Activision Blizzard finding few potential buyers - Report

Vivendi having trouble unloading Call of Duty and World of Warcraft maker; possible purchasers like Disney and Microsoft express little to no interest.

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Activision Blizzard is up for sale, but parent company Vivendi is having a hard time finding anyone to take the publisher off its books. According to a Bloomberg report, Vivendi has approached a number of major players, but has found no interested suitors as yet.

For sale by owner. Gently used.

Citing "people with knowledge of the company's plans," Bloomberg said that both Disney and Microsoft responded coolly to the idea. Disney was "unlikely" to make an offer, while the Xbox 360 maker was said to not be considering a bid currently, though the news organization's source left open the possibility of that changing.

As for international firms, Japan's Nexon and China's Tencent were on the list of approached companies, but neither of the online game giants had the cash on hand to close the deal. If Vivendi has no luck finding suitors for its $8.1 billion stake in Activision Blizzard, the company is likely to try to sell its shares on the open market. Clarification about Vivendi's plans for the sale is expected to come when the company releases its next financial results August 30.

When asked about the company's plans for a sale, Vivendi chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou told a reporter, "It's a possibility." Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly responded to the same question, saying, "It's great weather."

Discussion

131 comments
blackace
blackace

It's too damn expensive. That's why most companies aren't interested. Microsoft would rather wait and see if the stock will drop further.$8 billion in shares is just too much to handle, especially when you could lose million quickly in just a couple days. All WoW is losing subscribers, which me Blizzards worth is slowly coming back down to Earth. Microsoft would be better off buying EA.

lordingus
lordingus

Nexon is a South Korean company, not Japanese. Please put a little more care into your reporting next time

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

And the top starts wobbling before it falls over and stops.

Destrond
Destrond

I think I'd be ok if Microsoft got them. Sure, it would be odd seeing Call of Duty and Halo under the same roof, but this could also pave the way for quite a few possibilities.

 

I'm still stuck on the idea that google should jump into the console industry and take it by storm, so I'd overall like google to buy em.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Maybe they should give EA a bell?  Annual games and extortionate fees go hand in hand with them.  Not to mention the fact they like to buy EVERYTHING.

ChemicalReaper
ChemicalReaper

Hmm, maybe Vivendi could sell Activision-Blizzard off for $60 million, but keep a lot of content locked. Then they could charge $15 million for extras, like Map Pack 1 (CEO's office, Front Lobby, CoD Dev Offices, and an extra Zombies map); if the purchasing company wants free, early access to this content, they can purchase an Activision Elite subscription for just $49.9 million per year.

FenixNoT
FenixNoT

People do realise that Activision own CoD too, right? It doesn't matter what happens to WoW, anyone who buys this company will make a killing with the CoD franchise because millions of people buy every new game even if it's shit.

nathangray
nathangray

I don't see this as a good investment, and I think these other companies agree with me. WoW is stagnating, and while yes it still has the market share of subs that is slowly, but surely, changing. It's only going to get worse for WoW, not better, and even if 'worse' is still in a better state than most MMOs, that's not the same as attempting to unload a product while it's at the height of its glory. What Vivendi is offering people is analogous to selling someone a twinky you've already sucked all the cream out of.

 

At this point if any of the companies they were approaching were going to purchase into an MMO, it would be a newer one that will have a longer shelf life and, ironically, cost them less.

JeongBin
JeongBin

Nexon is a Korean company.

ropumar
ropumar

It is about selling high.

 

The activision Blizzard stocks are on a all time high. Vivendi wants to cash in.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

Diablo 3 may have moved a crazy amount of units, but the player reaction to the game has been less than stellar.  Even one of their own mods on their forums has recently gone on record as saying that the end game item hunt wasn't nearly as enticing as they hoped it would be.

 

Between D3 and Cataclysm, the mob is starting to get the sense that Blizzard is in decline.  In the past, Blizzard's priority was to make the best game possible.  The profits came naturally from the sheer quality and polish each game and expansion came packaged with.

 

Now, Blizzard's sole purpose is profit.  The products they're putting out are good, but not great.

 

The mob is fickle, and the mob is looking elsewhere for their gaming needs.

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

Sounds more and more like they have a problem with their books and IP mismanagement. Making Vivendi wanting to cash out while they can.

angry_cowtipper
angry_cowtipper

I still don't understand, why sell it? They make huge profits on every game they put out.

northArrow
northArrow

Can't say I'm surprised at the little interest in buying. Activision and Blizzard are well passed their prime. I don't think any new owner would see much of a return on their investment now.

 

Vivendi should have grabbed their parachute right around the time Cataclysm launched, now it's too late to jump

darktruth007
darktruth007

With WoW currently in decline and having been milked for all its worth - its not much of a suprise that nobody wants to pay 8 million for it - as wow is clearly the only reason they are charging such a ridiculous sum. Take away that - and u got pretty much ur typical run of the mill successful game designer/publisher.

wolfbm
wolfbm

it still amazes me that when people mention MS everyone always thinks about the xbox. MS is still a software company and very well could make wow for the computer as well. Aside from that I agree that this would be a huge mistake for anyone to purchase.

Llama345
Llama345

Lower the price and I bet M$ will snatch it up. I would never buy this junk for what they are asking.  WoW cant make this type of money forever, and CoD well I thought it would snuff out after the last games but they are still the most wanted but still not worth the money. 

