The rumors that Activision Blizzard might be sold have been around for almost half a year, but to this point nothing has really come of it. Well according to computerandvideogames.com there is still very much a possibility that the company will be sold. Apparently the only problem is Vivendi can’t find anyone who wants to buy the gaming giant from them.
People had basically assumed that Vivendi had given up trying to sell Activision Blizzard because last week Philippe Capron, Vivendi finance director stated that they had “ruled out a straight break-up between its media and telecoms operations.” However, according to the most recent reports, a Activision Blizzard sale ”absolutely remains under consideration”.
This in spite of the fact that everyone they try to sell Activision Blizzard to has no interest past the initial talking phase. According to CVG:
“Microsoft held talks with Vivendi but negotiations had not advanced. Sony, meanwhile, is believed to have immediately ruled out acquiring the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher.”
The sticking point seems to be the price tag, as Vivendi wants to sell the studios for face value but most people in the industry believe that both Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have peaked sales wise. Meaning that there is very little chance for either game to become more profitable than they already are. As a result you have companies not wanting to buy Activision Blizzard because they are afraid that sales will start to slowly decrease for both franchises resulting in a slow downward trend of sales; thus making the franchise not worth the price tag.
The other thing to consider is, within the next couple years the gaming industry will be moving to new consoles, and franchises don’t always transfer well between console generations. The problem is attach rate, when new consoles launch, you generally don’t start out with twenty million consoles in peoples houses. Therefore it is no guarantee that Call of Duty will do well sales wise on the next generation of consoles.
However, last week Capron also stated Vivendi “does not have to sell anything or do anything immediately”, even though they are trying to pay back their sizable debt. It is looking more and more like Vivendi will need to lower the asking price for Activision Blizzard before they will be able to sell the company.