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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  MMOG Discussion  |  World of Warcraft  |  Topic: Activision Blizzard Sold, to Activision Blizzard 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Activision Blizzard Sold, to Activision Blizzard  (Read 6792 times)
Miasma
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Stopgap Measure


on: July 26, 2013, 04:46:22 AM

Vivendi overhaul gathers pace with $8.2 billion Activision deal

Sounds like they are going to take all the cash on the balance sheet, I assume issue some new debt, and people who have a lot of money from blizzard's initial sale will kick in too.
Teleku
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Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 05:00:51 AM

And lo, so it was that the next EA was born!

 why so serious?

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Paelos
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Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 06:33:59 AM

I'm selling my shares today. I bought in at 11.79 back in the days of "Will GW2 be the thing that kills WoW!?"

It's jumped almost 40% since then. It's been a good ride.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
koro
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Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 09:25:05 AM

And just in time for WoW to dip into pre-TBC subscriber numbers!

http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/07/26/world-of-warcraft-down-to-7-7m-subscribers/

Down from 8.3 million in March.
proudft
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Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 09:48:38 AM

Set mine to sell too, at 17.35, might be shooting high, but who knows.  Bought right before Cataclysm since it looked so awesome. Cry

Edit: it shot up to the 17.40s already, yeesh.  Well, I hope they sell fast enough before it falls back down.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 09:54:12 AM by proudft »
Paelos
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Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 09:59:23 AM

And just in time for WoW to dip into pre-TBC subscriber numbers!

http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/07/26/world-of-warcraft-down-to-7-7m-subscribers/

Down from 8.3 million in March.

It'll continue to dip from this point forward. There's no stopping it now. I'm getting out now not because of the jump, but because they flubbed Titan, and they flubbed D3 by trying to focus on console (which I honestly don't think will be a huge draw).

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Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
Fabricated
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Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 09:59:50 AM

I can't wait for Blizzard's response to be "more dynamic" daily hubs, alternate unfun grinds to get catchup gear, and some brand new iteration of raid-type (even after flex-raid) instead of just you know, making the normal raids easy enough for most guilds.

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
Paelos
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Reply #7 on: July 26, 2013, 10:08:55 AM

If the stock goes back to $12 again? I'll buy. I have confidence at that price point they'll continue to deliver long term, but it will be just that, a long term hold.

They have to fix D3 and put a good face on that, or the franchise is effectively dead. They have to come up with a multiplayer successor to WoW, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a full blown MMO. They have to position themselves in the market to be ready for the shift to the new consoles, and also understand that all their side stuff may not pan out (Hearthstone jumps to mind).

They also need WC4. I'd love to see them rip off and polish some ideas from Total War on that to revolutionize the game. The TW guys have never been able to produce a product that wasn't buggy as fuck, but Blizzard could.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
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Nevermore
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Reply #8 on: July 26, 2013, 10:12:26 AM

And just in time for WoW to dip into pre-TBC subscriber numbers!

http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/07/26/world-of-warcraft-down-to-7-7m-subscribers/

Down from 8.3 million in March.

I blame Ghostcrawler.


Over and out.
Trippy
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Reply #9 on: July 26, 2013, 10:12:44 AM

With Vivendi no longer protecting the goose laying the golden eggs (Blizzard) I fully except Kotick to fuck things up even more than he already has.
Merusk
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Reply #10 on: July 26, 2013, 10:15:38 AM

Yes.

On the upside to that, expect some more great studios to spin-off from the folks who flee the ship before it goes Full EA.

I can't get past the panties - Alluvian
I really like the cocks. - Lantyssa
People rarely believe just how good I am at sucking. - Lantyssa
I love the swinging dongs - Signe
Typhon
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Reply #11 on: July 26, 2013, 10:49:02 AM

I think the 'before it goes full EA' ship has sailed.
koro
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Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 10:51:04 AM

With Vivendi no longer protecting the goose laying the golden eggs (Blizzard) I fully except Kotick to fuck things up even more than he already has.

Considering Vivendi was ramping up to start pumping Activision for pure cash dividends to pay off Vivendi's absurdly large debt and damn the consequences, the only thing they were going to be doing to the golden goose was strangling it.
Miasma
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Stopgap Measure


Reply #13 on: July 26, 2013, 10:55:04 AM

And just in time for WoW to dip into pre-TBC subscriber numbers!

http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/07/26/world-of-warcraft-down-to-7-7m-subscribers/

Down from 8.3 million in March.

