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Activision/Vivendi Merger Looms, Fallout Continues 60

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the and-the-lawyers-get-richer dept.
Ever since the announced merger between Activision and Vivendi Games the community has been all aflutter with speculation and fallout. Here we are, six months later, and the shockwaves continue to resonate throughout the industry as the actual merger looms closer. Gamasutra has an in-depth investigation of what this deal actually means and what some of the details might be.
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Activision/Vivendi Merger Looms, Fallout Continues

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  • by vertinox (846076) on Monday June 09, 2008 @06:31PM (#23716747)
    Well, I'd certainly hope Fallout 3 would continue development seeing neither Activision nor Vivendi have anything to do with that game. ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I was very disappointed that this article had nothing to do with a sequel to Loom, though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Spy der Mann (805235)

        I was very disappointed that this article had nothing to do with a sequel to Loom, though.
        Loom was made by LucasFilm Games, not Activision. Altho a Loom/Fallout merger sounds quite interesting... :)
        • by Eudial (590661)

          I was very disappointed that this article had nothing to do with a sequel to Loom, though.
          Loom was made by LucasFilm Games, not Activision. Altho a Loom/Fallout merger sounds quite interesting... :)
          Unfortunately, it looks like they're gonna build it in shockwave [wikipedia.org] :-(
  • i started online gaming with diablo (brief stint for a month) in 1998, and then at the same year with starcraft, full fledged.

    i witnessed how blizzard, a fantastic gaming company, was totally f@cked up by a shitty merger resulting in despicable shareholder pressure, losing vision and path. oddly, starcraft as a game rather escaped the disaster that has befallen blizzard as a company.

    what happened to wow could be shown as the perfect example on how a trend setting game has been turned into a pitiful ca
    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Monday June 09, 2008 @07:08PM (#23717157)
      I'm curious about how you think they screwed up World of Warcraft. One of the great things about Starcraft was how everyone had played it, no matter whether they were a hardcore gamer or not. The same thing's happened with WoW. They've developed the story fairly well, the mechanics are well balanced and open to being used to tweak your character but without requiring it, and created an experience that's unmatched by anyone in the genre (wow, that last sentence sounds like an ad).

      I just fail to see where they've abandoned their morals and lost vision/path. I'm honestly curious to hear your views on what's happened.
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) *
        He's Emo. Anything that turns a profit is bad, especially if it turns a profit partially because of a merger with a larger company, even where the larger company mostly stays out of the way. You see the same thing with Halo and the Bungie and Microsoft partnership. People think that Bungie lost its way after Halo 1 because of the merger, when it's more appropriate that Microsoft just wanted to secure the stability of a company that had created the flagship program.

        He probably still thinks Ultima Online w
        • "Emo"? I think you meant to say "a Democrat".

      • by unity100 (970058)
        a promising content game been turned into a game in which you are put to toil for 2 months on average on 5% gear progression, each expansion nullifies your hard earned gear and introduces new rep, gear grind, so that you can just keep on paying.

        it is precisely calculated. you cant get 20% advantage, you dont get 1%. the advantage is noticeable during progression, but minimum to the extent that you wont be making good progress lest that you may be able to quit the game, after satisfying achievement lust.
        • by Trahloc (842734)

          ... you cant get 20% advantage, you dont get 1%. the advantage is noticeable during progression, but minimum to the extent that you wont be making good progress lest that you may be able to quit the game, after satisfying achievement lust. it is precisely tailored to be a timesink to make you pay continually. ...

          So to get your point right... an online rpg should have a beginning, a middle, and an end where you can then stop playing and go "I finished WoW!"? I thought the whole point was to play a character while exploring new and interesting stuff with friends, thats what the expansions do. Or are you going to commit suicide once you get your next promotion at work because "I finished Life!"?

          Btw, I stopped playing wow over two years ago because my work schedule shifted out of sync with friends and family so

          • >It's an chat room where you get to kill and blowup
            >stuff, no different than going to the pub.

            Dude, I want to know which pub you frequent...
          • by unity100 (970058)
            you still dont get the point.

            a bar would be a nice place to hang out. but the bar goes out of being a nice place when bartender takes up greed and tries to get the most out of you regardless of what you want to do, forcing you to drink a bottle of whiskey with small tequila glasses and charge you every glass. this is how wow has become.
        • If you have "Keeping-up-with-the-Jones" syndrome then no, you will never be satisfied with WoW because there will ALWAYS be someone with more time to lose on the game than you. The same applied to "skill-based" mmorpgs like UO; the more you practiced and accumulated wealth the more advantaged you became.
           
