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Blizzard-Activision Merger Official 200

The Washington Post's Mike Musgrove is reporting that the Blizzard-Activision merger is official as of yesterday afternoon. "One analyst has predicted that the merged company would make $1.38 billion in profits during its first financial year, enough to make Activision Blizzard the world's largest game publisher. [...] But this merger should give the newly-formed company enough heft to compete with EA for such blockbuster projects, said Pachter. 'It's good to have a duopoly instead of a monopoly,' he said. 'This just makes the industry that much more interesting.'"
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Blizzard-Activision Merger Official

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  • by MiceHead ( 723398 ) * on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:47AM (#24118691) Homepage
    Activision has snagged, founded, or otherwise invested in a number of companies:

    1997 - Raven Software
    1998 - Pandemic Studios
    1999 - Neversoft Entertainment
    2000 - Gray Matter Interactive
    2001 - Treyarch Invention LLC
    2002 - Z-Axis Ltd, Luxoflux Corporation
    2003 - Infinity Ward, Shaba Games LLC
    2004 - Activision's 25th birthday- take one free acquisition. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
    2005 - Vicarious Visions, Toys for Bob, Beenox, Inc.
    2006 - RedOctane, Inc.
    2007 - Bizarre Creations

    It's odd to me how studios gain/lose/change their identities through acquisitions. Toys for Bob was responsible for Star Control II, which remains one of my favorites to this day. More recently, they did a PS2 movie tie-in for Madagascar. I'm guessing that that game was solid, but not the tour de force that was SC2. On the other hand, Maxis is now "just" one of EA's brands, and they've always done stuff that interested me. Perhaps companies just need well-placed pied pipers (Wright; Jobs; Carmack) to retain their identities?
  • Re:Holy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:56AM (#24118817)
    they have had adverts in the lobby portion of for something like 8 years... I don't see why they would stop that program.
  • Some confusion (Score:5, Informative)

    by Compenguin ( 175952 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @12:07PM (#24118975)

    Since there appear to be a lot of misinformed people in this thread, this actually a merger of Vivendi Games and Activision. Blizzard has been a subsidiary of Vivendi Games (and it's predecessors) for a long time. The merges company is taking the name Activision Blizard instead of Activision Vivendi because Blizzard is a much for famous brand name and the Vivendi brand has been tarnished since the Vivendi Universal implosion while the Blizzard brand is known for quality. Blizzard has been known for it's ability to convince its owners that its formula works and it should be left alone for a long time now. âoeMike [Morhaime] has to train his new boss every time he gets a new boss.â

    Blizzard was founded in 1991. It acquired by Davidson and Associates in 1994. Davidson was acquired by a a mail-order/conglomerate company CUC International in 1996 along with Sierra On-Line and Berkley Systems. Then in 1997 CUC merged with a hotel company HFS to form Cendant. After an accounting scandal in 1997 Cendant sold it's software arm to French publisher Havas. In 1999 French water conglomerate Vivendi acquired Havas and while working to acquire Universal (which it did in 2000) becoming Vivendi Universal. In 2002 Vevendi Universal began to enter financial trouble and began divesting many of it's properties. In 2004 it sold 80% of Vivendi Universal Entertainment to NBC keeping it's software properties. In 2006 it dropped Universal from it's name completely once again becoming Vivendi (with Vivendi Universal Games becoming Vivendi Games). In 2007 announced a merger of Vivendi Games with Activision which just became official, resulting in Vivendi owning a huge portion of Activision (now Activision Blizzard) stock (54% of shares outstanding).

  • Re:Don't Understand (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bobfrankly1 ( 1043848 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @12:57PM (#24119839)
    You are missing something. The comment above mentions that Blizzard was already part of Vivendi. Blizzard already merged. Now they're merging again.
  • Re:Oh boy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Blahgerton ( 1083623 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @01:16PM (#24120125)
    I believe that when Disney bought Pixar, Mr Jobs became a very prominent shareholder in Disney. He didn't usurp the board, he became a member. I doubt the merger would have been agreed upon without this sort of stipulation, in either case.
  • Re:Holy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @01:44PM (#24120519) Journal

    Isn't that how Diablo I and II ended?

  • by NaleagDeco ( 972071 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @02:38PM (#24121515) Homepage
    Except that Activision lost the Mechwarrior license ... I believe Microsoft owns it now, which is why they put out MW3, 4 and Mech Commander.
  • Re:Holy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:13PM (#24122199) Homepage

    My bigger fear is blizzard adopting a stance of no in house mac ports (their mac support has always been so top notch) or even worse, using cider to port their games to mac.

  • The other way. (Score:2, Informative)

    by u8i9o0 ( 1057154 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:43PM (#24122763)

    I sure hope Activision isn't stupid enough to mess around with the way Blizzard does things.

    If anything, Vivendi (Blizzard's owner) might mess around with Activision.
    From a different article []:

    After the deal closes, Vivendi will then have a 52 percent stake in the new Activision Blizzard.

    But that's all a minor point since, as a consumer of both brands, the same concern applies whichever side has ownership.

  • Re:Profits (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZTiger ( 682967 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:44PM (#24122767)
    hmm Activision: Call of Duty, Doom 3, Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, to name a few. I wouldn't mind Blizzard and Vivindi's games to be come available on the Steam network like some of Activision's are but they may try to do their own instead.
  • Re:Profits (Score:3, Informative)

    by u8i9o0 ( 1057154 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:00PM (#24123101)

    Doesn't Blizzard bring in more than a billion in profits a year, by itself? What's Activision bringing to the table?

    How about more than a billion in profits a year []. :)

  • Re:The Reason Why (Score:2, Informative)

    by Cabriel ( 803429 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @05:47PM (#24125401)

    The Starcraft FPS was Starcraft: Ghost which got dumped and rebuilt three times. Now, it's on indefinite hiatus. And I cry myself to sleep at night knowing this unfortunate truth. ;_;

  • Re:Mac games (Score:3, Informative)

    by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @10:17PM (#24128473) Homepage Journal

    If it was so insignificant then Blizzard would have stopped doing Mac versions a decade ago. Also, Mac users are more likely to buy games than to pirate them.

    And last, the Mac OS X marketshare is growing, and so is the Linux one.

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