Get the Jump on Game Stocks With Virtual Market
SAN FRANCISCO -- In August, a traditionally slow month for the video-game industry, hardcore gamers and analysts found themselves at loggerheads over an upcoming title: BioShock, made by Take-Two Interactive (TTWO).
BioShock, the analysts said, was too dark and complex to catch the attention of a wider audience. They estimated it would sell 1 million to 1.5 million copies six months after its Aug. 21 release -- and a few more thousand before the end of the game's lifetime.
But The simExchange, an online "stock market" where gamers buy and sell virtual shares of a game or console based on how well they expect it to perform in real life, had a more bullish outlook.
The exchange anticipated sales of 3.2 million copies of the game for Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 console and 980,000 copies for PCs over the game's lifetime. The outlook was generated from the site's 7,500 registered users -- about 2,000 of whom have placed at least one trade in the last month.Had investors been keyed into the simExchange's results, they could've reaped a tidy profit. The positive buzz surrounding BioShock led shares of Take-Two up nearly 15% in the week of the game's release. And three weeks after the game's debut, Take-Two has already shipped 1.5 million copies onto retail shelves.
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