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Round Up: WildTangent Hires, Lycos/Games, GameStop Analysis

Round Up: WildTangent Hires, Lycos/Games, GameStop Analysis

November 21, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

November 21, 2006 | By Jason Dobson
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More: Console/PC



Today's round-up includes news of WildTangent hiring industry veteran AJ Redmer, the top game related Lycos searches for the week, and analysis of retailer GameStop from both Wedbush Morgan and Lazard Capital Markets, as well as the latest Game Career Guide updates, Serious Games Source posts, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings.

- Casual game firm WildTangent today announced that the company has appointed AJ Redmer to the position of executive vice president of WildTangent Studios. AJ joins WildTangent from Microsoft Game Studios where he was most recently general manager of Microsoft Game Studios Asia. Prior is tenure at Microsoft Game Studios, Redmer served as the director of game design at Nintendo Software Technology and director of development at Lucasfilm Games. AJ was also a founder of Maxis where he worked on the original Sim City. WildTangent has always defined and been the leader in the online game business, and we are thrilled for AJ to be joining our team, said Alex St John, CEO and founder of WildTangent. This is not only great news for WildTangent, but for gamers worldwide.

- Officials from veteran web portal Lycos have released company's 50 most popular internet search results for the week ending November 18, 2006, noting that interest in gaming has seen a decline in 2006 from the previous year. Specifically, searches for the term "PlayStation" fell to tenth on the weekly list, with a 14 percent decline in interest from the same period in 2005. Similarly, searches for "Xbox" dropped 17 percent, and "Nintendo" fell 25 percent. However, Lycos representatives note that despite this, the PlayStation remains more popular than all other gaming platforms, generating 119 percent more search interest than the Xbox 360, and 497 percent more popular than Nintendo among the search engine's users. Looking to specific video games, it was Jagex's MMORPG RuneScape that proved the most popular among search engine users, beating out arguably more recognized titles such as Grand Theft Auto Vice City (3rd), EverQuest (5th), and World of Warcraft (7th).

- Following news earlier today concerning major video game retailer GameStop's significant jump in sales for the third quarter, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter commented in a research note that the analyst firm has raised its 12-month target price for the retailer from $55 to $60, and has maintained its fourth quarter EPS estimate of $1.62, 3 higher than GameStop's guidance. However, because shares of GameStop are currently trading withing 20 percent of the new target price, the firm lowered the retail chain's rating from Strong Buy to Buy. Similarly, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian has labled the stock as Bay, with a target price of $60 as well, noting that the retailer should benefit from multiple tailwinds, including the ramping installed base of three next-generation video-game consoles, increasing handheld product sales (DS and PSP), growing used business, a more robust video-game release schedule, and easing year-over-year software growth comparisons. GameStop's stock is currently trading at $53.00, up 3.60 percent.

- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at decent Gundam mech games, a collection of thoughts from independent game developers on the state of the industry, and Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon released for free.

- The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include a thesis that reviews the process of discovery of several in-game training strategies.

- Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Concrete Games, Cranky Pants Games, Datascope Recruitment, Incinerator Studios, NaturalMotion, Pandemic Studios, Relic Entertainment, and Sucker Punch Productions.


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