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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. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 17, 2012, 21:03 Closed Betas
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 14:10:
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 22:25:
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 21:56:
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:54:
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.

Wow, great comeback. In fact, I know a good deal about it, but I refuse to have any sort of discussion with a person who accuses everyone of being a shill when he disagrees with them. You are clearly not worth the time it took me to type this.

Wow, great comeback. Exaggerate much, you wannabe dramaqueen? Me accusing anyone of being a shill for disagreeing? What? Only Beamer and Krovven got that distinction and for good reason. Then again, anyone who goes out full guns like this isn't worth anyone's time at all.

And guess this proved you really know nothing about the crash if this is your best you have to reply. In the future please refrain from talking about stuff you know shit about if all you are going to do is troll.

*snicker*

Its more simple than one can see.. There comes a point in time where you see no more future of growth... Vivendi has always been a buy and sell company.. They see no long term future growth in these products, so sell as quick as possible to those looking for growth and control to get what you can from them.. Take that money and buy other things you do see $$ in

Whats more scary is what would happen to these products if these other companies actually bought them out?

TENCENT running WOW? MICROSOFT? lol kinda want to see that happen just for giggle sake
 
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84. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 21:51 Dades
 
Speaking of crashes, if anyone remains morbidly curious about this, the first creditors meeting occured a few days ago for 38 Studios. 38 Studios missed all forecasts. A few former 38Studios execs testified under oath about the state of the company, its assets, and the days leading up to its collapse. Guess what? Curt was largely full of shit about most of the stuff he said.

They did cling to the fact that they had other "investors" super eager to pour money into them if only the state had approved tax credits that the state could not have legally approved, but denial is weird like that.
 
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83. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 14:10 Agent.X7
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 22:25:
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 21:56:
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:54:
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.

Wow, great comeback. In fact, I know a good deal about it, but I refuse to have any sort of discussion with a person who accuses everyone of being a shill when he disagrees with them. You are clearly not worth the time it took me to type this.

Wow, great comeback. Exaggerate much, you wannabe dramaqueen? Me accusing anyone of being a shill for disagreeing? What? Only Beamer and Krovven got that distinction and for good reason. Then again, anyone who goes out full guns like this isn't worth anyone's time at all.

And guess this proved you really know nothing about the crash if this is your best you have to reply. In the future please refrain from talking about stuff you know shit about if all you are going to do is troll.

*snicker*
 
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82. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 12:01 Beamer
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 14:52:
And you also point out all that is wrong in the gaming industry, with publishers today. EA's CEO job is to "solely to maximize shareholder value" and not actually hear what gamers, the main customers, want. No wonder this and many industries are slowly sinking, losing touch with the customers is a sure way to prevent said companies of ever making a reasonable profit ever again.

I can't decide if this statement is too simplistic or not broad enough.

One can argue the problem with every company is that the CEO is only out to maximize shareholder value. In fact, he's legally obligated to do so. He has no choice in the matter - either he does it or he's sued as his fiduciary duties are legal.

But "maximize shareholder value" is vague, isn't it? How does one do so. Does one cut back on costs, or does one increase costs to make better products that sell more? You can do either. So, in this way, your argument is incorrect.

These days, though, people focus on the former because it's easier, but it's stupid. They only see shareholder value as being about controlling money, not as a function of pleasing your customers.

Beyond this, the true issue with virtually every company today is hitting expectations, but that's a different rant.
 
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http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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81. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 11:56 Beamer
 
Creston wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:39:
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

Well, really just "we're spending a shitload on this." Marketing typically follows dev budgets (but not always.) The bigger the dev budget, the bigger the marketing budget (but not always vice versa.) A game like Assassin's Creed, made by 400 people, is AAA. A game like Hard Reset isn't, even if I imagine it's significantly more fun.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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80. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 11:46 Beamer
 
Prez wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 09:06:
Krovven wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 04:34:
wtf_man wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:59:
I said WoW and probably COD... two of their major cash cows, are on a downward trend.

Again, try reading their financial reports, you are wrong. They made 1 billion in profits in 2011 over 416mil in 2010, with WoW and CoD being their main earners. This is fact. This is not debatable. This is not opinion. It's that simple.


