Monday, February 15, 2016

Activision Hit By Layoffs

According to this gameinformer post, Activision's weaker results in the previous quarter have resulted in some layoffs and reorganizaton.

My previous speculations that Activision Blizzard is going to focus more on mobile and eSports games seems to be coming true, but at the cost of Skylanders and Guitar Hero.

Whether or not Skylanders is superior to the competition, Disney has heavy hitters and name brands in its' Disney Infinity line*, and LEGO has both name brands** and... well... LEGO it it's LEGO Dimenions line. This is one of those times where Activision is going to take a hit.

This makes me wonder whether Skylanders might have done better if it had a tie-in with other Activision Blizzard properties, such as characters from WoW or Diablo. Of course, those characters alone would push Skylanders away from its current family friendly space, but it might have also brought in more profits.

Will this impact Blizzard's end of things? That is uncertain, but given the downturn of Activision Blizzard's profits, there will be likely greater outside push for improving next quarter's --and next year's-- numbers. Overwatch and WoW are going to be in the crosshairs as investors will demand to see improvements to A-B's bottom line, and if they don't get it, I'd expect for Activision Blizzard to start hearing calls for more reorganization and spinning off properties that are work intensive yet not as profitable as they could be. With a lack of subscriber numbers to go by --Activision Blizzard no longer publishes those, remember-- that might include WoW.

Not that Legion didn't have enough pressure on its release.

*Disney has pulled out the stops for Disney Infinity, with Star Wars, Marvel, Disney classic movies, and others.

**Not counting LEGO specific lines (like NinjaGo), there's DC Universe, Ghostbusters, Jurassic World, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, and The Simpsons. At least; I'm sure I missed a few non-LEGO properties here and there.

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