Friday, February 24, 2012

Bye Bye Bjorgolfur?

"No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know, and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that's all. Just... follow the money."

- Deep Throat, All The President's Men

With only a few weeks to go before Fanfest, life is good for the pilots of New Eden.  Crucible was a critical success among players bringing many players back to Eve Online.  How many?  According to the press release announcing CCP's partnership with TianCity on expanding the game in the People's Republic of China, CCP's flagship game is back over 400,000 accounts.  Podcasters and bloggers are pontificating about the upcoming Council of Stellar Management 7 elections.  On Wednesday, CCP announced the name and some details of the summer expansion, Inferno.  At this point, the only cloud on the horizon is the fledgling goblin infestation of the Caldari State. 

So leave it to a member of the Cluster Fuck Coalition, Wilhelm of The Ancient Gaming Noob, to bring financial reality into the picture.  According to a report on Tech Crunch, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson is talking about the possibility of CCP going public.  “We want to be ready for an IPO from a policy standpoint,” Petursson told Tech Crunch. “We’re quite a substantial company, so we’re thinking, ‘Okay, what is the next step?’”

Wilhelm offered some analysis of the floating of the IPO idea.
"The IPO thing is a bit a jolt as well.  Coming from Silicon Valley and having been through the IPO thing a couple of times, you only go public for two reasons.

"You either need a cash infusion to finance an expansion of the company and the new projects that come with it or the founders/investors want to cash out. (Or, in the US, if you have more than 500 stock holders or people are transferring enough of it around that the SEC makes you go public.)

"Now, given that they had to cut back on staff in 2011 and put the World of Darkness MMO on hold, this could be a play to expand operations so that the company can afford to do three things at once.

"Or this could be a large investor who wants to get their money out of the company."
Who is the largest investor in CCPNP Pvt., owned by Iceland's first dollar billionaire Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson.  I've been expecting Björgólfur Thor to unload his position in CCP since the July riots due to the ruinous financial circumstances he finds himself in due to his actions during the Icelandic financial collapse in 2008.  He has fought over the past year to keep from declaring bankruptcy so wanting to disinvest himself from CCP while he can get a fair return on his investment is logical.

Now, I could be wrong and Hilmar is looking to get his dream back on track once DUST 514 is launched.  But as we learned back in the '70s, follow the money.

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