Thursday, September 18, 2008

Random Thoughts From a Random Guy #16: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From That Other Place

I do not work at Wedbush Morgan, but if there is one thing that I have learned it’s that one man’s opinion is usually just as good as the next man’s opinion. So, it turns out that the sexiest partnership since Brangelina is not going to take place after all.

Electronic Arts recently ended negotiations with Take-Two Interactive after considering financial presentations from Take Two’s management. It seems like playing hard to get is always situation specific.

This merger is in part a response to Activison’s merger with Vivendi, which gave them the leadership position in the MMO (massively multiplayer online) market with Vivendi’s flagship franchise World of Warcraft. Due to the financial stability and massive profits that successful MMOs generate, it is a space that everyone seeks to dominate. EA already has MMOs and Spore can easily be turned into an MMO, and if I’m not mistaken creator Will Wright plans to do so.

So, EA will be able to compete on the MMO front. Take-Two does not have any properties in this division, so this merger would not bolster that front. I do agree that Activision will have consistently strong gross profit margins and continue to be the darling of shareholders, but EA acquiring Take-Two would do virtually nothing to change this.

In a way, this is sort of reminds of when I went out with a woman (for legal reasons) I'll call Sonya. She was a great girl, but my friends kept razzing me because according to them, she was a D.U.F.F.

Okay, it wasn’t according to them; her duffness was virtually fact. When she did the standard chase after me routine, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Like every other guy, I don’t chase because I love the chase, I chase because I find the girl absolutely worthy of being chased.

Take-Two is Sonya. They didn’t realize that EA getting them wouldn’t really be a game changer. You can’t show off this acquisition to all your fancy industry friends.

Vivendi on the other hand was more like another woman I'll call Monica. She had the three b’s: beauty, booty and brains. The sense of pride that I got from walking down the street with her was indescribable. This is why when she didn’t return some of my calls and she showed up 20 minutes late for our first date, I just took my game to the next level.

The merger made Activision the talk of the town. Wall Street was pleased and Activision had basically sewn up the only gaping hole in their portfolio. Oh, and boy could she could dance. Did I mention that?

Whenever we went out she did this thing with her hips, and she had this come hither stare. Suffice to say she was worth chasing after. My being with her even helped me gain the admiration of both male and female colleagues. I got invited to places that I’d never be invited to otherwise.

I wonder who (someone I'll call) Tanya was like? She was a cute blond with a wicked sense of humor. We got along great and part of me actually had feelings for her. The thing was that she kept asking me out. I never saw myself as this close-minded jerk, but her asking me out made her a lot less attractive.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a Diane Lane movie, only I was playing the Diane Lane character. I guess Tanya was sort of like Codemasters. Every time their C.E.O. Rod Cousens is within ten feet of a mike, he makes a plea for some company to acquire Codemasters. It’s pathetic.

Like Tanya, Codemasters has a lot going for it. Don’t get me wrong. Codemasters would not boost the portfolios of an EA or Nintendo the way Vivendi boosted Activision’s, just like having Tanya on my arm wasn’t going to land me the same amount of admiration that having Monica on my arm would.

Before you start shaking you’re fists at me, allow me to make myself clear. Women are not companies that can be acquired after a few financial presentations.

I’m just saying that the way companies (especially videogame companies) interact with one another is frighteningly similar to the way men and women interact with one another.

As for Take-Two, they very well may be more determined than ever to be acquired. If you see them, tell them to stay away from that John Mayer guy. It always starts off well, but in the end, your body really isn’t a wonderland.

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