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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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  • Holy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by techpawn ( 969834 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:10AM (#24118041) Journal
    What does this do to Diablo III? I hope they don't over commercialize their better blizzard offerings with in-game ads.
  • Aww, Fuck.

    There wasn't a monopoly. They came up with that line to try to appease the cynical young crowd.
    I could only by games from EA? EA was somehow not allowing me to easily buy other games? EA is the only multi-billion dollar game company?

    They only monopoly they ahve is on trademarked sport series.
    NFL, NBA, etc. . .
    And this merger will do nothing to stop that.
    In 5-8 year BLizzard will lose there rep of releasing fnished high quality games. You'll see.

  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AkaKaryuu ( 1062882 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:20AM (#24118243)
    Just look at all the improvements Activision made to the Guitar Hero series after acquiring R.O. Ads... poor note charts... incredibly gimmicky additions to gameplay. I am very disapointed to hear of this merger.
  • Re:Holy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dintech ( 998802 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:21AM (#24118247)
    I'm not sure about Diablo III but I think at this point, in-game ads are an inevitability from all of the major publishers and distributers. Think about what ads in web-search did for Google. I'm sure Sony, EA, Activision and even Blizzard would love a piece of a rather similar looking pie.

    It's not a question of if. It's when and how much.
  • Re:Oh boy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hsensei ( 1055922 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:29AM (#24118369) Homepage
    From what I understand when Disney aquired Pixar, Mr. Jobs pulled the same thing he did when Apple aquired NeXT. That being the smaller companys Board of Directors usurped the larger company to take a more controling intrest.
  • by falcon9x ( 618587 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @11:41AM (#24118577) Homepage

    Where are the games of yore?
    That captured you in an experience like never before,
    and when completed, left you wanting for more?

    Used to be that in box was a map made of cloth.
    Nowadays when opened, out of the box comes a moth.

    In a game like Command & Conquer, even the installation was a treat.
    But now its all boring wizards. I guess the programmers just aren't that 1337.

    Where are the games that are deep, like Zork and Chrono Trigger?
    Now they all seem to be shallow and simple, but they are a lot bigger.

    I loved playing with friends, in games like System Shock 2 (with patch)
    But now its all against friends, seems like there's only deathmatch.

    These games of old came with books that were a joy to read.
    Now they won't even print it, they just put it on the CD.

    The graphics weren't great, but they had a great story and they were immersive.
    Nowadays you have to do it yourself for games that have multiplayer that's massive.

    I want to go back to Monkey Island or command X-COM to save us from alien attacks.
    And I'd like to thank Telltale Games for the fun revival of Sam and Max.

    Oh how I yearn for the games of yore
    That captured you in an experience like never before,
    and when completed, left you wanting for more?

    http://9xrnet.com/blog_gaming/where_are_the_games_of_yore [9xrnet.com]

  • Re:Holy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by techsoldaten ( 309296 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @12:13PM (#24119071) Journal

    I am very interested in seeing how actual game genre affects the placement of ads in games.

    Diablo III is an excellent place to start this discussion because it is set in a time and place where modern advertising does not exist.

    People would have to be very clever to put ads in this place without detracting from the game experience. Online marketers, being distinct from people, are not known for being very clever (think popunders, interstials, spywear, and Bonzai Buddy). Something tells me we are not going to be seeing labels on barrels subtly placed in clever spots throughout the game, we are going to see full screen takeovers telling you game will start after a word from our sponsors.

    Starcraft III, on the other hand, could include hyperadvertising throughout the game. Ad boards appearing on the surface of the game world. Vehicles produced by specific real world manufacturers. Humans trapped in Zerg cocoons emerging to state their devotion to their favorite fast food restaurants.

    There are a lot of options here...


  • Re:They want money. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShibaInu ( 694434 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @12:44PM (#24119609)

    While you may or may not like WOW, I feel pretty certain that Blizzard has generally put out pretty good games, in terms of both quality of the game itself and the stability. I recently popped Diablo II back into my machine and noticed that it had recently been patched.

