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Remember when Elon Musk would share his love for Overwatch on social media?
Here he is talking about Blizzard’s games and other stuff. “Generally Blizzard is great stuff… There’s Heartstone, also from Blizzard.”
How does he find time for video games?
The Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch league just wrapped up its 2nd season—it’s quite a franchise and is attracting millions of and billionaires’ interest, as more people are streaming eSports via Twitch and YouTube.
They are reported going to launch a CoD League too:
Activision Blizzard crowned the San Francisco Shock as its second Overwatch League champion on Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center arena.
It was the first competitive gaming league structured as a global city-based franchise that imitated traditional sports leagues, with each of the 12 owners reportedly paying $20 million for a slot. Most of those slots were bought by the owners of traditional sports franchises, including the Kraft family.
And that same enthusiasm for the growth of esports drives the publisher ahead of its Call of Duty esports league launch in 2020. Much like its Overwatch League, Activision’s Call of Duty league will also be built on a city-based franchise that will feature a home-and-away system with 12 initial teams. ESPN reported that the buy-in for that league was $25 million per slot, though the publisher never confirmed the number.
Not sure why the CNBC author said StarCraft 2 “collapsed”—Activision Blizzard’s SC2 has World Championship Series—if you have ever streamed or attended Blizzcon in Anaheim, it’s quite a spectacle. Perhaps it is because not many people are buying the game any more. The SC2 multiplayer universe is alive and well and Google’s DeepMind is involved in SC2 with its awesome AI agent called AlphaStar.
Activision Blizzard shares are down over 5% this week which has coincided with a PR backlash regarding a hearthstone (a blizzard game) eSports event.
One player at the end of a match put on a mask imitating that of Hong Kong protesters and spoke in support of Hong Kong. In response blizzard has issued the player with a 12 month ban from hearthstone and removed all the prize money in the tournament that was owed to him. Despite quickly cutting to commercials, blizzard has also stated they will not be working with the broadcasters of the stream in the future.
Blizzard have pointed to their terms of service in participating in the Hearthstone tournament as a reason for banning the player:
Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.
There has been some pretty significant backlash from the gaming community and blizzard employees in response to this. The hashtag #boycottblizzard was recently trending on twitter and the reddit r/blizzard page has been full of people expressing their concerns and reporting that they have deleted their accounts.
I’d be interested to hear people’s take on this, especially if they are blizzard customers themselves. My personal opinion is that this will unlikely to make a significant impact in the stock in the longer term despite being a short term PR catastrophe. It is also worth pointing out that Activision’s Call of Duty mobile reached 100 Million downloads in its first week since launching smashing any previous mobile game records.
I’m a customer of Blizzard and own a few Blizzard shares.
The participants of the competition would have signed up to rules and regs so I think Blizzard are right to pull the prize because of breach of contract. Winners aren’t allowed to use the stage for political agenda, even if positive.
People are only pointing the finger at China because of the HK thing.
Would they be pointing the same finger at China had the guy supported some other political cause, eg No to Brexit, which I’m sure would have resulted in the same Blizzard action?
My shares are still showing as positive, I must have bought them when they were quite cheap!
Anyone playing the new CoD? Damn, it’s good…
Activision is a buy for me after the popularity of the new modern warfare and cod mobile however anecdotal that may sound.
Anecdotal is really valuable I think, especially with gaming and entertainment. You can’t really quantify the ‘this game is amazing’ vibe, at least in between quarterly earnings anyway.
Big first few days for COD.
CoD MW is the first game i’ve been excited for in years, it’s brilliant. I imagine will bring them huge profits.
Has anyone played it yet?
Yes… I’m addicted! Best BR I’ve played!
Yes but I prefer the standard multiplayer. Don’t enjoy Battle Royals that much.
Curious to see their Q1 earnings and if the various lockdowns have had a substantial impact or not.
When are these figures published?
@userfy_123 The earnings call is on 30th April.
For what it’s worth, video gaming’s already existing ascent has been likely bolstered by COVID-19. “Earnings are forecast to grow.”
It’s another question whether that’s already priced in.
CNN stock price forecast, so we don’t only look at SimplyWallStreet’s valuation:
Activision launched Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale on 10th March, and it attracted 6 million global players on the first day. It has now over 30 million users. Gaming is so popular, it is straining our global internet infrastructure, so gamers are asked to choose a “reasonable” time to play.
Anyone holding this share?
I’ve been holding a few shares and recently bought some more when it dipped, mostly for the long term.
I’m always been bullish for the long term of both Activision and TakeTwo, and I think this lockdown period will have accelerated the growth trajectory of the gaming industry as a whole - many people who weren’t gamers before are now using it as a means of socialising and I feel this trend will continue even after the lockdowns are lifted.
I agree. Also, I think it depends on what’s in ATVI’s game pipeline, how badly it was affected with several titles from various developers and published postponed already, including old games ported to new consoles (e.g. Switch).
Content-making industries without the platform lock-in, such as Netflix, are kind of “cyclical” and, like the music industry, have hits and misses. (This is probably why some titles have not been made available on Steam at first - Valve have a lot of power.)
Fortnite could be hot now but their next season is postponed already and maybe it will be “replaced” by a non-Epic Games-made/produced title. And some popular streamers can jump to another game they like - and they have large followings. Then, there’s a question of how do they (ethically) monitise their users, since a bunch of most popular titles are kind of free.
ATVI were already struggling not long ago with layoffs which caught media attention.
Will they be able to capture the gamers attention with the new OverWatch, etc when there’re so many games and videos to play and watch?
The attention economy is hard. I reckon a lot of gamers are casual users, so they can choose between YouTube and Animal Crossings.
Earnings call on 5 May. Activision will probably post some eye-popping engagement and audience numbers.