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Activision Down, Vivendi Waaay Up

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the sad-days-salad-days dept.

31

Gamespot is reporting that Activision faces delisting from NASDAQ due to non-compliance. They failed to report their quarterly earnings on time, a situation the company says they will correct as soon as 'practicable.' Meanwhile, Vivendi earnings are up 190% No, that's not a typo. Two guesses as to why. From the article: "Unsurprisingly, Vivendi Games attributed the profit spike largely due to what it describes as 'the higher margin of the World of Warcraft business.' It also cited other factors, including the start-up investments for the Sierra Online and Vivendi Games Mobile divisions and strong sales of Scarface: The World Is Yours in October." Translation: "We have a money hat machine! Yay!"

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wow (1)

forrestf (1028150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875926)

go figure, WoW is becomming a gamming super-power, just wait till EA buys it or worse, Activsion

What could be worse than that? Oh, wait, I know.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875972)

.. being purchased by Sony Online Entertainment. If there's one company thats proven itself able to make a bad idea even worse, it's SOE.

I would kill... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876274)

... my wife plays WoW, I play EQ... imagine if you could get both on a Sony Station Pass... we could save money!!!!

If they left the creative talent to the Blizzard team and just have Sony do the admin work (like they do with a lot of projects) it would actually be a good relationship. EQ and EQ2's uptime far exceeds WoW's uptime, even the low pop servers.

Re:What could be worse than that? Oh, wait, I know (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876672)

What about Microsoft? They certainly put the smack down on Bungie.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876176)

It's already owned by Vivendi-Universal, tardo, what is the matter... ...er, I've just been trolled, haven't I?

Re:wow (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876702)

I would certainly hope that this much financial success puts Vivendi/Blizzard in a situation where EA or Sony will never be able to buy them.

I'd basically give up gaming all together if EA owned everything.

Re:wow (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879116)

Hey now, what's the problem with Activision?

Re:wow (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880778)

EA buying Blizzard? Uhh, way to go on your research, bud: Blizz is owned by Vivendi SA. In terms of revenue and employees, Vivendi [wikipedia.org] is like five times larger than EA [wikipedia.org] ; Activision is about half the size of EA.

But yeah, I'm sure Vivendi's looking to sell off this cash cow reeeal soon.

anyone find it interesting... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876018)

how all the old huge developers of yesteryear are dissapearing or becoming steaming piles of shit? Old sierra, activision, electronic arts, midway, konami, capcom...the list goes on. These people used to be at the very pinnacle of gaming in any form...now they are either dissapeared or corrupted into crap. I wonder where gaming will be and what companies will be carrying it in 20 years...

Re:anyone find it interesting... (1)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876692)

Atari, Sega, Infocom... Yep, we've noticed...
The same can be said of just about any industry though. Just look at video card manufacturers. Hell, nobody was ever going to topple 3dfx.
And computer manufacturers: look at the remnants of SGI, DEC, Amstrad, Atari (again), Commodore (Amiga), BBC, Honeybee, Sinclair... Damn, I shouldn't have started

Re:anyone find it interesting... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876840)

You forgot Alpha and Cray:-) Man...remember the fight between the Rendition and 3dfx? LMFAO I remember getting into a fistfight with my friends when the monster 3d and the rendition verite first came out (I was younger and stupider then lol) Hell, I remember when the top of the line falcon mach V 200 MHz pentium was going for like 4,000 bucks... You also forgot to mention Tandy, that was another big one...Also TI, I know texas instruments is still around, but not NEARLY in the same capacity that they used to be

Re:anyone find it interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16879376)

Atari, Sega, Infocom..

WTF? Sega is expanding... Atari and Infocom are non-existent. (Sorry, Inforgrames doesn't count as "Atari" no matter what).

Medieval II just shipped, as did the next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog for the 360 and PS3. Sega is a major PC game publisher, not just a console developer anymore. Good for them.

Re:anyone find it interesting... (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879440)

"BBC" computers were made of Acorn. Acorn is no more, but you may have heard of what became of their research department - a little company called ARM.

No big mystery... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876714)

When a game studio is young, it attracts hot, young talents who are willing to put all of their passion into the work. They go for a while releasing cool, cutting edge titles, sometimes at the cost of other parts of their lives (or other parts of the business).

As the studio grows, the other business realities start to take hold. The founders and other talent brought on board earlier in the life of the company often get a little burnt out and leave, or in the case of a merger/aquisition, the new management doesn't jive with the old guard and the older employees leave to do their own thing, or their influence is marginalized.

In any event, any business, not just game studios, change as they go from a brand new start up to an "established" company. In the case of game companies, though, you often tend to lose your best and most passionate talents if you don't treat them extraordinarily well. Even if you do, turn over can really change the make up of your talent as time goes one.

