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The Dollars and Cents of Star Wars (Infographic)

Last week, someone pointed out to me that we’re under a month to the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Putting the biggest movie franchise in the world in the hands of one of the hottest sci-fi directors who happens to be a noted Star Wars fan has The Force Awakens expected to be one of the biggest movies of all-time. Analysts are expecting Episode VII to top a $1 billion gross, a half-billion dollar opening weekend and maybe even beat $2 billion at the box office.

For more on the money made by Star Wars and the money spent to make that money, we have a handy infographic for your perusal.

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How Much Would It Cost To Be Captain America?

With Captain America: Winter Soldier coming out this week, the internet’s occasional hobby of figuring out how much it would cost to be a superhero has come up again. This time, it’s about how much it costs to make Steve Rogers into Captain America. Unlike fellow Avenger, Iron Man (AKA Tony Stark), the Captain doesn’t have a lot of high-tech gadgets. In fact, apart from lab costs to make the serum and the materials cost for the shield, just about anyone could afford to be Captain America.

The Rise of Video Game Economies

Money is something that we talk about a lot on et geekera (and it’s something that is likely to come up again soon in an upcoming beta impressions post). However, we never really talk about some of the theory behind the rise of virtual economies in video games. Fortunately, PBS’ Offbook YouTube channel brought in a Cornell business professor and a Rutgers law professor to explain the theory and rise of video game economies.

Sony Raises PS4 Console and Game Prices in Canada

ps4-moneyBack in January, we brought a story about EB Games Canada quietly raising prices on almost all of their new releases from $60 to upwards of $70 whether they were on current or last-gen consoles. Last month, Microsoft quietly announced that the price of Xbox One games would increase to $65 each. Now, Sony has announced that the price of the PS4 console in Canada will increase along with the price of games and peripherals.

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EB Games Canada is Quietly Raising Prices

eb-games-canada-logoThe Canadian currency market is probably not something most gamers pay attention to but it might be something that will concern Canadian gamers if what EB Games is doing becomes an industry-wide trend.

The Canadian arm of GameStop has very quietly raised the prices of some much-anticipated upcoming games. Rather than being $60 as it was for new games in previous years, EB Games is charging up to $70 for new games that are available for pre-order.

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The Economics of Steam Trading Cards and the Steam Wallet

steam-trading-cards-headerIt’s been six months since Steam introduced their Trading Cards. When they first launched, I was utterly confused as to why anyone would be interested in virtual trading cards that had no purpose and no value. It just seemed like a way for Valve to make some money that no one would buy into.

However, having just completed the Steam Holiday Sale, it’s readily apparent that Valve has hit a home run with the Trading Cards. It’s not just the transaction fees that are making Valve money. The spin-off effect from Trading Cards does just as much to make Steam even more profitable.

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Australian Government Inquiry Says High Tech Prices Aren’t Justified

The Australian House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee released its findings report after a lengthy 12-month inquiry into the pricing of technology in Australia. The committee was determining if Australian consumers were actually higher than other countries and if those price increases were justified.

The committee concluded that Australians paid a massive premium on tech products with Aussies paying an average of 50% more than consumers in other countries with some prices being up to 100% more.

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Activision Buys Out Vivendi For $5.83 Billion

activision-blizzard-vivendi-bannerLast week, we reported that Activision’s parent company (and majority owner) Vivendi was going to make the publisher pay out a massive dividend that would nearly tap all of Activision’s cash reserves.

Just days later, Activision decided that it wasn’t going to pay the dividend and indicated such by buying back Vivendi’s majority stake in the company in a deal with $5.83 billion.

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Reports Say Vivendi to Take $2 Billion From Activision

activision-blizzard-bannerIt looks like Activision Blizzard’s plan to whether any unexpected costs for the upcoming console launches and possible sales shortfalls as a result of economic uncertainty by leveraging a mountain of money may require a rethink.

A report in the Wall Street Journal suggests that Activision’s parent company Vivendi is planning to take a $2 billion cash dividend from the publisher to pay down its own debt.

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Microsoft Uses Change from Points to Money to Raise UK Prices

xbox-live-moneyThe exciting change from the mythical Microsoft Points system (which, according to a friend in marketing, was designed to make people think they were paying less than they actually were) to real world currency might not be all that it’s cracked up to be for gamers in the UK.

Reports from Xbox Live users in the UK say that Microsoft has used the conversion from Microsoft Points to real money as an opportunity to raise prices by upwards of 34%.

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