The problem is that everyone just wants Blizzard, but not the rest of the baggage that Vivendi Interactive brings along with it. But Vivendi knows that the only way it can unload the craptacular parts of VI is by linking them to Blizzard. And when Roper and co. left Blizzard, the prospect got a lot less appetizing for a would-be buyer, especially if Vivendi was reporteldy asking $2 billion (now down to $800 million).
So the two major bidders are waiting for Vivendi to start getting desperate, then they’ll try and get VI for a steal, then just can the parts they don’t want/need.
Kinda like how the rest of the world is waiting for us to start getting desperate in Iraq, forcing the neo-cons to friggin’ stand down and open up reconstruction to the UN.
What’s weird is how the price for VU Games is said to have fallen to $800M. That includes Universal Interactive, Fox Interactive, Sierra Entertainment and Knowledge Adventure, as well as Blizzard. Apparently Microsoft isn’t interested at that price. Why wouldn’t Microsoft snap them up at $800M? They have billions in the bank and make billions each year in profits. That IP could put the Xbox over the top.
They way overpaid for Rare, something like 300+ million. I’d think Blizzard alone is worth far more than Rare was. They could get Blizzard, and get to publish Half-Life 2 through the aquisition of Sierra. That’s some pretty sweet kit, probably not worth 800 million, but I can’t believe they’d be too concerned about overpaying.
It matters not a whit whether Roper & Co. were the Godhead of gaming or merely lackeys, or something in between. What matters is the perception of people investigating Vivendi’s game unit as a prospective purchase. If they perceive that the departures lower the value (and, doh!, the guys looking to buy something generally tend to interpret things that way, to get a lower price), well, then in fact the departurs do lower the price, or to put it another way, lower the value of the property. It’s all in the mind.