Sales figures, studio purchases, financials, developer transfer window, investments… If these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. We bring you an update on business news for the past week.
Activision-Blizzard: Profits melted in the second quarter
Last week, Sony, Microsoft, Capcom and Ubisoft presented their financial results, and it was Activision-Blizzard-King’s turn to do so earlier this week. After two years of record results against the backdrop of the epidemic, the publisher announced a sharp decline in results during the period from April to June 2022. It is simple, as the trading volume decreased from $ 2.2 billion to 1.6, while the operating profit and net profit decreased, respectively. From 943.9 million to 329.3 and from 853.9 to 272.9 million.
The results are explained in part by a 25% increase in the workforce and the capture of Proletariat and Peltarion, but also and above all the “poor” performance of Call of Duty: Vanguard and the decline of World of Warcraft. The publisher has already announced that FPS has sold less than Black Ops Cold War, which is itself less than Modern Warfare of 2019. Activision’s number of active users also increased from 127 million to 94 a year ago, while that number increased by 5 million between March and June for for Blizzard, which benefits from the launch of Diablo Immortal, a free-to-play game that recently crossed the $100 million mark. In total, as of June 30, 2022, the entire Activision-Blizzard-King group claims 361 million active users versus 408 million on the same date last year.
However, King is still in the green, with more active users than in 2021 (240 million). However, Activision-Blizzard-King can be confident, with several major products arriving by the end of the year and then next: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight and Overwatch 2, and Diablo 4 waiting for its time in 2023. What should boost the financial resources before the effective acquisition of the collection by Microsoft, which still has to get the approval of the authorities.
Founded in 1994 by Franz Koch and Dr. Clemens Kondraitz, Koch Media (pronounced Kohr Media) is a German publisher and distributor. The company itself is best known to some through its subsidiary Deep Silver, and it belongs to the now sprawling Embracer Group, which also owns THQ Nordix, Gearbox, Coffee Stain, Saver Interactive or even Easybrain. But now, after nearly thirty years of activity, publishing or distributing SEGA or SNK games, Koch Media has felt the need to renew itself, and to better reflect developments since it was acquired by Embracer in 2018 for 120 million euros. This renewal does not pass through a modification of activities, but through a completely new visual identity, linked to a new name, Plaion. If you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “Play On,” and the i and o symbol is supposed to evoke the on and off symbol.
It is more impactful, there is external advertising but it is also internal advertising for our employees. We are opening this new chapter, they are part of it, we are a modern, growing and ambitious global company, helping to energize people internally. Obviously we want to avoid people seeing this as a front. The signal we’re sending is that we’re “on a trip,” and it’s good to give that trip a new name, a new visual look. New is always exciting, says Klemens Kundratitz, MD.
This change also applies to the company’s film subsidiary, which subsequently became Plaion Pictures. For Deep Silver, the newly created tag Prime Matter, Ravensourt, Milestone and Vertigo Games, this change should have no effect, making it easier for everyone to understand when Saints Row will restart on August 23.
Nintendo: a falling quarter and a key still aiming for highs
After two truly exceptional years in terms of results, Nintendo clocks in very slightly, but scores an overall track record of great stability, despite the imperfection. With help from Nintendo Switch Sports and Mario Strikers Battle League Football as well as Kirby and the Forgotten World, Nintendo’s sales were down just 5% compared to spring 2021 to peak at €2.2 billion. Net profit increased from 884 million euros to 750.6 million euros, while net profit increased from 685.1 million euros to 878.9 million euros.
