Now we know what all of you have been doing during the pandemic, and it wasn’t necessarily all working from home:
Sony Corp. said Tuesday that its April-June profit jumped 53% as its video game and other online businesses thrived with people staying home due to the coronavirus lockdown.
And Take-Two Interactive Software said it sold over 15 million units of “Grand Theft Auto V” in the first two quarters of the year, as more people lapped up the action-adventure videogame to keep themselves entertained in lockdown.
Sony reported a 233 billion yen ($2.2 billion) profit for the most recent quarter, up from 152 billion yen the year before.
On the flip side, Sony warned that its movies division would likely suffer for two or three years due to filming delays and closed theaters. Consumer demand for electronics products has also plunged, including sales of digital cameras, TVs and other gadgets, according to Sony.
Meanwhile, Sony unveiled its prototype of an electric car, highlighting the reach of consumer electronics into new sectors in the digital age.
The company is projecting a 510 billion yen ($4.8 billion) profit for the fiscal year that ends in March 2021, down 12% from the previous fiscal year.
Sony said music streaming was doing well, as people stayed home due to the pandemic, but other parts of its music business have suffered. Online video content also is doing well, it said.
Video game operations got a big lift from people signing on to network services. There are now 45 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, a paying online membership for games, and Sony is planning a major upgrade with the PlayStation 5 to go on sale later this year.
Take-Two shares, which are up more than 37% this year, hit a record high of $180.61, a day after it reported a blockbuster quarter.
“Grand Theft Auto V”, the seventh installment of the franchise, follows the story of three protagonists – Trevor, Franklin and Michael – as they find their way through a fictitious California-like state to accomplish missions involving car-chases and shootouts.
Take-Two sold over 25 million units of “Grand Theft Auto V” globally in the last 12 months, more than double that of a year earlier.
The company also joined rival videogame publisher Electronic Arts Inc in raising its annual sales forecast as demand for their popular videogames soars.
U.S. spending on video games in June surged 26% to $1.2 billion, the highest for the month in over a decade, according to research firm NPD, as people turned to games for relaxation during lockdowns and also purchased more in-game content.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.