Majesco mash-up: Stock sinks on declining revs

Once-red-hot publisher reportedly ditches Taxi Driver, Demonik games; Q4 rings in paltry $4.6 million. Publisher will now focus on budget, handheld titles.

Majesco Entertainment announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2005, and the numbers were drenched in red. The Edison, New Jersey-based company has seen better times--most recently when investors flocked to its stock after analysts declared it a smart pick for Wall Street.

Things started to go south for the company when two of its highest-profile summer titles, Psychonauts and Advent Rising, tanked at retail. Stock prices began to tumble, the company's CEO jumped ship, and stockholders sued the company on the basis that Majesco overestimated its earnings.

The final tally of the company's arduous year is a mere $59.7 million in revenue, down significantly from the $121 million the company earned in 2004. The end of 2005 was particularly rough for the company, as Majesco's fourth quarter yielded a mere $4.6 million in revenue, a drop in the bucket compared to the $45.3 million taken in the final quarter of 2004.

"This has been a difficult year for Majesco. We entered the premium console market with high expectation for success, but as a result of a variety of factors we were not able to meet our expectations," said Majesco president Jesse Sutton. "Recently, we evaluated our product portfolio and have sold or canceled most of our premium console titles that were scheduled for release in 2006 and beyond."

Such titles include projects based on the classic film Taxi Driver and upcoming horror movie Demonik, both of which have been canceled, according to Web site GameCloud.com. The fire sale began late last year, as Majesco sold off the rights to Ghost Rider and The Darkness.

The company will now redirect its focus back toward value and handheld games, and will steer clear of premium console games.

"Publishing value-priced software and games for handheld systems has historically been one of our strengths," explained Sutton. "We believe that this strategy is more prudent for Majesco at this time and offers us the most opportunity for success as it requires a relatively low investment in development and marketing."

In addition to selling properties and canceling upcoming projects, Majesco recently restructured internally, laying off 20 percent of its staff.

"We have been in business for almost 20 years and have endured many cycles in this business. With a leaner organization, significantly reduced expenses, and a new strategy of focusing on lower-investment, value, and handheld products, we believe we have a plan that will enable us to operate our core business and give us greater flexibility to be opportunistic with regard to new products and technologies."

As of press time, Majesco's stock had fallen to $.83 in after-hours trading. At this point almost a year ago, the stock was near $17 a share.

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Discussion

70 comments
megatroll2590
megatroll2590

come on man im still waiting for bloodrayne 3 i wanna end the friggen story line they had to crap out advent rising when it wasnt finished and expected it to do great then doesnt market the game that will do great they should have set it back about a year then popped it out for better results plus if they had finished blood rayne 3 before uwe bowel got the rights for the movie they might have been able to bounce back better.

Valmar76
Valmar76

This is the biggest tragedy in gaming history. Majesco has always produced original and ambitious games, but I suppose that this is just more proof that consumers want the same bland, unoriginal games repackaged and renamed for them to buy. I felt that Advent Rising was an amazing game. The graphics do not matter (ask the Wii), the art style was very innovative, it bared absolutely no resemblance to Halo, the storyline was more interesting than anything any one else could have created, and the powers were awe-inspiring. The same goes for Psychonauts. I want every one that reads this to go to your local Electronic Boutique, Gamespot, etc . . . . and buy six copies of Advent Rising and Psychonauts each. Without Majesco, the gaming industry will continue to churn out the same bland games with the same storylines constantly. Save Majesco, as only the consumers can.

kiki1243
kiki1243

They should just go out of business and forget about making games if they can't satisfy the gamers.

choffy
choffy

Well this is a good thing and bad thing at the same time. Psyconauts was an incredibly good (yet easy) game. I think thats the reason it didn't sell well. Advent Rising sucked balls. I can see why they lost money on that. It's not surprising now that a new generation of gamers are starting to emerge, and the tastes are different. If a company can't keep up with the times, they need to know that they will most likely go bankrupt. R.I.P. Majesco. Ye barely knew ye.