It'll continue to dip from this point forward. There's no stopping it now. I'm getting out now not because of the jump, but because they flubbed Titan, and they flubbed D3 by trying to focus on console (which I honestly don't think will be a huge draw).
This is what worries me.  Activision has a bunch of cash right now but that's going away to pay for this, then they will probably have to finance some of it with debt.  So the new, more independent company doesn't have a giant money pile anymore, their main cash cow WoW is on the decline, Blizzard doesn't have anything significant in the pipeline and Activision is mostly just Call of Duty which could be impacted by how well the next gen consoles sell.  It seems kind of wobbly.
Paelos
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Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 11:38:44 AM

To be honest, I think because Blizzard has been sitting on that cash for so long, they've allowed a lot of dead weight in their overhead to run unchecked. Their SGA expenses represent 24% of the their revenues, up from 20% in 2010. That swing is higher by almost $250M in just overhead. That's not a good sign when they've cut R&D by $22M and 2% in the same time period.

EDIT: What I'm getting at is that they're running fatter staffs with less production. They need to trim up and empower the people who are actually doing a good job to keep producing. The products in the 2010>current time period have come up wanting in many regards.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 11:40:40 AM by Paelos »

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Ironwood
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Reply #15 on: July 26, 2013, 11:50:25 AM


EDIT: What I'm getting at is that they're running fatter staffs with less production. They need to trim up and empower the people who are actually doing a good job to keep producing. The products in the 2010>current time period have come up wanting in many regards.

 Ohhhhh, I see.

Empower the People who are Good.

When does that ever happen ?

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Ingmar
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Reply #16 on: July 26, 2013, 12:03:42 PM

24% of revenue on SG&A is not really troublingly high, I don't think.

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Paelos
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Reply #17 on: July 26, 2013, 12:07:17 PM

24% of revenue on SG&A is not really troublingly high, I don't think.

By no means. It's comparative. If the products they were putting out the door weren't flagging in terms of public opinion and subscriptions? I don't think it's an issue at all. When it's growing at the same time that the cash cow is shrinking? Over the long haul that percentage goes up.

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Merusk
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Reply #18 on: July 26, 2013, 12:09:54 PM


EDIT: What I'm getting at is that they're running fatter staffs with less production. They need to trim up and empower the people who are actually doing a good job to keep producing. The products in the 2010>current time period have come up wanting in many regards.

 Ohhhhh, I see.

Empower the People who are Good.

When does that ever happen ?

We can't fire him, he's a Vice-President!

I can't get past the panties - Alluvian
I really like the cocks. - Lantyssa
People rarely believe just how good I am at sucking. - Lantyssa
I love the swinging dongs - Signe
Ingmar
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Reply #19 on: July 26, 2013, 12:50:25 PM

24% of revenue on SG&A is not really troublingly high, I don't think.

By no means. It's comparative. If the products they were putting out the door weren't flagging in terms of public opinion and subscriptions? I don't think it's an issue at all. When it's growing at the same time that the cash cow is shrinking? Over the long haul that percentage goes up.

Maybe - depending on how they categorize things a decent chunk of that 24% is probably the infrastructure (and maybe the CS teams?) that the games actually run on, so you'd expect at least something of a drop in operating costs as usage goes down.

The Transcendent One: AH... THE ROGUE CONSTRUCT.
Nordom: Sense of closure: imminent.
Simond
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Reply #20 on: July 26, 2013, 02:51:44 PM

Yes.

On the upside to that, expect some more great studios to spin-off from the folks who flee the ship before it goes Full EA.
Yeah, because "Studio full of ex-Blizzard" people has worked so well previously.

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Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 08:49:45 AM

It did get us Torchlight 1/2.

...and Hellgate, but whatever.

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
Paelos
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Reply #22 on: July 27, 2013, 09:33:46 AM

I think it's going to be interesting to see how the business reacts. Do they stop paying dividends? Do they reinvest in higher R&D? These would be things I'd look at in the longer term to see what their product line looks like.

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Soulflame
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Reply #23 on: July 27, 2013, 07:54:12 PM

I assume Kotick is still in charge, so Blizzard will continue to fail in slow motion.
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Reply #24 on: July 31, 2013, 09:11:28 AM

Yeah.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Paelos
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Reply #25 on: July 31, 2013, 11:09:25 AM

Currently articles like this one drive me crazy as a gamer: http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/there-are-over-100-million-reasons-to-doubt-activision-blizzard-inc-atvi-211668/

The gist of it is this - ACTIVISION ISN'T INTO MOBILE GAMING! DOOOOOOOOM!

