Gameloft has been released its full year revenue. In this year, they successfully reached $256 million or up 1% from the last year. Of course this is a slow sales rate, especially considering the mobile gaming market that reaches up to $25 billion in the worldwide. This is a bad record and pretty disappointing. Although they have several brand new games, it looks not enough to attract more gamers and get more profit.
Actually, Gameloft has the good enough performance, specifically for its productivity. They performed well and created the strong catalog in 2014. Unfortunately, it did not give the good contribution. In 2014, they launched 12 smartphone games. Whereas, they have been produced 20 games each year in the previous 5 years. Comparing to the previous five years, course it stills under average.
Decline in Sales
Less productivity is not the only problem of Gameloft. They also decreased sales. Since a few years ago, their sales were down 3% every year. In 2014, the sales is growing. But the growth is only 1%. It is low enough. Considering about the year by year drop, course this is not enough to get their domination back. Beside it, the growth caused by currency fluctuation, not because of the sales growth. This is the problem.
The Strong Market of Gameloft
Talking about the back catalog titles, Gameloft recorded 15% improvement than a year ago. Although the number is still under average, it stills better than the last year. The higher sales was made on Europe and Middle East. It reached 33% from the full year sales. On the North America, it was 28% and 22% for Asia Pacific. For the last, Latin America only 18% from the total sales. Course it looks clear enough. Europe and Middle East are the potential market for Gameloft. North America can also be a good market for them. But if they want to make the better record, they have to improve the sales number in the lower market such as Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Top 10 Gameloft Games on 2014
Gameloft has known for its quality games. In 2014, their performance is still the same. Innovative and popular games are still attracting gamers. The Amazing Spiderman Unlimited and Asphalt 8 are just a few of them. When the other game developers producing the casual games, Gameloft still focusing on the good graphic performance games. There also some breakthrough that was made by them, but graphic performance is still the best. Modern Combat 5 which is also known for one of the best FPS games also gets the good market response, specifically from the hardcore gamers. On the next list, there also Gangstar Vegas, GT Racing 2, Minion Rush, Nova 3, The Dark Knight Rises, Thor 2 and Wild Blood.
The Next Target
Gameloft does not want to make the bad record again. For this, they have set the higher target for the next year. They want to launch at least 20 new titles and create the better cooperation with advertising companies. They expect it will become a new line for their business.
Snapchat successfully brings the new way to share pictures. It gives the new user experience and allows the users to share their private pictures safer. A few times ago, they introduced a new features that called as Discover that lets the users to see the content of the great brand such as CNN, Warner Music and ESPN. They will be able to see the daily stories based on the artist, publisher and Snapchat’s editorial staff too.
The idea of Discover feature is pretty simple. It allows users to see the popular channel from the popular brands. This feature will be daily refreshed and always on. Maybe it can be the most important update from this company. Thanks to this feature, users will get more than just a new user experience. They can also get what they can get on the other social media, the updated content and information. But unlike the conventional social media, you will enjoy it in the different way.
The Way to Monetize the Service
Although it is coming to gives the real time contents, Discover seems to be the beginning of Snapchat monetization. From here, you can see they want to focus on advertisement. But instead of using the traditional method of advertisement, they partnering several media for this. It stills unclear, but their advertising target is still the same which is focusing to improve the brand awareness of its partners.
Before the launching time, this feature have to through the long journey. It was made based on the long research of course. But it seems to be a new way for monetizing, especially for the next generation startups. By Discover, Snapchat can offer a good advertisement media for the other company. The other brands can use it to push the Snapchat’s users to visit their page or even attract them to buy their product, just like the other advertisement media.
A Path to make a Purchase
If you look behind, Snapchat experimented a buy button. They make it in October 2013 but it is only works for a few times. In that time, buy button will appear after the content was consumed and appears below the snap. When it clicked, it will be redirected to the listing of iTunes. Of course this is just an experiment. But it does not mean it cannot be used for the other purpose, such as selling the other products. If Snapchat stills developing it, of course it may appear again. But if course, it will be presented with the new mechanism.