CubeCool
CubeCool

Thats what they get psyhconuts was a perfect game for gamecube I would have baught it with all the good reviews it got I love to see new things instead of all the same sequels that companies dish out year after year (EA) and I would have loved to see bloodrayne 2 on gamecube as well since the first one was and is one of my all time favorite games. Thats what they get for not supporting the gamecube now nintendo shouldn't let them make any games for the DS or Gameboy as punishment, besides the PSP needs them. Actually there was a few games that had interested me on the DS (goes back and checks Nintendo Power) ... Finally found them Black and white Creatures, Boy and his blob and Guilty Gear Dust Strikes. I want to play pshyconuts on a Nintendo system because i don' t have any other so if they were to realese it for gamecube id buy the one.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

The problem with Majesco was that Psychonauts and maybe Bloodrayne were the only games from them that anyone in their right mind would give a crap to own. And they hyped the hell out of crappy Advent Rising to the point of ignoring Psychonauts' marketing needs. Majesco did this to themselves. And for the love of God, these people aren't innovative! They started off as a company specializing in value software and reissuing old Sega hardware. *Has a Majesco-issue Game Gear* Working Designs they weren't.

mardigrasmorgan
mardigrasmorgan

psychonauts was a great game, thanks to Gamespot giving it the big thumbs up and winning some awards at the end of the year.... in retrospect, maybe if they would've went exclusive to say Sony, which has like a 100 million consoles on the market, maybe Sony could've thrown som marketing dollars at it as a bonus...... It's neither here nor there now though..... too bad.....

miiiguel
miiiguel

Shame... Psychonauts was (for me, and many) one of the best 2005 titles, but oddly Europe never had a it distributed.

dekasuperlink
dekasuperlink

Maybe next time you will put psychonauts on the gamecube! If it is projected to cost at least a million next cycle, and it cost thousands now, are they going to put out gameboy games or DS games?

santana4064
santana4064

not good, but if you come to think of it, majesco never made big games for any of the consoles.

Urine2323
Urine2323

(crying) no sequal to advent rising

zhuojloh
zhuojloh

EA : One down, Many to go!!

GaussGoat
GaussGoat

Costs of development once again begin to show. 56 million, while obviously well below 100+, is nothing to shake a stick at. Video games are becoming more and more expensive to make as users clamour for (and buy) better looking games.

ZEELIX
ZEELIX

common majesco... you can do it

GOLIATHtheGREAT
GOLIATHtheGREAT

Well they it because, because look at the sorry promotion for Psychonauts then they messed up Advent Rising, then the icing on the s***-cake was the sorry a$$ BloodRayne movie by Uwe Boll. I mean My Cousin is a manager at Regal Theaters in Florida and they won't even show the film! As soon as the got it they returned it with a note that said and I quote "Never Again".

runstalker
runstalker

Next time when your tiny QA department begs you to delay a game 2 months (*cough* Advent), listen to them and polish your game. Next time you give away your franchise-to-film rights to Uwe Boll, how about you at least supervise the script? For all the ambition, Majesco executed a comedy of errors throughout 2005 and brought all this down upon themselves -- 'cause it all comes down to good decisions and integrity. One big game they released half-baked (Advent Rising), and another they released with 1/4 the marketing support it deserved (Psychonauts). And then Uwe Boll squeezed out Bloodrayne on their behalf. GG team.

Bane122
Bane122

That is a good point, elvispresley. It does seem like it would be easy for them to fall into that category. Here's hoping they actually do recover and can go back to being a large publisher again

dwmorrow
dwmorrow

Advent Rising may have sucked and deserved to flop at retail, but situations like this one only further discourage developers/publishers to take risks and produce innovative, original games. Instead, more and more companies are going to continue to play it safe and give us unoriginal sequels and add-ons to the same old crap that they sold us the previous year. At least Nintendo has the jack and the guts to produce something completely unique without worrying about it tanking the company. But it bothers me that many such games never make it out of Japan. The DS has some quirky titles that have seen English releases like Phoenix Wright & Trauma Center as well as blockbusters like Nintendogs. But there are tons of weird, fun, offbeat DS games that I know will never see the light of day in the U.S. They simply don't sell, because the people who most likely would enjoy those types of games don't play games at all. Seems like here in the states, the majority of gamers play nothing but [insert world war here]-themed shooters and EA Roster Update 200X.

DarkKefka
DarkKefka

Such promise. I don't think Majesco did bad, the fault is in the gamers that dont like to try new things like Psychonauts. Does this mean we'll see Psychonauts on the DS or PSP (hopefully the DS)?

