Will a deal with Playboy to develop “”lifestyle themed, non-nude” mobile games help giant publisher THQ end a rough run?
Not based on the first title the two are releasing: “Playboy Games: Pool Party,” set to launch this summer, “will include a set of mini-games depicting animated, bikini-clad Playmates at the famous Playboy Mansion engaged in ‘pool party sports’ including poolside water balloon fights, waterslide slaloms and aquatic mechanical bull riding.”
No terms disclosed, but at best it will be worth a fraction of the $137 million Jamdat paid for Blue Lava Wireless, which held the mobile licence for Tetris, in 2005.
The mobile gaming market is growing, though slower than the broader mobile data market. In 3Q07, U.S. mobile gaming revenue grew 24% year-over-year — to $173 million — while overall mobile data revenue, including text messaging, Web access, etc., grew 56%, according to Nielsen Mobile. In the four-quarter period through 3Q07, U.S. wireless carriers took in $679 million in revenue from mobile games.
The Playboy announcement didn’t impress THQ investors, which sent THQI down another 5% Monday. Shares have dropped some 25% since last Wednesday, when the company slashed March quarter guidance and said it would close its Concrete Games studio.
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