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Activision Blizzard Capabilities


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Activision Blizzard Capabilities

  1. 1. Activision Blizzard, Inc: Core Capabilities andFocus Towards 2016Paul TaylorIS 714Profs Henderson and Venkatraman12/12/11
  2. 2. Overview• Largest developer and publisher of video game content with $4.4 billion of revenue in 2010• Home of popular franchises such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, World of WarCraft, Diablo, and StarCraft• Recent release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on November 18th shattered the greatest launch release record set by it’s predecessor Call of Duty: Black Ops last fall
  3. 3. Strategy and Core Capability• Core capability: developing, publishing, and distributing video game content across multiple platforms and consoles• Current strategy: – Continue to release content (sequels) of their most successful franchises – Developing its multiplayer platform for its Blizzard games (World of WarCraft, Diablo, StarCraft) – Small scale games for licensed based IP (movies, brands, etc.)
  4. 4. Core Capability• People: Game developers and designers that can translate ideas into code compatible with all consoles. Publishing and marketing teams distribute content through all sales channels – Metric: Sales volume• Technology: Software development kits (SDKs) and other technology related to video game content creation, testing, publishing, and distribution is essential – Metric: Contribution margin• Governance: Project managers oversee the development cycle for games trying to meet the sales goals and release date specifications set by the leadership team. Projects also must meet the expectation levels of gamers. – Metric: Development cycle time and cost• Process: Development cycle of bringing video game content from conception to market on various consoles and platforms – Metric: Cycle time and sales volume
  5. 5. Future of Activision Blizzard• Current Strategic Analysis – Developing new content IP is harder now than ever before – Costs have risen exponentially to develop games on current generation console hardware – Activision controls two of the most popular franchises in gaming, but recently released content for these franchises is becoming repetitive and stale – Development cycle for a new game is between 1 and 2 years• Gaming in 2016 – Activision must shift its strategy and focus on new trends in gaming – Bundled services across platforms is an emerging trend as developers are publishing content across a multitude of platforms – Cloud gaming will allow players to play games “on-demand” – Diminishing hardware layer as computation and processing power shifts toward the cloud – Moving away from brick and mortar distribution of gaming content
  6. 6. Call of Duty Platform• Activision must continue to monetize their most successful franchise in new and innovative ways or else it will be phased out like their Guitar Hero franchise• The new platform can be accessed from any device that can connect to the platform through an application• Brick and mortar content distribution will be phased out in favor of a cloud based model• Content and collaboration from Activision developers and consumers will shorten development life-cycle with fresh content – Gamers will have tools and “content objects” at their disposal to create multiplayer maps and “missions” – Gamers can upload their content to the platform and receive feedback from other gamers in the form of a “rating” algorithm system• This will bring the content creation to the Edge and Activision will gain a better understanding of what consumers want from Call of Duty
  7. 7. Call of Duty Platform Capability• People: Game developers and gamers will be able to collaborate together to bring fresh Call of Duty content. Anyone that purchased Call of Duty will have access to the platform – Metric: Number of players actively joining the platform community• Technology: Networking technology needs to be in place that can support the infusion and integration of new content as well as gamers accessing content instantly and continuous. This will shift to the cloud when it is feasible to do so. – Metric: Server downtime, users on platform at any given time• Governance: Moderators and content developers will ensure that content is appropriate and worthy to be accessed on the platform. A ratings algorithm will surface the content that is highly regarded among peers – Metric: Number of rejections vs. successful submissions of content by users• Process: “Content objects” can be mixed and matched by users that can create “content modules”. Once submitted, game developers can refine the modules and integrate the new content directly into the game. This supplements their current process capability – Metric: Number of new content submissions from users
  8. 8. Future Partnership Activision Blizzard, Inc. • Need for cloud computing and processing power by 2016 • Call of Duty Platform will require continuous processing power and increases storage capacity as it scales larger Amazon, Inc. • Amazon has little presence in the gaming sector and can suit Activision’s needs for cloud processing and storage • Amazon can serve as a key distributor for Call of Duty content