NPD Reports U.S. Gaming Sales At $14.8 Billion

The NPD Group reports that U.S. consumers spent $7.09 billion on physical game software during 2012, while used and rental games reached $1.79 billion. Meanwhile, digital content (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) generated $5.92 billion.

“When including all other forms of content spending outside of new physical games, the 2012 U.S. games market was more than twice as large as the total spending on new physical games alone,” said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “There were divergent trends when looking at content spending in 2012 as a whole, with a decrease of 21 percent in spending on physical content while digital content spending grew 16 percent; both formats combined for a total decline of 9 percent for the year.”

Super Bowl Blackout Had Advertisers Worried

Super Bowl XLVII will go down in history not just because it was an exciting game, but because of the blackout that halted play for over a half hour.  It also concerned executives at CBS who were worried that advertising commitments might not be met.

CBS chose to run promos for their own shows during the break and reran a commercial break containing ads from Bud Light and Subway once play resumed. There was concern that ratings for the back half of the game could be threatened, and if so, push some advertisers to seek compensation.

Worries likely lessened, since the game became close and finished 34-31 with the Ravens coming out on top. Still, the interruption disrupted the momentum of sponsors like Coca-Cola, which was airing the second part of an ad first shown in the second quarter during the post game.

Some of the more clever advertisers took advantage of the blackout on social media, where there was plenty of chatter. Audi tweeted that it was “sending some LEDS to the @MBUSA Superdome right now” while Oreo posted a picture on Twitter telling users how the cookie was fun to dunk in the dark and Procter & Gamble’s Tide tweeted, “We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out.”

It isn’t immediately clear what recourse advertisers might have, if any. CBS is likely contractually obligated to air their commercials at a specific point in the game — and it continued to do just that as game play resumed. What’s more, a network doesn’t have an easy way to provide a “make good,” or extra ad inventory provided to make up for a ratings shortfall, simply because the ratings for the Super Bowl are so outsize that the network would have to run a sponsor’s ads again and again across its regular schedule to cobble together a similar viewership.

“Immediately after the power failure in the Superdome, we lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Superdome,” said CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle. “We utilized CBS’s back-up power and at no time did we leave the air. During the interruption, CBS Sports’ Steve Tasker, Solomon Wilcots and our studio team reported on the situation as a breaking news story, providing updates and reports while full power was being restored to the dome including our sets and broadcast booth.”

Coca-Cola was more worried that #CokeChase tied into their was trending nationally before the blackout, but fell off afterwards. “The blackout is not our conversation to have,” said Laura Houghton, senior social-media manager at Coca-Cola.

However, things looked up for Coca-Cola as ratings soared late. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the brand had reached 7.5 million interactions.

Source: AdAge.com

Borderlands 2 Sells Almost 6 Million Units

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick revealed that Borderlands 2 has sold almost 6 million units. The company’s digital revenue in the third fiscal quarter (led by Borderlands 2) was up 244 percent year-on-year, accounting for 23 percent of the company’s total revenue.

Borderlands 2 continues to expand its audience and remains on pace to become the highest selling title in 2K’s history,” Zelnick said. “It has also been the largest contributor to our digitally delivered revenue this year, driven both by strong sales of full-game downloads and high attach rates for the titles out on content, especially the Borderlands 2 season pass.”

“Does that mean that these games will transition into a situation where you are constantly putting out new episodes and that bridges you from release to release?” he added. “We don’t see the business shaping up that way, but it does mean that the life cycle is extended greatly and we’ll continue to experiment with what this means creatively for consumers.”

Zynga Halves Losses In 2012 Compared To 2011

Zynga has announced that it’s full year revenue was up 12 percent to $1.28 billion with a net loss of $209 million, still only about half of 2011’s net loss of $404 million. The number of daily active users and monthly active users increased year-over-year to 56 million and 298 million respectively during the fourth quarter, but were ultimately down compared to Q3 2012.

“The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille 2, a next generation social game that offers cutting edge 3-D experiences loved by millions of FarmVille fans,” said Zynga CEO Mark Pincus. “In 2013 we’re excited to bring this new class of social games to mobile phones and tablets and build a network that offers an easier, better way for people to play together.”

The company also announced plans to shut down CityVille 2, The Friend Game, and the mobile game Party Place. Zynga chief operating officer David Ko says that the company is establishing new parameters to allow managers to shut-down under-performing titles earlier than was previously possible.

Source: Investor.Zynga.com {link no longer active}

Dell Bought Out For $24.4 Billion

Dell has been bought out for $24.4 billion by a group that includes Silver Lake, Microsoft and founder Michael Dell. With the PC market shrinking in recent months, this new effort to make Dell private will likely precede efforts to focus on tablets and other segments of the market which are growing.

“Microsoft has provided a $2 billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private,” said Microsoft in a statement. “Microsoft is committed to the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We’re in an industry that is constantly evolving. As always, we will continue to look for opportunities to support partners who are committed to innovating and driving business for their devices and services built on the Microsoft platform.”

Superheroes Fight, Fans Vote The Winner

The campaign for Injustice: Gods Among Us is picking up steam. Warner Bros. has launched Injustice Battle Arena, a digital and social campaign developed in conjunction with Ayzenberg to get fans behind their favorite characters in the DC Comics brawler. Aside from bragging rights, there’s a chance to win prizes.

Round one is on, pitting Batman against arch-nemesis Bane, and Wonder Woman facing off with Harley Quinn. Each round includes interviews where comic friendly celebrities weigh in on who will win.

Injustice Battle Arena Launch Video

Injustice Battle Arena Weekly Match-Up: Batman vs. Bane, Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn

Injustice Battle Arena Celebrity Expert: Kevin Conroy, Voice of Batman

Injustice Battle Arena Celebrity Experts: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes

Injustice Battle Arena Celebrity Experts: Wayne Brady and Tara Strong, Voice of Harley Quinn

 

Get Your Planet Cracker Plasma Cutter Now!

Do you still have your Dead Space 2 save file If you do, you’re in luck. People that have played Dead Space 2 will unlock and receive the Planet Cracker Plasma Cutter upon reaching the first bench in Dead Space 3.

The Planet Cracker Plasma Cutter has slightly better parameters then the starting one and has all 8 circuit slots unlocked from beginning giving you an ever so slight edge against the Necromorph terror.