|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||61.52 - 61.52|
|52 Week Range||35.32 - 69.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.69|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||47.73|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Mar. 30, 2020|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of game maker Nexon Co. soared to a record high in Tokyo after the surprise announcement that it will join Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average, replacing retailer FamilyMart Co.Nexon, founded by South Korean billionaire Kim Jung-ju, closed 17% higher after touching its daily limit of a 20% gain earlier. The stock will be added to Japan’s blue-chip gauge on Oct. 29, Nikkei Inc. said.“It’s very much a surprise, one wouldn’t predict this pick at first,” said Keiichi Ito, chief quants analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “If they chose based on liquidity, then there must have been other names to choose from.”Kim owns about 48% of Nexon’s stock through his holding company NXC Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares of the company, known for its Dungeon & Fighter and Maple Story games, have nearly doubled this year, helped by the stay-at-home theme amid the pandemic before the Nikkei nod.Stocks that had been cited by analysts as potential candidates to replace FamilyMart in the Nikkei 225 included Kakaku.com Inc., Zozo Inc., Square Enix Holdings Co., Lawson Inc., Skylark Holdings Co., Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. and perennial pick Nintendo Co. Shares of Kakaku.com tumbled 7.8% Friday, Zozo slid 7.2%, Square Enix fell 3.9% and Skylark dropped 2.8%. Candidates for replacement often see share moves in the runup to the actual announcement.Passive funds tracking the Nikkei 225 will need to adjust their portfolios by the end of trading on Oct. 28. That means the Thursday evening announcement gave them just four trading sessions to buy the required 60 million shares of Nexon estimated by SMBC Nikko’s Ito, equivalent to 32 days worth of the stock’s average daily trading volume over the previous 25 days.Out and InThe acquisition of FamilyMart by trading house Itochu Corp. was approved at an extraordinary shareholder’s meeting Thursday, and the convenience-store operator will be delisted on Nov. 12.When a Nikkei 225 stock is delisted or removed, gauge operator Nikkei Inc. usually replaces it with a highly liquid name from the same sector. While Nintendo has both the liquidity and market representation, its large share price has often been seen as a drawback for the price-weighted measure.For market watchers keeping track of changes to the Nikkei, it’s been a fairly busy year for announcements. Japan Exchange Group Inc. joined the measure in July, replacing Sony Financial Holdings after Sony Corp. took full control of the unit. In September it was announced that SoftBank Corp. would be added and Nippon Kayaku Co. would be cut.The next potential vacancy may be created if Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.’s $40 billion buyout plan for mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc. succeeds. Rohm Co. and Murata Manufacturing have been named as potential replacements.(Updates with closing share price changes)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Video game makers call it “crunch” -- the process of working nights and weekends to hit a tight deadline. But unlike other professions that might muster employees to work overtime in the final stretches of a project, in game development it can be a permanent, and debilitating, way of life.Polish game developer CD Projekt Red, a subsidiary of CD Projekt SA, this week asked all of its employees to work six-day weeks in the lead-up to the November release of Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hotly anticipated games of the fall, Bloomberg reported. But the new policy was just the formalization of an informal code that has long existed at the studio. Various departments at CD Projekt Red have already been working nights and weekends for weeks or months straight in order to meet deadlines, according to people who have worked there.In early 2018, several CD Projekt Red developers had to crunch for months to finish the demo video they would present during the video game conference E3 in June, according to people who were involved. This year, in the midst of the global pandemic, many developers have been putting in lengthy hours to finish the game. Although the crunch wasn’t mandatory it was happening anyway. CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski acknowledged as much in his email to staff this week announcing the overtime.