"On the company’s last earnings call, CEO Bobby Kotick downplayed the trend towards mobile gaming, saying that they just “don’t see anything” that would support a shift to mobile."

Hate Kotick all you want, but I think he's right. I've never understood the obsession with "mobile gaming" from a AAA concern. There's not enough money in it to want to deal with it, but every time somebody wants to take a shot at Blizzard, it's usually over how they haven't embraced the stupid mobile gaming revolution.

The mobile gaming shit is absurd.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #26 on: July 31, 2013, 11:14:28 AM

Thing is, mobile gaming IS a cash cow but it's not a market that takes away from console/pc games it's a market that exists alongside it.  No reason to get rid of one to foster the other.

~a horrific, dark simulacrum that glares balefully at us, with evil intent.
Paelos
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Reply #27 on: July 31, 2013, 11:30:33 AM

I still don't believe it's a cash cow. I believe there is a demand for it, and that revenue exists, but just saying that their is $8 billion in revenue tells me nothing.

They always point to Zynga in these articles about mobile gaming as the gold standard. Last I checked, that company hasn't made money since 2010, and managed to lose money on over a billion in revenue in prior years. How is this successful exactly?

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Ingmar
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Reply #28 on: July 31, 2013, 11:33:07 AM

Zynga does primarily Facebook games, not mobile games, unless I am very much mistaken. The people with the cash cow are the Angry Birds guys, etc.

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Reply #29 on: July 31, 2013, 11:38:09 AM

Lakov pointed out why people are losing their shit.  As you said, AT-B doesn't *have* to get rid of AAA to move in to mobile and mobile is currently making decent money.  

There's little reason they couldn't just divert a few dollars or buy-up a dev team to toss a game or three out the same way EA is. Instead they're choosing to ignore it entirely.

Yes, Zynga does Facebook games.  Mobile games like Candy Crush, Temple Run <whatever> Icon Match, Angry Birds run on Tablets, PCs, Phones and hook-in to Facebook but don't require you to be ON Facebook. They also have steady revenues that people will simply buy in to once you have a good hook on the gameplay.

 Incentivize it without making it ludicrous and suddenly the nickel-and-diming is palatable.  "Oh, I need to get past this level on Candy Crush, I'll drop $.99 for those mallets/ extra moves. I'm sooo close!"  "Oh, a new season of Angry Birds is out! Sure take my $6!"

Hell this site has it's own little 'mobile games' section.

I can't get past the panties - Alluvian
I really like the cocks. - Lantyssa
People rarely believe just how good I am at sucking. - Lantyssa
I love the swinging dongs - Signe
Typhon
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Reply #30 on: July 31, 2013, 11:40:18 AM

If Blizzard wanted to do a CCG, mobile was the place to do it.  For many reasons.
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Reply #31 on: July 31, 2013, 12:40:20 PM

I still don't believe it's a cash cow. I believe there is a demand for it, and that revenue exists, but just saying that their is $8 billion in revenue tells me nothing.

They always point to Zynga in these articles about mobile gaming as the gold standard. Last I checked, that company hasn't made money since 2010, and managed to lose money on over a billion in revenue in prior years. How is this successful exactly?
For EA, ~20% of their Non-GAAP revenue ($104 million) came from mobile games last quarter. That's why people are asking what Activision's mobile strategy is.
Paelos
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Reply #32 on: July 31, 2013, 12:57:33 PM

Sure as a number that sounds fine. Activision's operating profit has been over a billion for the last 2 years. Not revenues (those were over 4.5B) but actual operating takehome after expenses. EA managed to make a profit of of $121M on $3.8B in revenue.

My point is this: Why should ATVI give a fuck what other people are doing? They aren't operating in the same stratosphere. Mobile gaming, even if you can make $150M in revenues or whatever, that's all well and good, but it's not exactly breaking the bank on returns.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #33 on: July 31, 2013, 01:41:38 PM

Why shouldn't they?

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Paelos
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Reply #34 on: July 31, 2013, 02:02:13 PM

Because even allocating a single dollar away from a high margin activity to a lower margin activity is silly.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
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