December 23, 2007

Why Is It So Hard To Believe?

Is it really that hard to believe that SOE could possibly have been sold to an Indian gaming company? I am going to present some ideas that should make people think twice about SOE's denial.

Prior mergers and moves:

1. EA scooped up Bioware out of nowhere.

2. Blizzard and Activision merged out of the blue.

3. Mythic denied any buyouts. A month later they became EA Mythic.

4. SOE and Sigil repeatedly denied Vanguard being bought out, before SOE promptly bought the rights to Vanguard.

Items of note in the current SOE buyout rumors:

1. Smedley first denied the buyout by posting on a 3rd-party site, EQ2flames. No, he did not choose his own blog, the official EQ2 website, or filter the information through his community managers. Nope, he posted a denial on the most prolific Everquest 2 rumor-mongering website on the net.

2. The parent company of SOE, Sony Pictures, has been all but quiet on the matter so far. A denial from them would put this to rest quickly. Is it so hard to believe that Sony Pictures may have tried to keep this under wraps until after the holidays?

3. The "rumor" post was spread across several reliable, multi-national news agencies. Also, it spread quickly through several financial-related outlets.

4. SOE hired a former IGE bigwig to head up international relations. He just so happened to have recently visited India. Of course, this lends credibility to the idea that SOE may be working on a deal in India, not necessarily being sold.

5. The reported sales price of $300 million is questionable if the reported revenue of SOE is $150 million yearly. However, this wouldn't be the first case of an online-based company being bought for significantly more or less than their current revenue value.

6. Lastly, if the recent report on MMORPG subscriptions holds any weight, most of SOE's online games have been bleeding subscriptions.

Yes, I like to stir the pot.