“Much like everyone else at the studio, I, too, am overworked, mentally exhausted, and anxiously looking at the calendar,” Badowski wrote. He said he was aware that many employees had been testing their limits to bring the game to launch, efforts for which he was “immeasurably thankful!”CD Projekt Red said last year that it was going to try to curb the culture of crunch. But Badowski said he found that there was no way around it. He said in a Twitter post that it was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.”It’s a situation that has existed in the gaming industry for decades. Many other game developers have also cultivated reputations for running flat out. The list includes Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s Rockstar Games, the maker of Grand Theft Auto; Sony Corp.’s Naughty Dog, developer of The Last of Us; and Square Enix Holdings Co.’s Crystal Dynamics, the company behind the recent Marvel’s Avengers video game. As the industry prepares for another big holiday season, workers are putting in long hours to finish their games in time.Few employees would object to putting in the occasional night or weekend, but crunch is a culture, an atmosphere, a state of mind. The video game writer Walt Williams described it as “a demon lord, hiding behind the no-charge Coke machine, laughing as you guzzle down those free sodas, knowing that each delicious slurp sells off tiny pieces of your soul.” During non-pandemic times, game companies provide free dinners and ample snacks in order to help keep people at their desks.Often, bosses don’t even need to ask people to stay late. An artist may work well past 7 p.m. because all of their co-workers are still there and they don’t want to be the first to leave. A designer might feel compelled to come into the office on weekends to ensure that their favorite feature doesn’t get cut. The audio team might have to stay until 10 p.m. because they’re waiting on some other work that wasn’t ready until 5. Even when a game company isn’t officially in crunch mode, its workers might still be crunching. The social pressures can be insurmountable.Of course the worlds of finance, law and medicine are also notorious for keeping grueling hours that test the commitment of new recruits and can become a way of life. But those fields are also generally more lucrative than game development, in which some workers, particularly contractors, might make just $20 an hour or less in big cities like Los Angeles. Badowski did reiterate CD Projekt Red’s policy of paying for extra hours and sharing 10% of the company’s annual profit among the studio’s employees. Many other studios don’t pay for overtime.Crunch can be exhilarating for some workers, particularly those involved in games that millions of people will play, who may believe that sacrifice leads to great art. But it can also be oppressive and devastating. Workers in the gaming industry have recounted stories of destroyed marriages, hospitalizations, and burnout as a result of crunch. There aren’t statistics for the number of veteran game developers who have fled the industry due to such pressure. But the consequences are clear.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- At first, the new Avengers video game from Square Enix Holdings Co. is disconcerting, like watching a Tony Stark or Captain America impersonator at a children’s birthday party. After more than a decade of memorable performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans in Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel movies, the video game adaptation feels out of place.But the game, Marvel’s Avengers, is a pleasant surprise. It allows players to pummel enemies using superheroes from an alternate dimension of the ubiquitous comic book franchise. I’ve played around five hours of the game, which is out on Friday, and had a lot of fun so far. Developer Crystal Dynamics Inc. has sculpted a version of the superheroes that’s lovely once you’ve gotten over the fact that they’re not quite the A-listers you’re used to seeing.Besides, the best character hasn’t been in a single Marvel movie yet: Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, a teenage girl granted superpowers after a cataclysmic accident. Khan is a self-confessed fangirl of the other Avengers, which makes for some charming dialogue as she works to bring them all back together.For a long time, video games based on comic books and movies were the dregs of the industry. The projects were rushed to hit movie deadlines and often poorly received. The website Eurogamer described the 2008 Iron Man game, released alongside the movie, as “a singularly unpleasant experience.”In recent years, the landscape has changed. Publishers have shifted away from movie release tie-ins and invested big money into making top-notch games. The beloved Arkham series gave new life to Batman throughout the early 2010s, while Sony Corp.’s critically acclaimed Spider-Man sold more than 13 million copies following its 2018 release and became the best-selling superhero game of all time. Last month, AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros. unveiled Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which have both built buzz.Marvel’s Avengers appears primed for a big entrance. A beta version of the game, playable for fans last month, became the most downloaded beta in PlayStation history. Critical reception has been good, although some reviewers have dinged the game’s missions for feeling repetitive. What’s clear is that Marvel’s Avengers is striving for quality and not the bargain bin at Target.And there’s room for improvement. Marvel’s Avenger is the latest example of what the industry has coined “games as a service,” or video games that can be updated over time with new content, sometimes for an extra fee. Heroes like Hawkeye and Black Panther will be added to the game for free in future months, while players can dish out cash to get fancy new outfits for their characters. (One beloved fighter, Spider-Man, will be exclusive to PlayStation, which has been unpopular with those playing on the Xbox or PC.)Comic book video games still have a long way to go before catching up with the Marvel film juggernaut, but this new Avengers game will move the genre a little closer.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.