    And, if there is one thing that both game and movie companies know it is that nothing sells like a sequel. Take a hit game or movie and make a new one based off of the old one and you are pretty much going to make MORE. So don't blame for profit companies for doing this - blame the folks who buy the various part II's and III's. I'll admit I am looking forward to Diablo III...

  • Re:Holy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @01:07PM (#24120005)
    The only way I would not really care about it is if it was a small, relevant advertisement during the slash/launcher.

    Something like "Alienware" or "Sapphire Graphics" for about 1 second before I hit "Launch."

  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @01:34PM (#24120383) Journal
    I'm looking forward to the Mechwarrior action MMOG
  • Mac games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StonedRat ( 837378 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @01:50PM (#24120621) Homepage Journal

    Blizzard have always been good at supporting the Mac natively (Unlike EA). Activision have been quite the opposite.

    Does this mean we can expect more or less Mac titles?

  • Re:Holy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dintech ( 998802 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @02:03PM (#24120819)
    Intereting point but advertisment isn't just about click-throughs, it's mostly about brand-awareness leading to sales at a later point.

    When you listen to the radio, read a newspaper or magazine, look at a billboard or watch TV is it possible for you to immediately click-through onto the advertisers website? Usually no. But for some reason advertising is still big business. Let me give you a example.

    The break during super-bowl - it costs $2.6 million for a 30 second ad that is viewed by 97.5 million people. That's just over 2.5 cents per person for a one-time hit. I'm sure no-one was running off to their desk to do a bit of web-browsing right after it either.

    GTA San Adreas sold 8.6 million copies and if you use the metric of 2.5 cents per you could charge say $250,000 for a shorter 5 second slot on the loading screen. That would be viewed over and over on multiple occasions.

    I bet however that certain entites would pay much more that quarter of a million for this priveledge too. We live in a world where Microsoft pays $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. Just so that they can get ads in front of people.
  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:11PM (#24122169)

    The other day I was watching American TV and a not-very-little video screen popped up in the lower right corner (more like quadrant) advertising some other program, totally obscuring Darth Vader trying to find Luke.

    Brawndo, here we come!

  • Re:Oh boy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by duckInferno ( 1275100 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @05:40PM (#24125259) Journal

    What are you talking about? This is great. In fact, I'm downloading a demo of Blactivision's newest title, Tony Hawk's Streets of Warcraft, right now.

    I'd buy that game.

  • Re:Holy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bit01 ( 644603 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @06:58PM (#24126599)

    Interesting point but advertisement isn't just about click-throughs, it's mostly about brand-awareness leading to sales at a later point.

    Your numbers are nonsense. Advertising is not free of cost despite what marketing parasites would have you believe. Every single ad reduces the value of the game to the consumer. Meaning the vendor has to charge less for it. Not to mention accepting a hit on their own "brand". Where was that so-called "value" you were talking about?

    Marketers love to fraudulently claim or imply that advertising generates value out of thin air. The reality is that the majority of modern mass market advertising is just a way for the marketing "industry" to parasitise the the rest of society. Consumers are saturated with advertising and by definition that means that when one ad "wins" then another must "lose". Adding more advertising to the mix doesn't change that equation, it just means the whole of society pays more in time, attention and money for nothing in return. i.e. we lose.


    Free speech is compromised by too much noise as well as too little message. Most advertising is content free noise.

  • Re:Holy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @09:41PM (#24128229)

    The only way I would not really care about it is if it was a small, relevant advertisement during the slash/launcher.
    Something like "Alienware" or "Sapphire Graphics" for about 1 second before I hit "Launch."

    You mean like the three or four, 3 second un-skipable ad's for Intel, Nvidia/ATI and games publishers displayed when loading most games released in the last 3 years?.

    Nothing pisses me off more than waiting 10 seconds to veiw ad's in a product I paid A$90 for already (EA, I'm looking at you).

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.