If this is true, it will remind us about what Twitter want to do. For several times, Twitter launched buy button on its platform. For the specific post, there will be buy button on it. This feature also used for directing users and make a purchase. Although it just presented on the several countries, it is possible for Twitter to launch this feature on the other countries. Maybe it will not be made in a short time. But if the feature works well, it may appear on the other countries soon.
Beauty is pain. It is the most appropriate phrase to describe how women try to be beautiful. It is obvious that every woman wants to be beautiful. In order to be beautiful, some women try many kinds of thing such as getting traditional therapy to get smoother skin or even taking the dangerous way such as getting plastic surgery. With today’s technology, it makes sense for women to add or reduce their size easily. Even though this way is not recommended, there are still thousands women who would like to choose this path so they can get the body shape that they want.
For example, in South Korea, the citizens there take plastic surgery as a common thing which can be done by anyone. Most parents there give plastic surgery as birthday gift for their children. The kinds of plastic surgery can be various. It is simply like making eyelids, sharping nose, or raising the cheek bone. Even though the amount of plastic surgery request in South Korea is already high, America and Brazil are being two countries who had most plastic surgeries done in each year. The kind of surgeries done in those two countries is a little bit different from South Korea. Instead of changing face couture, women there prefer to have plastic surgery to improve their size.
The Pain of Plastic Surgery
One of women in Brazil who had done many kinds of plastic surgeries to get the so-called sexy body is Andressa Urbach. Before she got surgeries done to her body, she had thin flat body. This condition made her interested to get plastic surgeries. Silicon implant, anabolic steroid, nose implant, Botox injection, and many more are only several kinds of plastic surgeries that she had done. Because of the surgeries she done, she got a body that gives her runner-up position on Miss Bum Bum, a beauty pageant in Brazil that focuses on butt size.
This woman even claimed that there are so many ugly women and as long as they have money, they can change their face to be beauty. Beautiful face as she owned needs money to be reached. Well, this claim later regretted by this 27 year-old single mother. When she wanted to enlarge her thighs, her body could not receive it well so she had to suffer septic shock. This kind of shock is the result of infection and blood poisoned. Because of this shock, her life depends on medical machine.
Beauty Culture Risk
This woman stated on her Instagram account by posting the picture of her ruined thighs. She said that she lose her health while she wanted to be rich. That is why she tried so hard to get better life after that. Because of there are so many similar cases in Brazil, the beauty experts there are afraid if the beauty culture in this country will make women there taking risk of plastic surgery so they can get beauty face. Well, from this case, it is better for women to consider more on their decision to get plastic surgeries.
Being journalist is challenging. For those who have no interest in relaying the truth to the world, this kind of job might not be a choice. However, journalists know that they can change the world’s view by every single thing that they said. That is why being journalist needs a lot of sacrifices. There are many possibilities happen for a journalist. It is possible if they have to face dangerous people while seeking for information. Even worse, they can also get killed because of the news that they report. Even though the risks are high, there are still many good people who want to be journalist.
When it comes to a case that involved a journalist, there is no doubt that Peter Greste should not be forgotten. He is one of three journalists who were jailed in Egypt. Those three journalists are from Al Jazeera, one of well-known television channel. They were captured for 400 days by suspected to help Ikhwanul Muslimin which is categorized as terrorists by the military force of Egypt. He was sentenced for seven years. However, with the newest regulation that allows the president of Egypt to expel foreign arrest, Peter Grest who holds Australia nationalism is expelled to his own country.
Peter leaves the jail accompanied by his brother and directly goes to the airport. According to his brother, Andrew Gester, his family feels extremely happy with it. He also asked people to give some spaces to Peter so he can think more about his release. They took flight to Cyprus before take another flight that will get them to Brisbane, Australia. He is in a good condition when he is released. It surely gives a deep meaning to the family since they can see their son again. There is no doubt that Peter would get a better life.
