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Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers

There's more on recent rumors that Vivendi SA is considering selling off its stake in Activision Blizzard on Reuters, where they say that the French telecom giant had decided it will divest itself of the gaming unit. The report indicates that they are gauging interest from those with suitably deep pocketbooks: "Although a formal process has not started, bankers close to Vivendi are sounding out cash-rich trade players, including China's Tencent and U.S. duo Time Warner and Microsoft, as well as private-equity heavyweights KKR, Providence and Blackstone, banking sources said." Reuters got no comment responses about this from Microsoft and Time Warner. Thanks VG247.

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85 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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65. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 20:35 Sepharo
 
Had to do a triple take there... Got ASeven and Agent.X7 confused.

I see A's and 7's and I think we got a Jekyll Hyde situation goin on.
 
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64. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:54 ASeven
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:48:
I wonder if Acti-Blizz will just buy itself out, or at least the majority of outstanding shares. Oh, wait, I forgot who the CEO is.

Anyone who says that the crash of '83 is going to happen all over again has a very limited knowledge of business and finance. The circumstances are only similar in the vaguest, most stretched reality sense ever.


Guess you have no idea about the causes of the 83 crash then.
 
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63. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:48 Agent.X7
 
I wonder if Acti-Blizz will just buy itself out, or at least the majority of outstanding shares. Oh, wait, I forgot who the CEO is.

Anyone who says that the crash of '83 is going to happen all over again has a very limited knowledge of business and finance. The circumstances are only similar in the vaguest, most stretched reality sense ever.

 
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62. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:46 Krovven
 
Downward decline? Try Google. 2011 profits were way up over 2010 for Activision/Blizzard. A company that is bringing in 1 Billion dollar a year profits is not sold off because they aren't making enough money.

Vivendi has other reasons for selling Activision/Blizzard and I think it has absolutely nothing to do with how much revenue they are generating. If anything they are selling the company off now because they are at peak, have seen one of the best years (if not the best) they have ever had and someone will pay top dollar for them.

Vivendi itself is having a lot of financial problems from what I've read and their own shares aren't doing so well. $10 Billion will probably go a long way in getting them out of the trouble they are in.

 
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61. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:41 Creston
 
Optional nickname wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 17:49:
Google should outright buy the rights to Diablo universe, and carry over the game to it's Chrome OS (free) and hire a dedicated team to cater to the gamer's needs.

it's a drop in the bucket for google, yet they will gain a huge audience for new niche market.

How many people still play Diablo 3? 2 million? What's 2 million people for a company whose primary business gets 3 BILLION hits per day? Not to mention that the large amount of Diablo 3 players likely already use Chrome and Google anyways.

Not sure what Google stands to gain from putting money in a broken product like Diablo 3.

Creston
 
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60. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:39 Creston
 
MajorD wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 17:43:
I'm going to take a quick left turn on the subject here with the mention of “AAA Game titles”, which has become an oxymoron in the industry today. A AAA Game, or Triple-A game, at one time was considered a game of high quality, premier, and/or excellent; but everyone has lost sight of what a “AAA Game” is and or should be - the name itself has lost its true definition along the way. They really need to find a different title, as it no longer holds true to what is rushed out to market these days!


Nowadays AAA simply stands for the amount of marketing dollars spent on a title. It's no longer any kind of indicator of quality (though I'd argue it never actually has been), nor really any indicator of how much money is spent on it.

AAA just means "We're marketing the shit out of it."

That's all it is anymore.

Creston
 
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59. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:38 Creston
 
nin wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 16:26:
both WoW and Call of Duty are billion dollar franchises and basically a license to print money.

The question is "for how long"...


CoD's sales are still on an upward trend, so they can milk at least two or three more games out of that. As for WoW, sure they lose players, but I'd seriously doubt it'll keep going on a downward trend. It'll probably stabilize around 7 to 8 million or so, as those players simply can't find what they want anywhere else but WoW.

I think anyone who buys Activision for 5 billion dollars (pure guess on my part, I have no idea what their market value is) will probably quite easily make that money back in less than five years.

Creston
 
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58. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 19:04 wtf_man
 
Bosanac wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 11:22:
I don't get it.. Blizzard is a cash cow.. COD is a cash cow. Why call it liability?

Because WoW is on a downward trend and COD probably is too?

They made their cash... they want to dump Activision before it's not "sellable".... In other words, whomever buys it will probably still make a little money, but the Easy cash is going to go away soon, unless another blockbuster is born (which is the risk).
 
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57. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 18:43 SimplyMonk
 
Dades wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 18:26:
That's just splitting hairs over the terminology. You brought up some examples of modern franchises that seem like there is no downside, your exact phrasing was "if that were true then Call of Duty 3 or Black Ops wouldn't have sold half as well". I brought up some previous examples to show that nothing short of the Mario franchise is etched in stone in the videogame industry.

