ASPYR MEDIA TAKES
AIM AT PC MARKET
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ October 14th 2001 ]
Aspyr Media Inc. has taken quite a bite out of
the Macintosh gaming market, and now it's hungry
for more. In November, the Mac game publishing
company plans to release a new game for personal
computers - a move that could boost the company's
revenue by 50 percent.
for the move into the PC market, the company recently
relocated from 1,600 square feet in the Central
Business District to 4,000 square feet in the
West Campus area. The company, now based at 2404
Rio Grande St., employs 12 people and soon will
double its tech support team from five to 10 to
back its new PC title, says Michael Rogers, president
its founding in 1996, Aspyr has gained about 35
percent of the Mac market with titles such as
"Tomb Raider," "The Sims," "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
II" and "Madden 2000 Football," says Jeff Baietto,
Aspyr's vice president for marketing. The company
signs royalty agreements with companies like England's
Eidos PLC and Redwood City, Calif-based Electronic
Arts Inc. that produce and develop the games for
PCs. It then publishes those games for Macs, creating
the advertising and marketing momentum to sell
those games to a Mac audience.
only markets the software. Austin-based Westlake
Interactive Inc. writes the code for the games.
Suellen Adams, business manager of Westlake Interactive,
says the move into the PC market might reduce
some of the financial risks that Aspyr assumes
when it produces a Mac title. "Publishers have
a lot risk when they bring a Mac title to market,
because there are fewer users," Adams says.
is never any guarantee about what will sell. Gamers
are fickle. I think just because you have a bigger
user base, you'll sell more copies [of the PC
game]." Adams says that although analysts and
others are predicting the death of PC games at
the hands of gaming consoles such as Microsoft
Corp.'s XBox and Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s GameCube,
there's still money to be made in Mac and PC games.
Rogers, president of Aspyr, says his company is
a niche player and can expand in areas where other
gaming companies no longer are heading. As companies
such as Electronic Arts proceed into the game
console business, those companies will leave the
PC market to others, Rogers says.
Milne, a research analyst at Old Greenwich, Conn.-based
SoundView Technology Group Inc., says the Mac
market barely registers compared with the PC and
console markets. PC games make up about one-third
of the entire gaming industry, he says, but PC
growth is slowing compared with console games.
"There is a still a very high gross-margin business
for the PC games," Milne says. "Right now, there
is more online gaming played through the PC, but
the consoles are becoming Internet-ready."
estimates the Mac gaming market is about 3 percent
to 5 percent of the entire software industry.
The Washington, D.C.-based Interactive Digital
Software Association reports the U.S. software
gaming market topped $6 billion in 2000. In releasing
its first PC game, "iPuppet Presents Colin's Classic
Cards," Aspyr had to consider whether its move
into the PC market would hurt its royalty agreements
with companies such as Electronic Arts and Eidos.
says Aspyr will review its plans for future PC
games with its partners and will consider distribution
deals with them. Rogers declined to disclose revenue
for the company, but Aspyr has been profitable
for the past three years. Other than friends and
family investors, the firm hasn't received outside
investments, he says.