Fionn99
Fionn99

The problem with Blizzard is they take to long to produce games, and instead of some new Titan crap, they should have already been working on World of Warcraft 2.  WoW 2.0 would have been a refresh money maker, add in the auction house system of Diablo 3, and they would be making money all over the place.

xcollector
xcollector

Activision doesn't have an attractive portfolio. That's what happens. Why would you buy a company with a bunch of dead franchises for a premium price? This lack of interest goes to show the real value of the Company.

alex33x
alex33x

Well Activision is the cancer of the gaming industry, so I dont see any company with self resepect trying to buy it.

SeptuagintXXX
SeptuagintXXX

blizzard is in decline.  Their reign of video game dominance is over.  Diablo 3 was a train wreck.  They lost their mojo.

Szeiden
Szeiden

So glad Nexon doesn't have enough money to close this deal.

HalcyonScarlet
HalcyonScarlet

If GS are right in Start/Select, MS isn't interested likely because they wont be able to make anything exclusive. therefore no gain for them.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Microsoft doesn't want another big gamble. Remember Rare? Granted, that was $375 million compared to 8 billion here, but still, it would be a huge risk even for someone with as much cash as they have. Blizzard definitely wouldn't want them poking their noses around their business. And who knows how much longer Call of Duty can sustain its success before the well dries up. Wouldnt work.

leimonides
leimonides

@ChemicalReaper lol! That was damn clever

blackace
blackace

 @FenixNoT 

Yeah true, but eventually the franchise will die down and end up like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Big companies know this, which is why no one is rushing to make a purchase. Black Ops 2 should be big though.

akk777
akk777

 @FenixNoT Your wrong sir, very wrong. WoW makes $14.99 from every subscriber (10 million subscribers+), every MONTH*. Thats $149 million, every MONTH*. Every 12 months its making $1.79 Billion , I wont get into CoD numbers, but it doesnt make this much. CoD comes 2nd. #Fact WoW matters.

bogorad
bogorad

 @JeongBin 

But their  headquarters are currently located in Tokyo,Japan.

 

 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

 @angry_cowtipper Even greedy corporate suits get tired of having to manage the same corporation over and over. They want to stop, but also want to cash out.

thorn3000
thorn3000

 @Fionn99 making WoW 2 would be by far the largest mistake they would ever do...WoW is still running strong, people want content for that game and not a new game...by creating WoW half of the players would go there, half would stay on the old WoW, but you would pay double maintenance for the servers, not to mention creating a whole new game...there could be no further mistake as this...no, they will continue to pump up expansion packs (I think 2 after pandaria are confirmed already) and they will continue doing so while people are buying and playing...

Llama345
Llama345

 @Fionn99 what could you possibly do with WoW 2.0?  That was cataclysm. They already expanded and made their own stories lines that far exceeded what was currently out for the series.  D3 had the auction house, and soon to be PvP which will actually drive people for gear. It was all planned out IMO.  

samantha_sneez
samantha_sneez

 @alex33x

 Activision? I think it's EA/BioWare that are the cancer of the gaming industry.

forthefunofit
forthefunofit

 @SeptuagintXXX

 I personally liked D3, so your wrong. It's not my perfect idea of a game, but I find it just as amusing ( friendly coop) as D2 was for my friend and I. YOur just bent you can't handle the tough baddies LOL

RAGEofSTUNTS
RAGEofSTUNTS

 @Szeiden they mean, we don't want your bs,  pretty sure them make enough money off of maplestory alone to buy them.

samantha_sneez
samantha_sneez

Hey, CheifFreeman, is that James Sunderland or Leon?

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

 @samantha_sneez

EA got the worst company in the US award,

Force users to install spyware,

destroy their own stock price...

 

EA is worst, ubisoft isn't far behind them if you've been keeping up with what they've been up to.

 

Activ/blizzard have a steady income but just lost a huge amount of goodwill with their latest greed driven releases and they aren't releasing another cash cow anytime soon with all their DRM and feature cutting.

 

While we are talking about Devs ME3 was rushed and the endings were bad. Dragon Age 2 even more so. Bioware is losing their goodwill just as fast as EA and the Battlefield IP not far behind them. While Crytek already lost theirs with the release of Crysis 2.

 

I'd support indie devs if I were you because the major devs just can't get it right these days.

V3rciS
V3rciS

 @samantha_sneez you kidding me right? I hope more companies looked like bioware! I hate EA okay... but Bioware is one of the best out there.Long time ago I used to like Blizzard aswell... when it was still true and hardcore after being bought by Vivendi came it's downfall

thorn3000
thorn3000

 @samantha_sneez Bioware srsly? come on, Bioware is one the best non-indie development studios, if not the best...the always strived for quality, and if you so much as dare rant againt the ending of ME3 I will laugh at you as I do at people who say they completed enjoyed all of ME3, but because of the ending thy are giving it a 1 (though from 60 hours they say the enjoyed 58), besides they already issue 2 multiplayer expansion plus an extended cut ending for FREE, tell me one company that is releasing sh@t for free here? yes, you can, since there isn't any...now I'm no fanboy,  they screwed up DA2, but that's about it, those folks really try...

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

 @forthefunofit

D3 online only to prevent hacking,

D3 got hacked anyway,

D3 bans linux players who all have to emulate windows using wine to play D3.

D3 auction scamming because of poor coding.

 

Blizzard lets botters reign because it fills their RMAH with items and their pockets with blackmarket cash.

 

They've declined horribly.

Orgil220
Orgil220

@samantha_sneez Leon definetly

samantha_sneez
samantha_sneez

 @eric_neo3

 Which is what I wanted to say. Some people think BioWare/EA can do no wrong, and at one point they couldn't. It all started going downhill with Dragon Age 2, which should have been an omen to get out while the getting was good. Then Mass Effect 3. Ugh. Some people are holding out for Dragon Age 3, while I will tell them one thing; watch when they start sparking nerd rage around. They were warned.