Apple and Epic Games are revealing a ton of industry secrets in court filings – from untold billions in ‘Fortnite’ profits to private email exchanges, these are the 5 juiciest bits

Tim Cook Tim Sweeney 2x1
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, right.

  • “Fortnite” maker Epic Games is suing Apple, and the bench trial started this week in California.
  • Epic says Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. Apple says Epic broke its developer contract.
  • Through court filings, major secrets from Apple, Epic, Microsoft, and more have been revealed.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Apple and the maker of “Fortnite” are currently at war in a California courtroom – the culmination of a yearlong spat between the two American business giants.

Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after its hit game, “Fortnite,” was pulled from Apple’s App Store.

Apple says it pulled the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement when Epic implemented a payment system in the game that enabled players to circumvent Apple’s App Store. Epic says the App Store is a monopoly, and argues that iPhones and iPads are no different from computers.

The in-person trial began Monday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is scheduled to oversee approximately three weeks of hearings before a verdict is rendered, according to court filings.

After just one week, we’ve already learned a lot: Between major financial disclosures, company secrets, and private emails between executives made public, evidence in the trial is a treasure trove of information.

1. Xbox console sales aren’t profitable, according to Microsoft, and they never have been.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X, left, and the Xbox Series S, right.

After nearly two decades of sales, Xbox consoles have never been a profitable product for Microsoft.

The Washington-based tech giant sells every Xbox at a loss, according to sworn testimony from Microsoft’s VP of Xbox business development Lori Wright.

“Has Microsoft ever earned a profit on the sale of an Xbox console?” she was asked on Wednesday, May 5. “No,” she said.

Wright appeared as a witness in the ongoing trial, where she answered a variety of questions about Microsoft, Xbox, and digital storefronts. Microsoft has openly supported Epic’s suit against Apple.

The subject of Xbox profitability came up in questioning because of how Microsoft’s console business works: Instead of making money on the console itself, the company makes money from games sales through its digital storefront, from subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, and from sales of accessories like gamepads.

Microsoft, like other console makers, takes a cut of every sale on its digital storefront. That cut is usually about 30%, which has become a standard in the video game distribution market. Apple takes a similar cut from games sold on its iOS App Store, which is part of what Epic is contesting in its court case against Apple.

2. Apple’s reportedly making huge margins on the App Store.

Tim Cook WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One of Epic’s expert witnesses, Berkeley Research Group managing director Ned Barnes, said that Apple is enjoying enormous margins on the App Store: In the high 70s for the last two years at least, according to Barnes.

“In my expert report dated February 16, 2021,” Barnes writes, “using Apple testimony and financial information available to me at that time, I calculated the App Store’s operating margin percentage to be 79.6% for each of FY2019 and FY2018.”

He also said that Apple “produced additional documents” for the trial that demonstrate slightly lower percentages for the two years, but that the numbers are “consistent with and confirm the reasonableness of the calculations presented in my expert report.”

Apple, however, disputes Barnes’ report. “Epic’s experts calculations of the operating margins for the App Store are simply wrong,” an Apple representative told The Verge.

Core to Epic’s argument in the trial is that Apple operates a monopoly with the App Store by refusing to allow competing app stores on the iOS platform, in addition to not allowing third-party payment systems. High profit margins from the App Store, Epic argued, is part of the reason for Apple won’t allow either.

3. “Fortnite” is making Epic billions of dollars every year, especially on the PlayStation 4.

Fortnite (loot chest)

In one of the less surprising secrets unearthed from evidence presented during the trial, “Fortnite” is making a huge amount of money – to the tune of several billion dollars every year for the last several years.

In 2020 alone, Epic made over $5 billion in revenue according to sworn testimony from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Between 2018 and 2019, “Fortnite” brought in over $9 billion.

Epic makes more than “Fortnite” – the gaming giant produces the Unreal Engine, operates the Epic Games Store, and owns and publishes several other big games (“Rocket League” and “Fall Guys”). Data from Epic presented during the trial shows that those projects, while moneymakers in the hundreds of millions, don’t generate anywhere near as much revenue as “Fortnite.”

4. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a 2 a.m. email declaring war.

tim sweeney epic games fortnite
Epic Games cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

At 2 a.m. PT on August 13, 2020, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives that laid out Epic’s plan to cut Apple out of payments in “Fortnite” on iPhone and iPad.

It was intended as a declaration of war.

“I’m writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions,” Sweeney wrote. “Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in ‘Fortnite’ on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices.”

In response, Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its iPhone and iPad store, and the game has been unplayable on both ever since. Epic sued Apple on the same day, and this email was one of many private messages between the companies that was uncovered as evidence.

5. “Fortnite” was such a big deal on the PlayStation 4 that Epic was able to force Sony to overturn a longstanding precedent in gaming.

Fortnite

In September 2018, after months spent fighting a losing battle in the court of public opinion, Sony gave in: “Fortnite,” the company announced, would be playable on the PlayStation 4 with friends on other platforms.

“Fortnite” was the first-ever game to allow players on all platforms to play together. “This represents a major policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment,” Sony said in its announcement. It was clear at the time that, with the game playable across all other platforms, Sony was almost certain to give in: Tens of millions of people were playing “Fortnite,” and they were earning the most from players on Sony’s PlayStation 4, according to documents from Epic presented as evidence in the trial.

Between January 2019 and July 2020, just before “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, Epic was earning just shy of $150 million each month on average from PlayStation players, according to Epic. By comparison, the company was earning about $23 million per month on average from iOS players, Epic said.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, games, and accessories right now – including $13 off NES wireless controllers

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch debuted in March 2017, while the smaller Switch Lite was released in September 2019.

  • The Nintendo Switch is rarely discounted, but there are plenty of deals on games and accessories.
  • We’ll update this list regularly with the top Nintendo Switch deals as new discounts are announced.

Even with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, the Nintendo Switch continues to be the highest-selling video game console on the planet, with more than 68 million units sold worldwide.

The Switch was the top selling console for 24 consecutive months leading up to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the console will still be easier to find in stores for the next few months while Sony and Microsoft ramp up production of their new systems.

Nintendo’s $300 Switch offers many of the most popular games on the market in a portable package, with the option to connect the Switch to a larger television or home entertainment system. The $200 Switch Lite is smaller and can’t connect to your TV, but it’s still a popular pick for parents who want an affordable alternative to the PlayStation or Xbox, and gamers who want a second console.

Below, we’ve collected the best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, exclusive games, and accessories. These discounts should all come in handy whether you’re looking to buy a Switch for the first time, building your library of games, or trying to find the cheapest price on a Switch peripheral.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch deals for April 2021:

NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Joy-Con Charging Dock (medium, Preferred: Target)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)Switch Pro Controller (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Best deals on Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite Case Side

The Nintendo Switch can be connected to a TV for high-definition gameplay, or taken on-the-go as a portable console. Furthermore, the Switch’s controls can be separated from the console and used as two separate controllers called Joy-Cons.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld-only version of the console that lacks the original Switch’s removable controllers and ability to connect to a larger television. The Switch Lite appeals to gamers who may already own a PlayStation or Xbox and want to play games with a similar level of quality while they’re traveling. Parents may also be more willing to invest in a handheld console at a lower price point when introducing their children to gaming.

The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in four colors (coral, turquoise, grey and yellow). There haven’t been many deals that drop the Switch Lite below its standard retail price of $200, but a refurbished model is sold for a $15 discount when it’s in stock at GameStop.

Best deals on Nintendo Switch games

Super Mario Maker 2

Though the Nintendo Switch has been around for just under four years, there are already more than 2,300 games available for the console. 

Now through April 25, Nintendo’s Spring Indie World sale offers discounts tons of titles, with many games now selling for less than $10. For some inspiration before you shop, check out our list of the best video games of 2020, according to critics.

Katana Zero (medium)Hades (medium)Yoshi’s Crafted World (small, Preferred: Walmart)Ring Fit Adventure (medium, Preferred: Amazon)
Best deals on Nintendo Switch controllers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the official alternative to the Switch’s built-in Joy-Cons.

