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With EA out, there's only one game publisher left on the NASDAQ-100
With EA out, there's only one game publisher left on the NASDAQ-100
December 17, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

Only one company focused primarily on video games remains on NASDAQ's coveted list of the 100 largest companies in the world.

Electronic Arts was pushed out as part of NASDAQ's annual reshuffling of the list to make room for newcomers like Western Digital and Liberty Global.

EA took a major hit this year, with shares hitting their lowest prices since 1999 partially due to its struggle to retain subscribers to its Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, a game rumored to have the most expensive development cost in video game history.

The only traditional game company to remain on the list is now Activision Blizzard, though several companies with ties to the industry -- including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Adobe and NVIDIA -- also remain.

The NASDAQ-100 is a prestigious list of the 100 largest non-financial companies listed on its stock exchange.

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Kevin Fishburne
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Yeah, Indies up, Suits down. If that bitch can't swim, she bound to drizzown. Welcome to the democratization of gaming.

Rodolfo Rosini
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This has less to do with democratization and more to do with the demise of retail. Steam and iTunes are the new masters which are the same as the old masters.

Merc Hoffner
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This has less to do with the 'demise of retail' and more to do with several years of heavy losses and unrealistic projections across a whole generation. EA's net equity has been broken in half over the generation (and I don't mean market cap'), and there's every prospect of the situation getting worse if they decide to up the ante with $100 million+ games. EA have actually made more moves to get into digital distribution and the new 'democratised' platforms than most of their big publisher competitors. It ain't helped them much yet, proving these new 'fertile' markets are fickle beasts indeed.

Lennard Feddersen
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Not quite Rodolfo. I got into the industry just after the diskettes in shrink wrap baggies of the Apple II era and I always wished that I could have gotten in just a few years earlier. It's kinda where we are now - thanks to the wonders of the inter-web you, the developer, can go straight to the consumer. Or if you have enough 'game', get in with Steam and keep a whopping 70% of the take.

For better and worse, these ain't the old days.

wes bogdan
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So imagine if sony,nintendo and ms allowed people to engage their storefronts over their websites and something like ps3 plus subscribers would go to the playstation store on their smartphones but back home your ps3 turns itself on downloads the game,installs it then shuts down waiting for you to play the shiny new game.

Trouble is even with a 640gb hdd in a ps3 after enough patches,dlc and full psn games there's barely enough room for day 1 digital so sony needs to take a page from nintendo allowing users to get a 3tb hdd so all day 1 digital or psn full games could be stored externally and even hooked up to ps4 allowing game installs,patches and dlc to be kept internally recovering much hdd space on the internal hdd.

With no box,manuial,disc etc a digital release of assassins creed 3 should run $40-49 not $59-100+

Of course this will be the end of things like a songbird ed or care package but imagine if we could check out nintendo or buy games and if they can't pull a sony with their boxes we'd simply come home dl/install then enjoy.

ian stansbury
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Multiple issues that conflict with this. Distribution, packaging, and retail take accounts for 15-20 of the purchase. The big chunk of the remaining $ goes to the big companies between vendor (ms, sony, nin) and the publishers. If the developer is lucky they may see up to $20 on a triple AAA game. So even if they (developer) cut their profits by 1/4 you may only see a ten dollar price drop in the store.

Compare that with steam where they take 70/30 split. AAA game sold for $40 and the profit is higher than the box version. Long story short the break up of the distribution chain will be a good thing for both competition and consumers.

Erin OConnor
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Maybe, just maybe EA will realize that pulling their titles from steam was a mistake.
I mean when you ignore 50 million potential customers what could go wrong?

Joe Rielly
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PopCap was a big miss and a sign of the "social" mini bubble.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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Its funny to see the sometimes hysterical reactions to this. EA isnt crashing. Its just getting overstepped in market capitalization by other, non-gaming businesses.

The only ones I know among the new "inductees" is Western Digital (as in the harddrives. Gotta stock all that data somewhere) and Discovery Communications (as in TV).

Adam Bishop
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If you look at EA's financials (switch to the annual view) you can see that they've drastically improved their financial situation over the past few years. They've gone from nearly billion dollar deficits to making a profit. That's actually a pretty solid turnaround if they can keep it going.

Merc Hoffner
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There's no doubt it's taken a huge investment to get them used to the mechanics of the 7th generation and $20-40 million budgets and return to profits, but now the generation's just about over it's left them with a pretty gaping net negative. If the cycle is about to repeat, and the costs get an exponential step change worse AGAIN then can they really turn a success out of it? I wouldn't feel too celebratory for their future and it seems neither does the market. They obviously see this too and are trying to build a social gaming lifeboat, but that boat looks dinky and EA was rather rotund.

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I just wish EA would stop trying so hard to prove they have better product than the competition and just start making better products. The potential is there. I have not bought a game from them in a long long while.