          Your problem is envy, not mmorpg design.
          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by unity100 (970058)
            your problem is psychological projection. research what that means.

            my issue is not with OTHERS in the game. my issue is with my own progression in the game. regardless of how far ahead or behind you are compared to others, its still a '2 month grind for 3.5% gear progression' game.
        • by Avatar8 (748465)
          I think your numbers are way off. You need to look at it more like a bell curve.

          -5-10% of the players are so casual that they'll never see any "endgame" content.
          -5-10% are so hardcore they reach endgame rather quickly (a few months at most) and see nothing but endgame for achieving full sets of the top gear. (How you're trying to measure 10-25 people getting a drop in an instance is beyond me.)
          -The other 80-90% of us are in the middle. We play how we want, we see what content we want. Hardcore-casual. I

          • by unity100 (970058)
            what you are missing is, the game entirely turned into a gear progression game, majority of the content is reduced to this, and what you get happens to be 5% over 3 months. its like drinking a cup of tea with a dropper. and the sole reason is to satisfy shareholder greed.
            • by Avatar8 (748465)
              I still think you have it backwards. I agree that almost all the systems of progression result in gear improvement, but there are so many methods to achieving gear it's much more like trying to take a sip of tea from a 5 gallon bucket. Quest rewards, faction rewards, instance raiding, crafting and PvP are the main methods. Pick two and you've got several weeks of 25+ hours/week play to reach the highest level.

              Just because a very small percentage of the population thinks there is not enough content because

              • by unity100 (970058)

                I still think you have it backwards. I agree that almost all the systems of progression result in gear improvement, but there are so many methods to achieving gear it's much more like trying to take a sip of tea from a 5 gallon bucket. Quest rewards, faction rewards, instance raiding, crafting and PvP are the main methods. Pick two and you've got several weeks of 25+ hours/week play to reach the highest level.

                methods matter little, when all of the methods are carefully calculated to make you toil around 3 months for 5% progression.

                either time needs to be shorter, or percentage higher. for they have made gear progression the entire centerpoint of the game.

                underbog differs little than blackrock depths. same goes for every other instance in the game. basically they are the same thing, in different combos, in different looks.

      • I think he is referring to the fact that they are really pushing the Arenas as an eSport. While I don't think that anything in WoW should be a eSport, the things that they have done on the PVP side hasn't really affected the casual or PVE Raider that much. Bizzard has pretty much always kept close to the original lore of the the Warcraft universe (except for a couple of major retcons... i.e. the Draenei). Of course, I wish they wouldn't bow to China so much... I really want to play a Pandaren!

        Now, if he was
        • Now, if he was referring to Bard Hero, I for one welcome our new Activision overlords and look forward to thrashing my way through Azeroth with my guitar controller :)
          Guild wars [wikia.com] beat you to it. :)
    • by garylian (870843)
      The only thing Blizzard screwed up with WoW is their pathetic lack of new content.

      In the time that WoW has had 1 major expansion to it, EQ2 has had 4.

      SOE understands that you have to keep the high-end gamer more satisfied with new and challenging content, as well as appeal to the lowest common denominator. It took them a long time to figure out the lower portion of it, but they keep the 20+hr a week gamer more happy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Except the majority of high-end gamers are going, "Oh f---- not another expansion, I don't want to grind anymore..."
      • by AuMatar (183847)
        And the 20+ hr per week gamer is about 2% of their customer base, if that. And those people will stick around almost no matter what. No, what Blizzard needs to do is focus on low end content that everyone will experience, not another high end dungeon that less than 1% of players will ever see.

        In addition- I don't want 4 expansion packs. I don't want to shell out 50 bucks more every few months, on top of a monthly fee. Blizzard has been great about not just adding content, but adding free content. EQ2
      • Yeah, but WoW has had plenty of content added that wasn't released as an expansion. In fact, since the last expansion, they've added three major instances and voice chat. I really don't see expansions as any kind of metric for content. Blizzard doesn't need the 20+ hour a week gamer to be happy. They need all of their customers, gamer or not, to be happy. That's why WoW completely trumps EQ2 in subscription numbers. And when it comes to a games success, nothing really says it better than how many people pa
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by garylian (870843)
          No, the reason WoW trumps EQ2 in subscription numbers is that it came out of the gate with a much better product, and it had a much lower requirement for processor/memory/GPU.