Though the Switch’s Joy-Cons give players access to two controllers at all times, some gamers prefer the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which more closely resembles a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller.

Nintendo also sells spare Joy-Cons with multiple color options for Switch owners who want to add some additional flair and an extra set of motion controllers for multiplayer games. 

NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Pink and Neon Green (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Red and Neon Blue (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

Best deals on on Nintendo Switch accessories

nintendo switch lite figures

As a portable console with replaceable controllers, the Switch has no shortage of accessories. The most important addition you can make is a MicroSD card, which can expand the Switch’s initial 32GB of storage by 128GB or more for less than the price of a new game.

If you plan on taking your Switch on the go, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a basic case with space for extra game cartridges too. The Switch is fairly durable so you don’t need to spend a ton protecting it.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Yes, ‘Among Us’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play it with all your friends

among us innersloth
As long as you’re using the same server, “Among Us” is cross-platform.

  • “Among Us” is a cross-platform game, so you can play with all your friends even if you don’t own the same system.
  • To play “Among Us” across different platforms, each player will need to be logged into the same server region.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Among Us” is one of the most popular multiplayer video games available right now. Although it was originally only available for iOS and Android mobile devices, the game has expanded to other platforms, allowing even more players to join the crew.

Yes, ‘Among Us’ is a cross-platform game

“Among Us” is a multiplayer game available for Android and iOS mobile devices, Windows computers, and the Nintendo Switch. And unlike some other games that can be played on multiple systems, “Among Us” is fully cross-platform.

Related Article Module: ‘Among Us’ is the biggest game of 2020, but don’t play it on the Nintendo Switch

To say that a video game is “cross-platform” means that multiple people can play the game together regardless of what platform they’re using. Here, for example, it means that “Among Us” players on an iPhone can host or join games with PC or Switch players. As long as you are on the same server and the regional versions of the game don’t conflict with each other, you can play together online.

To play “Among Us” across different devices, all players will need to be logged into the same server, which is determined by geographical location: North America, Europe, or Asia. This means that players in North America won’t be able to play with friends in Asia or Europe unless they change their location in-game.

Yes, ‘Minecraft’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play with your friends on any systemHow to play multiplayer in ‘Minecraft: Java Edition,’ using either a public server or one you create yourselfHow to add friends in ‘Minecraft’ so you can build and explore your digital world together8 ways to optimize a Windows PC for better gaming performance

Read the original article on Business Insider

Get used to playing 2020’s biggest video games: The pandemic is devastating this year’s lineup

Gran Turismo 7
Upcoming PlayStation 5 game “Gran Turismo 7” is among the group of games that have already been delayed out of 2021.

  • In 2020, the video game industry enjoyed explosive profits with more people than ever stuck indoors.
  • In 2021, the game release calendar is slimmer than ever and several major games are being delayed.
  • For many of these games, the difficulty of development during a pandemic is the cause of the delay.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of Americans to shelter in place starting in early March 2020, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was just days away from launch.

The combination of the game’s charming atmosphere, its busywork, and a sudden infusion of free time for millions of people turned “Animal Crossing” into one of Nintendo’s biggest hits in years.

It was one of several games that had especially strong sales in 2020 – the benefit of accidentally lining up launch with a totally unexpected global pandemic. But with 2020 rapidly fading into the past, the other impact of the pandemic on the video game industry is starting to emerge: Several of this year’s biggest games have already been delayed to 2022 due to development struggles related to the pandemic.

The developers of a marquee PlayStation 5 game, “Gran Turismo 7,” directly cited the impact of the pandemic for their delay.

Gran Turismo 7

Making the game was, “impacted by COVID-related production challenges,” Sony told GQ in late February. The game’s launch was moved from 2021 into 2022.

“With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months,” the statement said.

For a game series like “Gran Turismo,” which intends to simulate real-life racing, pandemic-related development challenges abound: There is no way to capture the sound of an engine, or to model a real-life car, or to track a race, without being there in person.

But even without the added complications of creating a racing video game, several other major video games have been pushed out of the 2021 launch window into next year.

Hogwart's Legacy
“Hogwarts Legacy” takes place in the 1800s.

