Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI - Snapshot Report) and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products have released Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse for Microsoft’s (MSFT - Analyst Report) Xbox 360 and Sony’s (SNE - Snapshot Report) PlayStation 3. The game is priced at $59.99.
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is based on the comic animated series Family Guy. The game includes the characters from the TV series and gamers have the option to play either as the characters of Stewie or Brian to save the city of Quahog from Bertram. The game can be played in co-op multiplayer mode as well as competitive multiplayer mode. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (“ESRB”) has provided an “M” (“Mature”) rating owing to the violence and mature humor in the game.
Going by the popularity of the Family Guy series, the game should have a decent opening. Moreover, the upcoming holiday season should provide the necessary impetus to make the game successful.
Recently, the company had launched its much anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which received tremendous response from Call of Duty fans. We believe that Activision’s recent releases such as 007 Legends, Skylanders Giants, Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013, Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions and Transformers Prime will be incrementally beneficial for the company’s holiday season.
We believe that Activision’s expanding product portfolio will boost top-line growth over the long term. The company’s revival of old franchises is expected to drive customer engagement going forward.
Moreover, Activision’s partnership with Tencent in China to offer Call of Duty online bodes well for the company’s long-term prospects. The company has a strong product pipeline for the upcoming holiday season, which would expectedly drive the top line in the near term.
However, continued softness in the video game industry, limited presence in the mobile gaming segment, higher adoption of free-to-play games and significant competition from Electronic Arts Inc. (EA - Analyst Report) and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) are the major headwinds going forward.
Currently, Activision Blizzard has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating in the short term.