Welcome to "Game On," The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
NEW RELEASES: This week's major release is THQ Nordic's "Darksiders III," an action-adventure game that rolls out today for PC, Xbox One (MSFT), and PlayStation 4 (SNE). Also out this week is Valve's "Artifact," a collectible card game based on the "Dota 2" universe. The game launches tomorrow on PC with a mobile release expected next year.
SUPERDATA OCTOBER SPENDING: SuperData said in a blog post last week that consumers spent $1.53B digitally on console video games in October, an 80% year-over-year increase that sets a new record for the platform. Growth was underpinned by "strong" launches of Activision's (ATVI) "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" and Take-Two's (TTWO) "Red Dead Redemption 2," as well as a favorable comparison against a nascent "Fortnite" last October, SuperData said. Specifically, full game download revenue surpassed $1B for the first month ever. Investors in Epic Games, which makes "Fortnite," include Disney (DIS), Tencent (TCEHY), and KKR (KKR).
GAMESTOP TO SELL SPRING MOBILE: Last Wednesday, GameStop (GME) announced that it entered into an agreement to sell its Spring Mobile business, which owns and operates 1,289 AT&T (T) wireless stores, to Prime Communications for $700M, excluding transaction fees and subject to customary working capital and indebtedness adjustments. The deal is expected to close int he fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Commenting on the transaction, GameStop Executive Chairman Dan DeMatteo said that the transaction "enables" the company to enhance performance with an "increased focus on the video game industry and the rapidly-growing collectibles space." DeMatteo added that the retailer's board continues to "review strategic and financial alternatives to enhance shareholder value" and "looks forward to providing an update on the process at the appropriate time."
POKEMON: Nintendo (NTDOY) and The Pokemon Company said yesterday that their latest Nintendo Switch games "Pokemon Let's Go! Pikachu" and "Let's Go! Eevee" are the fastest selling Switch titles of all time, according to media reports. The two games have sold over 3M units in their first weeks alone, which is higher than both "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and "Super Mario Odyssey," Nintendo's two biggest games from 2017, Game Informer said.
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