What a Videogame Slump Sounds Like

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Headset maker Turtle Beach confirms big game releases misfired

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The recent weakness is no big surprise. Turtle Beach sales have slumped since mid-2021 as the company faces challenging comparisons to the rest of the electronics industry coupled with the pandemic-fueled gaming boom in 2020, along with similar shortages and supply-chain disruptions . But a new problem has also arisen: Some major game releases are not up to snuff.

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Citing “recent holiday sales trends reported in the gaming industry” as the reason for releasing its preliminary figures earlier than usual, Turtle Beach listed the factors affecting its sales as “performing poorly”. AAA game launch”.

The company did not name the specific games, but publisher Activision Blizzard.,

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Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software saw their shares fall 3% or more on Thursday. All three had issues with major launches in November. Activision’s “Call of Duty: Vanguard” and “Battlefield 2042” from Electronic Arts—critical releases in the critical shooter category—gained the lowest critic scores of their respective franchises. Oppenheimer’s Martin Yang noted on Thursday that even the latest update to “Warzone,” the online, free-to-play version of Call of Duty, “fails to provide meaningful uplift” for the Vanguard game.

Gamers certainly don’t buy a new headset for each new game, but major releases tend to increase sales. Turtle Beach CEO Juergen Stark told an investment conference in 2017 that “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield” are among the games that drive a “3x increase in sell-through” with new releases. He memorably said that gaming headsets have an average life of 18-24 months, not because they lack durability, but because “people throw them across the room, they’re assigned to Cheetos or whatever.” Clearly, the latest batch of games failed to pique the passion—or appetite—of players.

Write Dan Gallagher [email protected] . Feather

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