Two more executives have left Zynga, the leading social gaming company whose stock has lost 70 per cent of its value since going public in December.
There has been a string of departures this month after the San Francisco-based company issued disappointing quarterly results and its stock price continued to slide. The latest to leave are vice presidents Bill Mooney and Brian Birtwistle. Read more
Steve Perlman (pictured left), founder and chief executive of OnLive, has left the groundbreaking cloud gaming company following its restructuring this month.
While Mr Perlman was “departing to work on his myriad of other projects”, according to a company statement, OnLive had been the entrepreneur’s main focus for at least the last three years. Read more
It has not been a great week for Sony employees, as the Japanese consumer electronics group carries out some late-summer pruning on its businesses. Around 1,000 people at Sony Mobile’s operations are to be let go, with two-thirds of the redundancies falling in Lund, Sweden, as the headquarters of the mobile phone unit moves to Japan.
This was widely expected after Sony bought out Ericsson from their Sony Ericsson joint venture last year. In April this year, Sony had announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs globally. About half of these would come from the sale and spin-off of two subsidiaries, but detail about the rest is just starting to trickle through. Read more
Zynga has announced the resignation of John Schappert, its Chief Operating Officer (pictured left as his Zynga character), in a sign that the social gaming company is wrestling to recover from its poor financial performance.
Mr Schappert quit on Wednesday, with the company stating in an SEC filing that his resignation was not because of any disagreement over Zynga’s operations, policies or practices. Read more
Electronic Arts says subscriptions for its Star Wars: The Old Republic game have slipped below 1m, forcing it to “pivot” to a free-to-play option for the much vaunted franchise.
Launched in December, Star Wars was supposed to try to supplant Activision’s World of Warcraft (WoW) online role-playing game, but its subscribers now amount to less than 10 per cent of the 10.2m users paying for that world-leading title. Read more
A major investor in Gaikai, the cloud gaming service bought by Sony for $380m last week, has said the console maker could do something revolutionary with its acquisition that would transcend its hardware business.
“I think [Gaikai] will really show its true promise in the hands of Sony,” Mitch Lasky, general partner at the Benchmark Capital VC firm (pictured left), told the GamesBeat 2012 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “My hope is that we are going to see ‘PlayStation as a Service’,” he said. Read more
At a time when the future of game consoles has never looked less rosy, along comes Ouya, another box for under the TV set with the backing of none of the major publishers.
Unpromising? Certainly. But the price ($99), the design (Yves Behar coolness) and the concept (an open platform for every type of free-to-play game out there) could give the startup a fighting chance of success with consumers. Read more
Persuading players to pay real money for virtual goods represents the biggest challenge for developers and publishers pursuing the “freemium” business model in social gaming.
But introducing real-money gambling would improve the odds dramatically of building a viable business and be a real game-changer for the industry, according to Betable, a real-money gaming platform emerging from stealth mode today with the backing of some of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors. Read more
The success of Activision Blizzard’s new Call of Duty game for China will hang on its localised production, according to its chief executive.
Bobby Kotick was speaking from China to the FT after Tuesday’s announcement in Shanghai of a partnership with online gaming provider Tencent to bring the world’s biggest video game franchise to the market. Read more
The video game industry looked to the razzle-dazzle of its annual trade show in Los Angeles this week to lift it out of depression and E3, in part, delivered.
Sales have been suffering as interest has waned in the current generation of consoles, now seven years old, but Nintendo showed more than 20 games that would feature on its innovative Wii U console, due to launch later this year. Read more