          EQ2 was a mess when it was released, with SOE still sticking to their formula they had in EQ1 of grind, grind, grind, and making things difficult for the sake of difficulty. Stuff like corpse recoveries and having to do time consuming quests just to change your bind point.

          WoW came out with lots of fun right out of the box, and not a l
      • by Avatar8 (748465)
        LACK!?!?!

        The only people I have *ever* heard complain of a lack of content were the few quick consumption, over achieving, detail ignoring, hardcore raiders. Those people that level to 70 in a month, raid all the high end instances for a month and once they have a tier 4/5/6 set, they "done" and complaining about nothing to do. This, by far, is not the majority, or even a significant percentage of WoW players.

        I consider myself part of the middle group, the casual-hardcore. I've played since beta, I curre

        • by garylian (870843)
          Sorry, but I wasn't a power gamer by any stretch of the imagination.

          I duoed the game to lvl 60 with my wife on our mains, with a few trips into instances with guildmates. It took us 9 months to get to 60, and we found we had nothing to do but grind for the futile hopes of completing some armor set, or doing PvP. We don't PvP, and the reason we quit EQ1 was the grind factor. So, lack of new content was very hard to deal with.

          In EQ2, we've played for over 18 months, and still don't have toons at level cap
          • by Avatar8 (748465)
            I don't doubt you, but I simply feel you missed a great deal. I have an image of someone making a long journey to the Grand Canyon, walking to the edge, looking over it for 5 minutes and then leaving saying "Okay, I've seen it."

            When WoW first came out there were 2500 quests per faction. Each faction has three different starting zones and those zones are completely different play up to level 20. From 20 to 60 there are numerous paths to take to see different zones and different quests. When BC came out, th

    • by Usekh (557680)
      Yeah, the biggest MMORPG in history. Man I wish my company could have that kind of disaster :(
      • by unity100 (970058)
        earning big bucks doesnt mean that something is necessarily good. give me enough advertising budget and a mediocre product, give me support of a global big buck corp, and i'll even sell painted turd to billions.
        • by Usekh (557680)
          You know that is a really easy thing to say but just how do you measure if something is good then? positive reviews? amount of people playing? amount of money made? just how much more popular it is than any of it's competitors? In all of those WoW is ahead by a large margin.
        • by brkello (642429)
          You just sound desperate now. WoW is the most polished, most enjoyable to the masses, MMORPG to date. It didn't do it through advertising like you try to imply. They did it because they took the idea and improved upon it. Your complaints in previous posts show that you don't like MMORPGs in general. WoW is arguably the best MMORPG out there and that is why so many people play it. Your bitterness about it is confusing. You don't like MMORPGs, we get it. That doesn't mean Blizzard sold their soul to th
          • by unity100 (970058)
            oh oh yea. im desperate. bitter. lack 'skiLLz' and whatnot.

            you should go back to the pvp forums in your bambino haven and babble there. i have quit that game to get away from the idiot bambino fanboism you are displaying. go worship at the altar of your cash cowing overlords. i bid you a formal farewell.
  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Monday June 09, 2008 @07:26PM (#23717381) Homepage
    In case you were wondering, yes, Blizzard and its assets have pretty much been priced into the stock already. Now that the merger is looking solid and ATVI revised profits upwards a few weeks ago for 07, the stock has gone to $34 after hovering around $27 for a few months.

    A friend close to the two companies says: A stock price of $40 is likely to take some time (18+ months) and would be contingent on the performance of both Activision Blizzard and EA. EA will probably need to slip to the #2 publisher in order for Activision Blizzard to consistently trade over $40.
  • by terrymr (316118) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {rmyrret}> on Monday June 09, 2008 @07:32PM (#23717441)
    Guitar Heroes of Warcraft ?
  • Large publishers seem somewhat obsolete these days. These publishers are hard-wired for physical distribution. They spend probably half the whole budget on marketing.

    With publishers like steam, I'm not quite sure these old school publishers are even necessary.

    A small development house can now sell on steam and provide their own marketing in the form of a website and advertising on web television networks like revision3.

    That way, they can provide most of their budget to the actual game instead of 9 televis

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