Even though it is counted as deportation, Peter’s release invites many suspects to the case. Some might think that Australia paid certain amount of money to Egypt. However, all of the suspects to both governments are denied by Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affair, Julie Bishop. The minister said that the release is unconditional. The minister also said that Peter wants to go back quickly to his country so he can meet his family. Even though it might be hard to believe, the fact that Peter is released is already pleasing many people including Peter Gester’s family.
Unknown Faith for Peter’s Friends
While everyone is happy about Peter’s release, there are still two arrests that have the same cases as Peter’s. They are Mohamad Fahmy and Bahar Mohamad. These two men are captured from the same reasons as Peter’s. However, they could not get released because they hold Egypt nationalism. Mohamad Fahmy is sentenced for seven years while Bahar Mohamad is sentenced for 10 years. Hopefully, these two journalists can be released as soon as possible so there will be more truth revealed to the world. It is surely human’s fault that the world becomes less peaceful because of their own greed to survive.
There is no doubt that there are many people who want to be journalist. Being journalist is a kind of job that requires you to be brave and honest. Besides, there are so many risks that you should take while being journalist. It is obvious that there are already many cases when journalist becomes hostage of a country. Or else, it is also possible that there are journalists who are killed for spreading news to the many people. Lately, there is a case where journalist becomes a victim. A Japanese journalist, Kenji Goto was executed to death by ISIS.
Sentenced to Death
Sunday, February 1 2015, becomes a meaningful day for Japan. On this day, all Japanese holds funeral ceremony to give the last respect for Kenji Goto, a Japanese freelance journalist who had been executed by ISIS. This action is a follow up to the video posted by ISIS that shows beheading process of this journalist. The video posted online results many complaints from people all over the world. Almost everyone who watches this video tells that ISIS just showed the world how coward they are and their action should not be done since there is no humanity shown on that action.
This incident gets attention from the world. The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, expressed his dissatisfaction towards this terrorism action. It is surely a part of terrorism and Japan would not be tired to face terrorism act from all over the world. He also said that this action is not humanly at all and it is surely cursed. The similar statement comes from the president of America, Barrack Obama. This incident is surely saddening since there are so many people wishing that Kenji Goto would be released. The video that shows his beheading process tear heart of those who watch it.
Live for Journalism
Speaking about Kenji Goto, this journalist contributed his life for only journalism. He traveled to war-torn countries to report a documentary about how people live their life there. The surprising fact of all, he used his own money to budget it. Instead of focusing on the war, Kenji Goto focused more on the daily life such as how children face the war environment which is not conducive for their development. Kenji Goto surely tried to reveal how cruel the effect of war to those who are not involved but trapped there. It is sure that Goto’s effort should be continued by those who care enough.
The execution of Goto’s beheading is the action that follows the negotiation between ISIS and the government of Japan. It is said that there are two Japanese hostages. ISIS demanded for $200 million for them to release the hostages. Two days before the execution, it seems like the negotiation comes to a dead-end. Goto’s fate is related to the pilot of Yordania’s air force, Muath al-Kaseasbeh. Since there is no appearance of al-Kaseasbeh on the video, his fate is still unknown. The government of Yordania still gives no clear answer to the condition of the pilot.
It is common for a country to have a debt from other country. For a developing country, debt is needed to run the country. However, it is obvious that the country in debt has to be thoughtful in planning country budget so there will be leftover which can be used to pay the loan. If there is no leftover, it is possible that the country should request for a debt again. It is surely bad since the debt would be high and it is hard to repay it. There is no doubt that it is the same thing faced by Greece.
Solution to Financial Problem
After electing the new prime minister, Greece seems to have issue to cut economic limitation that results high tax and massive unemployment. Alexis Tsipras stated that he will try as hard as possible so the monetary crisis in Greece can be ended. Even though it seems to be a beautiful promise, there is no good respond from the other countries which lend money to Greece. To follow this action, there are several meetings between the Greece government and Europe Union. There is no doubt that everyone wants to get the best solution for this financial problem faced by Greece.