He can't be wrong because he's not even arguing the same point you are. He's talking about the economic phenomenon widely known as "the bubble". The trick is to gauge when the bubble may burst and sell while the numbers are still great. Vivendi has already seen this once with Guitar Hero, so likely they are more aware of it than most.

There's absolutely no bubble, because a bubble requires an incorrect inflation. Nothing was ever inflated.
That's a minor point, though. Bubbles burst, but crashes happen regardless of whether they're attached to a bubble or not. So this not being a bubble doesn't mean it can't crash, but to call it a bubble would be incorrect (however, mobile games are starting to look like a bubble.)

I can't imagine a crash coming. A crash means an industry in ruins. There is likely to be a major pricing recorrection coming, and business models are going to fundamentally change, but that doesn't mean there will be a crash with virtually every player exiting the industry and people jumping out of windows.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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79. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 09:06 Prez
 
Krovven wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 04:34:
wtf_man wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:59:
I said WoW and probably COD... two of their major cash cows, are on a downward trend.

Again, try reading their financial reports, you are wrong. They made 1 billion in profits in 2011 over 416mil in 2010, with WoW and CoD being their main earners. This is fact. This is not debatable. This is not opinion. It's that simple.


He can't be wrong because he's not even arguing the same point you are. He's talking about the economic phenomenon widely known as "the bubble". The trick is to gauge when the bubble may burst and sell while the numbers are still great. Vivendi has already seen this once with Guitar Hero, so likely they are more aware of it than most.
 
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78. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 08:35 RollinThundr
 
Dades wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 06:58:
Krovven wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 04:34:
wtf_man wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:59:
I said WoW and probably COD... two of their major cash cows, are on a downward trend.

Again, try reading their financial reports, you are wrong. They made 1 billion in profits in 2011 over 416mil in 2010, with WoW and CoD being their main earners. This is fact. This is not debatable. This is not opinion. It's that simple.


You're the one who should try reading the second part of what he said. He said they are on a downward trend but still very profitable which is a big part of why Vivendi wants to offload them.

It's funny anytime I read a Krowen post regarding Blizzard or Activision and his undying love for them I picture him furriously typing out his replies saying "My precious Blizzard I shall defend thee!"

Makes me chuckle anyway.
 
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77. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 06:58 Dades
 
Krovven wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 04:34:
wtf_man wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:59:
I said WoW and probably COD... two of their major cash cows, are on a downward trend.

Again, try reading their financial reports, you are wrong. They made 1 billion in profits in 2011 over 416mil in 2010, with WoW and CoD being their main earners. This is fact. This is not debatable. This is not opinion. It's that simple.


You're the one who should try reading the second part of what he said. He said they are on a downward trend but still very profitable which is a big part of why Vivendi wants to offload them.
 
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76. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 12, 2012, 04:34 Krovven
 
wtf_man wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:59:
I said WoW and probably COD... two of their major cash cows, are on a downward trend.

Again, try reading their financial reports, you are wrong. They made 1 billion in profits in 2011 over 416mil in 2010, with WoW and CoD being their main earners. This is fact. This is not debatable. This is not opinion. It's that simple.

 
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75. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 23:40 RollinThundr
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 12:57:
avianflu wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 12:52:
games sales are way down across the board and since the recession started. It is reasonable in that light to put Activision out there and see if there are any buyers willing to throw in a lot of coin.

It is not a firesale.

Larger companies do this all of the time and often there are corporate tax incentives, depending on how exactly the company is sold, to make a sale even more interesting to Vivendi's shareholders.


The big question is, how much will they net in this sale, if the people will buy the shares at the stock price, above it or below it. That alone should tell everything about what investors might think of the gaming market. If Microsoft is getting at it too, as rumors are saying they will, then part of the consolidation process of the industry begins there. Vivendi is the majority shareholder of Activision with 60% of Activision stock. If MS buys them all they technically get to own Activision.

The price offered to the stocks and who gets it will determine the health of the industry as perceived by investors. If an outsider to the industry offers to buy the shares at stock price or a little below it then people still believe the gaming market is profitable. If a gaming giant buys the stock, well, the consolidation begins because Activision will literally be a subsidiary of whoever purchases the stock.

Also Vivendi will be desperate to offload these stocks so they might accept an unfair price per stock.

