Not even the arrival of fast-selling sequel Mario Kart 8 could rev up sales of the Wii U game console, as one-time video game king Nintendo continued to struggle in its first quarter. Operating losses of 9.47 billion yen ($92.2M) were twice as bad as expected in consensus analyst estimates, while sales dropped more than 8 percent to 74.7 billion yen ($72.7M) despite sales of more than 2.8 million units of Mario Kart in the quarter.
There were modest signs of hope, as Wii U sales spiked more than three times from the same quarter a year ago, hitting 510,000 units. That still leaves the Wii U far behind Sony’s next-generation game console, the PS4, which has racked up 8.7 million units sold since its debut in November 2013, a year after the Wii U. Nintendo has sold fewer than 6.7 million units in 19 months.
Nintendo is still projecting a full-year profit of 40 billion yen ($39.2M), counting on the arrival of additional games based on some of its best-loved franchises, including Super Smash Brothers, by many accounts the biggest hit of the E3 videogame conference last month, and the arrival of the Amiibo game system. Similar to Disney Infinity and Skylanders, Amiibo combines toy figurines containing smart chips that can be used to create new game experiences and add characters in Wii U games such as the new Super Smash Brothers title.
Rob Glaser, who founded streaming-audio and -video pioneer RealNetworks 20 years ago after a decade at Microsoft, and who returned in 2012 as interim CEO, agreed to become permanent CEO again, the company’s board said in SEC filings Wednesday.
Glaser had originally given up the CEO job in 2010 while remaining as board chairman. In his permanent role, Glaser will receive an annual base salary of $600,000, a quarter of it in options for 39,173 shares of stock. He also would qualify for a bonus that would double his cash salary should the struggling company meet certain goals. The board also granted options on $750,000 worth of stock that would vest in three years.
The company, which makes technology for streaming video and audio, owns a substantial minority stake in music-streaming service Rhapsody. The company’s most important current initiative is RealPlayer Cloud, designed to ease the process of watching and moving around digital video on various devices. The company said Cloud now has 5 million users.
Nevertheless, the company is still struggling to right itself. On Wednesday it also reported a wider net loss of $21.8 million, on lower revenue of $40.8 million, for its second quarter compared to the same period last year.
Arsenal FX names Kira Karlstrom as Business Development Executive
Post-production and visual-effects house Arsenal FX named Kira Karlstrom as Business Development Executive. Karlstrom previously was a manager in Marvel Entertainment‘s Live Events Division, handling Marvel branding at Disney attractions, Broadway shows, touring events and more.
In her new role, Karlstrom will be responsible for developing new clients and identifying new business opportunities for the company, including co-branded TV spots, network animation, live events and commercial and digital content. Karlstrom previously worked at ESPN, where she received seven Sports Emmy nominations.
Who Needs a Story Idea? “Filmmaker” to Crowdsource EVERYTHING in Film Project
Thousands of filmmakers have used Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other sites to crowdsource money and other aspects of the movie-creation process. Michael Winingham seems to have taken that process to its logical end with Name This Movie.
Participants in the Kickstarter campaign that launches Friday will get a vote on that name for every dollar they donate. And Winingham is also leaving to fans the task of determining the film’s genre, storyline, plot, characters and just about everything else. Winingham, a Los Angeles screenwriter originally from Saint Louis, will write the screenplay that results, with all donors getting a “story by” credit. He is billing the project as the “first socially created film.”
Bigger donors, unsurprisingly, will have a bigger say in the film’s shape and direction, an acknowledgement, Winingham said, that what fan/investors want most is the ability to help control a film’s direction. Big donors might be featured on the movie’s poster, help choose costumes and props, work on the set or participate in casting decisions. During the 60-day fundraising process, Winingham hopes to raise $66,000.