Also, an "established" studio is less likely to take chances on new game play ideas since its primary function becomes one of sustainable profitability. A new development shop might be more likely to try new things. Not that they have less to lose, but in general a young company is more likely to take more chances.

Re:anyone find it interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876742)

Huh?

How are Konami and Capcom being "corrupted into crap"?

Konami's MGS is not my cup of tea, but MGS4 is guaranteed to move PS3s. I'm eagerly awaiting the next Castlevania on my DS. I also like to jump around to a bit of DDR (Is it regurgited yearly? Yeah, but its still fun).

I'm also thoroughly enjoying Okami from Capcom (ignoring the Clover Studio shutdown for now). Resident Evil 4 was one of the finest games of last (or any) generation, and, from what I played of Blue Planet at E3, that looks quite promising as well.

Essentially, these companies are doing what they've always done - and are still doing it well. I note that those are both Japanese developers. The other you list are American. Perhaps that's really the pattern that you're seeing: old American developers are turning to shit.

D.

Re:anyone find it interesting... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876930)

Maybe I was a little misleading...I meant not nearly what they used to be. Yes, Konami and Capcom are still around, and yes they still have a couple tricks up their sleeves, but there is no way you can sit there and tell me with a straight face they have nearly as deep of a market penetration or string of instant classics like they did in the mid 80's-90's

Not really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876848)

Its predictable. Companies that survive for decades tend to hold on to the particular business model that allowed them to survive for so long. IE. Iterations of successful titles. They will do so until they collapse. What these companies need is innovation, but they are too afraid of being innovative.

Re:anyone find it interesting... (1)

ir (104) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877588)

Game creation then was just a few guys programming, but now writing a game is like making a movie. It just requires too many people and too much work. There is no more room for creativity.

In more game financials (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876124)

Nintendo is at an all time high [gamesarefun.com] as investors expect the Wii to make large profits(well, large for Nintendo anyway)

Delisting isn't a big deal. (2, Insightful)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876344)

Dell, Novell and Apple [crn.com] have also received delisting notices at some point. Let me know if/when Activision actually gets pulled off the exchange.

Re:Delisting isn't a big deal. (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877892)

This is a good point, this is probably just standard practice. Once a quarter somebody probably goes down a checklist and anyone who doesn't have everything done gets a form letter. Yes, it suggests that Activision is having a hard time cooking the books enough, but this isn't really a shocking move.

Woah! (2, Interesting)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876562)

7.5 million subscribers, all paying a monthly access fee? That makes World of Warcraft a $1 billion industry all by itself. Have any other games broken the $1 billion barrier?

Re:Woah! (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876664)

No it doesn't.

Many (most!) of those subs are in the asian market -- they don't pay $15USD per month to play. It's less. Much less.

Still, WoW is a money hat machine, regardless.

Re:Woah! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877384)

World of Warcraft makes well over 1 billion in revenue each year from subscriptions, box sales, merchandise, and paid services such as character transfer. There will also be a huge increase next year from the expansion release.

Re:Woah! (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877198)

And more like a 100 million dollar industry if all of the Asian subscribers payed the full $15. You were by a factor of 10.

Some simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877410)

*If* the asians had been paying $15/mo, then the guy saying billion dollar industry is correct. You mention it would be a 100 million dollar busines - that's 100 million PER MONTH, * 12 months in a year= over $1B/yr. Remember, businesses/industries are generally rated on Annual revenune, not monthly revenue. A busines with 100 million a month is, therefor, a Billion dollar business.

However, the fact remains that the figure is probably off by a factor of ten because the asians don't pay $15/mo. I don't know what they pay, but my understanding is, it's something like $2/mo. I've thought for a long, long time, before WoW ever became a success, that whoever could get millions of asians to pay $1-$2 bucks for a game, and not pirate it, would make a hella lotta cash. A subscription service like WoW is difficult (though not impossible) to pirate.

Blizzard seems to be the lucky winner of that race. Good for them.

Re:Some simple math (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879856)

Ahh, I was just thinking monthly. Anyhow a video game that makes even 10m in profit is doing something good. And its clear they make a significant amount more than that over and over, every year.

Re:Woah! (1)

Alkivar (25833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878688)

7.5 million users x $15 each a month (assuming everyone pays 15 USD a month) x 12 months in a year leads me to a total figure of $1,350,000,000.00

looks like he's correct.

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876572)

If that article is correct, Vivendi has so far this year made $31 million in profit from revenues of over a billion dollars. That isn't a very good profit margin. You'd get a better return off a money market account.

And WoW is the overwhelmingly dominant product in its industry, even! No wonder nobody makes PC games anymore.

(un)Necessary Penny Arcade reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877706)

Do you like my hat? It's made of MONEY! [penny-arcade.com] - not quite the same (X-Box exclusive release for Munch's Oddysee vs. mad profits on many titles), but you've got your money hat. The end.
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