Friday, December 07, 2007
SEC filings on Activision Blizzard
PΘtshΘt posted links to the SEC filings on the Activision Blizzard merger and some other related documents. Besides the financial information one can also get some vague ideas about their plans for the future of World of Warcraft out of it. Oh, and they also state their total investment in WoW as being >$200MM (I'd read that as being development cost of the game and the expansions, plus hardware investment). Cheap, considering the $517MM profit in 2007 and the >40% profit margin.
Now, onto the future, where I noticed the following tidbits:
- Slide 16 has "In-game Advertising" mentioned for 2008 / 2009 as market opportunity.
- Slide 17 gives the plan for 2009 as "Continue executing proven strategies at Blizzard".
- Slide 18 elaborates on what "continue executing proven strategies" means, and lists them as "Expand Online Model: Grow subscription base, Add new online revenue streams, Strengthen customer loyalty". They also mention "drive growth of recurring franchises".
Gamers also will not necessarily like the ideas of "in-game advertising" and "add new online revenue streams", which could include microtransactions as well as advertising. We'd be more comfortable with "grow subscription base" and "strengthen customer loyalty", but of course those are easy to claim as goals and hard to realize. I'd just like to point out that focusing on raid content is *not* the way to make the game more accessible to a larger number of players ("grow subscription base") or to strengthen the customer loyalty of the majority of WoW players, who happen to be non-raiders. An expansion model that only adds content to the high-level end of the game likewise isn't ideal to pursue these stated goals. Maybe Activision Blizzard should take the opportunity of the coming reorganization to get some fresh blood into the WoW development team and pursue some new ideas.