Weekly Wyrm 08/28/15 ~ Gaming Stock Roundup

It was fun to see MassivelyOP report on Blizzard’s stock today. Activision-Blizzard was added to the S&P 500 last night, sending the stock to gains of over 6% today before settling at 4.6. Yes, the kitty watches the markets all day.

Last spring I said a big opportunity to invest in gaming stocks was coming, but I said to wait until the market broke either up or down from its holding pattern. Early this week it broke down over 10%, officially forming a “correction.”

I added to my Electronic Arts (EA) position. Electronic Arts has far less debt than Blizzard, a lock on Star Wars, and franchises. In an increasingly competitive game development environment, I believe franchises will be more of an asset in the long term than an albatross.

I also boldly bought AMD into an 8% bounce in the last few days. NVidia also roared up from the bottom, matching Amazon in demand from investors. I’m not really skeptical about Nvidia, but a chip company doesn’t seem like a core holding for me. AMD is a small speculative investment.

I’ve been trying and trying in recent weeks to come up with a way to play the new frontier for console sales in China.

Sony has negative earnings and is adding more debt to make more camera components. Nintendo is only tradeable in Japan. As for Microsoft, I’m worried about conflicts with the Chinese government, and Microsoft has been royally irking the kitty in the last few weeks, badgering me to upgrade every day.

My work office also upgraded to Office 2013 this week, which is worse than the previous iteration while instituting an online “account” feature, which apparently stores some of your settings. Oh great – more big brother and ways to pay. Just what I always wanted.

Meanwhile, my anger at my broken, non-functional Radeon software on my PC is far behind me. So MSFT is sold, and I’m gambling (nothing I can’t afford to lose) on an AMD bounceback with both PCs and the China consoles, as well as new moves into mobile markets.

AMD has chips in all three major consoles, including the Wii U. Star Wars ep. VII will singlehandedly trigger a new round of console sales for the holidays, so the kids and old timers alike can play Electronic Arts’ game.

AMD also has a hot female CEO (by my gay standards), which means something to me. Lisa Su is an MIT graduate. She just paid herself a big bonus though, in a scathingly criticized move.

So the ship is either sinking fast, or the horizon is bright enough for bonuses. Nothing this kitty didn’t already know, which is nothing, except the stock is basically pricing for bankruptcy right now.

So is it all clear to load up on gaming stocks now that the market drop has flushed out a lot of weak hands? It’s a little late. Blizzard and NVidia have practically bounced back already.

Maybe the market will be ok since the GDP was revised upwards. This clears the way for a fed rate hike again though, which may bring another dip.

The market’s movement depends a lot on how much new money came in on this dip, and whether it’s enough to build a new high. If it isn’t enough, the ship is sinking again in this kitty’s opinion. The big moves in the most popular stocks are just people chasing the winners.

I went from 25% invested to 35% invested on this dip, so if the market drops another 10% or 20%, I’ll buy again. Hopefully soon I can stop watching the stupid pot boiling.

This week I was creating fantasy art and brainstorming story and lore for my personal browser-based RPG project. I’m taking a break from school. Yolari is back on board as a tester and consultant. I also might have someone to do cheap voice work.

Happy Friday and happy gaming.


Varian Wrynn Is Caitlyn Jenner?

varian wrynne caitlyn jenner

Last week I returned to Hearthstone, which is releasing a new expansion card pack next week. Grand Tournament features a new Inspire mechanic.

The new warrior legendary card, Varian Wrynn, looks strikingly like Caitlyn Jenner. There’s no way I’m going to bring this up in the corrosive, troll-infested Hearthstone forums, so I’m posting it here!

This crazy kitty is seeing things maybe, but in former images and in-game (World of Warcraft), Varian is definitely a solid darker-haired brunette. Why a change that happens to match Caitlyn Jenner?

I noticed a few more Hero portraits when I returned to Hearthstone, so I pressed the buy button on Alleria Windrunner within ten minutes of even thinking of playing Hearthstone again.

I’ve begged Blizzard for more female portraits, so it’s time to pony up. Alleria is the most feminine portrait now. I like her voice, which reminds me of Imoen in Baldur’s Gate.

It finally dawned on me that the other two female hero portraits are male fantasies. Jaina has the angry super-boobs, and Valeera is the anti-hero rogue a la Catwoman, Black Canary, and Natasha Romanov. Too bad her implied bikini crotch won’t fit in the graphic.

On the other hand, Alleria is another cliché: the female elf hunter. It looks like I’m playing all elves now in Hearthstone, except for Anduin Wrynn, whose deck I call Pretty Boy.

I’m still hoping for more female heroes, but it’s $10 each extra to play them. I’m not touching the $50 Grand Tournament pre-order, which is a ridiculous cash grab.

When it comes to cash, there can be no conscience in the survivalist gaming business. Like I’ve said before, Electronic Arts led the way and pushed through the gamer ill will, and now no one bats an eyelash at this crap.

Welcome to the herd Blizzard boys, or maybe you were always the herd.


Kitty In Real Life: Lust And Corruption

This is not an angelic post, so if you’re an angel, go away. This post contains topics for succubi and mischievous kitties only, i.e. 18 or older.

Syncaine is recruiting again for his(??) CoC clan. I don’t know Syncaine’s gender.

I’m using the male pronoun as a default and not from an assumption that anyone passionate, aggressive, and foul-mouthed about games, and who labels a game as an “abortion”, simply must be male.

My second most hated nemesis in Rift PvP is confirmed female. She created a macro for her interrupt skill that adds a trollish taunt. She spams it. A lot. So I turned her into a shambler in the auction hall.

Ha. That will teach her not to interrupt Leonore’s death spells.

So any time Syncaine mentions CoC and his “Supreme Cream!” clan, I instantly think of the classic ribald, juice-oozing, erotica RPG Corruption of Champions, and not Clash of Clans.

Corruption of Champions was in my brain first, indelibly. That’s how corruption works. And whenever a game enters “Closed Beta Testing”, I always think of “Cook and Ball Torture”. Male devs apparently like CBT, and so does some random freak in Chicago who I chatted with twenty years ago.

Since I’m a corrupted kitty on every day except Sunday, I was flirting with taking my game project in an erotic direction. This would be almost as counterproductive to life success as spending thirty years playing video games, and I’m sure I’d regret it.

I don’t regret writing erotica for cash, but I’m running out of time.

I noticed someone is getting paid $3200/month to make a low-budget erotic game via Patreon. The $4000/month stretch goal: they work full time. So $3200/month is just a part time job at this point. The artwork on display looks nice enough, but “Uncensored image for $10+ patreons“?

Seriously? I smell bait and exploitation. I can’t decide if this project is dripping with cheese, or if I’m just jealous.

Maybe I need some elf relaxation hypnosis. There is a hypnotist who has made game-enhancing hypnosis files. He’s made one where you really feel some effects when you get hit in a shooter, when you die in a game, and one that makes you be a submissive, humble support role when you play LoL, and also rewards you with pleasure for being such a good boy or girl.

Vive’s files can also make you into a much better kitty too… or a dog… or a pig… but these hypnosis files are no joke. They are for responsible adults only, and can screw up your life. Vive’s evil wizard efforts are also supported via Patreon.

And I think that’s all the kitty had to say. Time to stretch, take a nap, and maybe watch Hafu play Hearthstone on Twitch.


Blizzard Shocks Wall Street, Microsoft Shocks The XBOX

Last night, Blizzard announced shocking revenue growth with strength across its product lineup (except WoW). Activision Blizzard stock is up over 13% today. Congratulations to everyone who didn’t sell the stock recently like this stupid kitty.

Here are some highlights from the Blizzard earnings release for the second quarter of 2015:

  • On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s net revenues were $759 million, as compared with $658 million for the second quarter of 2014.
  • “Our audience size and the total amount of time people spend with our franchises continue to grow. In the second quarter, our monthly active usersB grew by 35% year-over-year, and the time our communities spent playing our games grew by 25% year-over-year”. – Bobby Kotick
  • Destiny now has over 2 billion hours of gameplay since launch, which amounts to an average 100 hours of gameplay for each of Destiny’s over 20 million registered players.
  • On April 2, 2015, Blizzard Entertainment launched Blackrock Mountain(TM), the second Adventure for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The release of Hearthstone on iOS and Android smartphones followed on April 14, 2015. Key engagement metrics, which were already very strong, nearly doubled year over year, largely on account of the new content and new platforms.

Electronic Arts is up 5% today in sympathy, so this kitty is not totally forlorn. And Blizzard still has over 4 billion in long-term debt, compared to EA’s ~600 million.

Yesterday I watched the Microsoft presentation at Gamescom. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. XBOX One will be updated with Windows 10 in November.
  2. Microsoft Cloud has 20x the computing power to stream a game than an XBOX One.
  3. XBOX One will also receive DVR capability, so you can record shows from TV and store on an external hard drive. You can schedule on the go, and all shows on this DVR can then be streamed to any of your Windows 10 devices. This is coming in 2016.
  4. Microsoft showed a DirectX12 demonstration. DirectX12 is just one of the ways Win10 was built for gaming. In Windows 10 you can record and share your favorite clips with a built-in game DVR, no special hardware or software.
  5. Built-in XBOX app in Windows 10. Voice and text chat, PC to console. Start game on one device, continue on another. Cross-buy feature. Anything you purchase can also cross-play. You can play on either Windows or XBOX platform, stream from PC to anywhere in home network.
  6. Scalebound. A new action RPG, on foot or on the back of a dragon. You play as a guy with draconic powers in search of a dangerous artifact. You play with a companion, except your companion is a ridable dragon that fights and talks with the main character. I’ve recently lamented the fact that dragons are too often just plain big monsters in video games, so this is a nice-looking change.
  7. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. A new side scroller with heavy RPG elements. Simultaneous release on XBOX One and Windows 10, and gamers on both platforms can can play together.

Devilian: Trion Livestream 07/31

Yesterday I watched the Trion livestream for a few hours, which attracted a crowd of about 500. Trion showed off their new Warfront for Rift, which looks fun and different.

You’re attacking and defending back and forth, trying to beat the other team’s time and use nasty environmental traps to your advantage. I took a few casual notes on the Devilian part of the livestream, and here they are:

  • No really, Devilian is an MMO more than a Torchlight or a Diablo.
  • Trion is still planning on a Q4 2015 release.
  • Devilian has great writing with humor, and that’s part of what made it a great game overseas. Trion just hired a well-known writer (who the Trion devs didn’t want to name yet) to tweak and work the translation to English from Korean (among other things?) I really want to see this. Claims of great writing put a lock on playing this game.
  • This is an M-rated game.
  • A big game change from the Korean is making sure PvP is skill-based and not gear based. (Pay-to-win gear-based power in PvP is common is Asia.)
  • They also showed a cosmetic Corgi that seemed to have storage, and clarified that Ginno Games (maker of Devilian) actually had the Corgis before their Trion alliance.
  • There is a polar bear mount, tiger, and some sort of floating wind serpent mount.
  • All character classes sit on mounts differently and have different dances.
  • The character classes will be staying gender locked, despite a lot of debate. It’s just as easy to make an entire new class (which is currently happening) as to make a new gender for one of the existing classes.
  • Trion’s F2P design goal in general: When a player buys something, they should want to buy. They shouldn’t feel forced to buy. The golden rule is shortcuts, cosmetics, and convenience.

This month is Blaugust, which means some bloggers will be writing every day this month. This kitty is a Nanowrimo veteran, so I’ll stick with novelist snobbery. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more blogging, though.


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