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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.

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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    Date Subject Author
  1. Dec 2, 16:03 WoW MMORPGHoD
  2. Dec 2, 16:07  Re: WoW heroin
  3. Dec 2, 16:13  Re: WoW Woody
  18. Dec 2, 17:54   Re: WoW Pedle Zelnip
  19. Dec 2, 18:00    Re: WoW Kosumo
  23. Dec 2, 18:05     Re: WoW sc4r4b
  25. Dec 2, 18:11     Re: WoW >U
  26. Dec 2, 18:26      Re: WoW SirKnight
  46. Dec 2, 21:32       Re: WoW >U
  60. Dec 3, 08:51        Re: WoW Fibrocyte
  61. Dec 3, 09:30         Re: WoW >U
  68. Dec 4, 17:48          Re: WoW Fibrocyte
  62. Dec 3, 09:43         Re: WoW zirik
  63. Dec 3, 09:49          Re: WoW >U
  28. Dec 2, 18:37     Re: WoW  famished 
  76. Dec 6, 02:54     Re: WoW Kosumo
  77. Dec 6, 08:21      Re: WoW Fibrocyte
  27. Dec 2, 18:31    Re: WoW Donkey_Punch
  29. Dec 2, 18:46     Re: WoW Sixis
  78. Dec 9, 09:01    Re: WoW Beaner
  5. Dec 2, 16:16  Re: WoW Talisorn
  9. Dec 2, 16:28   Re: WoW ledhead1969
  10. Dec 2, 16:32    Re: WoW PHJF
  11. Dec 2, 16:51     Re: WoW Slink
  12. Dec 2, 16:51     Re: WoW DigitalBiscuit
  14. Dec 2, 17:00      Re: WoW Kosumo
  31. Dec 2, 19:18     Re: WoW zirik
  16. Dec 2, 17:22  Re: WoW Krovven
  17. Dec 2, 17:42   Re: WoW Pedle Zelnip
  21. Dec 2, 18:01    Re: WoW dubfanatic
  24. Dec 2, 18:08   Re: WoW >U
  4. Dec 2, 16:16 Was a matter of time Bet
  48. Dec 2, 22:34  Re: Was a matter of time kookaveetsa
  6. Dec 2, 16:23 Could be worse... necrosis
  22. Dec 2, 18:04  Re: Could be worse... >U
  45. Dec 2, 21:24   Re: Could be worse... rkone
  7. Dec 2, 16:25 No subject Wolfox
  8. Dec 2, 16:28 No subject Pluvious
  13. Dec 2, 16:58 No subject Bone43
  15. Dec 2, 17:01 No subject loomy
  20. Dec 2, 18:00 Wow, it is over! The end is near!:) HellSlayer
  30. Dec 2, 19:09 No subject eunichron
  32. Dec 2, 19:21 No subject zirik
  35. Dec 2, 19:33  Re: No subject Widget
  36. Dec 2, 19:41   Re: No subject PHJF
  40. Dec 2, 20:34    Re: No subject Donkey_Punch
  43. Dec 2, 21:19     Re: No subject LittleMe
  44. Dec 2, 21:23      Re: No subject Kxmode
  57. Dec 3, 04:33     Re: No subject Jerykk
  59. Dec 3, 08:21      Re: No subject Brainp0wa
>> 64. Dec 3, 09:59     Industry Consolidation Continues....  dsmart 
  37. Dec 2, 19:42   Re: No subject Jonny5
  33. Dec 2, 19:28 And I'll form the head! Brian
  34. Dec 2, 19:32 No subject Eldaron Imotholin
  38. Dec 2, 20:11 No subject Talisorn
  56. Dec 3, 02:49  Re: No subject Cutter
  39. Dec 2, 20:32 Press Release Krovven
  42. Dec 2, 21:17  Re: Press Release Kxmode
  41. Dec 2, 21:17 Bring on Blactivision! KezClone
  47. Dec 2, 22:25  Re: Bring on Blactivision! Kosumo
  49. Dec 2, 22:36  Re: Bring on Blactivision! zirik
  50. Dec 2, 23:12 My prediction Smoove
  70. Dec 4, 18:38  Re: My prediction Kash
  51. Dec 2, 23:17 Wow, it is over! The end is near!:) HellSlayer
  52. Dec 3, 00:23  Re: Wow, it is over! The end is near!:) Warskull
  54. Dec 3, 00:34   Re: Wow, it is over! The end is near!:) Reactor
  53. Dec 3, 00:32 No subject manic half
  55. Dec 3, 02:26 Blizzard's President Speaks Krovven
  58. Dec 3, 07:57 No subject dryden555
  65. Dec 3, 15:41 No subject KezClone
  66. Dec 3, 17:54 Well Kosumo
  67. Dec 4, 17:47  Re: Well Fibrocyte
  71. Dec 4, 21:42   Re: Well >U
  72. Dec 5, 08:18    Re: Well Fibrocyte
  73. Dec 5, 09:31     Re: Well nin
  74. Dec 5, 10:02     Re: Well >U
  75. Dec 5, 12:00      Re: Well Fibrocyte
  69. Dec 4, 18:35 New Name Myrmidon
  79. Jun 3, 10:23 BEST İNSTİNCCTS kardelen133


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