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Activision Blizzard Stock Decline Amid CEO Possible Knowledge of Sexual Misconduct!

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Activision Blizzard shares closed down more than 6% Tuesday after a report from The Wall Street Journal alleged CEO Bobby Kotick knew about sexual misconduct allegations at the videogame company. First, it was the declining user engagement levels compared to the peak seen during the pandemic, as people spent more time on gaming with shelter restrictions in place. Recently, the company announced a delay in two of the much-awaited games – Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV. Activision shares fell 2.5% in New York on Wednesday afternoon. ATVI stock is down a large 28% over the last six months, compared to 12% gains for the broader S&P500 index.

The stock appears to be undervalued, the negative developments surrounding the company are not sitting well with the investors, resulting in lower levels for ATVI. At its current level of $66, ATVI stock is trading at just 18x its expected EPS of $3.72 in 2021, compared to an average P/E multiple of 24x between 2017 and 2020. As such, it is believed that the long-term investors can use the current dip as a buying opportunity in ATVI stock, but they should also weigh the near-term risks surrounding the company.

Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. “We are disappointed in the Wall Street Journal’s report, which presents an inaccurate and misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO,” “Instances of sexual misconduct that were brought to his attention were acted upon.”In a video message sent to employees Tuesday, Kotick addressed the report and said anyone who doubts his “conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me,” according to a transcript posted to the company’s website. Activision’s board of directors backed Kotick in a statement Tuesday and said it “remains confident” that the CEO “appropriately addressed” work issues brought to his attention.

Per the report, Kotick failed to inform the board of directors about the allegations on many occasions, including alleged rape, the Journal reported.  Activision is also under fire from its own employees. Employees of the company staged a walk-out demanding the resignation of Bobby Kotick. “We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO, and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source,” the ABK Workers Alliance said in a tweet. This was followed by a California-based agency filing a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for sexual harassment citing a variety of gendered discrimination problems and a general “frat-boy culture.” It has been in the limelight over recent months.

In the wake of Activision Blizzard’s ongoing discrimination lawsuit, it appears that the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League have quietly lost their formerly prominent T-Mobile partnership. The T-Mobile logo seems to have been taped over on players’ jerseys, while the brand was removed from all broadcast segments and from the CDL’s website. Additionally, this seems to have also happened for Activision’s sister league, the OWL. I expect Activision Blizzard to lose more sponsors as well.

Sony is one of the video game industry’s biggest console manufacturers and has a long close relationship with Activision, which produces hits like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. In addition to publishing most of its games on PlayStation consoles, Activision has worked with Sony on elaborate marketing deals. The last few entries in the Call of Duty series, including this year’s Call of Duty: Vanguard, have featured exclusive modes and content for the PlayStation.

Sony Group Corp’s PlayStation Chief Jim Ryan rebuked Activision Blizzard Inc. Wednesday for an inadequate response to allegations that Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct and harassment claims at the game publisher for years and that he had mistreated women. In an email to employees reviewed by Bloomberg, Ryan linked to the Wall Street Journal’s Tuesday report. He wrote that he and his leadership were “disheartened and frankly stunned to read” that Activision “has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”

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What Trovo Should do to Get to the Next Level

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Trovo Live recently announced they will be coming out of Beta on December 12th. For those not familiar with Trovo it is a live streaming platform primarily focused on gaming. Trovo is owned by Tencent which also owns Riot Games, and PUBG. Tencent also has heavy ownership stakes in Epic Games, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard. Trovo was named “Madcat” at its start, but the platform rebranded when the decision was made to try to build it into a solid Twitch and YouTube competitor. Trovo has been in beta for nineteen months, and during that time has grown steadily.

Read More – Tencent

Trovo offers good stability, and quality video for the viewer. The chat is very solid as well with very few instances of disconnects. New features are tested thoroughly before they are added and perform as advertised once launched. These are all things that Microsoft’s Mixer could never accomplish during its short lifespan. Trovo has recently added squad streaming. A feature that allows up to four live streamers to share their video and chats together. It’s like Mixer’s bug plagued co-streaming feature. So, what should Trovo do to step up with the big dogs? I posted a YouTube video on this subject a month ago, but for my latest thoughts. Read on.

 

Continue to identify risky or abnormal viewer accounts

Trovo staff has done a bang-up job of this so far. They have continued to upgrade the platforms risk control algorithm to identify accounts that may be bots in one form or another. This is vital as Trovo has been open about the fact that they want to attract advertisers to the platform soon. Potential advertisers want to know that their ads are being seen by real live humans. This is important for Trovo’s individual content creators as well. As some will grow and begin to seek out partnership and sponsorship opportunities of their own.

