Shareholders from Activision Blizzard have a lot to celebrate this month. The publisher’s stock hit a fresh four-year high on July 26th, fueled by the leading video game developer’s move to buy back most of the shares owned by majority stakeholder Vivendi. But what does this split really mean and what are the consequences?
The split makes Activision Blizzard an independent company, allowing them to take more chances in the gamespace. And, with the upcoming release of the PS4 and Xbox One, the company has a whole new generation of games to bring to the table.
While they’re the home of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, this newfound independence can allow them to take more invest more original and independent games.
However, what’s even more interesting is a quote from Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick who revealed that the company is “retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability” – that’s quite the war chest!
After its split, the publisher sent out a press release which described Activision Blizzard as now being “an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio.”
The term “franchise portfolio” may be a bit of a red flag, though not surprising as previously mentioned the majority of the company’s capital is thanks to the millions of copies of Call of Duty sold annually.
However, as the series hits another yearly release cycle it’s beginning to show its age. Not to mention how difficult it is to generate hype for a game that is released every year. Furthermore, this isn’t a normal year, this a Grand Theft Auto year.
Even the most die-hard shooter fan will have a tough time between choosing between the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V and yearly installment Call of Duty Ghosts this fall, and it may be Activision Blizzard who eats the cost.
Bobby Kotick’s still awful sense of fashion.