Activision: Social game company (Zynga) valuations 'out of whack'

Eric Hirshberg
Eric Hirshberg

Somebody's been hanging out with Nintendo, eh? Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg (pictured) is on a roll lately, now having said, "Valuations of some of the companies in that space are out of whack, so that's an issue when it comes to acquisitions," Bloomberg reports. Hirshberg said these seemingly defensive words at this year's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany when asked whether his company will make purchases to get into social gaming.

Bloomberg reports that Zynga is worth $13.5 billion, citing SharesPost, Inc., which is already way more than we last heard from its revised SEC filing. All the while, Angry Birds creator Rovio is looking at a $1.2 billion valuation if some mysterious funding comes through. Not to mention EA is making major strides to compete in social games, having just bought PopCap for a whopping potential $1.3 billion. (Keep in mind that valuation is nothing more than a collective opinion on how much a company is worth based on several market factors and outside analysis.)

What's even more amusing is reading what he said next, considering the harsh words he had recently for Facebook gaming: "We haven't made any formal announcements," Hirschberg said, referring to Facebook games. "But don't mistake careful, methodical planning for inaction. Any new place where people are playing games, at scale, is something that we're interested in."

So, Activision poo-poos on Facebook games, but turns around and admits in so many words that it's preparing to enter the space? Twice? Considering Activision is working on a social network of sorts for its future Call of Duty games, this might not be the ideal way to instill consumer confidence in its efforts.

Do you think Activision is right in saying that social game company valuations are 'out of whack?' How well do you predict Activision will do in Facebook games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.