This gives the Trovo partnership program a credibility boost also. Currently the Trovo Partner program (called the TROVO 500) is based on total viewer hours. So, it’s important that these hours watched are also from real live human beings. In the past week Trovo also announced that for viewers watch hours to be counted they must also be an active chatter. This is like what Twitch requires for a viewer to even show up in the active viewer count. Once again, this is a good thing. Potential advertisers or sponsors want to know that their products will be seen by actively engaged viewers.

 

Ditching Trovo Play

Trovo has announced that the Trovo Play Program will be ending December 1st. I mentioned in my YouTube video that this program needed to go away badly. What is it? It’s a program that incentivized streamers on Trovo to play games from a list referred to as “community favorites.” What this created was an extreme lack of variety of games being streamed on the platform. Going to the front page and seeing nothing but Apex Legends streamers for example is not a good thing. If someone visits the site and doesn’t care for Apex Legends or battle royales in general. They may leave and not give Trovo a chance again. Lack of variety is one of the factors that lead to Mixer’s demise. Mixer continually featured nothing but Fortnite content for months on end. Driving many away that were seeking other content.

 

Treasure boxes need to go

Treasure boxes on Trovo are basically a built-in prize giveaway system. Streamers have the choice of creating Discovery Treasure boxes, which are a featured giveaway for the entire platform to join in on. Or Community Treasure Boxes that are for that streamer’s community only. Streamers purchase Elixir, which is the paid currency on Trovo to use for the prizes in these treasure boxes. The intended purpose of treasure boxes is to for streamers to use them to attract viewers and thereby gain new loyal viewership.

However, as many of us that have been in live streaming for any length of time know all too well. Giveaways, in any form do not grow a channels viewership. Viewers will simply follow a streamers channel to enter the giveaway, and then leave once the giveaway is over. Only returning when, (yep you guessed it) another giveaway is happening. This creates a lot of “empty follows” and as we all know in live streaming metrics viewer numbers are what matters not follower totals.

The treasure boxes have adversely affected the legitimacy of Trovo’s partnership program as well. With some simply buying their way into the program by spending big on treasure boxes in order to rack up the necessary viewer hours to qualify.

Eliminating treasure boxes would be a huge step in the right direction for Trovo streamers to begin to cultivate more quality viewership.

 

Ease up with the mobile gaming emphasis

I realize mobile gaming is what helped Trovo get its feet under it, but now it’s time to evolve. I’m not saying abandon mobile gaming streams altogether. Just stop showcasing them as much. It gives first time visitors a bad impression. When I told some of my content creator friends that I had made the move to Trovo a common response was. “So, are you streaming Call of Duty Mobile now?” Followed by laughter, because when they visited the main page mobile gaming was all they saw.

In order to really step up and give Twitch and YouTube a run for their money PC and console gaming has to be the emphasis. That’s what viewers want to see and will come to the platform for. Let’s face it, a lot of people watch live streams and videos to help them decide to purchase a particular game or not. There’s not as much need for that with free or inexpensive mobile games.

 

Completely overhaul the partnership program

As I mentioned earlier the current Trovo Partnership Program the “Trovo 500” is based on total viewer hours watched. A streamer must have a total of nine hundred hours watched to get into the entry level tier of the program which is bronze. This not only earns them a partner badge on their channel but enters them into a prize pool of gems. Gems are the virtual currency with which Trovo pays its streamers. 10,000 gems equate to $100 US Dollars. Higher hours watched goals gets them into silver, gold and so on. With each increase in tier resulting in a larger prize pool of gems.

Not a bad concept if it was it was being approached by the streamers as I believe it was intended. Which would be to focus on growing their viewership to reach the tier goals. What is happening however, is some streamers are doing insanely long marathon sessions to reach the tier goals. Let’s break it down.

A Trovo streamer with 10 viewers per session must stream for 90 hours in a months’ time to achieve 900 viewer hours

By comparison a Trovo streamer with 30 viewers per session would only need to stream 30 hours to hit the 900-viewer hour goal for the bronze tier.

When you look at the fact that the goal for the next tier of Silver is 3100 hours and increases up to the Master tier of 27,000 hours. You can see that someone should really be focusing on growing their viewership to attain these goals. Instead, many are streaming for very long periods of time. Twelve, sixteen, twenty fours and even longer in some cases. This is very unhealthy both physically and mentally. In this article from The Mayo Clinic you can see that people that sit for prolonged periods are more susceptible to a number of health issues. Including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. This Newsweek article shows that prolonged sitting can also lead to premature disc degeneration in the spine. As well as the most concerning health issue, deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis is when a blood clot forms in the legs. Once the clot breaks free it could travel to vital organs like the lungs or brain. Possibly resulting in death.

