Welcome to "Game On," The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
STADIA: Google (GOOG) launched its Stadia game streaming service last Tuesday for customers who purchased the so-called "Founder's Edition" in the prior months, and the launch has come with a number of issues. According to Kotaku on November 20, some customers who pre-ordered the Founder's Edition had not yet been able to access the service a day after its launch, while others were still waiting for the complementary Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller to ship. Google released a statement a day later saying that players who ordered and paid for the Founder's Edition in June should now have their Stadia access code. Meanwhile, Vice's Motherboard reported on Friday that some Stadia players claimed to have experienced a number of technical problems with the service, including some players saying that the Chromecast Ultra units used to power the service have been crashing from overheating. A Google spokesperson at the time denied that this could happen, telling Motherboard that there is "no thermal overheating issue with Chromecast Ultra." In addition, Google released a statement to Eurogamer yesterday following accusations that the tech giant broke promises over the performance of games on its Stadia streaming service, as users have claimed that key titles on the service were not running in 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.
"Stadia streams at 4K and 60 FPS - and that includes all aspects of our graphics pipeline from game to screen: GPU, encoder and Chromecast Ultra all outputting at 4k to 4k TVs, with the appropriate internet connection," Google said in a statement to Eurogamer. "Developers making Stadia games work hard to deliver the best streaming experience for every game. Like you see on all platforms, this includes a variety of techniques to achieve the best overall quality. We give developers the freedom of how to achieve the best image quality and framerate on Stadia and we are impressed with what they have been able to achieve for day one. We expect that many developers can, and in most cases will, continue to improve their games on Stadia. And because Stadia lives in our data centers, developers are able to innovate quickly while delivering even better experiences directly to you without the need for game patches or downloads."
FALLEN ORDER: Electronic Arts (EA), Respawn Entertainment, and Lucasfilm announced earlier today that EA and Respawn's latest vieo game "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" is "the fastest-selling digital launch for a Star Wars game in its first two weeks. The game is also now EA's top-selling Star Wars title on PC in its initial launch window." Following the announcement, SunTrust analyst Matthew Thornton said he believes this means the game is tracking "at least in-line" with the midpoint of guidance for 6M-8M units for fiscal 2020. The analyst said that, if the game is successful, he would continue to expect EA to follow up the launch with paid downloadble content. Thornton maintained a Buy rating and $107 price target on EA shares.
OTHER STORIES TO WATCH:
- Activision Blizzard (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick said at CNBC's Evolve Summit in Los Angeles last week that he sees "no reason" that the company could not achive 1B active users of its games in five years.
- According to Japan's Famitsu last week, Nintendo's (NTDOY) "Pokemon Sword and Shield" sold 1.365M retail units in Japan in its first three days of release.
- Eurogamer reported last Friday that Capcom (CCOEY) plans to do a full remake of "Resident Evil 3," a move which follows the company's release of a "Resident Evil 2" remake earlier this year. The "Resident Evil 2" remake has sold 4.7M units as of September, according to Capcom.
- IGN reported last Tuesday that Xbox head Phil Spencer said that Microsoft (MSFT) wants to support its Play Anywhere scheme in the next generation of consoles, allowing cross-play, cross-buy, cross-saves, and achievements across Xbox One, Xbox Scarlett, and Windows PC platforms.
Keywords: game on, stadia, star wars, electronic arts, pokemon, streaming, xbox scarlett