It might be one of the craziest rumors we have heard all year but there’s speculation that Vivendi may want to sell most, of or all its controlling interest in Activision, the publishers behind the Call of Duty franchise.
According to Bloomberg News, Vivendi may be trying to sell its’ “61% stake in mega-publisher” Activision in hopes of raising their stock prices. Bloomberg, citing “people with knowledge of the matter,” claim that during a meeting on June 22nd Vivendi will discuss the possible sale of Activision.
The market value for Activision is about $13 Billion, according to Bloomberg, and honestly if they are expecting to be able to sell the publisher for that amount it will not be easy. The truth is Activision is basically the biggest publisher in the industry, making it very difficult to find buyers. For example, EA would love to buy Activision but they wouldn’t have the capital to do it, and EA is probably the second biggest publisher in the industry.
Part of the reason Vivendi wants to sell Activision is the executives at Vivendi are considering reorganization of the company. However, there may be bigger issues at play; recently there have been talks in the gaming industry that Call of Duty may have peaked. The most recently announced Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 pre-sales have hit a plateau, they are not going to be higher than last years Call of Duty game.
Not to mention we are about to go over to new hardware as early as next year and that is always risky because very few games can successfully make the jump from one console generation to the next without loosing customers. It just happens, some franchise can’t keep the same momentum they had from previous generations.
For example, JRPGs dominated the PS2 console generation, but now they have become relegated to handheld gaming devices and are virtually non existent on consoles. So Vivendi may feel that the Call of Duty series has peaked and will be on a downward trend, so they may come to the conclusion that it is worth selling now while the stocks are still high. But we will have to wait and see if any of this actually comes to fruition, hopefully by June 22nd we will have more details.