Archive for the ‘sales’ Category

Tesla stock leaps again on unexpectedly strong delivery numbers

July 2nd, 2020
A Tesla facility in Lathrop, CA.

Enlarge / A Tesla facility in Lathrop, CA. (credit: Andrei Stanescu / Getty)

Tesla has surprised Wall Street again with better-than-expected delivery numbers. The electric carmaker delivered 90,650 vehicles in the second quarter of 2020, up slightly from the 88,400 vehicles delivered in the first quarter. This despite the fact that Tesla's main factory in Fremont, California, was shut down by county officials for the first half of the quarter.

Tesla's stock leapt at the news. After closing at a record high of $1,120 yesterday, Tesla's shares rose above $1,200 in pre-market trading on Thursday morning.

While Tesla's Q2 deliveries were up from the previous quarter, they're down slightly from the 95,200 vehicles produced in the second quarter of 2019. Tesla also delivered more cars in Q3 and Q4 of 2019 than it did last quarter. That presumably reflects the effects of the coronavirus over the last two quarters, as well as the phaseout of the federal tax credit for purchasing a Tesla. The credit fell by half on June 30, 2019 and phased out completely on December 31.

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Posted in cars, Policy, sales, Tesla | Comments (0)

Ars analysis: ~80% of Steam games earn under $5K in first two weeks

April 7th, 2020

It has been roughly two years now since Valve shut off the source of Steam Spy's huge, randomly sampled sales estimates and promised a "more accurate and more useful" replacement to come. We got our first glimpse of what that replacement might entail today, as Valve gave a rare glimpse into its treasure trove of aggregate sales data across thousands of PC games.

The blog post sharing that data correctly points out that the raw number of games finding some minimum level of sales success on Steam has increased vastly since 2012 (when Valve launched Steam Greenlight and loosened its tight control of what games could appear on the storefront). But Valve's selective view of the data leaves out a huge mass of games that make less than $5,000 in their first two weeks on Steam's virtual shelves. An Ars analysis finds those titles have made up the vast majority of Steam releases for the last five years.

Filling in the holes

To get at that data for the charts above, we started with the graphs Valve itself provided in its blog post today. These lay out the number of games making over $5,000, $10,000, $50,000, $100,000, and $250,000 in their first two weeks, respectively, by release year. I used photo editing software to measure and convert the bars in those graphs into raw numbers, but the actual numbers may be off by a fraction of a percentage point from Valve's internal benchmarks (we didn't decipher the graphs for 2005 and 2006, when the total number of Steam releases was too small to draw much meaningful data).

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, sales, Steam, steam spy, Valve | Comments (0)

GOG asks you to please not abuse its expansive new 30-day refund policy

February 26th, 2020
GOG asks you to please not abuse its expansive new 30-day refund policy


For years now, downloadable PC gaming retailer GOG has offered a "money-back guarantee" only if a game you bought "doesn't work" on your hardware. Today, the company has removed that requirement, offering an expansive new refund policy for up to 30 days after purchase, "even if you downloaded, launched, and played [the game]."

While users won't have to provide a reason for their refund request when contacting customer support, GOG says in an FAQ that it reserves the right to "refuse refunds in... individual cases." More broadly, that means the company will be "monitoring the effects of the current update to make sure no one is using this policy to hurt the developers that put their time and heart into making great games."

That monitoring could end up being important, because all of GOG's games are offered without any DRM protection. That would seemingly make it trivial for a customer to purchase and download a game, create a fully functional backup, and then ask for a refund while keeping an essentially free copy.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, gog, refunds, sales | Comments (0)

Here are the most popular PlayStation games, based on public trophy data

March 6th, 2019
<em>GTA</em>, <em>Call of Duty</em>, and <em>FIFA</em> dominate PlayStation's most popular games, according to new trophy-based public estimates from Gamstat.

Enlarge / GTA, Call of Duty, and FIFA dominate PlayStation's most popular games, according to new trophy-based public estimates from Gamstat. (credit: Gamstat)

Back in December, a holiday promotion for Sony's PlayStation Network inadvertently leaked total player counts for hundreds of PlayStation titles. Now, one site is building off that work to create an ongoing database of player count estimates for every game on PSN.

Gamstat launched in December as a clearinghouse for information gleaned from that "MyPS4Life" data leak. But in recent weeks it has unveiled a new algorithm—as outlined on the about page and in more detailed discussions with Ars Technica—that takes inspiration from previous efforts like Steam Gauge and Steam Spy (before Valve shut off the data spigot, in any case).

Time traveling with trophies

First, the Gamstat algorithm takes a semi-random sample of the entire universe of PlayStation Network users. Gamstat's administrator, who goes by Dennis, outlined this sampling procedure to Ars but asked that it not be shared to prevent potential meddling by Sony.

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Posted in “Analytical Framework for Intelligence”, data, estimates, Gaming & Culture, leak, MyPS4Life, PlayStation, sales, Sony | Comments (0)

Nintendo: 3DS sales falling “faster than anticipated”

February 8th, 2019
Just a few of the many 3DS hardware options still being supported by Nintendo.

Enlarge / Just a few of the many 3DS hardware options still being supported by Nintendo.

Since just before the Switch launched and as recently as October, Nintendo has continued to insist the 3DS can exist alongside the Switch as a lower-cost, lower-powered portable gaming alternative. Over the last two years, there have even been some signs of life for the aging portable's continued market health.

But 2018 might be seen as the year the market finally starting slipping away from the aging 3DS. Hardware sales for the 2018 calendar year were just 2.85 million, down over 57 percent from the year before. That's a marked change from the 2016 to 2017 period, where 3DS sales worldwide fell just nine percent year-over-year (despite the intervening launch of the ultra-hot Switch in 2017).

Nintendo's new president Shuntaro Furukawa admitted in a recent Q&A that "the Nintendo 3DS market has contracted faster than we anticipated." But in practically the same breath, he once again committed to supporting the system alongside the Switch going forward.

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Posted in 3DS, Gaming & Culture, market, Nintendo, sales, Switch | Comments (0)

Nintendo recommits to “keep the business going” for 3DS

October 31st, 2018
Can't afford a Switch? Mario has a suggestion for you...

Enlarge / Can't afford a Switch? Mario has a suggestion for you... (credit: Nintendo of America)

In the age of the Nintendo Switch, the company's older 3DS handheld tends to get the short end of the stick in terms of press and player attention. But Nintendo has maintained that it's not going to abandon the dedicated portable, which showed surprisingly resilient sales as recently as this January.

In a recent financial briefing, Nintendo recommitted to keep selling and supporting the 3DS, and the company explained why the eight-year-old system continues to have a place next to the Switch.

Nintendo 3DS is set apart from Nintendo Switch by its characteristics as a handheld game system that is lightweight, price-friendly, and highly portable. Affordability is the strong point that positions Nintendo 3DS in a niche clearly separate from Nintendo Switch. In the grand scheme of things, Nintendo 3DS has a prominent position as the product that can be served as the first contact between Nintendo and many of its consumers, and for this reason we will keep the business going.

Keeping the 3DS around as a form of "entry-level" Nintendo hardware makes a lot of sense. The New 2DS XL now retails for just $150—half the price of a new Switch—and that's with a copy of Mario Kart 7 bundled. And until major Nintendo franchises like Pokemon and Metroid come to the Switch, the 3DS represents the best way to enjoy them in relatively modern forms.

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Posted in 3DS, Gaming & Culture, Long Tail, Nintendo, portable, sales, Switch | Comments (0)