This Week in the Business: Not as Simple as It Sounds

Illustration for article titled This Week in the Business: Not as Simple as It Sounds

QUOTE | "We are thinking about a new business structure. .. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone."—Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, on Nintendo's loss for the year and what to do about it.

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Elsewhere in the business of video games this past week ...

STAT | $766 million—Change in the amount of profit Nintendo expects for its fiscal year ending March 30; the company now expects a loss of over $240 million, lowering Wii U sales estimates by 70%.

QUOTE | "If EA wants to put Origin on it, that would be fine."—Valve head Gabe Newell, talking on Reddit about how SteamOS will be "as open as possible."

QUOTE | "If Valve can actually get some exclusive freemium games like Dota 2 working great with its controller I think that would be the best possible calling card."—IDC analyst Lewis Ward, on the opportunity ahead for Steam Machines.

STAT | 2%—Amount that physical retail sales for video game hardware, software and accessories in the US fell in 2013, according to NPD; hardware sales were up 5%, but software slipped 9% and accessories were up 3%.

QUOTE | "It felt as if the industry just didn't care much for making games more accessible to new audiences."—Sunni Pavlovic, studio manager for thatgamecompany, on the high and low points of the game industry in 2013.

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STAT | 12 billion—Number of minutes per month Twitch fans watched game streams in 2013; the service now has over 45 million monthly visitors who watch 106 minutes per day, on average.

QUOTE | "I think local compute will be important for a long time."—Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer on why Xbox hardware will remain relevant despite the rise of cloud processing.

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QUOTE | "It's my belief that the age of 2D monitors has run its course."—Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, on the future of VR and why some Oculus Rift games may cost more than $60.

QUOTE | "Console manufacturers are all under siege right now... if you look at Xbox One and PS4 they are almost identical except for interface."—Former Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack, on how the game industry is still in the "Dark Ages" while headed towards a Renaissance.

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This Week in the Business courtesy of GamesIndustry International

Image by Elnur | Shutterstock

DISCUSSION

kireek
KIREEK

Eh. I don't know if I can see Denis Dyack's "one-console future" concept ever coming to fruition simply because the two big hardware makers are making a lot of money and it seems that the gaming community enjoys the controversy and mudslinging associated with picking sides. I feel like once we crossed into these "Dark Ages" there's really no going back and the future will be the "Darker Ages" where games cost more, dev teams are even more gigantic and "exclusives" pile up from all directions (be it promotional dlc for reserving a game from a certain store or an exclusive platform incentives for a multiplatform game).

Licensing, hardware capability fragmentation and lag are keeping us away from the "cloud". One area that I do see hope for that I'm surprised he didn't mention was the possibility for more immersive experiences with new technology such as the Oculus Rift. Perhaps once these new experiences catch on and people get used to having a higher bar of quality for their games there will be a shift in the industry but can anyone really say Xbox One or PS4 are business models worth abandoning based upon their launch sales?