The international creditor held a meeting with the Minister of Monetary of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis. Since the Prime Minister makes the creditors angry for his statement to erase budget limitation. They are afraid if Greece would deny repaying its debt again. That is why Varoufakis went for visit to European country which is started with a visit to Paris. This visit will be followed to a visit to other European countries such as Germany and Dutch. It is highly hoped that those visits would result better solution to overcome the financial problem happened in Greece. This step is suggested by Tsipras in order to redeem the anger.
The Responds from Other Countries
Germany has bluntly stated that they would not erase or forget Greece’s debt. Meanwhile, the Dutch government stated the similar opinion. However, all the financial leaders of Euro zone agreed to cooperate with Greece without deleting any debt made by Greece. Meanwhile, America also expressed their happiness for the recent chosen Greece’s prime minister and promised to help solving the financial problem of that country. This statement is delivered by the spokesman of United States Foreign Affair Department. Hopefully, it would really help Greece to end every single thing happens in this country.
When Tsipras got elected, there were various responds from the European countries toward it. Pablo Iglesias of Spain thought it would be a great win for Greece. Meanwhile, David Cameron of England has a different opinion by saying that it will increase the blurred economy of Europe. It does not matter the respond. As long as Greece believes that something good will happen, then it would be a great change to this country. Hopefully, there will be many better solutions to overcome Greece’s financial problem. Therefore, there would not be more citizens become disadvantaged because of the unstable status of Greece’s economy.
On January 28th, just five days after McDonald’s announced its first revenue drop after 12 years, they announced that their Chief Executive will leave the company on March 1st. Don Thompson, the chief executive of McDonald’s since 2012 was axed by the shareholders’ frustration toward McDonald’s poor performance. In 2014, McDonald’s profit has fallen 15 percent from the 2013 profit to only $4.7 billion. The fourth quarter of 2014 operating profit fell about 20 percent from the same quarter in 2013. McDonald’s announced that Thompson will be replaced by Briton Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s chief brand officer.
The Pressure behind the Resignation
The sales dip is the first time and the worst one since 2002. Thompson himself acknowledged during the conference call in January 23rd that 2014 was hard time for the company and that there are many headwinds. Shareholders were indeed frustrated with the news they heard, even before the formal announcement from McDonald’s. It isn’t clear whether they have pressured Thompson or not, but they were really angered by the opportunity cost they have spent. It is due to the net worth of McDonald’s share, which is less than what they had in early 2012, while the market itself has raised more than 50 percent. Over the past year, McDonald’s share has fallen 6 percent. By the time McDonald’s announced the resignation of Thompson, the share rose 3 percent.
The 2014 Headwinds
Don Thompson said that 2014 was very challenging. He also stated that the same condition will continue throughout the first semester of 2015. The headwinds they have faced since 2014 was due to many reasons. McDonald’s is fighting with economic conditions, consumer taste’s changes, and menu missteps. The last one caused 3.6 percent global customers fall. It was including 4.1 percent customers fall in the United States.
Another cause of McDonald’s sales dip was their slow service and also broad and complicated menu. The young customers also prefer for Five Guys Holding LLC, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., or Chic-fil-A Inc. for better options. To overcome the headwinds, McDonald’s already did their best efforts, as shown on creating customizable options, repairing the image, and paring back the menu. Although Thompson himself said that, “It will take time, especially in our larger markets.”
The Next CEO
Easterbrook is another longtime insider that will be McDonald’s chief executive. He actually did a great job during his career in McDonald’s. He started his career in 1993 in London. He showed his best performance and became the leader of all southern United Kingdom stores in 2001. He became CEO of McDonald’s United Kingdom in 2006. Within a year, Easterbrook’s position rose again into president of McDonald’s northern Europe. Later in 2010, he became the president of McDonald’s Europe. In 2011, he left McDonald’s and became chief executive of PizzaExpress and then Wagamama. Then, in 2013, he came back to McDonald’s as global chief brand officer.
Easterbrook himself stated that he was honored to be chosen as the leader of McDonald’s. He committed to working with McDonald’s suppliers, franchisees, and employees to serve the customers in better ways. The chairman of McDonald’s board, Andrew McKenna stated that the board believed Easterbrook can improve financial and operational performance of McDonald’s.