MuchasGarcias
MuchasGarcias

The world breathes a little easier now that Taxi Driver has been axed.

elvisapresley
elvisapresley

I hope they don't just get in a cycle of cranking out a bunch of budget, crappy games in the interest of saving a few bucks. Publishers need to trim the fat, but focus their spending on quality.

elvisapresley
elvisapresley

I hope they don't just get in a cycle of cranking out a bunch of budget, crappy games in the interest of saving a few bucks. Publishers need to trim the fat, but focus their spending on quality.

BloodTorment1
BloodTorment1

well..............majesco still got cookies ^_^

ghsacidman
ghsacidman

This is no surprise. Advent Rising was their down fall. It's really a shame becuase that game had so much potential.

Paul_TheGreat
Paul_TheGreat

Majesco will be the next company bankrupted.

Viquist
Viquist

I never played either game but heard psychonauts was good, I hope they recover

reallaughingman
reallaughingman

this clinches the fact that only sequels, and sports games are in our future for gamers. Hope you enjoy, all the same madden and grand theft auto 11.

Night_Frost
Night_Frost

Man, how can no one NOT forget about Psychonauts, that game was plain crazy and fun to play, Advetn Rising was a nightmare, guess things aren't looking good for Majesco

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

This sucks. I got a lot of respect for Majesco. I appreciate them publishing Pyschonauts. Not too many people bought it, but I sure did.

JakeT
JakeT

Psychonauts is the intellectual property of Double Fine and Tim Schafer, so it's up to him if they decide to do a sequel. Majesco was the company that picked up Psychonauts when MS unceremoniously dumped the game from it's publishing roster. I doubt there will be a sequel though unfortunately, because not many people bought it despite it being an excellent and original game. I doubt Schafer will even bother with consoles anymore, he's practically deified in the PC adventure gaming arena so my bet is any further adventures of Raz will be only on that platform.

Igiss
Igiss

No one going to publish games like Psychonauts in future, which is sad. Or maybe the game just lacked proper advertising?

NnyCW
NnyCW

...on the plus side, I doubt it can get worse.

forever_blank
forever_blank

That is as usual a said story. Maybe the Nintendo REV will make it easier for Developers to Develop (Crys)

nathanthegame
nathanthegame

man..i thought those games sucked....guess thats why he jumped ship also

Bane122
Bane122

So hortys_999, just because a company releases a game that was under your all important standards they deserve to face these problems and those employees deserved to get fired? It is your own fault you blindly bought the game, there is such a thing as researching a title before buying it. I didn't like Advent Rising either, but I wish the company or it's employees no ill will. You have got to be a kid to have that kind of thought.

townsenda1
townsenda1

Well I feel sorry for the gamers that liked Psychonauts. But Majesco could sell the rights to another publisher that may make a sequel. And I thought Taxi driver the movie was great and a game based on it sounds like a good idea. I like Advent Rising too. Well good luck to Majesco in the future but when publishers stop making games it's gamers that lose in the end.

Mr_Connery
Mr_Connery

Majesco has become the new Crave

NinjaFoot
NinjaFoot

I rather enjoyed Advent Rising. It had its problems but they didnt break the game for me. I was actually looking forward to a sequel that got more polish. I didnt go into it expecting some grandiose epic game. I went in with an open mind and had fun.

MiKaNoH
MiKaNoH

if half of that people that bought star wars episode III and harry potter, bought Psychonauts and(or) advent rising instead of star wars and harry potter, this would be different... this is sad... Sequels destroying innovation... BECAUSE OF THIS WE WILL HAVE THE REVOLUTION!!OH YEAH!!!

cusoker
cusoker

well, advent was terrible after all the hype it got about being a new kind of epic for the consoles. As for psychonauts, they never advertized what it was, they just showed a game with weird looking characters. no one wants to buy that. so even tho it was a good game, i think that their marketing department is what really put them under for not performing like a marketing department should.

lageasy311
lageasy311

DOes that mean no more BloodRayne? or is this a differ company im thinking about?

nightmare_cloud
nightmare_cloud

Majesco really was dwindling but this is too bad and the thing is I still haven't played Psychonauts, it was a real sleeper from what i know of and is pretty good

saturndust
saturndust

I'm not surprised, looked for Majesco games here on Mexico City and didn't find what i've been looking for (Guilty gear for xbox and Phantom Dust), This is the only company that's given me problems to find a game. (it's easier to buy a Majesco game on ebay than Wal-mart

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

That is really too bad. I bought Psychonauts during the holidays and it's a really good game. Oh well, on to handhelds for them now, and I'm sure they will rebound from this, because they are a good company.