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This Week In The Business: Money For Nothing

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STAT | $794 million - The staggering size of Magic Leap’s latest investment round. The augmented reality company has yet to even announce a commercial product, but is already valued at $4.5 billion.

Elsewhere in the business of gaming this week...

QUOTE | “These outstanding results were driven by robust sales of Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K16 and WWE 2K16, along with our highest-ever revenue from recurrent consumer spending.” - Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick, after the publisher posted non-GAAP sales and profits essentially half of what they were for the same period the year before.


QUOTE | “Remarkable” - Digi-Capital on the 81 percent year-over-year decline in dollars for games industry mergers, acquisitions, investments, and IPOs in 2015. Activision’s pending $5.9 billion acquisition of King will single-handedly put this year’s total above that of 2015.

QUOTE | “The very ground that the ESA was built on is starting to crumble.” - Superdata CEO Joost van Dreunen, arguing that the Entertainment Software Association has failed to adapt to the digital age and needs to provide better leadership for the industry.


QUOTE | “I don’t see what they gain from this… I don’t see them safeguarding anything, and don’t think it will be a major part of their business ever.” - Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, unimpressed with GameStop’s plan to publish games itself, starting with Insomniac’s Song of the Deep.

QUOTE | “You’d be a brave person to put in multiple tens of millions into a VR game at this stage, in my opinion. Maybe in a year’s time that will naturally happen, but at this stage I think people are being brave but sensible with their investments.” - Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley on the paucity of AAA-scale VR games on the way. His own company’s Battlezone reboot has a budget of about £5 million.

STAT | More than $5 million - The amount of money The Witness brought in during its first week on sale. Last week’s piracy concerns aside, the game has already sold “substantially more” than 100,000 units.

STAT | 45,114 - The number of PlayStation Vitas sold in Japan last week, enough to easily top the hardware charts. While the system received a bump from the release of Dragon Quest Builders, the Vita version of that game topped the software charts ahead of its PS4 and PS3 counterparts.


QUOTE | “Creative decisions made in partnership with the licensors to avoid firearms and classic shooter mechanics.” - Glu Mobile CEO Niccolo de Masi, on why the company’s James Bond: World of Espionage game flopped. The publisher laid off 50 employees after a back half of the year de Masi called “extremely humbling.”

QUOTE | “[Pupils] will sit ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competitions and start up mock companies at the schools.” - A representative for Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, describing two forthcoming Livingstone Academies in the UK for students aged 4-19. The schools will teach STEM courses, art, and entrepreneurialism.


QUOTE | “We consider Dust 514 one of the best free-to-play offerings on the platform, but the years have caught up with us.” - CCP, explaining why it’s pulling the plug on its free-to-play PS3 shooter on May 30.

STAT | 100 million - The initial goal for My Nintendo memberships, a number the company hopes to reach with the help of its upcoming mobile titles.