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Posts with tag actiblizzard

Bobby Kotick didn't think Blizzard was worth $7 million in '96

Have you ever looked at something new on the auction house and thought "Who would pay a thousand gold for that," only to find that months later the item has skyrocketed in price and you missed a golden opportunity to pick it up on the cheap? Activision kingpin Bobby Kotick might make the same analogy. If he played video games, I mean.

The Escapist clued us in to this little story: back in 1995, Kotick was eating lunch with some folks from Davidson & Associates, and they told him that they had just bought up-and-coming software developer Blizzard Entertainment for the tidy sum of seven million dollars -- a number that a baffled Kotick believed to be ridiculous. At the time, Blizzard's claim to fame was Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans, and ... that's pretty much it, save for a few one-off games like Blackthorne and The Lost Vikings. Kotick called them nothing more than a "contract developer" and remarked that they weren't worth seven million bucks.

Of course, later that year, Blizzard released Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, which catapulted them into gaming history forever. Thirteen years later, in 2008, Kotick (and Activision) paid seven billion dollars to acquire Blizzard. For those not into mathematics, that's one thousand times more than what Davidson & Associates paid.

Well, he was right about one thing. They definitely weren't worth seven million bucks. He just didn't know how right he was at the time.

Filed under: News items, Interviews

Analyst: Activision is a better investment than EA

We'll start this one off with the caveat that these days, you can find an analyst to tell you anything you want, so just in case you want to hear that Activision is apparently a "better investment" than Electronic Arts, Deutsche Bank analyst Jeetil Patel is your man. He says that Activision (the company that's merging with Vivendi/Blizzard, doncha know) is "way ahead" of its big competitor EA in terms of profitability.

His comments are more of an attack against EA than a compliment for Activision, however -- he mentions Call of Duty and Guitar Hero as big franchises for Activision, and they are, but he doesn't say a word about the Blizzard merger at all. And on the EA side, he leaves Rock Band off the list completely (EA is distributing it, not publishing it), and makes no mention at all of Madden or any of EA's other big franchises). Plus, he's been down on EA for a long time.

In short, this isn't going to change anyone's mind. If you're a fan (or stockholder) of Activizzard, then great, there's a bright future in it for you. And if you're not, and you'd rather embrace EA, this guy is just biased enough that he's not going to change your mind. But we're all for competition anyway -- it can be good games time now?

[via Joystiq]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Making money

Aftereffects of the Activision-Blizzard merger

Unless something crazy happens, it seems that the Activision-Blizzard merger (which is really the Activision-Vivendi merger, actually) will go down without a problem -- shareholders are voting on it this week, so by next week we should see confirmation that Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft are under the same umbrella.

Gamasutra has posted a nice long feature about what exactly that means, for both companies and for the rest of the industry. As we predicted, there probably won't be huge repercussions for either of the biggest companies involved -- both Activision and Blizzard will continue to go their own separate ways for now, sharing only a name among investors (Gamasutra even says the names on the game boxes won't change at all). The biggest impact will be on the little guys in between -- Activision's previous shareholders now have to answer to Vivendi (who will hold a majority stock in the company), and Viviendi's smaller division, the former glory of Sierra Games, will have to answer to Activision before publishing any of their titles.

And of course the other big consequence we've seen so far is that Bobby Kotick apparently feels he knows everything there is to know about the MMO game. Sure. For now, though, it's business as usual for both Activision and Blizzard -- if there will be any change in either company because of the merger, we likely won't see it for a while.

[via Blizzplanet]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

WoW Insider Show Episode 15: Grab your sword and fight the Horde

Matthew Rossi, Turpster, and I had a heck of a great time on last Saturday's episode of the WoW Insider Show, available right now for you listening pleasure over on WoW Radio and on iTunes. And we came up with two great slogans for the Alliance:The one I liked was "Grab your sword and fight the Horde," while Turpster's, if I recall correctly, was "Please put down that fishing appliance, we are Warcraft's fighting Alliance!" Okay, I may not be recalling that exactly correctly.
Plus, as we mentioned, if you've been bugged by my clicking headset in the past, that's all over with-- I got a sparkling new headset and it sounds much, much better. All of the laughs, none of the clicking. It's like a whole new podcast.

And if you didn't get to listen to us live but want to next week, make a note for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm EST-- that's when we go live over on the WoW Radio (now 24/7!) site. The WoW Insider Show is always a fun time, and even if you read the blog during the week, it's always great to get a little insight and background on how things work around here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Odds and ends, PvP, Humor, Leveling, WoW Insider Show

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