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Publishers hit hard by plummeting markets

Companies across the board see billions wiped off their stock value

Shares in videogames companies have plummeted in the past 24 hours as the wider financial community goes into meltdown, with markets across the world seeing huge amounts wiped off their value.

In the US, following the House of Representatives' voting down a USD 700 billion life raft package, the Dow Jones dropped by 770 points - 9.1 per cent - it's biggest ever one-day drop in history, while the FTSE in London had already slumped by 5.3 per cent on further nationalisation of financial institutions yesterday, with further falls expected today.

Although the sales of videogames have so far shown no signs of slowing, most listed companies displayed in the red today with Activision Blizzard losing USD 3 billion in value as its stock plummeting by 13.8 per cent.

Ubisoft also suffered a huge drop, losing almost a sixth of its value, as shares fell by 14.4 per cent over the day.

Electronic Arts fell sharply, losing 9 per cent on its share price or around USD 1.1 billion of its market value, while Disney stock fell by 9.2 per cent, representing a USD 5.6 billion fall in value.

Microsoft too dropped, by over 8 per cent, shedding around USD 21 billion market capitalisation, while following the close today of the Tokyo Stock Exchange Sony's shares had fallen a further 6.5 per cent, while Nintendo was down a further 4.5 per cent.

But while the biggest falls were reserved for the larger publishers in the industry - Time Warner also fell by over 8 per cent across the day - there was misery for almost everybody in the business.

THQ fell by just over 7 per cent, while SCi dropped by 5.6 per cent and Take-Two fell 4.5 per cent.

It's unclear as yet what the long term impact from the international market meltdown will be, but the industry will be fervently hoping that the old adage about alcohol and entertainment in a recession holds true - and that videogames are high up on people's gift lists in the next couple of months.

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