My point with bringing those up was that a large customer base for video games are willing to have the same non-innovative crap shoved down their throats similar to generic, special-effect filled, action movies. Not to suggest that those specific IPs would sell forever, but what they currently represented would always be present in some form or another in the industry as a counter to ASeven's post saying the customers are going to suddenly revolt and crash the industry unless only a certain quality of video games were developed and the industry stopped with DLC and iterative IPs.

Dades wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 18:26:
I think F2P is a lot more promising but it begs the question of what investors will finance the upfront costs if there are no box sales.

I don't think the F2P model works well for all genres/styles though. Skyrim, Bioshock & Fallout 3 would of been horrible experiences in the F2P model, in my opinion. A solid base game with a ~$60 amount of initial content with episodic/extra additional content at a reasonable fee is the only way to tell a decent story through a video game. Maybe they could of released the first 3 hours of the game for free and then make you pay $10 for each additional 3-5 hours, in an episodic-ish model... but that is pretty much just like offering a free demo.

If you are saying that maybe there will no longer be a place for games like Bioshock, Skyrim and Fallout 3 and the experiences they delivered in the industry's future, then that possibility makes me a sad panda. :C

This comment was edited on Jul 11, 2012, 19:08.
 
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56. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 18:26 Dades
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 18:14:
Dades wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 17:40:
Bubbles can burst.

Maybe this is just semantics, but that isn't a "bubble bursting" to me. Guitar Hero's sales steadily declined to the point where it just didn't make sense to continue with Guitar Hero 6 (or whatever they ended at). That was a reasonable cost-value judgement. The 3DS is struggles for a number of reason, the big one being everyone already owns some version of the DS and 3D isn't really worth the upgrade... but that isn't really a bubble.

Your examples in my opinion weren't bubbles bursting but simply market corrections. The products themselves ran a little high for a period of time, but the market corrected itself and the impact of their loss in the long run was rather minor to the industry as a whole. More of a fad than a bubble as at the time the products were something of value, they just over saturated the market or got played out, replaced by something new and shiny.

That's just splitting hairs over the terminology. You brought up some examples of modern franchises that seem like there is no downside, your exact phrasing was "if that were true then Call of Duty 3 or Black Ops wouldn't have sold half as well". I brought up some previous examples to show that nothing short of the Mario franchise is etched in stone in the videogame industry. The audience is changing as much as the gaming industry and there are many different things vying for peoples attention these days. I don't take it for granted that the publishers will be able to sustain themselves with this same business model. People like to compare movies to games but movies are a social activity for both sexes and all ages, much more than gaming and the opportunities for upselling are totally different.

Maybe videogames as a market will eventually get to that point, DLC has been successful so far but there are a number of conflicting business models at work that need to be sorted out. I think F2P is a lot more promising but it begs the question of what investors will finance the upfront costs if there are no box sales.
 
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55. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 18:14 SimplyMonk
 
Dades wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 17:40:
Bubbles can burst.

Maybe this is just semantics, but that isn't a "bubble bursting" to me. Guitar Hero's sales steadily declined to the point where it just didn't make sense to continue with Guitar Hero 6 (or whatever they ended at). That was a reasonable cost-value judgement. The 3DS is struggles for a number of reason, the big one being everyone already owns some version of the DS and 3D isn't really worth the upgrade... but that isn't really a bubble.

Bubble bursting to me is on the scale of the the Dot-Com or Real Estate bubbles. Something where the industry reached such an insane unsustainable level that the only recourse was to reduce the industry to a fraction of its former size in a short of amount of time with most existing assets becoming toxic and doors being shuttered by the vast majority of the industries businesses. A massive event that doesn't leave room for correction.

Your examples in my opinion weren't bubbles bursting but simply market corrections. The products themselves ran a little high for a period of time, but the market corrected itself and the impact of their loss in the long run was rather minor to the industry as a whole. More of a fad than a bubble as at the time the products were something of value, they just over saturated the market or got played out, replaced by something new and shiny.

I'm willing to accept that the CoD/FPS mania will subside, but that doesn't mean the DLC/Alternate Revenue methods that the big AAA titles employ or AAA titles in general will no longer be around.

This comment was edited on Jul 11, 2012, 18:24.
 
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54. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 17:49 Optional nickname
 
Google should outright buy the rights to Diablo universe, and carry over the game to it's Chrome OS (free) and hire a dedicated team to cater to the gamer's needs.

it's a drop in the bucket for google, yet they will gain a huge audience for new niche market.

if I owned Google, I'd totally buy whatever is for sale here, gaming wise. It's a goldmine,

total prestige.
 
