An unusual development recently cropped up as the NASDAQ did its annual reshuffling of the deck, removing several names to bring in several other new names to its NASDAQ 100
listing. One major name was tossed out of the deck, and so, only one game company stands in the NASDAQ 100. But what does that mean for gaming as a whole?
The company tossed out of the NASDAQ 100 was none other than Electronic Arts, and to answer the question posed in the headline, the last game company standing in the NASDAQ 100 is none other than Activision Blizzard. To be fair, of course, there are other companies in the NASDAQ 100 that have at least something to do with games; Microsoft
, Apple, Google and Nvidia are all in play in the listings and, to one degree or another, all are at least game companies in passing. Microsoft runs one of the biggest console systems on the market, for crying out loud. But there's just one pure gaming company left, and that's the hometown of big names like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops
Of course, it's easy to wonder what the overall effects of this will be. For instance, on today's trading, Electronic Arts lost .51, or about three percent of its overall value by the end of the trading day. However, it's worth noting also that that loss was actually a bounce back off the lows of the day, and in fact, the stock is on a bit of an uptick since November, so it's a safe bet that the removal from the NASDAQ 100 isn't going to hit the share price too hard. EA has been something of a down slope anyway despite some heavy hitters like the Crysis, Need For Speed and Battlefield series.
Of course, leaving Activision Blizzard in place, with a wide variety of big-name franchises in its arsenal, makes some sense, but if they're really the last of the big list software makers, this may pose further trouble for the triple-A gaming industry as a whole. If stock prices drop, companies will have to find better sources of ready cash as investors will be less inclined to stake the gaming companies.
We talked about monetization in gaming not too long ago, and the results we got out of there were important. There are other ways to make money in gaming, of course, than just selling games and selling stock. We're not going to go down that trail again, but suffice it to say that there are ways and means to get the game companies that all too necessary cash they need to keep going and keep making the next big title as well as the next big title's downloadable content that keeps it fresh and new well after it was purchased.
The critical point here is that, with only one primarily game-focused company in the NASDAQ 100, it may prove difficult for gaming companies--even EA--to draw investors. This in turn means they'll have to get more creative in finding sources of revenue, and this may not, as a whole, bode well for the triple-A gaming market.
Only time will tell just how it all comes out, of course, but the loss of EA from the NASDAQ 100 is likely to prove an ill wind for gaming as a whole.