Samsung Marketing Spend Overwhelming HTC

HTC once saw six consecutive months of record revenue in 2011 before the release of the iPhone 4S. Since that time, profits have been declining because of competition with both Apple and Samsung.

Samsung shipped 69.4 million smartphones during the first quarter of 2013, dominating the Android market and good enough for a 33.1 percent share of the global smartphone market. LG was the next-closest Android vendor in Q1 and controlled less than 5 percent of the market worldwide.

Marketing is a huge reason for this discrepancy and is overwhelming its competition with its sales and marketing budget. Samsung spent an estimated $9.3 billion on marketing in 2012 and is believed to of dropped $2.5 billion on sales and marketing in Q1 2013 alone.

Compared to this, HTC spent $130 million last quarter on sales and marketing activities. To put that in perspective, Samsung spent nearly 20 times more than HTC did on marketing, advertising and related activities last quarter.

While HTC recently launched the One and the company hopes that will help turn around its fortunes. However, the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will probably involve billions spent on marketing, which may overwhelm anything HTC is likely to do.

Source: BGR.com

World Of Warcraft Down Over A Million Subscribers In Early 2013

World of Warcraft‘s subscriber base has declined 1.3 million subscribers over the first three months of the year. Now down to somewhere above 8 million subscribers, the decline mostly came from East Asia, though there were some losses in Europe and the Americas as well.

“And while we do believe further declines are likely, and we expect to have fewer subscribers a year than we do today, World of Warcraft remains one of the most successful franchises in the history of entertainment,” said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.

The executive said that the developers at Blizzard are committed to releasing more content for World of Warcraft more frequently in an attempt to retain players and have lapsed players return. “We believe in the long-term value of this franchise and will continue to commit substantial resources to World of Warcraft,” he added.

Source: Polygon.com

Warner Bros. Hires David Haddad

Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment announced that it has hired David Haddad to be vice president of digital publishing, where he will oversee all of WBIE’s digital titles, including MMO, free-to-play, and MOBA games. He will also be responsible for identifying and evaluating new business opportunities in the games space and will manage virtual merchandise sales, in-game advertising and product placement deals.

“We are making innovative strides in the digital games business and we feel we have found a great leader in David who can build upon our foundation,” said Warner Bros WBIE president Martin Tremblay. “David has excellent experience and knowledge of the digital business world and will lead our broader efforts as we forge new opportunities in the industry.”

“I’m thrilled to join Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment with its strong base of games and rich, diverse brands,” said Haddad. “To make the most of this great opportunity, my focus will be on expanding the company’s impact in the fast growing digital games space.”

Haddad has over 25 years of experience in the industry and was previously the chief operating officer for Activision Blizzard’s Guitar Hero business and chief operating officer for Sierra Online. His experience also includes leadership roles at Liveplanet, Etoys, Mattel and The Walt Disney Company.

Warner Bros. Secures D&D Movie Rights

Warner Bros. has acquired rights to make a movie based on Dungeons & Dragons. David Leslie Johnson (Wrath Of The Titans, Red Riding Hood) has penned the script to the movie.

The first script for the move was based on the Gary Gygax’s Chainmail system, which was a predecessor to D&D. The film will be produced by The Lego Movie producer Roy Lee and Courtney Solomon (who directed the first Dungeons & Dragons film in 2000) while Alan Zeman is executive producing.

Source: Deadline.com

BlueStacks Launches Microconsole Gamepop

Bluestacks has announced they will be launching a new gaming console and subscription service called Gamepop. The Android powered console will be free until the end of May, though access to any of the games costs $6.99 per month for the all-you-play gaming service.

“Mobile gaming has been taking off the past few years. BlueStacks’ vision is to bring that same experience to bigger screens,” said BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma. “The all-you-can-eat pricing model for GamePop lets users enjoy a much broader range of games, just as you can watch more movies with Netflix versus the pay-as-you-go model Blockbuster employed.”

