Hot off the press, because it's a done deal now. Activision, the game developer that brought us Call Of Duty and Guitar Hero has now merged with Vivendi, the same company that owns Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment is recently famous for their MMORPG World Of Warcraft.
Vivendi is a company based in Paris and is a corporation, owning Universal Music Group, Canal & Group, SFR, Maroc Telecom and Vivendi Games. Vivendi Games also owns Blizzard Entertainment. Vividi Games was first established in 1996. While Blizzard Entertainment was established in 1991 (at the time as Silicon & Synapse) and fell in Vivendi ownership in 1998. Blizzard Entertainment churned out games of pure gold such as Diablo and Starcraft. Most recently they have released World Of Warcraft, the biggest MMORPG in the market and are currently working on Diablo III and Starcraft 2. They have made a revenue of $1.1 billion and employ 2,700 people.
Activision was founded in 1979, an American company, and was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles. Activision has released pretty good games such as Guitar Hero (excluding the first one), Quake series (with the exlusion of the first one as well), Doom 3 and the Call Of Duty series. Activision also holds partnerships with several companies and exclusive rights to titles such as Shrek and Spider-Man. As of 2008 their revenue is $2.9 billion.
As of July 10, 2008, these companies merged to form Activision Blizzard. The transaction for such a merger is a whopping $18.9 billion. Out of this merger Vivendi will own 52% shares on a Fully Diluted Basis/54% of Outstanding Shares of Activision Blizzard. Despite this, Bobby Kotick, head of Activision will become President and CEO of Activision Blizzard and René Penisson, currently a member of the Management Board of Vivendi and Chairman of Vivendi Games, will serve as Chairman of Activision Blizzard. Such shares on the company will continue to be public under NASDAQ exchange as ATVID. Also, Activision and Blizzard Entertainment will still exist as seperate entities.
The company believes that the merging of the two companies will create "the world’s largest and most profitable pure-play video game publisher". It believes that it is the only publisher that has "leading market positions across all categories" of the video game industry. Bold words indeed. Can they back it up? As it stands the new company is estimated to be worth $18.9 billion, ahead of Electronic Arts who is valued at $14.1 billion.
What does this merger mean to Electronic Arts? To be perfectly honest, I don't know. All I know is that this means that EA had better watch themselves because they now have a big competitor.
I personally think this is a great move as it combines two great, big game industries into one. It includes Activisions partnerships and exclusive rights with Vivendi Games top notch quality and resources.
Move over EA, there's a new kid on the block.
What are your opinions, people of the world? Do you think this is a great move and why? Do you think EA has something to be worried about besides a law suit and why?