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53. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 17:43 MajorD
 

I'm going to take a quick left turn on the subject here with the mention of “AAA Game titles”, which has become an oxymoron in the industry today. A AAA Game, or Triple-A game, at one time was considered a game of high quality, premier, and/or excellent; but everyone has lost sight of what a “AAA Game” is and or should be - the name itself has lost its true definition along the way. They really need to find a different title, as it no longer holds true to what is rushed out to market these days!

Yes, most of us here know that publicly traded publishers have to answer to shareholders, so games then have to meet deadlines, therefore it doesn’t matter if the games are of high quality, premier, or excellent anymore, as long as they ship on time, everyone makes a boatload of money, and the bottom line looks wonderful. There is no quality, substance, or true creativity anymore, it is all been diluted in the dollar signs…..

Indies are our only saving grace here, but I’m sure the greedy publishers will try and find some way to F#$K that up too.

 
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52. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 17:40 Dades
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 17:13:
I feel if your vision of the consumer and the industry were true, Call of Duty 3 and Black Ops wouldn't of sold half as well. But like we've both said, that is a matter of opinion and my computer science degree doesn't help my case much in matters of economics or sociology.

Bubbles can burst. Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero seemed unstoppable juggernauts once upon a time too. The DS Lite sold umpteen units while the 3DS struggles. The core gaming industry is no longer as concentrated as it was when the last generation started and the casual market is very transient as the Wii has demonstrated. I think you overestimate peoples reliance on videogames for entertainment, we are a society of many distractions these days even more than five years ago.
 
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51. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 17:22 ViRGE
 
JohnnyRotten wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 16:38:
Dammit, stop giving Vivendi two-fitty. Otherwise the Lochness monster, err Vivendi will keep coming around.
FYI, that was tree-fiddy. You're off by a dollar.
 
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50. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 17:13 SimplyMonk
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 16:27:
Well, the difference in our opinions is that I believe the crash will happen because the industry didn't move to where it needed and moved too fast to where it needed not.

Yes. I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree. It doesn't make me happy to say it, but I think the AAA Video Game Titles are going to continue to move in a similar direct to AAA Movies and people will continue to buy it the same way they went to see "Transformers 3" and paid an outrageous sum for a 3D movie ticket, $10 popcorn and will then buy the Blue-Ray 3D DvD with 20 Extras of Transformers 1-3 for $80.

I feel if your vision of the consumer and the industry were true, Call of Duty 3 and Black Ops wouldn't of sold half as well. But like we've both said, that is a matter of opinion and my computer science degree doesn't help my case much in matters of economics or sociology.
 
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49. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 17:11 MajorD
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 13:44:
....they probably have a fuckton of money, my point is that to buy those stocks you need more than a fuckton of money.

How much money does a 'fuckton' equate too? It does sound like an aweful lot of F#?Ken' money!!! Wink

 
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48. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 16:38 JohnnyRotten
 
Dammit, stop giving Vivendi two-fitty. Otherwise the Lochness monster, err Vivendi will keep coming around.  
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47. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 16:27 ASeven
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 15:53:
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 15:45:
Did you get to read the other 5-6 pieces about the industry?

Yeah. I'll give the other articles a read later, but your are correct on gaming journalism, but even that could be said for today's journalism as a whole. Too much opinion thrown in to make a story more "interesting" and too much of the author trying to bend it to their view.

From reading that one article though, I didn't get the impression that they though some big crash was going to happen. What I got from it is basically that the industry needs to change as the costs are beginning to outweigh the profits and growth is starting to slow. But we knew that already. The industry knows that already. Why do we see such a big push for DLC? Because they need to keep making money and that is a solid way to do it and you are only going to see more of it in different shapes and forms.

The only way it is going to crash is if you see the industry try to move too fast in the wrong direction or resist change completely like some companies have, but I see no evidence of that.

Well, the difference in our opinions is that I believe the crash will happen because the industry didn't move to where it needed and moved too fast to where it needed not. DLC, which you consider a good thing, is in my view one of the factors of the crash, a wrong direction altogether.

In the end industries live or die if they satisfy their customers. The gaming industry is doing everything but that and people are getting fed up of the consumer abuse, of the same retreads, of no innovation, of DLCs everywhere, etc. The result is simple, gamers stop buying altogether and move to other forms of entertainment. It is in that that publishers are blind, they live to satisfy the shareholders forgetting that that brings no profit. Satisfying their own customers, keep them happy and loyal and treat them with respect though, that's what brings profits.

The gaming industry is slowly becoming a study case of consumer abuse and its long-term consequences. There's only so much shit a consumer can put up to, even rabid fanboys, before they say Fuck it and leave to other pastures and that's what's been happening in gaming for years and years and it's now coming to a boiling, dangerous point where the very own existence of the industry now lies at stake.
 
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46. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 16:26 nin
 
both WoW and Call of Duty are billion dollar franchises and basically a license to print money.

The question is "for how long"...

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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