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Activision & Blizzard Merge

Video game giants in $18bn merger is a surprising Sunday news blockbuster with word that Activision and Blizzard are merging to form what they call "the world's most profitable games business." Here's what's being announced:

Activision and Blizzard have said they will form "the world's most profitable games business" in a deal worth $18.8bn (9.15bn).

US-based Activision also makes hit console games such as the Tony Hawk series and Guitar Hero.

Nine million people pay a monthly subscription to play World of Warcraft.

Blizzard is the biggest player in online gaming and Warcraft is the global market leader of what are known as massively multi-player online role-playing games, or MMORPGs.

It is currently owned by the French media group Vivendi.

As part of the merger plan, Blizzard will invest $2bn in the new company, while Activision is putting up $1bn.

The merged business will be called Activision Blizzard and its chief executive will be Activision's current CEO Bobby Kotick. Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.

Jean-Bernard Levy, Vivendi chief executive, said: "This alliance is a major strategic step for Vivendi and is another illustration of our drive to extend our presence in the entertainment sector.

"By combining Vivendi's games business with Activision, we are creating a worldwide leader in a high-growth industry."

The two firms are hoping that their different strengths will combine to form a business which is powerful on every gaming platform and in every territory.

Blizzard is strong in Asia, where its Starcraft series has proved hugely popular.

Starcraft, a strategy game first released in 1998, is played by millions of South Koreans in gaming cyber-cafes, and by professional gamers on television.

Activision has developed a presence on all three new generation game consoles - Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii - with franchises such as Spider-Man and X-Men.

The games software industry has been through turbulent years, with companies changing ownership and going in and out of business in rapid succession.

Activision was formed in 1979 and went through bankruptcy and a series of alliances and mergers before becoming successful.

Blizzard had been through a number of owners before ending up in the hands of Vivendi in 1998.

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79 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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79. BEST &#304;NST&#304;NCCTS Jun 3, 2008, 10:23 kardelen133
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Jun 3, 20:45.
 
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78. Re: WoW Dec 9, 2007, 09:01 Beaner
 
When was the last time you played a game made by a guy in a garage?

This is what makes me laugh about hardcore gamers, a few years ago they bitched and moaned about how games didn't have mainstream respect as a viable business, and now that that's happened, they bitch and moan about how game designers have "sold out".

You can't have it both ways: you can't have a modern AAA title produced without a shitload of money behind it, which means that you need corporate backing. And of course corporations want safe bets, particularly when it comes to putting up large amounts of cash. So either you have very well polished AAA titles which are lacking somewhat in innovation, or you have graphically sub-par and/or short games which are more creative and/or innovative (but of course get completely panned by critics).

There are your Paramounts and Universals that spew out mostly the same junk, and then you have those innovators that jump out like Lucas films in the day or Pixar. Hard Core Gamers are just waiting for the Lucas Arts and Pixars of the gaming world to emerge thats all. Great Independent studios that arent under creative control by the likes of EA, Vivendi and now Activision. You see far too many game franchises thats start of great, then get swallowed by big publishers and fall apart.

And who cares about Blizzard anymore. All the best are with Red 5 now and they will be one of those Lucas Studios of gaming we've been waiting for.
This comment was edited on Dec 9, 09:05.
 
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77. Re: WoW Dec 6, 2007, 08:21 Fibrocyte
 
Not sure if this is a good time to bring it up, but would it help that joke if I added at the end that the whole time I had a raved gopher chewing on my groin?

By making such a statement, you will get Assley Putz in an uproar about that fact that gophers have no scientifically proven affinity to the human groin and so what you suggest cannot possibly be true.

 
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76. Re: WoW Dec 6, 2007, 02:54 Kosumo
 
I just want to ask, that name, Activision Blizzard ,could they not have just gone for Actilizzard or Blizivision? Are those names already in use?

Not sure if this is a good time to bring it up, but would it help that joke if I added at the end that the whole time I had a raved gopher chewing on my groin?



 
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75. Re: Well Dec 5, 2007, 12:00 Fibrocyte
 
or do I have to draw you a diagram too?

Diagram, please.

