Today's games do more than create virtual worlds and entertain; they help tackle important social issues, improve the delivery of health care, increase our chances for workplace success, and strengthen our educational system. Nonprofit organizations and issue advocates use "serious games" as a medium to reach young tech-savvy consumers.
According to research motion-controlled games may be a healthier alternative to sedentary screen time because of a lower energy surplus, but the playing of these games still resulted in a positive energy balance.
Energy intake, expenditure, and surplus (intake minus expenditure) were compared during inactive screen-time activities like television watching and video games and active screen-time use like motion-controlled video games. Young adults were randomly assigned to three groups: television watching, playing traditional video games, or playing motion-controlled games for one hour while snacks and beverages were provided. Energy intakes and expenditures were measured.
The energy expenditure was higher and the energy surplus was lower in the motion controlled group than in television or video game groups. Energy surplus was an average of 638 kcal in television, 655 kcal in video games, and 376 kcal in motion-controlled groups. The risk for consuming 500 kcal or more in the television group compared with the motion-controlled group was 3.2 times more likely.
Gaming stocks have come under fire because of Zynga's disappointing Q2 results. I think this marks a great opportunity for keen investors to snap up shares of game developers that are fundamentally undervalued but with driving businesses.
One of these companies I am talking about is called Majesco Entertainment (COOL). At the beginning of July the stock was trading around $2, last week it traded around $1.70.
Majesco's best selling motion-controlled video game until now is their Zumba Fitness video game, which will release some new features in the fourth quarter of this year. In one month the company will release NBA Baller Beats. This game will be the first-ever full body, motion based NBA licensed video game that lets you perform like a pro using a real basketball. This first-of-its-kind participative basketball video game will be the best sports game of the year, especially after the Olympic Games.
"Each summer, ProCamps gives thousands of new players a unique learning experience from some of the best in the NBA and WNBA, and we're excited to give these youth an opportunity for early hands-on time with NBA Baller Beats," said Jesse Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Majesco Entertainment. "Kids who aspire to perform like a pro baller on the court can play the game to continue mastering crossovers, pump fakes, behind-the-back and other skill moves in a high energy, beats-driven experience that makes you want to keep playing again and again."
Since 1998, ProCamps has developed, managed and operated sports camps and related events for professional athletes in the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, WNBA and Women's Professional Soccer. ProCamps basketball programs offer children ages 7-18 the opportunity to get hands-on basketball instruction with some of the best players in the NBA and WNBA. Lasting from 2-4 days each, kids receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve their skills.
"We see NBA Baller Beats as an exciting new step in motion-controlled video games," said Eric Liebler, SVP of Camp Operations for ProCamps. "The fact that it places an actual basketball into the hands of our campers sets it apart from any other video game to date. When it launches in September, NBA Baller Beats will be a fun way for kids to continue building the baller skills they learn here at camp."
Motion control video games are here to stay and will most likely have an even bigger role in the future.
The main reason that motion control video games are here to stay is because of Nintendo Wii's success. Many homes across the world have nowadays a Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect or Sony's Playstation Move. Motion video games are getting popular with people of any age, whether they are very young, or are retired. This success will just make Majesco Entertainment want to make more and more motion control games as they are a big money maker.
Another reason that these types of games are going to stay popular is because of the health benefits associated with them. Instead of just sitting there playing on the couch burning very little calories, anyone can play a game while standing up and moving their body. Instead of pressing a button to swing that tennis racket, you can just swing your arm, burning more energy.
Moving around also makes the games more fun, realistic, and something that even casual gamers can enjoy. Swinging your arm simulating a baseball bat or golf club is a lot more fun than pressing buttons at the right time. Why use analog sticks to shoot your gun in the game when you can just point at the screen. This brings a whole new dimension to video games.
Motion control video games are hot and will drive sales for years to come. Majesco Entertainment has proved to be successful and is a great investment idea for the investor looking to diversify his portfolio with entertainment stocks. With a P/E below 10, $0.77 per share in cash and promising new motion-controlled games around the corner this company is here to stay. The current stock price makes it even an attractive takeover candidate for a competitor with deep pockets such as Electronic Arts (EA) or Activision Blizzard (ATVI).
One of the risks for the company is the dependence on Zumba Fitnesss games. Majesco has licensed the rights to publish these games from a third party. The first game was commercially released in November 2010. In November 2011, the company released the sequel for the Wii platform, Zumba Fitness 2. In addition, Majesco secured rights to publish other games based on this property. In 2011 70% of net revenues was generated from Zumba Fitness games. If new versions are not successful, this could lead to a significant impact on revenues, that's why it is so important for the company to broaden their horizon and introduce other games.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in COOL over the next 72 hours.