game studio in lull of uncertainty
is a Seattle Times article (thanks HomeLAN
) on the uncertain future faced by Blizzard in light of efforts by Vivendi
Universal to sell the games unit of which it is a part. They describe the recent
departure of some of the company's mainstays, quote Blizzard's president Mike
Morhaime as saying "we don't even know if we're part of the assets being
sold," and offer the following perspective on Blizzard's place in VUGames'
scheme of things:
Blizzard is a key piece of Vivendi's video and computer
games business, which had sales last year of $750 million, about 11 percent of
Vivendi's 2002 revenue. Although Blizzard has released just one new title this
year — an expansion to "Warcraft III" — it accounts for 25 percent
of Vivendi Universal Games' worldwide revenue.
Vivendi Universal Games also includes Universal Interactive, Fox Interactive,
Sierra Entertainment and Knowledge Adventure.
Early on, Vivendi hoped to sell the entire games unit for $2 billion, but
analysts said the price has fallen to about $800 million. Even so, there haven't
been any offers, despite flirtations with game publisher Electronic Arts and