If anyone needed proof of the crossover power of games, it came today from an unusual source. Sales of games played a huge part in a spike in profits for a certain company, but it wasn't Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, or any other company one would expect. The Xbox is down with the King--Burger King.
The fast-food chain reported a 40 percent spike in quarterly profits for the period ended December 31, 2006. Net income for the company was $38 million for the period, up from $27 million from the same period the previous year.
BK CEO John W. Chidsey attributed the increase in profits to the success of its Burger King-themed Xbox games, which run on both the Xbox and Xbox 360. The company sold three BK games--Sneak King, Pocketbike Racer, and Big Bumpin'--at $3.99 each with the purchase of a BK Value Meal. Burger King even established its own game-publishing company, King Games, and worked with developer Blitz Games for the effort.
"Our brand and our great food continue to resonate with our restaurant guests," said Chidsey. "Specifically, our BK Value Menu, as well as our innovative Xbox game collection--which was the best-selling video game of the holiday season, with more than 3.2 million copies sold--increased both sales and restaurant traffic."
Chidsey's comments about "best-selling video game of the holiday season" were likely a result of corporate spin and combined the numbers of the three different BK titles. Gears of War, the retail holiday champ, sold 1.8 million copies from its early November release to the end of December in the US.