Predictions for the most popular holiday videos games plus more news from large cap gaming stock Activision Blizzard, Inc (NASDAQ: ATVI) and small caps Zynga Inc (NASDAQ: ZNGA), Glu Mobile Inc (NASDAQ: GLUU), Majesco Entertainment Co (NASDAQ: COOL) and SPYR Inc (OTCMKTS: SPYR):
Nielsen Survey Predicts the Most Popular Video Games for the Holidays. According to overall anticipation levels measured by Nielsen Game Rank™, most-anticipated multiplatform video game this holiday season is Activision Blizzard’s military shooter game “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3″ with a rating of 98%. The game is due out November 6. In addition, “Fallout 4″ from Bethesda Softworks and “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate” from Ubisoft tied for second among multiplatform titles with an anticipation rating of 95% each while Electronic Arts’ (NASDAQ: EA) racing game “Need for Speed” from came in fourth with 92% and its “Star Wars: Battlefront” was fifth with 88%.
Groupon and Zynga Were Worst Big Internet IPOs. On Wednesday, USA Today pointed out that Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) and Zynga have first-year stock plunges of 85% and 74%, respectively, earning them the dubious distinction of being the worst-performing IPOs among Internet stocks. On its first day of public trading in November 2011, Groupon closed with a valuation of $12.5 billion after raising $700 million IPO while a month later, Zynga raised $1 billion in an offering that valued it at $7 billion. Groupon Inc is now worth $2.3 billion while Zynga is worth $2.2 billion. Of course, much of the fall off was due to self-inflicted problems. For example: The SEC ordered Groupon to amend its IPO filing multiple times in the second half of 2011, due to its questionable accounting for the payments made to merchant partners while Zynga had a large secondary offering at $12 a share with all of the $515 million in proceeds going to Pincus and other Zynga insiders.
Glu Launches James Bond: World of Espionage. Late last week, small cap Glu Mobile, a global developer and publisher of free-to-play games for smartphone and tablet devices, announced the availability of ‘James Bond: World of Espionage’ on the App Store and Google Play. A multiplayer game in which players must think strategically and make tactical decisions to recruit, train and deploy agents around the globe, there is also an extensive social features including PvP, real-time chat, guilds, leaderboards and events that offer players an innovative way to compete against and play alongside others. In addition, the game features over 100 real-world actors and models as agents and villains,
Majesco Entertainment Names Barry Honig CEO + Closes on Funds Held in Escrow. Late last week, small cap Majesco Entertainment Co, a provider of downloadable games for the mass market, has announced announced the appointment of Barry Honig as its new CEO and Co-Chairman of its Board of Directors. Honig is a private investor and a specialist in corporate finance plus he was a former founder and Co-Chairman of interClick, which sold to Yahoo in 2011 for $280 million. In addition, John Stetson was named as Executive Vice President and CFO and Michael Brauser was named as Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Majesco Entertainment Co also announced that it has closed on $9,040,000 previously held in an escrow account from prior subscription agreements with investors.
SPYR, Inc Adds a New Head of Marketing For Its Gaming Division. Small cap holding company SPYR, Inc, who’s wholly-owned subsidiary (Franklin Networks, Inc) is involved in digital publishing and advertising operations (including nine online brands: Flawless.com; Entrée.com; Grubbr.com; GuiltyTravel.com; Gladiators.com; Crumb.com; ParentingPad.com; Nutristic.com; and CelebrityHQ.com) and through its wholly-owned subsidiary SPYR APPS, LLC, develops and publishes mobile games and apps, has announced that it has contracted with ActiveSearch Consulting, Inc, for its CEO, Sophia Lee, to serve as the Head of Marketing for the apps division. Sophia Lee has assisted several successful clients in the games industry in marketing and monetization, including OMGPOP! (sold to Zynga), DNA Games (sold to Zynga) and Mochi Media (sold to Shanda Games). In addition, Lee led the “go to market” strategy at online games publisher Outspark (later acquired by Gamigo in 2013) where she spearheaded the user acquisition strategy from its infancy as the Vice President of Marketing plus she has held marketing roles at Yahoo! Inc., Esurance, Photo Alley and Dealix Corporation.
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