This week, coronavirus hits the gaming industry, Q4 earnings show mobile gaming is on the rise, and Dan Houser exits Take-Two Interactive.
Coronavirus outbreak affects the video game industry
As the coronavirus continues to threaten populations worldwide and the crisis and the fallout have affected the video game industry. On Thursday, Nintendo released a statement alerting buyers to a manufacturing delay attributed to the outbreak — CNBC reported that it would result in product delays affecting the Nintendo Switch, Joy-Con controllers, and the Ring Fit Adventure. The Hollywood Reporter suspected that other companies like Xbox and PlayStation that manufacture in Asia, could also face fulfillment delays for upcoming products. In China however, Fox Business reported that video game use is spiking, as populations are quarantined at home. The outbreak has positively affected the bottom line of some gaming companies in the country.
Q4 2019 earnings highlight mobile strength among gaming companies
In public earnings reported this week by Activision Blizzard and Zynga, it was clear that mobile gaming had a strong quarter. In some of the only positive news around Activision Blizzard earnings, the company reported that mobile is the company’s biggest platform, with net revenue for the platform besting all over platform and business earnings. GameSpot noted the jump, pointing out that last year, the company’s mobile earnings only accounted for 25%, with console owning 34% of the business. VentureBeat reported that Zynga had one of its best fiscal years in 2019, reporting a 62% increase in bookings and a successful M&A strategy that is keeping the company profitable.
Dan Houser is leaving Rockstar Games
In an SEC document registered by Take-Two Interactive this week, it was revealed that Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser is leaving the company after an “extended break” that began last spring. The Verge reported that Houser touched nearly all franchises from the company, including Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto, but that the company’s president, and Houser’s brother, Sam Houser will remain at the helm. Following the news, Ars Technica reported that the company’s stock had taken a hit, as investors and fans question the company’s future without Houser.