The company also presented its forecast for the fiscal year, which stands at 11.8 billion in turnover, at a level close to the level it was before the pandemic. At the same time, Nintendo proudly announced that 111 million Switches were distributed worldwide despite sales down 23% (officially due to a shortage), and could approach 130 million if Nintendo’s predictions are correct. On the gaming side, 863 million Switch games were distributed and bringing the hybrid console closer to the DS, with 948 million games distributed. Here are the 6 best selling games:
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 46.82 Million
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 39.38 million
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 28.82 million
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 2714 million
- Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield – 24.50 million
- Super Mario Odyssey – 23.93 million
And the mobile branch of Nintendo accuses the hit, having reduced its income by 16%, and its turnover was only 80 thousand euros. In general, the intangible turnover, which includes the sale of games, subscriptions and additional content, amounted to 650 million euros, an increase of 16%. 76% of games sold are stamped with the Nintendo seal, and 53% of the total was sold digitally. Over the past 12 months, 104 million people have used the Switch, which means buyers use their console regularly.
Bandai Namco: Elden Ring takes care of everything
The Holy Spring quarter that just occurred Bandai Namco, amidst publishers whose income has plummeted. 1.5 billion euros in sales, 325.7 million in operating profit and 271.6 million in net profit compared to 153.4 million in 2021, all good for the publisher, which can count on its video game business and more specifically on Elden Ring, which has sold more than 13 million units worldwide since its release in February.
The first activity remains toys and other derivative products, but this is not our topic. As for games, we’re talking about 11.4 million games distributed, with half the number of titles last year at the same time. Targets, including 43.5 million game distribution, were raised for the first fiscal quarter.
Bandai Namco now reports operating profit of €528 million (versus 337 initially) and revenue of €3.1 billion instead of €2.9 billion. According to the report published under these financial results, Gundam, Dragon Ball and One Piece are the brand’s golden egg hens, generating 413 million euros.
Tencent, the largest shareholder in Ubisoft in the future?
This is one of the biggest rumors of the week. Tencent, the massive Chinese holding company, is a 40% shareholder in Epic Games, the majority shareholder in Riot Games and has been placed in Activision-Blizzard, Epic Games, Paradox, Roblox, Dontnod, Krafton, Klein (Don’t Starve), and Bohemia (ArmA) , Voodoo and Frontier, may consider investing more in Ubisoft. Having owned 5% of the company’s stock since 2018, Tencent is said to have approached Ubisoft to take a much larger and larger stake.
According to information from Reuters, Tencent will be willing to offer 100 euros per share, while the share price in 2018 was 66 euros, and to buy shares of other shareholders to establish its position. Obviously, given the reliability of Reuters, the markets caught fire very quickly, causing the short sale price to rise 12.66% on the Paris Stock Exchange, to a maximum of 48.88 euros. To locate, before the rumors, the action was sold for 42.19 euros, and only 34.56 euros in April. At the moment, no official announcement has come to confirm or deny this rumor, but the market reaction indicates that it is particularly strong.
Remember that in China, Tencent has seen its activity slow due to new laws and restrictions, and the company is increasingly looking internationally to ensure its growth. It even recently launched a new international publishing brand, called Level Infinite, whose logo has already appeared on many titles (PUBG Mobile, Don’t Starve: Newhome, GTFO…)
Briefly in this week’s business news
- Consequently, Square Enix’s sales and operating profit fell 15% and 16%. Final Fantasy XIV continues to bore the works, and a hefty schedule of upcoming releases should get it all started again.
- SEGA’s sales grew 11% in the first quarter of the fiscal year. The results are slightly below expectations (484 million euros in sales), but remain strong according to management
- Konami’s operating profit fell 30% during the April-June quarter despite a 2% turnover (€525.5 million)
- One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 has sold over 2 million units worldwide
- Sony is concerned about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, particularly because of Call of Duty’s weight in the industry and the apparent advances in Game Pass.
- Activision Blizzard has been accused by some employees of fighting against the syndicate trying to breed inside Diablo’s studio in Albany. The firm was to file an appeal with the law firm Reed Smith accused of creating a “union void.”
- Horizon Forbidden West (PS5) regained the top spot in France’s sales ranking by value according to SELL (week 29). Guerrilla beats Mario Strikers: Battle League Football, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Live A Live, and Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)
Our other trade articles for this week
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