Itâ€™s that time of the year that everyone dreads: assessing financials from the year before. And for those of you who have bothered to do your taxes and are feeling the sting from Uncle Sam, look on the bright side: you didnâ€™t lose almost three billion in 2011 did you?
Many game publishers have recently published their earnings for the past year, and it's not good news for many parties. We've already mentioned the huge loss that Nintendo was going to post (which turned out even worse than expected). But it pales in comparison to the 2.9 billion dollar loss that Sony just posted.
It should be noted that the figure accounts for all of Sony's businesses, not just when it comes to gaming. In the end, the PS3 is the crown jewel of their portfolio at the moment, since everything else, including TVs, computers, cameras, and portable music players, has zero excitement or interest amoung consumers.
PSP numbers also dipped, but given that it's a system in its twilight years, that's hardly a shocker, and the Vita was introduced too late to be accounted for. Capcom also did worse than expected, with net sales going down a reported 29%. At least their Monster Hunter franchise helped to offset things, in Japan at least. So expect plenty more of that franchise in the year to come.
...But THQ Is In The Worst Shape
Of all the game companies out there, THQ is suffering the most. This past week alone, a massive slew of layoffs across the board was announced. And all of the bigwigs in charge of the company have taken massive pay cuts. Furthermore, their stock is now virtually worthless and about to be de-listed from the NASDAQ stock exchange.
But what about the games? It has been rumored that numerous projects have been cancelled. Yet those are mostly titles that we don't know about; how about stuff that we know is on the way, like Warhammer: Dark Millennium Online, their planned and much anticipated MMO? THQ is actively looking for a partner, so the project is not quite dead... yet.
Brand New Edition Of Dance Dance Revolution Coming
But I should mention that it's exclusively for schools. Konami has announced Dance Dance Revolution: Classroom Edition, which is aimed primarily at the educational market (obviously). When the game first came to America, it found an unexpected fan base among educators who saw the benefits of the game in the war against childhood and teenage obesity.
This latest edition will allow up to 48 dancing mat controllers to be synced to just one game machine. It was will formally debut at The California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance conference later this month, where Richard Simmons will be in attendance. Any bets on whether he'll be sweating to the oldies on a video game?
Given that the first real shot in the upcoming video game console wars has been shot by Nintendo and their announcement that the Wii U is coming out later this year, everyone has assumed that a new Xbox would be up next. But not so fast says Microsoft. They claim that the 360 still has plenty of life in it yet and that even something revealed at E3 is still too premature.
Hence why nothing will be said of the thing for the rest of this year. This is hot on the heels of particularly crazy-ass rumors in which MS was supposedly thinking of incorporating a Blu-ray drive in the next console. Which aside from being the thing that already drives the PS3, is a completely Sony piece of tech. Should MS be believed? Probably not, though it is nice to know that Xbox fans may not have to upgrade anytime soon.
Social Gaming Space In The Grips Of A Massive Witch-hunt
What began last week is not letting up. The biggest name on the social gaming block has been accused of shamelessly ripping off not just ideas but graphical elements from a competitor for an upcoming release. But this time, Zynga has hit back, not only defending themselves as simply taking what works and making it better, but claiming that their game had been ripped off by the same party years ago.
Which is an argument that has been further ripped apart by other disgruntled game makers, including NimbleBit, the much smaller iOS developer that got the hate train started in the first place. In other news, and instead of bitching about it on Twitter, another game developer, Spry Fox, is taking 6waves Lolapps to court over claims of blatant copycatting as well. Will all this encourage casual game makers to be more original? One can only hope.
Downloadable Games For Vita To Be Cheaper Than Boxed Versions
While not 100%, all signs indicate that the digital versions of physical Vita titles will be cheaper after-all. This of course makes total sense, given that a game that doesn't need to have an instruction manual printed up, a box to be put in, and be shipped to a store would cost less in the long haul.
Many expected business as usual, especially since PSP games on PSN cost just as much as GameStop. And that was mostly to prevent their retail partners from getting upset, over fears of lost revenue. It would seem that Sony is no longer afraid of burning bridges and is making the right choice. That and how they're all too aware of how badly the PSP Go tanked.
The live-action adaptation of the first Ace Attorney game, starring Phoenix Wright, recently debuted at a film festival in the Netherlands, to critical and audience acclaim, which is great news, considering how poor most game to movie adaptations tend to be. But the best news is how Capcom is officially localizing the film for domestic distribution.
The chances of it hitting the big screen are pretty much zilch, but you never know. Otherwise, expect a home video release, as well as a possible appearance of Netflix. It also should be noted that the director, Takashi Miike, has also directed another game adaptation previously, one based upon Yakuza, which might be the best of its kind that absolutely no one has ever heard of. Track down a copy if you can.