“BlueStacks has credibility in the microconsole space that others just don’t have,” added Halfbrick CEO Shainiel Deo. “We’ve been a featured partner in App Player since early on and they’ve delivered on every promise in terms of distribution. GamePop is a great incremental channel for us.”

Wargaming Targets Project Tank Creators

Wargaming has filed a complaint against Changyou.com Limited and Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology Co for the similarities between Project Tank and World of Tanks. Not only do they allege they “copied the plot, theme, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, and character of World of Tanks, in addition to copying specific features, items, tanks, and artwork” but Wargaming also asserts that Project Tank has violated one of its patents for multiplayer matchmaking.

“Copying is evidenced by the fact that the designers of Project Tank copied historical inaccuracies found in WoT, each of which does not affect game play, but which was included in WoT to simplify the tank modeling and rendering process,” the complaint reads. “Copying is further evidenced by the fact that the designers of Project Tank copied tanks from WoT that never existed in real life, and which included features original to WoT.”

Changyou is, for its part, denying the allegations.

Source: Polygon

Ender’s Game – Trailer

Ender’s Game has been in the works as a movie for decades, and now it’s finally close to being released. Check out this trailer, which is heavy on moody shoots of people, space and vehicles.

Exclusive: Top Players In Mobile For April 2013

By Peter Warman

Editor’s note: Newzoo and Distimo have released monthly mobile game data for April 2013, listing top worldwide games and publishers for iOS App Store and Google Play. Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo, contributes his analysis.

Top iOS Games

Warner Bros. Injustice: Gods Among Us has stormed the April iOS charts to take the number four spot. The newly released title is a free-to-play collectible card game based on the heroes of DC comics. Its rapid success is further testament to the power of games based on established franchises. Further examples include The Hobbit which is sitting at number seven in the list and The Simpsons Tapped Out which claims positions eight and 12 (US & Canada version). DC’s comic book rival Marvel has seen its hugely popular game War of Heroes slowly dropping down the charts where it now sits at spot 18.

The top the iOS games remained unchanged once again this month. There are some surprising exits from the list including the newly debuted 4 Pics 1 Word from LOTUM Gmbh and Dragon Vale from Playdom.

EA’s Real Racing, which debuted last month at number 14 is notably missing from this month’s list. This is due to the decision of EA to release the game in two versions- one of which is exclusive to the U.S., Canada and Japan. Combined revenues of both versions would place the racing title at position 12 on the list.

Rankings based on gross sales in 44 countries including key markets US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, BR, RU, AU, CN and JP.

Top iOS Publishers

The top 5 iOS publishers remained unchanged again this month, with Supercell still claiming the top spot followed by Electronic Arts and King.com. Disney, who debuted at number 13 last month, have now dropped from the list. Asian publishers Square Enix and Applibot have also fallen from the top 20.

Rankings based on gross sales in 44 countries including key markets US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, BR, RU, AU, CN and JP.

Top Google Play Store Games

Focusing on the PlayStore, Puzzle and Dragons was once again the best performing game in terms of revenues with last month’s number two from WeMadeEntertainement also retaining its position. Candy Crush Saga from King is the best performing Western game at number three in the list.

There are a total of six new entries in the charts, with Mobage’s hit title Rage of Bahamut noticeably absent.

Rankings based on gross sales in 34 countries including key markets US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, BR, RU, AU, CN and JP.

Top Google Play Store Publishers

The top five publishers remain the same this month, but have changed positions with LINE Corporation now at number one and WeMade Entertainment at number four. There were four new publishers on the list this month, all coming from Asia and at the expense of Zynga and Electronic Arts, who have dropped off the list entirely.

King.com, EA Swiss Earl, Kabam and Gameloft remain the only Western publishers in the list, furthering the divide between a substantially Western dominated iOS store and an Asian dominated Playstore.

Rankings based on gross sales in 34 countries including key markets US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, BR, RU, AU, CN and JP.

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