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How the video games industry is faring

By The Associated Press
December 8, 2011
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A look at results from selected companies in the video games business:

Oct. 20: Microsoft Corp. says revenue from the Xbox 360 products and services grew 7 percent, led by higher revenue from the Xbox Live service and offset by decreased revenue from video games and fewer consoles sold. Microsoft says video game revenue decreased because the same period a year ago had strong sales of "Halo Reach." Microsoft says it shipped 2.3 million Xbox 360 consoles during the latest quarter, compared with 2.8 million a year ago.

Oct. 27: Nintendo Co., maker of the Wii game console and DS handheld, reports a larger net loss and reduces its full-year forecast, battered by the strong yen and weak software sales. The company says a price reduction has lifted sales of the 3DS handheld, which offers 3D gaming without special glasses. One title, "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D," sold more than a million units, but the company acknowledged that the 3DS "has yet to have many hit titles." Wii console sales for the latest six-month period fell to 3.35 million units from 4.97 million units a year ago, while software sales declined to 36.45 million units from 65.21 million a year earlier.

Electronic Arts Inc. takes a hit despite solid results after the video game publisher failed to raise full-year guidance as some had expected. Its quarterly loss expanded from a year ago because of higher costs, but revenue grew. The company says such titles as "FIFA 12," "Madden NFL 12" and "The Sims Social" performed well, while "Battlefield 3" was off to a good start.

Nov. 2: Sony Corp. reports an 8 percent revenue decline in the game business because of a price reduction in the PlayStation 3 console ahead of the holiday season.

THQ Inc., a maker of video games, says it lost more money in the latest quarter than a year ago, as the company spent more on development, marketing and other expenses. But its revenue grew and surpassed expectations. The company's upbeat forecast for the all-important holiday quarter, however, lifted its stock sharply.

Nov. 8: Activision Blizzard Inc. raises its full-year outlook on the day its latest "Call of Duty" blockbuster goes on sale. The game is expected to break industry records set by its predecessor a year ago for metrics such as first-day sales and overall dollar sales. The company also says its third-quarter net income nearly tripled thanks to strong demand for its video games.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., which develops and sells video games including the top-selling "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption" series, reports a net loss in the latest quarter. Its revenue fell 56 percent from a year earlier because of a dearth of big product launches.

Nov. 11: Market researcher NPD Group reports that U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories rose 1 percent to $1.08 billion in October, helped by sales of "Battlefield 3." Hardware sales, which include game consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, rose 6 percent from October 2010 to $296 million. Sales of software, or the video games themselves, rose 3 percent to $621 million.

Nov. 17: GameStop Corp., the world's largest video game retailer, says earnings declined slightly in the latest quarter as higher revenue was outstripped by rising expenses. GameStop's net income fell to 39 cents per share, from 36 cents per share a year ago. The company says it spent about 3 cents per share on long-term investments in new businesses during the quarter. These include digital sales, "iDevice" trade-ins and its gaming tablet business.

Wednesday: THQ lowers its revenue guidance for its holiday quarter. The company says its uDraw Game Tablet saw success on the Wii video game console, but initial sales of the table and software for use with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have been weaker than expected. The company says sales of other games such as "WWE 12" and "Saints Row: The Third" will likely meet or exceed the company's expectations. The company's stock sank 38 percent Thursday.

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