A long-in-development game based on the “Harry Potter” book franchise was scheduled to launch in 2021: “Hogwarts Legacy” will have players creating their own wizard and progressing through a unique story set long before the events of the books.

Though the game has been cooking for at least the last three years, WB Games announced a delay to 2022 back in early January.

“Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs,” a statement published on Twitter said.

It’s one of two major games from Warner Bros. that have been pushed back into next year.

Gotham Knights

“Gotham Knights,” a Batman spinoff game, was also just recently delayed into next year.

Instead of playing as the Dark Knight, players control Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood in a Gotham City that has no Batman. Players will have to wait until at least 2022 to give it a shot.

“We are giving the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players,” the statement said.

Notably, it’s still March – there’s a lot of 2021 left, which means these games likely have a long way to go before they’re ready for publishing. That’s especially notable right now, in early 2021, when new owners of new consoles from Xbox and PlayStation are desperately in need of new games to play.

This isn’t a surprise problem: Xbox leader Phil Spencer even warned about the impacts of the pandemic on 2021’s game lineup in an interview with Insider back in May 2020, as did Nintendo leadership in a May 2020 investor call. Though all three major console makers have a handful of major games on the horizon, 2021’s game release calendar for each is looking slim.

When Nintendo laid out its plans for the first half of the year in a recent video presentation, fans largely balked: Aside from a new “Mario Golf” game, there are next-to-no heavy hitters scheduled for launch on the Switch in the first six months of 2021.

As coronavirus vaccines are distributed worldwide, and work on video games returns to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, the cadence of game launches will assuredly return.

For now, though, 2021 is looking light on major games – and the pandemic is largely to blame.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Despite GameStop’s stock boom, the company is still struggling – take a look inside Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also a board member, and is intent on turning the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s a member of the board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.” 

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences — not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

2. He wants to reshape the company’s leadership, and has already begun doing just that.

GameStop CFO Jim Bell
Former GameStop CFO Jim Bell was ousted from the company in late February.

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership — both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Pending a vote in June, the trio will make up one-third of the board’s membership.

Soon after Cohen joined the board, major c-suite changes began.

Amazon vet Matt Francis was hired on as the CTO in early February. A former Amazon Web Services engineering lead, he’s tasked with, “overseeing e-commerce and technology functions” for GameStop.

Then, in late February, CFO Jim Bell was suddenly forced out of his role at the company. The board of directors “lost faith” in Bell, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider.

3. Cohen is in charge of a newly announced committee that intends to “transform” the company.

Ryan Cohen - Chewy

Just this week, GameStop announced that Cohen is in charge of a new committee at the company that intends to, “identify initiatives that can further accelerate the company’s transformation.”

The “Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee” is tasked with “identifying actions that can transform GameStop into a technology business and help create enduring value for stockholders,” GameStop said in a press release on March 8.

If that language sounds familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to the language used by Cohen in his letter to the board last November.

The group — which includes Cohen, former Chewy exec Alan Attal, and activist investor Kurt Wolf — was seemingly created to carry out the changes proposed by Cohen last year.

4. One potential for GameStop’s future: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and his representative didn’t respond to a request for comment as of publishing.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nintendo Switch digital games are up to 50% off on Amazon, Best Buy, and Target now through March 13

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Nintendo Switch
  • Nintendo is dropping the price on several games through its eShop during their Mar10 Day sale.
  • Numerous titles, including “Super Mario Maker 2,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” and “Yoshi’s Crafted World,” are currently down to their lowest prices ever through March 13.
  • Buying outside of Nintendo’s eShop offers one major benefit: more Gold Points.

Shoppers can find popular titles, like “Super Mario Maker 2,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Luigi’s Mansion 3,” and “Yoshi’s Crafted World” down to their lowest prices ever during Nintendo’s MAR10 Day sale.

Suffice it to say, this is a perfect opportunity to fill up your Switch’s digital library. However, shoppers should consider shopping on Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Walmart first.

Here’s why: If you buy a digital game through the retail giant instead of Nintendo’s proprietary eShop, you’ll get the maximum amount of Gold Points even if you purchased it on sale. eShop, however, will only credit you for the price you paid.

