Majesco lessens losses

Publisher's casual game strategy trims revenues but brings company closer to profitability.


With the casual gaming trend on the rise, few publishers have embraced the sector as wholeheartedly as Majesco Entertainment. After withdrawing from the premium-game-publishing market in 2006, Majesco shifted its focus to budget and handheld games, where it has found success with titles like Cake Mania and Cooking Mama.

That approach has significantly reshaped Majesco, as evidenced by this week's release of the company's financial results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year, which ended on October 31, 2007. While Majesco's annual revenues were down nearly 24 percent to $51 million from $66.7 million, the publisher's net losses lessened 11 percent to $4.8 million from $5.4 million. For the fourth quarter on its own, revenues were down 45 percent to $11.9 million from the year before, but net losses were cut by 66 percent to $961,000.

Majesco's revamped approach has also been reflected in the company's product mix. More than three-quarters of the company's revenue for the year came from games for Nintendo systems, with the Wii accounting for 19.6 percent of income and the DS making up 55.5 percent of the company's sales. The company looks to shift even more of its revenues to Nintendo systems for the current fiscal year, estimating that the Wii will account for 39.8 percent of its income, with the DS bringing in 58.9 percent.

Majesco CFO John Gross told GameSpot that the company isn't planning to produce games exclusively for Nintendo platforms, and said the projected revenue mix merely reflects that the audiences and game budgets in which Majesco is most interested are more commonly going to be found on the Wii and DS. Currently, Majesco has only one new release scheduled for a non-Nintendo system in 2008, Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship for the PlayStation Portable. PSP games are expected to make up .8 percent of Majesco's 2008 revenues.

Majesco shares opened the week's trading at $1.29, and have since slipped to $1.13.

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