War is not just happen on the battlefield, shooting the enemies and throwing grenade to eliminate them. Now, war happens on the cyberspace too. ISIS is an actor that use social media platform for offensive. They use it to collect information or even recruiting armies. As the result, they got a lot of participants. The networks is growing to the entire world and getting stronger by the time. As a response, many countries building cyber-army including British.
This is not about Hacking Act Anymore
Cyber-army is the part of the cyber defense, but the unit is not a group of hackers. This is a group of soldiers that works to anticipate external threats. Based on the report of the Guardian, about 1,500 soldiers will be recruited and it will start on April. People with the good experience in social media such as journalist can take this chance too. Unlike hackers, this team will work to write information and spread it.
The Name is 77th Brigade
British army call this unit as 77th Brigade, a unit of the digital warfare. The spokesperson said this unit has been created to develop the capability for the modern combat challenges. In the modern battlefield, the action of the others may affect in many ways, including non-violent ways. Actually, this is make a sense. The other countries has been developing cyber army too. Even United States army also says if the social media is the part of the Defense Department. Beside it, radical parties also works on it.
Information, the New Bullet in the Modern War
Hacking and cracking, it has been used to damage the enemy’s system and steal the important information. But information technology is not just for this. Diplomatic is the other part of the war and has been used since a long time ago. In the modern time, it grows as information warfare and works to get the public attention. Information is not just for influencing the others. Sometimes, it also used to reduce the damage and avoid the deadly force.
Cyberwarfare in the Other Countries
Cyber-army is not just exist on a few countries. The other countries that also have cyber-army are including China, Germany, India, Iran, South Korea, Netherland, Russia and United States. All of them have been developing cyber-army since a few years ago. But when it talks about the active ones, the answer is China and United States. Israel also has a special unit that experimenting on social media. This experiment has been made for years.
Why 77th Brigade?
Actually, the name of 77th Brigade is coming from the similar unit name that fought Japanese in Burma. In World War II, 77th Brigade fought as guerrilla force. This is not a large unit. Only a few soldiers here. But unlike the other units, it used the innovative methods to win the fight. Sometimes, it looks unusual. Under the command of Major Gen. Orde Wingate, this unit successfully confusing the Japanese army. And surprisingly, they achieved the unexpected success. This is what the British military expect for this cyber-unit.
Disney’s success in gaining huge revenue after ‘Frozen’ theatrical release hasn’t stopped yet. The giant entertainment company still earns its magic through ‘Frozen’ theme parks, media networks, resorts, and merchandises. During the first quarter, Disney’s revenue on this first quarter is 9 percent higher than the same period on 2014. Disney now gains $13.4 billion, which is more than their analyst’s prediction of $12.9 billion. This high revenue was achieved due to the ‘Frozen’ hit sales during previous holiday season. Disney’s net income right now is $2.2 billion, which means around 19 percent increases from the previous year profit. After the release of Disney’s latest earning, their stock rose more than 4.4 percent to $98.23. This is another rising after Disney’s shares have risen around 30 percent during the past years.
Bob Iger’s Optimism toward ‘Frozen’
Disney’s chief executive, Bob Iger, said that the giant entertainment company is at its best performance thanks to ‘Frozen’. During the last quarter of 2014, many people and family opted for visiting Disney’s properties in California and Florida. It is the main reason on why Disney has high revenue in the first quarter of 2015. Bob Iger also stated that the result reflects the brand’s strength and high quality content that it provides to the customers. It also shows that Disney has great long term franchise strategy in all of its business segments. Iger himself had prolonged his contract with Disney to 2018.
The Contributing Performance of ‘Frozen’
‘Frozen’ had been developed by Disney into many franchise options. It is including the Disney theme park, video games, ice skating show, books, television crossover, and merchandise. Analysts around the world had predicted that ‘Frozen’ will be the giant franchise ever. It really is proven by Disney’s raising revenue. ‘Frozen’ merchandise led the 22 percent rising of Disney’s consumer product sales on the first quarter up to $1.4 billion.
