Cooking Mama publisher tallies solid sales, trims full-year losses as well. Execs say focus on DS, Wii, and "affordable, mass-market games" will turn the tide.
Aided by solid sales of Jaws Unleashed, distribution deals with both Valve and Trymedia, and the critical success of the DS title Cooking Mama, Majesco reported a balance sheet that company officials say holds signs of a turnaround.
Majesco president and interim CEO Jesse Sutton said that the company was in the midst of a new approach toward the marketplace that has already served the company well over the past year.
"In 2006...we have taken great strides to transition our business away from big-budget console games to a more balanced product portfolio comprised mainly of quality, easy-to-play, affordable games for the mass market," Sutton said today in a statement
For the fourth quarter ending October 31, 2006, the company reported a loss of $2.9 million, far below the $34.2 million loss for the same quarter a year ago. Full-year stats saw Majesco reduce its loss from $72.0 million to $5.4 million.
Those losses are against revenues of $21.5 million for the quarter (up from $4.6 million a year ago) and $66.7 million for the year, up from $59.7 million a year ago.
The company touted sales of nearly 600,000 units worldwide for its Jaws Unleashed title (for the Xbox and PS2).
"With [these] notable successes," Sutton said, "we are optimistic that our refined strategy is working."
Majesco CFO John Gross also addressed the company's new apprach, saying, "We have transitioned away from the big-budget games and dramatically decreased our development costs and operating expenses, thereby significantly reducing our use and loss of cash."
Still, the outlook for the fiscal year isn't without its challenges. Sutton added that although 2007 will be the first year that company revenue will be derived "from a majority of products developed in line with this strategy," Majesco is still expecting losses ahead. "Based solely on our current release schedule," Sutton said, "we expect fiscal 2007 revenue to decline approximately 10 percent to 15 percent as compared to fiscal 2006 revenue."
Even with expected revenue shortfalls, industry analyst Michael Pachter saw signs of hope for the company. In a memo distributed to investors today, Pachter said, "We note that Majesco's FY:07 lineup of budget titles including 5 DS games and 3 Wii games should provide relatively modest revenue at a modest cost. Should any of these games sell in excess of 100,000 units, we believe that Majesco is well-positioned to generate upside...We think that the company’s performance over the last four quarters demonstrates its resolve to turn its fortunes around."
After being burned by Jaws, I am simply saying no to movie licensed games. In the long run Majesco will loose money as people tend not to make the same mistake twice.
Its easy to sit in your chair at your screen and scream at Majesco for going the mass media route, it really is. But then you remember that the high quality classic games they made were rejected. And then smoke turns to fire the next game also failed and they were hit with lawsuits. At the end of the day, the devs need to eat and investors want their money.
Well, they used to be respectable. While I'm really upset at this "bad games that sell well" thing that they're doing, desperate times call for desperate measures. Just remember to become your good old self once you're back, Majesco.
It's truly galling that poor games like Jaws and Nacho Libre have saved Majesco from bankruptcy. If all they plan for the future are more cynically rushed, poorly thought out games that sell off the back of a licensed brand, I really rather wish they wouldn't bother. In the long run this attitude towards game development can only have a negative effect on the industry.
Can we get some numbers on Cooking Mama for the DS please gamespot? It keeps getting mentioned as a hot seller but no numbers is bad reporting.
I don't know if I'll like the 'new' Majesco yet. If they release more quirky japanese games like Cooking Mama at budget prices and good ports/remakes like Age of Empires DS, then I'll be a big fan. BUT, if they continue making games like Nacho Libre or Brain Boost that look like they're designed by the janitor, then they should just change their name to Titus.
Wow- Majesco doesn't push Psychonauts but Jaws- of course!! Because we all love crap games as long as they come from a movie IP!
I guess they're on the up because they get their bad games to sell instead of the good ones. I say put more on the Steam catalog!
Hey Majesco, here's a business plan for you: More games like Psychonauts and less games like Nacho Libre, Jaws Unleashed and Dino Master.
Agh, this is terrible! They're gaining money because of "Jaws Unleashed"? They should be earning money because of games like Psychonauts, not Jaws.
While it's good that they're making money, it burns me inside that they sold 600,000 copies of Jaws to get that money.
Perhaps The Boat would care to comment on this story...
Jaws was a much better game than the reviewers gave it credit for. its not easy developing a game like that, but the developers pulled off some great achievements. it was far from perfect, but if you can look past its shortcomings the Jaws unleashed game is dam good fun.
Well, although the company is recovering, it is clear that it will stick to this plan and the odds of any sequel for any of it's titles like Advent Rising or BloodRayne have all but disappeared. I hope I am wrong but things are looking bleak in that area.
We all love Majesco for Psychonauts and Advent Rising. The sad part of all this is that those legitimate works of art are what scarred them, so I doubt we will ever see anything like them again.
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