I wonder if that includes all the Sierra IP as well. Technically those assets already belonged to Havas SA/Vivendi prior to Vivendi acquiring a majority of activision shares, but then again they did rename them including the Blizzard name which technically never belonged to Activision either.
 
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74. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 22:25 ASeven
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 21:56:
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:54:
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.

Wow, great comeback. In fact, I know a good deal about it, but I refuse to have any sort of discussion with a person who accuses everyone of being a shill when he disagrees with them. You are clearly not worth the time it took me to type this.

Wow, great comeback. Exaggerate much, you wannabe dramaqueen? Me accusing anyone of being a shill for disagreeing? What? Only Beamer and Krovven got that distinction and for good reason. Then again, anyone who goes out full guns like this isn't worth anyone's time at all.

And guess this proved you really know nothing about the crash if this is your best you have to reply. In the future please refrain from talking about stuff you know shit about if all you are going to do is troll.
 
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73. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 21:59 Agent.X7
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:35:
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.

I'm only posting under Agent.X7. I would never argue with myself online, and I don't hide behind my screen name. I own every word I say online, whether or not I wind up being right.
 
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72. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 21:56 Agent.X7
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:54:
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.

Wow, great comeback. In fact, I know a good deal about it, but I refuse to have any sort of discussion with a person who accuses everyone of being a shill when he disagrees with them. You are clearly not worth the time it took me to type this.
 
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71. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 21:08 Sepharo
 
edit  
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70. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 21:05 RollinThundr
 
Krovven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:46:
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.


You're aware this isn't a Diablo related news post right?
At any rate both WoW and COD are on a downward trend sales wise, Acti has already driven both Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk franchises into the ground and for every decent Marvel game they publish, they usually throw out 2 or 3 stinkers using the brand.

Bobby Kotick is very short sighted, being short sighted in this industry is never a good thing.
 
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69. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 20:59 wtf_man
 
Krovven wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 19:46:
Downward decline? Try Google. 2011 profits were way up over 2010 for Activision/Blizzard.

I never said Activision nor Blizzard, and I never said they weren't profitable.
I said WoW and probably COD... two of their major cash cows, are on a downward trend.

It is smart to sell them while they STILL ARE profitable... they can still get good cash while whomever buys it can still make money.
 
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68. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 20:55 Kosumo
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:35:
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.

I'm sure some where on the internet there is someone who is trolling thier other split personality for real without them knowing whats going on. Crazy
 
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67. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 20:54 Prez
 
Without being a fly on the wall in Vivendi board meetings it's virtually impossible to know for sure, but given the timing of all this I am feeling that this upcoming sale is based on more than just the need for a quick shot of a lot of cash. While they certainly need it, I can't help thinking that Vivendi realizes that both Call of Duty and WoW have already plateaued as far as earning potential goes and they are going to begin the cycle of diminishing returns shortly (arguably WoW already has, and Blizzard works WAY too slowly to release a proper sequel to give the franchise the shot in the arm it needs to remain the cash cow it has been for so long). Furthermore, while Diablo 3 has inarguably been a massive runaway financial success, I'm almost willing to bet my house that no future Diablo game will sell even remotely as well. A massive portion of that particular game's sales were done basically on faith in Blizzard and Diablo, but it's fairly safe to say I think that, through absolutely horrible design and business choices coupled with a heretofore uncharachteristic lack of competence, Blizzard has squandered most if not all of that faith. If one were to want to shed themselves of a gaming division before the bottom fell out of its earning potential now would definitely be the time to do it in Acti-Blizz's case.

EDIT: And to add to the off-topic side conversation, while I in no way share Aseven's certainty that a crash of '83 proportions is imminent, I think it's a point worth mentioning that the economists who (as it turns out, correctly) predicted the banking/housing implosion of 2008 were drowned out by the vast majority of economists who virtually guaranteed that such a thing could never happen in our lifetime. The amount of gaming dollars being invested in over-priced and poor quality games is helping to create a perfect storm of sorts, though admittedly many other factors were at play in the '83 videogame crash.

This comment was edited on Jul 11, 2012, 21:25.
 
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66. Re: Vivendi Seeking Activision Buyers Jul 11, 2012, 20:36 ASeven
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 11, 2012, 20:35:
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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