 
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74. Re: Well Dec 5, 2007, 10:02 >U
 
I was responding to an insecure child who wanted to bash the person who told the joke for no reason. One warrants ignoring, the other does not.
Wow, you have surpassed your previous stupidity with this new gem. Look, fool, you told Kosumo not to reply to my critical posts when you wrote, "Ignore him, Kosumo," and yet you, yourself, did reply to them. That makes you a hypocrite and a fool for not taking your own advice and ignoring me. Got it now, genius, or do I have to draw you a diagram too?

you need to think a little more before posting.
Yes, I need to take into account just how incredibly stupid you are before I respond to you in the future because my replies obviously go right over your head.

This comment was edited on Dec 5, 10:12.
 
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73. Re: Well Dec 5, 2007, 09:31 nin
 

His name is Assley Putz.

------------------------------------------------
http://niggytardust.com/saulwilliams/menu
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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72. Re: Well Dec 5, 2007, 08:18 Fibrocyte
 
Speaking of the obvious, it's obvious you aren't even smart enough to take your own advice.

There's no connection between my response and yours. You were negatively responding to a random joke which in no way could have offended you or anyone else on these boards. I was responding to an insecure child who wanted to bash the person who told the joke for no reason. One warrants ignoring, the other does not.

Really - to carry a name as cocky & arrogant as ">U", you need to think a little more before posting.

This comment was edited on Dec 5, 08:23.
 
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71. Re: Well Dec 4, 2007, 21:42 >U
 
Ignore him, Kosumo.
Speaking of the obvious, it's obvious you aren't even smart enough to take your own advice.

I'm glad I inspired you to look up a new word.
You should have looked it up before you foolishly chose it.

This comment was edited on Dec 4, 21:46.
 
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70. Re: My prediction Dec 4, 2007, 18:38 Kash
 
On a serious note, how is Blizz not getting the shaft in this deal? Firstly, they don't need Activision. Secondly, they're investing twice as much into the merger, yet Activision's CEO will be the CEO for the merged company.

Well, Blizzard isn't making the deal. The company that owns Blizzard, Vivendi Universal, is spinning off its game holdings (including Blizzard) and giving them to a new company called "Activision Blizzard". Activision is doing the same thing with its game holdings, though it is simpler for them since they were completely games to start with. The new company will be slightly over half owned by Vivendi Universal. It's less about Blizzard needing Activision and more about VU trying to find something to do with all that WoW cash.

 
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69. New Name Dec 4, 2007, 18:35 Myrmidon
 
I can't figure out why they're keeping both names after the merger. It isn't like they're suddenly going to lose name brand recognition or something.

They really should shorten it to something catchy like...

BlActivision

Sure, maybe it's politically incorrect, but it's catchy.

 
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68. Re: WoW Dec 4, 2007, 17:48 Fibrocyte
 
Speaking of stupid nicknames, I can see why you chose yours since you need as many of your namesakes as you can get to deal with your obviously massive head trauma.

I'm glad I inspired you to look up a new word.

 
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67. Re: Well Dec 4, 2007, 17:47 Fibrocyte
 
Ignore him, Kosumo. He's just a complete prick who attacked you for no reason.

 
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66. Well Dec 3, 2007, 17:54 Kosumo
 
For those who found my attemped at a joke funny, thanks to >U, I'm sorry but thats the best I could do without ending the writers strike.

Maybe I should just bitch and rant, I heard that Bluesnews needs more of that.

 
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65. No subject Dec 3, 2007, 15:41 KezClone
 
Alright, who said his name 3 times?  
Avatar 10323
 
_______________
tapes 'n' tapes
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64. Industry Consolidation Continues.... Dec 3, 2007, 09:59  dsmart 
 
Its just the industry consolidation plowing forward as predicted awhile back.

The end result is that we're going to keep getting more of the same games (with once in a while [pure] rubbish like Kane & Lynch, Blacksite 51 etc) every quarter.

The gaming industry has evolved (morphed?) into the typical Hollywood model whereby you have the heavy weights and then the independents. Getting an independent movie into theatres is a lesson in futitily which then translates into lower sales (regardless of how good the movie is) even if they do make it into more than a few hundred screens. Most of the derivative income comes from DVD editions; including straight-to-DVD movies which in our case would be straight-to-DigitalDistribution games.

