the middle of a significant platform transition now, and real-money games – which would probably only be available to players in Nevada at first anyways – could be distracting.