In this new series I take a look at the business side of gaming because what companies say to investors matters to you. Beyond showing the strength of the industry these talks reveal future plans and goals, providing us with a preview of whats to come.
Sony Rebuilds Electronics Division Around PS4 and Movies
At an investor meeting in Tokyo Sony executives predicted increases in sales in its games division and emphasized its plans to rebuild its struggling electronics group around its gaming hardware. With declines in TV and smartphone sales, Sony has been looking to make gains elsewhere and has plans to increase gaming related revenue from $10.8 billion to between $12 and $13.5 billion by 2018. This revenue increase also comes with a plan to double profit margins.
Sony also reiterated plans to refocus on its entertainment division, which includes its music and motion picture divisions. With other segments of the company expected to stagnate or decline Sony is aiming to bolster its current successes, which means we can expect to see increased support for Sony systems and possibly increased production from their motion picture groups.
Activision-Blizzard Earnings Reveal Strong Results
This week, Activision-Blizzard released an earnings report, detailing its revenue of $753 million for the third quarter of 2014. Of this, $504 million, or 67% came from digital channels, a reflection of the industry’s consistent movement away from physical software. CEO Bobby Kotick credited Destiny, the 20 million players of Hearthstone, strong sales of Diablo III‘s expansion, and World of Warcraft’s bump to 7.4 million subscribers for the success.
Looking forward, the open beta for Call of Duty Online which launches, complete with microtransactions, in China next year, as well as the launch of Heroes of the Storm provide the company with strong prospects for the new year. In all Activision-Blizzard looks to bring in $4.3 billion this year. I expect that Activision keep using its winning formula and that we’ll see more of the same focus on big franchises and spinoffs in the near future.