Falling stocks and cancelled Vita titles points to bad times ahead
It is no secret that the gaming industry has been going through a rough patch these past few years. Developers left and right have been shutting their doors, while others struggle have been struggling to make payments to creditors as is the case recently with 38 Studios.
Some of those developers that have managed to stay afloat do so just barely, often having to cancel already announced titles mere months after their being unveiled. The latest victim of the financial crunch is Japanese developer Cave, makers of some of the top shoot-em-up games.
At the last Tokyo Game Show, Cave announced its plans to support the Vita with an original shooter. In an interview with Siliconera last November, game development manager Makoto Asada said, “When we announced our Vita games, we mentioned one of them is a shooter. We’re just getting started on it so there isn’t much I can say about it at the moment.”
Fast-track to this week and the announcement has come that the unnamed game has been cancelled.
The revelation is a great shame for fans of Cave’s shooters as Asada had also said, “Any platform we release a game on – whether it be 360 or Vita – we make our games specifically for that platform. The shooting game we make for Vita will be a title that matches the characteristics of that hardware.” Fans will now be left to speculate how such a game would have turned out.”
According to a report translated by Andriasang looking into Cave’s last forecasted earnings report (which ran from June 1 to November 30), the developer had expected to turn over 1.3bn yen, down from the original forecast of 1.4bn yen. This shortfall would lead to an operating loss of 31m yen, when it had originally predicted profits of 10m yen. As a result of this loss, Cave has said it would instead turn its focus to developing more social games, putting on hold a number of other projects.
Things would appear to not be going exactly as planned as the second game shelved was a Sengoku social game titled Shirotsuku. Cave has not said why development on these two games has been halted, but if last year’s finances are any indication things can’t be cheery.
This can be further evidenced by looking at the company’s stock, which has been steadily declining over the past week. Trading at 70,000 yen back on May 11, the stock now sits around 57,500 yen having dropped as low as 52,300 yen only two days prior – a 52-week low.
Some of the investor uncertainty can be attributed to the recent resignation of chief operating officer Miko Watanabe, who according to Andriasang is leaving for personal reasons. He leaves the role on May 31 but will continue to serve as representative director until the next annual shareholders meeting in August.
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