The hot rumor of the day, fanned by a post at Bloomberg, is that CCP is looking to sell out, having a couple of potential bidders lined up, with the value of the deal being rumored at near one billion dollars.
What does CCP have that is worth a billion dollars? Let’s see…
- EVE Online, along with all the hardware to run it in a server farm in England.
- A contract with a Chinese firm to run EVE Online in China
- EVE Valkyrie and EVE Gunjack, which run on a variety of devices in the fragmented, kiddie-pool sized market that is VR today
- The source code for Dust 514
- A monument by the sea in Reykjavik
- A bunch of copies of Hættuspil
- Hilmar’s collection of Lazy Town video tapes
- The largest stash of Quafe in the known universe
- Something else?
Basically, EVE Online and the VR titles… and word is that there isn’t much money in making VR titles currently, so unless CCP has some real special tech in that regard, New Eden is the biggest asset.
Meanwhile, CCP also has a couple investors in the form of Novator Partners and General Catalyst Partners. CCP isn’t in the Daybreak situation of being wholly owned and bent over by an investor, but those two companies aren’t in because they like video games. They are both invested in order to get paid. And selling CCP is a way to get paid.
While there is nothing concrete so far… the initial report says that a sale isn’t the only option being explored… there is enough out there to make you believe it could be true. For example, CCP has been moving operations to the UK. That makes a bit of sense for an Icelandic company due to logistics. But if you want to sell a company, it makes a lot more sense for it to be in an international market hub like the UK than the economic backwater that is Iceland.
And then there is the rumor itself, which got floated somewhere for some reason. Is it a trial balloon to see how the Icelandic government reacts? An attempt to get a few more bidders primed? Or did somebody leak that to put pressure on CCP to close a deal?
Of course, in all of this, the big question is about the buyer. Who is going to put out a billion dollars for CCP and its rather slim list of assets?
My money is on China, and specifically Tencent Holdings Limited, the firm that owns Riot Games. They have the money for it and the stomach to buy a game like EVE Online. After all, only League of Legends has a reputation for players worse than EVE Online. Also, Riot has been the destination for a number of former CCP employees, why shouldn’t the company follow them?
I cannot see a US company like EA or Activision-Blizzard having any interest in CCP, if only because of the reputation EVE Online has. Maybe some European company like CodeMasters might have some interest, but I don’t think they have the cash laying about.
It could be some other Chinese company. I could see Perfect World Entertainment showing some interest. But my knowledge of Chinese companies is sparse enough that I cannot come up with another option that clearly has the money and isn’t tied into some other deal that might make the acquisition awkward.
So that is the hot item of the day. Who do you think wants to buy CCP, if anybody?
Others covering this topic (to be updated as posts show up):