Remember gazing hungrily at each morsel of sugary goodness in the candy aisle? Yeah, that's kind of what Apple is feeling right now.
Apple has a debt-free $51 billion to spend — and recent rumors target EA and Sony (yes, Sony) as potential purchases. Investment banking firm Kaufman Brothers predicted that Apple will look to content-producing companies for possible acquisitions, including video-game companies such as EA and Sony. "We strongly believe that one or more very strategic opportunities may come along, that we can take, that we're in a unique position to take advantage of because of our strong cash position," said Apple head Steve Jobs in a meeting with investors. This reminds me of the time Halo almost became a Mac exclusive. What? You don't remember that? Well…. [NY Times]
Steve Jobs apparently "raged at Microsoft" when it bought Halo creator Bungie in 2000. Ed Fries, former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, told Develop that Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer received a nasty phone call from Jobs after the nearly $30 million buyout. "[Jobs] was mad at Ballmer and phoned him up and was angry because we’d just bought the premier Mac game developer and made them an Xbox developer," Fries said. Bungie spent its early years in a close relationship with Apple, developing games such as the Marathon series and Oni for the Mac. I suppose if Ballmer wanted to be juvenile, he could've cooled Jobs' jets with a well-timed "I drink your milkshake."
Former World of Warcraft Lead Designer Rob Pardo says "the day's coming" for simultaneous releases of digital and boxed copies of Blizzard games. Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Pardo cited ever-changing market conditions as the main impetus behind closing the gap between digital and boxed release times. "We've just been slowly changing it over time," he said. "Each time we've had a narrower window, and I think it's just borne out of the industry changing and digital distribution becoming more and more popular." In other words, hordes of WoW players are crazy enough to click "Play Now" the moment servers are switched on for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion.
Sony's slashing of the PSP Go's $249 price to $199 is "too little, too late," according to a market researcher. M2 Research's Billy Pidgeon believed that the handheld's shelf life won't extend after the price cut. "Now that 'sources' have revealed more details regarding PSP2, including a proposed fall 2011 date, it is very unlikely that these prices will clear shelves," he said. " The PSP will see sharp declines this holiday into Q1 2011 without more aggressive price cuts." Would you buy the PSP Go for $199? No? Man, what does it take to please you lot? [GamesIndustry.biz]
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