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Mar 13, 2014

After the Zynga flop, all eyes on King’s coming-out party

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – King Digital Entertainment Plc struck gold with “Candy Crush Saga,” the runaway hit that made its way onto hundreds of millions of smartphones and spawned a $1.5 billion franchise.

Now, the rest of the smartphone game industry is waiting to see if King can pull off a coup in the public markets – and perhaps spur a mobile gaming IPO rush in the process.

Mar 11, 2014

Microsoft counts on shooter game ‘Titanfall’ to fire up Xbox One sales

SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp
is betting on making sci-fi combat game “Titanfall” a hit big
enough to boost sales of its Xbox One videogame device, helping
it catch up in terms of sales with rival Sony Corp’s
PlayStation 4 console.

Retailers are gearing up to get in on the buzz that has
built up around the release of the game, one of the most
anticipated new products for the latest version of the Xbox, by
hosting over 6,000 midnight launch events worldwide.

Mar 6, 2014

Disney overhauls troubled interactive unit, lays off 700

LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO, March 6 (Reuters) – Walt Disney
overhauled its struggling interactive division in a
sweeping reorganization that will reduce the number of video
games it develops and alter its advertising strategy to focus
more on the fast-changing mobile market.

As part of the revamp, Disney will lay off 700 employees,
roughly one-quarter of the interactive division, according to a
person with knowledge of the layoffs. A Disney spokeswoman would
not confirm the number.

Mar 3, 2014

Zynga plans March soft launch for 3 key titles in mobile revamp

SAN FRANCISCO, March 3 (Reuters) – Zynga Inc said
on Monday it will kick off a soft launch of its “FarmVille 2:
Country Escape” game and two other updated core titles before
the end of March – critical first steps as it seeks to remake
itself as a mobile gaming company.

The games, which include “Zynga Poker” and “Words With
Friends” will roll out on iOS and Android phones and tablets in
select undisclosed markets before officially launching by the
end of June.

Feb 13, 2014

Japanese online gaming firm Nexon’s incoming CEO eyes U.S. acquisitions

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Japanese online gaming
firm Nexon Co Ltd will begin to aggressively explore
U.S. acquisitions to further a long-standing plan to expand in
Western markets, its CEO-elect Owen Mahoney said.

“We continue to believe that North America is a big, big
opportunity for us,” Mahoney said in an interview with Reuters
late on Wednesday ahead of the company’s announcement that he
would succeed current Chief Executive Officer Seungwoo Choi in
March.

Feb 13, 2014

South Korea’s Nexon elevating CFO to top spot

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Nexon Co Ltd will
elevate CFO Owen Mahoney to the post of CEO in March as the
South Korean online gaming giant begins to aggressively explore
U.S. acquisitions to further a long-standing plan to expand in
Western markets.

Mahoney will succeed chief executive Seungwoo Choi, who has
led the company known for free-to-play PC games like combat
title “Dungeons&Fighters” since 2008.

Feb 12, 2014

Gamers help Nvidia’s fourth-quarter revenue beat Street

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday posted higher fourth-quarter revenue that beat expectations, fueled by the graphics chipmaker’s PC gaming components, even as it grapples with an expansion beyond computers and into mobile devices.

With the personal computer industry losing steam, Nvidia has expanded its graphics chips into mobile devices. But it is meeting stiff competition from larger Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and has responded by increasing its focus on automotive markets and other areas.

Feb 7, 2014

Activision earnings beat target; forecast falls short

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc
reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter income on
strong sales of its “Call of Duty” titles during the holidays,
helping drive its stock to a five-year high despite a middling
first-quarter outlook.

The largest U.S. videogame publisher believes its coming
action game “Destiny” will become the company’s next
billion-dollar franchise, Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick
said in a statement. The game is expected to launch in
September.

Feb 4, 2014

Timeline: Microsoft’s journey: four decades, three CEOs

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Satya Nadella’s elevation to CEO and co-founder Bill Gates’ decision to relinquish his chairmanship at Microsoft Corp marks a changing of the guard at a 39-year-old company that fueled the PC revolution but is now struggling to establish its long-term identity.

Here are some highlights in the four-decade journey of the world’s largest software maker:

Feb 4, 2014

Microsoft’s journey: four decades, three CEOs

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Satya Nadella’s elevation
to CEO and co-founder Bill Gates’ decision to relinquish his
chairmanship at Microsoft Corp marks a changing of the
guard at a 39-year-old company that fueled the PC revolution but
is now struggling to establish its long-term identity.

Here are some highlights in the four-decade journey of the
world’s largest software maker: