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Fallout From the Activision and Vivendi Merger 51

SlappingOysters writes "Despite being announced last year, the merger of Activision and Vivendi into the company Activision-Blizzard only became official recently. Gameplayer investigates how the merger has affected upcoming games and development studios between the companies. As part of that investigation, they received official word that only three Vivendi games made the cut, and in this article they detail which titles have been dropped, which studios have been dropped, and who is likely to snap them up and add them to their portfolio. A lot of big names have been affected."
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Fallout From the Activision and Vivendi Merger

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  • Re:Sierra (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @03:36PM (#25186451)

    As someone who basically grew up on Sierra adventure games

    As did I - Sierra games were among my first PC gaming experiences.

    I have to wonder what in the world their problem is.

    Well, from someone in the gaming industry, I can tell you what happened from my perspective. It's the same reason many companies go to hell - horrible management. For the past decade or so (a few years after Sierra was sold to CUC International), it's been pretty well known in the industry to stay far, far away from Sierra. I had heard many stories from a fellow programmer who had escaped - he had worked there for a number of years before being let go in one of their many "reorganizations".

    Essentially, they were borderline abusive to their employees... long hours, low pay, little respect, and constant lies. People were developing chronic health problems from the stress, etc... If anyone complained too much, they were simply replaced by new developers fresh out of college - who would tend to put up with much worse than seasoned developers. Basically, it epitomized the worst of the game development industry from a few years ago (it's not like that so much anymore).

    The result was obvious and predictable. Sierra's ability to create and release a decent product dwindled along with it's company morale, and the best and brightest employees were slowly bled off. Eventually, internal product development was canceled, and they became a publisher only. However, bad management screws up all things over time, and this was no exception. Sierra eventually reorganized pretty much out of existence, and the doors of their Bellevue, Washington offices closed in 2004. At this point, they're essentially just a division in name only of whoever owns them.

    I really hope these games don't get buried under legal BS as so many important titles have in the past. There's a lot of marketing potential there, and if it's done the right way it could make whoever has the rights a nice little pile of cash, and maybe a new following.

    I'd love to see this happen. My bet is that Activision will be too greedy to sell the rights at a price anyone could afford, but too indecisive to make any use of them, and they'll lie unused in perpetuity. It's what happens with a lot of great properties.

    I suppose I could be wrong, but I'm really not holding my breath.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers