VU Games quarterly revenues slide

Company tags 2004 as "transition year"; plans to break in new management team.

Vivendi Universal reported second-quarter and first-half financials yesterday. The global giant's game division saw 71 million euros ($85.4 million) in income, down 47 percent from last year's Q2 revenues of 134 million euros ($161.2 million). Titles the company paid tribute to as driving revenues this quarter included Van Helsing and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. Overall, the company attributed the drop in revenues to its coming off of a particularly strong lineup in Q2 2003.

In a statement, the company said higher-than-anticipated returns of product in its European market also contributed to the weak numbers. For the full first half of the year, revenues of 148 million euros ($178 million) were down 38 percent against the previous year's same-period revenues of 240 million euros ($288.6 million).

The company revealed in a statement that, "On a year-to-date basis, the key 2004-launched titles were Van Helsing, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, and Riddick." Its 2003 release, The Simpsons: Hit & Run, was a strong performer as well--throughout the most recent two quarters.

Looking ahead, the company said that it is hoping that its new management team--in place since July 12 of this year--will have an ameliorative effect on the bottom line. In a statement, the company revealed that, "The new management team is focused on actively reducing the operating costs basis and leveraging a worldwide organization." The company also reiterated its commitment to "developing high-quality games on a timely basis" by referring to upcoming titles Tribes: Vengeance, Men of Valor, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, and, of course, Half-Life 2.

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