With EA, Activision Blizzard and a hand full of others (e.g. Take Two, Sony, Microsoft) rounding out the top [PC & console) echelon, more of the smaller publishers are going to either go out of business or get absorbed by others (who are only interested in specific IP).

What does this all mean to [in-house] game devs? Nothing much, unless you're not a valued resource, in which case you're going to be out of a job at some point in the [very] near future.

What does this all mean to indie game devs? Unless you have a really good [new or pre-existing] IP and good track record the chances of signing a deal with any of the top tier publishers/distributors is next to zero. Which means that you have to sign with second, third or even bottom feeders in order to get your game published in the main stream. That in itself means that you're more likely to not make any money on your game since those guys are less likely to pay their bills on time, if at all. Assuming that you actually get paid of course.

So, as per the Hollywood trait, with digital distribution plowing ahead with the likes of Direct2Drive and Digital River portals leading the way, those indie games are going to found online rather than in stores. In fact, as I predicted several years back, in a year or so, digital distribution was going to be the only outlet for indie games which have the occasional gem now and again.

What does it all mean to gamers? Hell if I know; but if future years are anything like this Q4/07, its all good. But please, don't let it stop you ladies from bitching and moaning about stuff that you (a) know nothing about (b) have no power to change.

With the billions made this year alone in gaming, I can't think of one single innovative game. Can you?

Which comes right back to that whole business about everyone playing it safe and sticking with what makes money: those tired old re-treads of the same theme.

Think about this. What makes Crisis a far - far - better game than the likes of Blacksite Area 51? It is certainly not the rehashed run and gun gameplay. Didn't you play ET:QW back when it was called Battlefield? What about the upcoming Frontlines?

Even the much praised Bioshock is a new take on a tired - and trampled on - fps gaming.

And all those RTS games? e.g. World In Conflict, C&C, SupCmdr et al?

Seriusly, when you play [the excellent] CoD 4, which you actually played back in CoD 2 and 3, can you blame them?

The whole gaming industry is simply re-cycling what works. Kinda like Hollywood. e.g. Saw, a low budget horror flick makes buckets of cash; and the next thing you know, there is literally a flood of rubbish in the cineplex. We're at what? Saw IV now?

As long as the re-cycling of genres means new technologies (who isn't bitching and moaning at Crisis right about now for bringing their $4K+ rig to its knees?) and some sort of innovation (see Bioshock), I'm not complaining.

Those people clamouring for innovation or who say merging stiffles innovation, just don't get it. You don't innovate with a half-empty bank account or beaten-to-the-ground IP. Those with the filled bank a/c, can't be arsed to even bother. Who can blame them? IMO, LotR Online is a better game than WoW. However, 9m+ gamers don't seem to think so. Who can blame them? Its all about execution, marketing and brand name recognition.

 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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63. Re: WoW Dec 3, 2007, 09:49 >U
 
was that a joke too?
only on the idiot, Fibrocyte, who wrote it

This comment was edited on Dec 3, 09:51.
 
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62. Re: WoW Dec 3, 2007, 09:43 zirik
 
Time to change your name to "<SMART"?

was that a joke too?

 
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61. Re: WoW Dec 3, 2007, 09:30 >U
 
It was an obvious joke that you took seriously.
No, it was a stupid joke regardless of whether it was obvious or not because the premise was ludicrous. It didn't work as a joke especially given how poorly it was written.

Whether it was funny or not is hardly the point.
No, that was exactly the point. It was stupid as both a joke and a serious comment, and I rightfully lambasted him for it.

you didn't realize it was a joke
You didn't realize that I knew he could have been joking, but it didn't matter in relation to my comments. His post is stupid either way.

Time to change your name to "<SMART"?
No, I am still >U.

Speaking of stupid nicknames, I can see why you chose yours since you need as many of your namesakes as you can get to deal with your obviously massive head trauma.

This comment was edited on Dec 3, 09:52.
 
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60. Re: WoW Dec 3, 2007, 08:51 Fibrocyte
 
YOU are the real joke if you thought that was funny.

Mmmm... It was an obvious joke that you took seriously. Whether it was funny or not is hardly the point. The point is you didn't realize it was a joke and you're here calling people stupid.

Time to change your name to "<SMART"?

 
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79 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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