Activision Needs a Wizard and AGDQ Final Tally

What on earth is going down over at Activision Blizzard? Every time I get ready to write some new manner of monkey business pops up that makes me wait a little while longer.

It started a couple of weeks ago when Spencer Neumann, the CFO for Activision Blizzard was put on paid leave amid rumors that he was moving to Netflix. This turned out to be accurate and he did indeed move to the CFO position at Netflix.

Then, right on the heels of that, Amrita Ahuja, the CFO for subsidiary Blizzard, left and took up the CFO position at Square.

Last Friday another bombshell got dropped. Bungie, currently known for it’s Destiny franchise, split from it’s publisher, you guessed it, Activision Blizzard. They’re taking the Destiny IP with them on the way out.

It was also announced right after, that a law firm was investigating Activision Blizzard on behalf of “investors” over concerns of security fraud. This is linked primarily to the severe overnight drop in the stock price that occurred when the Bungie split was announced. It closed Thursday Jan 10 @ $51.35/share and opened Friday Jan 11 @ $46.33/share. Looking at the overall history of the stock price, it doesn’t look overly suspicious to me, but I’m sure they know what they’re about.

There are two things about this that need clearing up though. See, I tried to figure out what exactly “securities fraud” is, and it covers a wide variety corporate misbehavior. It seems to primarily revolve around making a company appear to be something it isn’t in order to secure and/or keep funding. Notable examples would be ponzi schemes and Enron.

Second, this investigation is being conducted by a law firm, not “the authorities.” At least not yet anyway. I’m sure they’ll turn it over should anything untoward be discovered.

Let me just say, by the way, that I never thought I’d see that day that I was discussing a gaming company or its’ future using investor reports and announcements. Not only that, but I would be writing about it online with interest. What on earth has happened?

On a lighter note, Awesome Games Done Quick wrapped up with weekend with a total of $2,399,135.00 USD raised, at the time of writing. I’d say it was a really good year overall. The reddit user Kruulos posted a list of notable runs, with video links. I particularly enjoyed the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze race, as well as the Megaman X1-3 relay race, but generally enjoyed watching most of what I tuned in for. Even the games I don’t enjoy I still have a measure of awe and respect for the level of expertise these people possess.

For 2020 AGDQ will actually be in Orlando, FL. This is probably the closest it will ever be to me. Not sure I’ll be attending, but that would at least be feasible. This year’s SGDQ will be the last week of June, though that’s just a little ways off yet, and somehow right around the corner at the same time.

Let’s hope they fare better than Activision Blizzard yeah? Y’all take care.

3 thoughts on “Activision Needs a Wizard and AGDQ Final Tally

  1. With all that, and the news that Mike Morhaime will be gone by April I believe seems like they are cleaning house. A nagging little thought in my head is that Mike is worth about 1.8 billion. Although that may be a bit less after these past few weeks. But I am sure he is probably sitting on a pile of stock options going back years. He is not a dumb businessman that got lucky. Now if Activision is looking to purge and reorganize, there is the potential that they may be looking to reform as solely Activision. Once they have done that they will probably cut Blizzard loose as it’s own company, along with a mountain of debt of course. I think back on what Campbell Soup did to Vlassic years ago. This would then be a golden opportunity for Mike to retake control of the company, and to bring back in those that have left in recent years.

    It’s a tinfoil hat speculation. But who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve wondered about Blizzard, but I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to separate it back out. Either Activision would have to let it go, as you said, or someone would have to put up money to buy whatever share(s)/stake Activision holds, possibly both.

      It’s really hard to tell at the moment how many of Blizzard’s problems are Blizzard and how many are Activision. The problem would be that if Blizzard and it’s IPs were spun off that would leave Activision with CoD as it’s largest headline title and, I believe, Candy Crush. I’m sure they could make it profitable, but I’m amazed CoD is even still a thing at this point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right now I believe the parent company is Activision/Blizzard, and below that you have Activision and Blizzard as separate entities. They would need to go through the process of reforming the parent company into Activision. After that? Anyone’s guess. They could certainly take King games, maybe Hearthstone and focus on phone app games. The wild card would be Diablo I guess. If they shifted enough of the overall debt into Blizzard, the stock would certainly be a bargain.

        Liked by 1 person

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