This Week In The Business: Interesting But Unfair Comparisons

Image credit: niXerKG
Image credit: niXerKG

STAT | 47 million - Nintendo’s high-end forecast for Switch shipments by April of 2019. That would put the Switch’s first two years (and one month) of sales above the lifetime totals for the Wii U (14 million), GameCube (22 million), Nintendo 64 (33 million), and Super Nintendo (49 million).

STAT | $455 million - Electronic Arts’ potential price paid for the acquisition of Titanfall developer Respawn, if the studio hits unspecified performance targets through 2022. That’s less than the company paid for PopCap ($750 million in 2011), BioWare/Pandemic ($775 million in 2007), or Jamdat ($680 million in 2005), but more than it paid for Origin Systems ($35 million in 1992), Maxis ($125 million in 1997), Westwood ($122.5 million in 1998), or Playfish ($300 million in 2009).

QUOTE | “As Sony launched PlayStation 4 Pro last year and Microsoft Xbox One X this year, we think we still have a minimum of two years in front of us before something new is coming. But that’s our perception, we don’t have any confidential information on that front.” - Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told investors he thinks it will be a while before another they have to cross another console generation gap.


QUOTE | “Especially being a guy working on the hardware, I love [new] console generations. But it is tough. It’s tough on the business, it’s tough on developers, it’s tough on customers.” - Senior Director of Xbox Console Marketing Albert Penello sees the Xbox One X as a good way to extend the current console generation a bit longer.

QUOTE | “There’s a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around — where we may not have to do an annual release. We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service.” - EA CEO Andrew Wilson envisions a day where EA Sports titles are never-ending live services rather than distinct, annualized retail releases.

QUOTE | “We want to delight our consumers, and we are trying to create a perfect balance between what the game has to offer and how consumers feel about it. That’s our primary goal. Our primary goal is not monetization and engagement. Our primary goal is delight. So we take any feedback incredibly seriously.” - Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, when asked how he reconciles NBA 2K18's record revenues with poor user reviews and player feedback complaining about aggressive monetization.

QUOTE | “At the end of the day, entertainment is not a must-have item. It’s a wanna-have item. And so people’s behavior reflected in engagement, unit sales, and ultimately spending, is probably the best barometer of how the title’s being received.” - Literally the next words out of Zelnick’s mouth.


QUOTE | “We aim to have recurrent consumer spending options for every title that we put out at this company.” - Zelnick again, speaking to investors after the company’s latest financial report showed bookings driven by record performances from Grand Theft Auto Online and NBA 2K18.

QUOTE | “The opportunities are there. Nintendo does not exclude you, it just asks you to ‘up your game’. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” - Sold Out CEO Garry Williams dismisses concerns that Nintendo platforms don’t work for third-party publishers.


QUOTE | “We’re over a year into our journey with VR and that killer app is still waiting to appear. I think maybe we don’t actually need one.” - EVE Valkyrie lead designer Andrew Willans believes VR may be influential like Xbox Live was, a showcase of the future that lacks a definitive experience.

QUOTE | “These are just arbitrary cut-offs plucked out of thin air. There’s no science to back them up, and it’s all conjecture.” - University of Leeds Professor of Cognitive Psychology Mark Mon-Williams is not impressed by the various age guidelines given by VR headset makers.


QUOTE | “Currently, two thirds of the games released so far on PlayStation VR are Move-compatible or require Move. As we see more Oculus and Vive titles come to PSVR, we’re expecting this number to increase. Sony is increasing the Move production capacity to [cater] to this.” - Sony London Studio director of VR product development Stuart Whyte said the company is ramping up production on the Move motion-sensing controllers that debuted in 2010 but were later supported by PlayStation VR.

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I’m disappointed that Nintendo switched to off-center sticks this generation. Either both up or both down please.

With off center sticks, if you’re playing a 2D game your hands aren’t aligned, and if you’re playing a 3D game your hands aren’t aligned either. When you’re trying to move straight with the analog sticks it’ll always be slightly off center unless you’re taking the time to look at the analog stick and make sure you’re pushing it straight up. It’s a PITA.

I wonder if there will be third party joycons that can address this.