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This Week In The Business: Lowered NX-pectations

QUOTE | “The challenge is that the roadmap for a successful Nintendo console is unclear.”—EEDAR analyst Patrick Walker, suggesting that Mario, Zelda and the like won’t be enough of a unique selling point to move the NX on their own.

Elsewhere in the business of gaming this week...

STAT | 800,000 - The number of Wii U systems Nintendo expects to sell this fiscal year. With next year’s Zelda the only Wii U game expected at E3, this holiday season looks to be a lean one for the console.

STAT | 17.7 million - The number of PS4s Sony sold in its last fiscal year, slightly less than the 18 million Xbox Ones reportedly sold between the system’s November 2013 launch and January of this year.

QUOTE | “Speaking personally, I feel like the [barrier to entry] trend is going too low right now. I say that because as a user, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to identify what I want to buy without having to rely on other people—or just the herd—to direct me to it.” - Drinkbox co-founder Chris Harvey suggests that it’s not in gamers’ best interests for developers to have so few hurdles in getting on digital storefronts.

QUOTE | “Don’t think about scale in terms of us doing 20 projects; no, we’ll focus, we’ll focus on certain things... We don’t want to be a 10 project studio. The Rockstar model is nice.” - CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski lays out the Witcher developer’s ambitions to grow the studio’s success without watering down its output.

QUOTE | “The Future Is Now.” - SNK’s new company tagline, which is also its old company tagline, thus making it accurate when first used, but merely confusing today.

STAT | 38% - The percentage of frequent gamers surveyed who follow eSports through streamed coverage. That’s smaller than the 40 percent who keep track of eSports through cable TV.

STAT | 54% - The proportion of free-to-play “whales” who never spend more than $50 on a single purchase, according to DeltaDNA. The average transaction for a whale was $20.

QUOTE | “In the console industry, there were 3000 developers that probably went to three or 30. Only three, really: Activision, EA, Take-Two. Mobile I think has 30,000 game developers and that’s going to go down by 99 per cent as well. I think that’s going to do down to 300.” - Glu Mobile’s Niccolo De Masi predicts a massive wave of consolidation to hit the mobile market.

QUOTE | “We don’t have 50 years of comic books that we have to adhere to in order to meet the fans’ expectations because of this or that. We actually have a brand that we can create as we go along, which is very unique in many respects.” - Rovio’s Justin Chacona looks on the bright side of making movies based on Angry Birds instead of Marvel or DC Comics.

QUOTE | “I think the reasons that we did it were so sound and exactly what we want to see in the industry - that if a game isn’t finding that fun factor and isn’t going to live up to expectations, it’s not just in our best interest as Daybreak, but it’s in the players’ best interests for us not to release that game.” - Daybreak’s chief publishing officer Laura Naviaux Sturr defends the “heartbreaking” decision to cancel EverQuest Next after years of development.

QUOTE | “Jory Prum touched many lives with his talent & kindness. LucasArts to Broken Age & Grim Remastered, we couldn’t have done it without him.” Double Fine founder Tim Schafer pays tribute to the award-winning audio engineer, who passed away last week as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

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