As I said in my YouTube video, I believe that Trovo staff are good people. They in no way intended for streamers to conduct unhealthy marathon streams to reach the goals of the Trovo 500. Instead, they intended streamers to focus on growing their viewership as I said earlier. Given what’s happening instead, it’s time to change the partnership program.

A good start would be to adopt the industry standard of concurrent viewers per hour. Trovo is a smaller platform at present. So, 20-25 concurrent viewers maintained for A 30 day period seems appropriate. With a reasonable requirement of days streamed during the 30-day period, say 10-12. This would eliminate most of the unhealthy marathon streams, and cultivate a talented pool of Trovo partners that could become the faces of the growing platform.

I see a lot of potential with Trovo. Otherwise, I would not stream there myself. A solid competitor to Twitch and YouTube is needed in the market. I believe that Trovo can become that competitor.

 

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Black Friday’s 2021 Deals!

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Black Friday is officially tomorrow, November 26. Retail stores all over will have a lot of major gaming discounts. There will be reduced prices on the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Switch games and consoles, to sales on gaming headsets, keyboards, and mice. There are also a bunch of gaming hardware offers ready for you to purchase so you can upgrade your gaming PC.

Best Buy will be selling a Nintendo Switch- Neon Blue/Neon Red Joy-Con + Mario Kart 8 Deluxe(Download) + 3month Nintendo Switch Online Membership for $299.99. Walmart, GameStop, Target, Amazon, eBay will also have a lot of amazing gaming deals that you will be able to purchase.

Even though Black Friday officially starts tomorrow, that does not mean that you can’t start shopping online to start taking advantage of these amazing deals going on right now.

PlayStation released its sales plans for Black Friday 2021, including a list of over 400 games that will have their prices discounted for the holiday. Every year Sony provides a list of digital games that it’s planning on discounting on the PlayStation Store for its Black Friday sale. There are multiple versions of the same game included. Make sure to bookmark the PlayStation Black Friday homepage to track every sale currently available.

There will be 100 games that will be on sale for the PlayStation 5, with some of the biggest releases on the platform to be discounted. Death Stranding: Director’s CutFinal Fantasy 7 Remake IntergradeGhost of Tsushima: Director’s CutMarvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesRatchet & Clank: Rift Apart, FIFA 22NBA 2K22, and Madden NFL 22Back 4 BloodTales of AriseResident Evil VillageFar Cry 6, Guilty Gear Strive, Minecraft Starter Collection PS4, God Of War III Remastered PS4, God Of War PS4, Hitman 3, It Takes TwoLife is Strange: True ColorsRiders Republic, Returnal and many other titles are on the list. Doesn’t look like Call of Duty: Vanguard or Battlefield 2042 will be on the list of available discounts.

Knowing that all of these gaming sales are currently available to purchase, tomorrow make sure that you don’t miss out on all the other amazing great Black Friday Deals!

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Sony Patents PS5 Faceplates and Skins!

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Sony filed a patent for its PS5 faceplates and skins. The design patent was originally filed just a week before the PS5’s November launch last year, and it was subsequently published in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on November 16th. There is speculation that Sony will create its own PS5 faceplates or skins.

Sony has threatened legal action in order to get these companies to stop creating and selling custom face plates. A small company first named PlateStation5 then CustomizeMyPlates was forced to cancel and refund orders for black PS5 faceplates last year following legal action from Sony. CustomizeMyPlates returned earlier this year and is still selling custom plates.

That legal action didn’t stop DBrand from selling its own matte black faceplates and even daring Sony to sue. Sony eventually threatened DBrand with legal action, forcing the company to pull its faceplates and replace them days later with a new design and a marketing campaign that mocked Sony’s team of lawyers.

The patent doesn’t mean that third-party manufacturers are entirely cut off from what could be a lucrative market, however. Vinyl coverings that can be easily applied or peeled off at will are still apparently legal, as ChangeYourPlates, the same company who attempted to sell a matte black faceplate for the PS5 and was stopped by Sony, are now marketing that.

The PS5 covers and skins patent is a significant hint that Sony and Playstation aim to do similar things to the console in the future. With so many highly popular games slated to arrive within the next year such as God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon: Forbidden West, Spider-Man 2, and more, there may be lots of customization options for a Playstation 5.

What Sony intends to do with the PS5 covers and skins patent isn’t entirely clear, but hopefully, players already tired of the PS5’s stark white color scheme will be able to spice it up at some point in the near future.

 

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