Meanwhile, ‘Frozen’ theme park in Disneyland and also the resorts gained revenue of $3.9 billion or 9 percent rising during the last quarter of 2014. Other franchises, including the revenue from Disney’s media networks such as ABC Family and Disney Channels, jumped to 11 percent or around $5.86 billion.
Important Things You Should Know on Disney
Although ‘Frozen’ really drove Disney’s revenue, but the sales in studio entertainment fell around 2 percent to $1.9 billion. This was because the low selling of movie-ticketss. Even, Big Hero 6 which was released in November 2014 couldn’t compete with ‘Frozen’ success. Bob Iger stated that their company seeks for shifting to the media networks as people tend to watch movies and TV online. It can be seen from the high access of Disney’s ESPN sports network and Disney Channel through online streaming services, including Netflix and Dish. Iger is planning on directly sells the online streaming of Disney’s movies to the customers. It will be done sometimes ahead to improve profit margins.
Disney is also delaying the opening of Disneyland Shanghai which cost them $5.5 billion. There is no clear reason for this. Although the company still relies on ‘Frozen’ so much, it also hopes for other movies, such as ‘Cinderella’ live-action and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to be more successful.
Twitter announced on February 3rd that they will put their promoted tweets into other media. It begins with the partnerships between Twitter and Flipboard and Yahoo Japan. Before the formal announcement, ESPN was also heard as one of the channels to cooperate with Twitter. But up until now, there is no signs that this giant sports broadcaster will join the ship.
The Way to Get Earnings
Their effort in cooperating with Yahoo Japan and Flipboard was started from shareholders’ comments. During last year, there was slow user growth rate. It caused low revenue gained by Twitter in 2014. Then Twitter started building a brand new strategy and trying to sell it to the shareholders. Indeed, investors worried about the benefits of such strategy. It was last month that Twitter mentioned their initiative to the potential partners. These three parties have agreed on the advertising product that will be sold outside Twitter app.
The promoted tweets strategy was developed to gain the 185 billion unique tweets views from outside Twitter app and website. This data was gotten from July to September 2014. Well, we can still read many tweets when we browse to other websites. As an example, when we read ESPN’s SportsCenter app, we have the chance to read live tweets from various sports team and ESPN journalist. Indeed, Twitter wants to expand their 284 million users. According to Ameet Rnadive, Twitter senior product director, there will be advantage for those who are already cooperating with Twitter for long time. For thousands brands that already put their ads on Twitter, the new partnership with Yahoo Japan and Flipboard is really opening bigger opportunity. This is so because there will be more eyeballs that watch the ads.
The Mutual Relationships
In fact, both Flipboard and Yahoo Japan will get advantage from their partnership with Twitter. The promoted tweets are a good way to get more dollars. Eric Feng, chief technology officer of Flipboard said that the promoted tweets will be placed in a designated part of Flipboard. Within this section, the content of user’s Twitter is shown. Eric Feng believes that it is a powerful way to expand Flipboard monetization capabilities inside their own app. He also stated that the promoted tweets have worked perfectly in their app and can be accessed by Flipboard users soon. Although stated so, there is unclear information regarding the launching of promoted tweets product in both Yahoo Japan and Flipboard. Up until now, there is no indication about special changes in Yahoo Japan for allocating a space to promoted tweets.
Basically, Twitter will be sharing the revenue from the ads with both Flipboard and Yahoo Japan. Unfortunately, Twitter themselves didn’t want to share the way the revenue will be split among the media partners. People, including Twitter shareholders, are still questioning how profitable this partnership will be. Other big media are still unsure about joining the promoted tweets cooperation. They actually can sell the ads by themselves and by joining Twitter; it means they reduce the chance of gaining more profits.
Twitter decision in developing this strategy is seen as reaching potential audience in broader area with targeting data. Even, Ian Schafer, the chief executive of Deep Focus, stated that this is a very promising business in the future.