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Posts with tag activision-vivendi

Is Activision Blizzard overly reliant on core titles?

Is Activision Blizzard overly reliant on core titles
An Activision Blizzard Amended Investor Report was discovered yesterday by VG247, OXM reports. The report itself makes interesting reading, particularly the risks section. Firstly, though, a word of warning. It is good practice in Financial Services to have a grasp of potential risks to your business, forward-looking and current, in order to address them. In order to calculate for risk, and act, it is necessary to identify it. Only then can steps be taken toward mitigation.

And Activision Blizzard has done a thorough job. The "risks" section is 13,000 words long, so we cannot cover it in full, but one of the more interesting aspects of it is the company's reliance on core titles for their revenue. For example, quoting from the report:
"Revenues associated with the World of Warcraft franchise accounted for 61%, 90%, and 89% of Blizzard's net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively." (page 11)
And, furthermore, also from the report:
According to The NPD Group, the top 10 titles accounted for 30% of the sales in the U.S. video game industry in 2012 as compared to 26% in 2011. Similarly, a significant portion of our revenues has historically been derived from video games based on a few popular franchises and these video games are responsible for a disproportionately high percentage of our profits. For example, our four largest franchises in 2012-Call of Duty, Diablo, Skylanders and World of Warcraft-accounted for approximately 83% of our net revenues, and a significantly higher percentage of our operating income, for the year (page 44)
Why is this reliance on what are currently very successful titles a cause for concern?

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Filed under: Blizzard

Vivendi is dead, long live Activision-Blizzard

Okay, so we've been waiting for this moment for a few months. The waiting probably hasn't involved breathless anticipation or anything, but there's definitely been waiting. It's now official, and there's very little to go wrong -- Vivendi is merging with Activision, destroying the Vivendi Games name in favor of the new entity: Activision-Blizzard.

Activision shareholders (and a little regulation-fu) were the only hold ups to the process. Today, Activision shareholders voted 92% in favor of merging with Vivendi. Which means that 8% voted against the deal -- I have to wonder what they were thinking. The old Vivendi folks have a 52% control of the new company (called Activision-Blizzard), which is projected to clock over $3.8 billion dollars annually.

The close date is tomorrow -- it's still technically possible that an enormous asteroid may fall from the heavens, plunging the entirety of the Earth into a post-nuclear wasteland. Or, zombies could attack. Maybe Zombie Murlocs, with their own MySpace accounts. But short of a Murloc invasion (I, for one, welcome our new Mrlglglglge overlords), there's nothing left for the merger but for the fat lady to sing.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Judge compares Vivendi-Activation merger to a WoW quest

The judge ruling on a dispute related to the Vivendi-Activision deal has used WoW metaphors for the actions of the litigants. William B. Chandler III, the chief judge of the Delaware Court of Chancery, showed an unusually keen grasp of the dynamics of the game -- way more than either of my parents would understand. His ruling describes, among other things, crafting, questing, battlegrounds, guilds, and even our unique linguistic habits. (My mother, for example, calls them typos.) Continuing his analysis, Judge Chandler says that the world of Mergers & Acquisitions is similar to an MMORPG where "participants take on certain roles, interact in their own community, hone specialized skills, and even develop a unique, somewhat curious vernacular." The judge concluded his denial of the injunction with the words "GAME OVER."

Judge Chandler is no stranger to hipness. In previous decisions he has also made references to 50 Cent, Ray Charles, Notorious B.I.G., and Cerberus, the mythological dog that guarded the gates of the underworld. Perhaps he's trying to keep the jurors awake?

Filed under: Virtual selves, News items

Sunday Morning Funnies: You inspire me

For the long weekend, we have several nifty comics that are all geared up to entertain you. From commentary and the creative process, to booby-traps and those poor dwarves, you won't want to miss this week's line-up.
  1. World of Warcraft is the inspiration for many games. Apparently, not all are that great.
  2. Everyone is suffering over at Dark Legacy Comics, but there is still time to play games. Too bad there is no time for pants.
  3. Where would the long weekend be without Activision/Vivendi commentary? Nowhere. It would exist nowhere.
  4. The warlock's predicament continues, first as he attempts to escape his unforeseen captivity and then, well, let's just say he's in trouble.
  5. Everyone needs a little gardening humor.
  6. Ding! shows us how to show the vendors some love. Okay, maybe not terribly ineffectual vendors.
  7. Teh Gladiators give their little pet a chance to rampage. He is still not an ostrich.
  8. This week, Disgraph brings us Indiana Dwarf and the Temple of the Frozen Beta.
Ready to vote? Pass through the break and choose your favorite from this week.

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Filed under: Polls, Fan stuff, Features, Humor, Screenshots, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Comical side of Activision/Vivendi merger

Whether you are for, against, or completely neutral to the Activision/Vivendi merger, you'll enjoy Action Trip's latest comic in light of the situation.

You don't need to know all of the details, or what this means for Blizzard, to understand and have a laugh. Simply note that Activision is the company that brought out titles such as Guitar Hero and Call of Duty.

I'm a particular fan of this comic, and I'm not exactly sure why. I mean, I do play Horde, and an orc at that; and no one likes to get ganked! The style in which the night elf is depicted, combined with the last frame, had me laughing out loud though.

If you hadn't heard about the merger, or would like to learn more about what this means for World of Warcraft, head over to Mike's recent update on the situation, as well as his coverage of an interview with Blizzard President and CEO, Mike Morhaime. Dan also wrote up a post summarizing the official press release and pointing to some top-notch articles around the web for more information.

If you feel you have a particularly solid grasp on the matter, Elizabeth has asked for your predictions on the future of the company. Because I know you can all tell the future, there's no point in keeping it to yourselves.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Comics

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