"Game On" is The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
NEW RELEASES: This week's major release is Electronic Arts' (EA) "Madden NFL 21," the latest edition of the company's popular football simulation franchise. The game comes out on PC, Xbox One (MSFT), and PlayStation 4 (SNE) on August 28, and will release later this year on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia (GOOG).
EPIC/APPLE: Epic Games' legal battle with Apple (AAPL) continued over the past week, as the "Fortnite" maker's lawsuit against the tech giant for removing its popular game from the App Store over new pricing options became a court matter. On Friday, CNBC reported that Apple told the court overseeing the case that Epic violated Apple's rules and shouldn't be put back on the store temporarily as the legal dispute continues. The tech giant claimed that Epic asked for an individual agreement with the tech giant, producing three emails from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney that support its claim, according to CNBC. The battle continues yesterday, as Bloomberg reported that U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing the case, said that she is inclined to order Apple to temporarily stop limiting Epic's ability to provide the Unreal Engine used by other app developers, but not to reinstate the mobile version of "Fortnite." The judge added that the case is not a "slam dunk" for either party, according to Bloomberg. Investors in Epic include Tencent (TCEHY), KKR (KKR), Disney (DIS), and Sony.
Meanwhile, other public companies have weighed in on Apple's App Store policies, as Microsoft's Xbox head Phil Spencer said via Twitter on Sunday that the company filed a statement in support of Epic's request to keep access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine. Spencer said the move would ensure that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is "the right thing" for game developers and gamers. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that publishing companies, such as The New York Times (NYT) and News Corp. (NWSA) subsidiary The Wall Street Journal, have joined the fight against Apple. A trade body representing publishers sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, seeking "improved deal terms to keep more money from digital subscriptions sold through Apple's app store," according to the Journal.
NVIDIA EARNINGS: On Wednesday, Nvidia (NVDA), which makes video cards for PCs and gaming systems, reported better-than-expected second quarter results, with both the top-line and bottom-line surpassing Wall Street estimates. Of note, the company reported that Gaming revenue for the quarter was $1.65B, up 24% from the previous quarter and up 26% year-over-year. "Adoption of NVIDIA computing is accelerating, driving record revenue and exceptional growth," said CEO Jensen Huang. "Growth in GeForce gaming accelerated as gamers increasingly immerse themselves in realistic virtual worlds created by NVIDIA RTX ray tracing and AI. Our new Ampere GPU architecture is sprinting out of the blocks, with the world's top cloud service providers and server makers moving quickly to offer NVIDIA accelerated computing." The company also provided upbeat guidance for the third quarter.
OTHER STORIES TO WATCH:
Nintendo (NTDOY) intends to debut an upgraded model of the Switch console in 2021, possibly with 4K graphics, more computing power, and a lineup of new games, Bloomberg's Takashi Mochizuki reports.
In other Nintendo news, the Japanese game giant said that the Switch will soon be available in Brazil.
Last Wednesday, Activision Blizzard (ATVI) confirmed in a teaser trailer that the next game in its "Call of Duty" franchise will be titled "Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War." The company noted that the game will get a "worldwide reveal" on August 26.