It was a good week to be playing video games. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) moved sharply higher on Friday after striking a deal to buy most of the shares held by majority stakeholder Vivendi. Earlier in the week, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) gained ground after posting a much narrower quarterly deficit than analysts were expecting.

It's certainly way too early to think they either company has won this game. Why is Vivendi cashing out now? Meanwhile, a smaller loss at EA is still a loss.

The trends also continue to work against the video-game companies as mainstream gamers seem to be just fine playing free ad-based apps, leaving a thinner crowd of diehard gamers willing to pay up for the more intricate console-based experiences.

The news was certainly good this week, but the real test will come this holiday season, when the new consoles hit the market.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • (NASDAQ:AMZN) surprised investors with a quarterly loss. Analysts were calling for a small profit. But should the market really be surprised? Amazon has come up short on the bottom line in three of the past four quarters. Clearly, CEO Jeff Bezos is willing to sacrifice near-term margins for the sake of growing the e-tailer's business for the long haul.
  • A company that did break from its recent trend of coming up short was Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU). China's leading search engine came through with better-than-expected results. It had missed on the bottom line in its two previous quarters. Baidu's guidance calls for accelerating revenue growth, silencing doubters who have argued that it was all downhill for the former dot-com darling.
  • 8x8 (NYSE:EGHT) hit a fresh 52-week high this week after posting well-received quarterly results. The provider of telecommunications services for companies now has more than 33,000 business customers. If your name is 8x8, it's nice to know that you can multiply.