Activision Blizzard, Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s “World of Warcraft” shrinks
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) has announced that it will be buying-back a majority of Vivendi’s shares via a mix of private and corporate money. Consequently, Vivendi will be left with only a 12% stake. 24.9% of this business will be owned by a private-investment group which includes the likes of Bobby Kotick, ATVI’s CEO and Tencent, the internet biggie.
In tandem with this announcement, the company also gave investors a small sneak-peek into its earnings announcement for the quarter. This is scheduled to come in on 2 August. ATVI announced that Blizzard’s defining online game, “World of Warcraft” had seen a drop of 600,000 subscriptions over a matter of 4 months. Today, the massively multiplayer game still touts 7.7M subscribers but that was the number it stood at, way back in 2007.
The lull sets in
There were differing opinions amongst gamers about what impact this fall would have on the future of the game. Most people see it as an end to the peaks that Warcraft had reached while some others feel that it is a taste of the doldrums that are yet to come. Gamers have been demanding more features and updates and subscriptions have been on the downslide and so yes, the highs were highs and what is probably left is a plateau that will stretch for some time.
Even if ATVI does manage to boost its subscriptions, by no means is that a guarantee that the revenue will make up for the expense and make the effort a worthwhile one. Hopefully, Warcraft will be able to avoid the fate that EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic faced. The latter had to be moved to a free version. Irrespective of what happens to Warcraft, ATVI’s other titles will still stoke the revenue fires. Vivendi was considered to be a thorn in ATVI’s foot and now the company has the freedom to utilize its cash the way it deems fit.