Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Majesco in trouble...

This news is a bit old, but I thought I would write something about it in the context of the $1mill contest.

Majesco is projecting a loss of around $16 million for the year ending October 31, down from a projected PROFIT of around the same amount.
Gamespot article
The CEO promptly stepped down and check out what happened to the share price!

Some of the blame for the poor performance goes to the poor sales of Psychonauts and Advent Rising. Did the marketing efforts behind these two fail? Or did the games just not hit the right note with gamers?

Now all of this of course coincides with the 'temporary' suspension of the $1mill 'Race for Humanity'. While the contest was beset with technical issues, it's hard to think that there is no relation between the two events.

I'll take two looks at this, from a gamer/consumer point of view and from Majesco.

For the average gamer trying their best to win the million (and some trying pretty damn hard), they are being severely dudded if the contest is pulled. A million was promised on the game slick, and a company wanting to protect it's image should honour that committment.

BUT that is a luxury Majesco may not have. The cost of the competition is probably much more than $1million and anyway they can limit their October loss will be important for their shareholders and possibly the companies future. And the promotion has already basically failed. It would have been designed to quickly move units of the shelf - 'available for the first 500,000 customers'. There is no way the game has sold anything near that. If Majesco continues the competition it won't be getting many (any?) more sales as a result.

So basically it comes down to a fairly straight forward tradeoff decision.
What is more valuable?
- To protect it's image with the gamers that have bought the game and tried to take part in the contest (potentially a quite small number). ALSO to limit the spill over damage that a contest halt would have on their other titles sales. Hard to say, but I think this might be limited. Psychonauts fans are not buying the game because of the Majesco name. Same for their future releases BloodRayne, Jaws etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole contest fiasco and subsequent postponment has not been covered in any gaming media? The fallout from a complete cancellation might be small. (or maybe they will just not say anything for the next few months and hope everybody just forgets about it)
- The cash needed to actually continue the contest.

So... basically if you are waiting for the contest to restart, don't hold your breath. If it does start again, consider it a nice bonus... and I would also consider your odds of winning will have improved considerably with the number of people that would have lost interest by now.


At 2:18 PM, Blogger carterman said...

...except that I believe Sobe was putting up the $1 million for the prize.

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Rooney said...

Well... that does certainly change the equation completely!

Thanks for the tip carterman.

In that case... I hope that Majesco get their act together quick smart. If there are continuing technical problems... at least give everyone an update!

Maybe Sobe aren't that happy with the value for money they are getting from the promotion and are throwing a spanner in the works?

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Hamid said...

I am so excited. in six days we are gonna see Advent Rising on PC with no errors whatsoever. gentlemen get ready for the ultimate AR on PC. rated T for Tenn


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