For those unfamiliar, Gold Points are a digital currency that can be earned by purchasing eligible games or downloadable content. Nintendo says points are awarded based on “5% of the amount you pay,” and can be used as credit for future, eligible purchases.

This sale ends March 13.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch digital games on sale now

Product Cardfor Nintendo Switch (medium)for Nintendo Switch (medium)Super Mario Odyssey (medium)Super Mario Maker 2 (medium)Yoshi’s Crafted World (small, Preferred: Walmart)for Nintendo Switch (small, Preferred: Walmart)Ring Fit Adventure (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, games, and accessories right now – including 35% off select Super Mario games

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch debuted in March 2017, while the smaller Switch Lite was released in September 2019.

  • The Nintendo Switch is rarely discounted, but there are plenty of deals on games and accessories.
  • We’ll update this list regularly with the top Nintendo Switch deals as new discounts are announced.
  • Right now, you can save 35% on select Mario games as part of Nintendo’s “Mar10 Day” promotion.

Even with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, the Nintendo Switch continues to be the highest selling video game console on the planet, with more than 68 million units sold worldwide.

The Switch was the top selling console for 24 consecutive months leading up to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the console will still be easier to find in stores for the next few months while Sony and Microsoft ramp up production of their new systems.

Nintendo’s $300 Switch offers many of the most popular games on the market in a portable package, with the option to connect the Switch to a larger television or home entertainment system. The $200 Switch Lite is smaller and can’t connect to your TV, but it’s still a popular pick for parents who want an affordable alternative to the PlayStation or Xbox, and gamers who want a second console.

Below, we’ve collected the best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, exclusive games, and accessories. These discounts should all come in handy whether you’re looking to buy a Switch for the first time, building your library of games, or trying to find the cheapest price on a Switch peripheral.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch deals for March 2021:

for Nintendo Switch (medium)for Nintendo Switch (medium)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)Switch Pro Controller (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Best deals on Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite Case Side

The Nintendo Switch can be connected to a TV for high-definition gameplay, or taken on-the-go as a portable console. Furthermore, the Switch’s controls can be separated from the console and used as two separate controllers called Joy-Cons.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld-only version of the console that lacks the original Switch’s removable controllers and ability to connect to a larger television. The Switch Lite appeals to gamers who may already own a PlayStation or Xbox and want to play games with a similar level of quality while they’re traveling. Parents may also be more willing to invest in a handheld console at a lower price point when introducing their children to gaming.

The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in four colors (coral, turquoise, grey and yellow). There haven’t been many deals that drop the Switch Lite below its standard retail price of $200, but a refurbished model is sold for a $15 discount when it’s in stock at GameStop.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Editions 32GB Console (Geek Squad Certified Refurbished) (medium)
Best deals on Nintendo Switch games

Super Mario Maker 2

Though the Nintendo Switch has been around for just under four years, there are already more than 2,300 games available for the console. 

From now through 11:59 p.m. PT on March 13, you can save 35% on select Mario games in celebration of the 35th anniversary of “Super Mario Bros.” The deal, dubbed “Mar10 DAY,” includes “Super Mario Maker 2,” “Super Mario Party,” “Luigi’s Mansion 3,” and “Mario Tennis Aces.” All of the games are usually $60 but you can get them for $39 during the sale.

You can get digital versions of the games from Nintendo. The deal also applies to physical versions of the games at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and more.

for Nintendo Switch (medium)for Nintendo Switch (medium)Super Mario Odyssey (medium)Super Mario Maker 2 (medium)Yoshi’s Crafted World (small, Preferred: Walmart)for Nintendo Switch (small, Preferred: Walmart)Ring Fit Adventure (medium, Preferred: Amazon)
Best deals on Nintendo Switch controllers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the official alternative to the Switch’s built-in Joy-Cons.

Though the Switch’s Joy-Cons give players access to two controllers at all times, some gamers prefer the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which more closely resembles a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller.

Nintendo also sells spare Joy-Cons with multiple color options for Switch owners who want to add some additional flair and an extra set of motion controllers for multiplayer games. 

Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Pink and Neon Green (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Red and Neon Blue (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

Best deals on on Nintendo Switch accessories

nintendo switch lite figures

As a portable console with replaceable controllers, the Switch has no shortage of accessories. The most important addition you can make is a MicroSD card, which can expand the Switch’s initial 32GB of storage by 128GB or more for less than the price of a new game.

If you plan on taking your Switch on the go, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a basic case with space for extra game cartridges too. The Switch is fairly durable so you don’t need to spend a ton protecting it.

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Nintendo is reportedly releasing a new and improved Switch console this year – here’s everything we know

Super Mario

Nintendo’s got a more powerful version of its wildly popular Switch console, and it’s set to debut this year, according to a new Bloomberg report.

The new Switch model is capable of producing 4K visuals on a TV, according to the report, and has a larger screen that uses OLED technology.

Moreover, it could be available as soon as this fall: Manufacturers are reportedly scheduled to begin production this July. According to the report, Nintendo is working with Samsung to source the OLED screens that will go into the new version of the Switch. 

Currently, there are two models of Nintendo Switch: The original version that launched in March 2017, and a less expensive Switch “Lite” that launched in September 2019. Both consoles have sold briskly since launch – as of December 31, 2020, just shy of 80 million Nintendo Switch units have been sold, according to Nintendo.

Nintendo Switch
The original Nintendo Switch.

Rumors of a new, more powerful version of the Nintendo Switch have been circulating for years. 

Initially, those rumors were paired with word of a less expensive, handheld-only version of the Switch. That eventually came to fruition as the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Thus far, Nintendo hasn’t confirmed the existence or development of a more powerful Switch – a Switch “Pro” model, if you will. Both Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furakawa and Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser have said the Nintendo Switch, as a platform, is “at the midpoint” of its life cycle, which leaves the door open for new versions of the popular console. 

One thing is clear: It’s unlikely that a more powerful Switch would power games that couldn’t run on the original Switch that launched in 2017.

Nintendo has a vested interest in catering to its massive market of Switch owners, and the company’s leadership has repeatedly said it expects several more years of life for the Switch as an overall platform. 

Given that it’s been two years since the last iteration of the Switch, and Nintendo’s now competing with graphical powerhouses from Sony and Microsoft, 2021 would be a smart time for Nintendo to launch a more powerful version of its very popular console.

Nintendo representatives did not respond to a request for comment as of publishing.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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A brand-new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch was just unveiled, and it’s the open-world game fans have been waiting years for

Pokemon Legends: Arceus
An image from the upcoming Nintendo Switch game, “Pokemon Legends: Arceus.”

  • A brand-new type of Pokémon game was unveiled in a presentation on Friday morning.
  • “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” looks like the open-world, 3D Pokémon game that fans have wanted for years.
  • The game is headed to Nintendo’s Switch, and is scheduled to launch in “early” 2022.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

For years, Pokémon video game fans have been clamoring for an open-world version of the wildly popular game series.

And on Friday morning, they finally got exactly that: “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” is an open-world Pokémon game headed to the Nintendo Switch in “early” 2022, The Pokémon Company announced in a video presentation.

The game “honors past Pokémon games’ core gameplay while infusing new action and RPG elements,” according to its website – a mix of the mainline Pokémon games with a more active style of gameplay. 

The game is already being compared to Nintendo’s 2017 reinvention of the “Legend of Zelda” franchise, “Breath of the Wild,” particularly because of a camera move from the trailer that looks very familiar:

Beyond the art style and open-world nature of both games, the debut trailer for “Pokémon Legends” demonstrates that it’s still foundationally a Pokémon game.

Tracking, battling, and capturing Pokémon is core to the gameplay of “Legends,” albeit in a very old version of the Sinnoh region from the “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pokémon Pearl” games. “The story unfolds in a long-gone era, before the idea of being a Pokémon Trainer or having a Pokemon League even existed,” the company said.

The game is headed to Nintendo’s Switch console, and it’s scheduled to launch in “early” 2022.

Check out the debut trailer for “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” right here:

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider