In this post I look at a few upcoming game titles, plus the usual gaming stock analysis.
After mentioning in my last blog post that I quit Hearthstone, I jumped back in during the last three weeks. I got 60 more wins on my wild Dragon Priest to complete 500 total for the golden Tyrande hero portrait.
Overall Hearthstone is a horribly managed. I’m not even going to get started ranting about the new gnome hero. The Blizzard marketers are apparently in charge of game development instead of the actual devs.
And the marketers are solely focused on literally stealing lunch money from as many kids as possible, not making a great game to play.
I don’t know what those people are doing out in California, but they clearly aren’t taking care of business. As Kripp said on his stream a few nights ago, the Hearthstone devs are competent, but nothing is happening. They aren’t acting like it.
Something is just plain wrong with this picture. Maybe they are working on something really big.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) has entered a downtrend in the last month, and was pushed down harder in the last week from significantly negative analyst press.
I sold ATVI and called for a decline last summer. My slow-and-steady, diversified GAMR ETF has outperformed Blizzard since then (see comparison image above.) The question now is whether to buy back into Blizzard on this pullback!
I agree with everything the gaming analyst says. In previous posts, I mentioned over-inflated expectations for ESports, especially among game-clueless Wall Street people.
The linked article doesn’t mention other analyst observations like intense holiday competition with numerous game releases this season, as well as intense competition coming in 2018.
Blizzard releases their quarterly earnings on Nov. 2 during Blizzcon.
I have to wonder if the earnings are planned during reveals and excitement to cushion any earnings miss or other disappointment. Destiny sales disappointed. This is a known, but the unknown is how much this will impact Blizzard’s earnings compared to estimates.
I feel like Hearthstone is also going to disappoint. The recent Lich King expansion actually made the game less fun, at least compared to Un’Goro.
Will I buy ATVI? I don’t know. It’s timing and intuition. Watching the stock during any broad market volatility in the next two weeks will definitely help shine light on the situation.
I do know that the window of opportunity will be small, and if I miss a rip, I will lose out on an opportunity to make hundreds of dollars by pressing a couple buttons at the right time.
My last stock buy was 50 shares of VLO on September 13 at $70.50.
I sold it back on 9/14 because it dipped sharply, and I was going away for a long weekend. I didn’t want to be holding a big trade with no ability to dump it. The stock is at $77.42 now.
I watched this stock for two years. I was a coward not long ago when VLO broke out of a massive downtrend at $50, and I just didn’t pull the trigger. And now I missed it again. A $350 gain in one month because I was an idiot, and away from my computer on exactly the wrong day.
Today I looked at the holiday roster of big releases, and the only game I really wanted to play was FIFA 18, story mode. But wait, it’s the story of a guy only, no female option, so scratch that off too.
It’s the winter Hearthstone expansion, only.
But wait, again! Today Massively posted a very rare update on Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt affirms they are working really big on this game. They say they are redefining and innovating.
This game looks absolutely awesome, but for the love of the Borg mother, please let us play as a female character, instead of regurgitating another Geralt.
There are no real RPGs on the list of holiday games, unless you count Divinity: Original Sin 2, which is pulling some very high ratings. Middle Earth: Shadows of War is a male protagonist again. So is Red Dead 2 next year. I’d be excited about Star Wars: Battlefront 2 by EA if it were a Bioware RPG instead of another mindless killing field game.
Ironically, EA killed Bioware, of course.
Vampyr from DontNod has been pushed back to Spring 2018, and of course it’s another male gender lock.
So if I crave an RPG this holiday season, I’ll look at Divinity: OS2. I didn’t get very far into the first one though. The puzzles were hard on my kitty brain, and I don’t really enjoy crafting and heavy inventory management in single-player games.
Personal Project and Portfolio
I’ve had some health problems in the last month, and these have really set me back in my energy level. I won’t meet my development goals for the end of October. I’ve made a lot of progress though, and my game is fairly playable.
The more complicated systems like combat and spellcasting are barely sketched into the gameplay.
I was investigating the development of a new pen art style for combat action panels, similar to the look of Pillars of Eternity. So I bought my first tablet to try to speed up my workflow. I expected the tablet to have a serious learning curve, however, and I’m now bogged down on that.
I’ve always done traditional drawing. I’ve done quite a bit of comic pen work, including a completed full-size and finished comic book, but it’s just too tedious. It took me a month of full time work to do like 20 pages.
So happy gaming, and leave your thoughts on Blizzard if you want. I’ll be watching the stock. Otherwise, I am watching First Data (FDC), Hack ETF (HACK), Amgen (AMGN), and JPM and ALB, both of which I missed the boat on, although I know I should have jumped into them long ago.
I’m almost more interested to just add to my current holdings on a pullback. The market is very high and expensive right now, and Trump has to explode at some point.
Self-directed investing has taught me that confidence and patience are two of the most important virtues. I need to set definite exit rules before I enter a position, and stick to those rules after I’ve forgotten my original thought process.
I am still patient with JD.com (JD), the worst performing stock in my portfolio, sitting at a tiny .49% loss after a series of perilous dips and drops. Netease (NTES) is finally looking strong in the past few weeks, and it looks like JD is primed to follow it with positive analyst recognition a few days ago in Barron’s.