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 onlineĀ 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.

Awesome Games Done Quick

Speedrunning. While I’ve never been a huge fan of spectator sports, this is actually something I put in that category. I love watching other people do it and admire the level of commitment and training that it requires in order to execute these runs. Especially since I only watch it a couple of times a year.

Awesome Games Done Quick, more commonly referred to as AGDQ, is pretty much always in January and has a matching event around the middle of the year called Summer Games Done Quick. It started as a fairly small event that changed charities, but has settled into a pretty large ordeal that normally raises over a million dollars for the prevent cancer foundation.

Most of the money they raise is in the form of polls and choices for various runs throughout the event. These vary from increasing the difficulty or what route they use, to what characters and/or filenames are. In some cases it’s an either/or benchmark like a kickstarter stretch goal, or more like a traditional poll where the item that has the most money donated “wins.”

As of the time of writing they’re playing Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, which is apparently some sort Castlevania 3 spiritual successor? I’ve never heard of it, but that’s not exactly unusual. The weird quirky titles are usually some of the more interesting ones.

That’s the thing with speedruns though, you shouldn’t watch them if you don’t want to watch people tear your favorite games apart in order to complete them as fast as humanly possible. While glitchless runs are a thing, the GDQ events typically avoid them for both time reasons and the crazy glitchy runs are more interesting.

You can check out the stream here if you want, and here’s the schedule.

Y’all stay safe, try not to fall through the wall or floor. Unless it’s on purpose of course.