Two Worlds Collide

By John Walker on December 2nd, 2007 at 8:06 pm.

Gaming continues its hellbound journey toward the world of the recording industry, as astonishingly, Activision and Blizzard announce they are merging.

According to the BBC,

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

Of course, the BBC are muddled. They mean Vivendi and Activision are merging. We think. Or Vivendi’s games section. Or Sierra. Or Vivendi Universal. Or something. The result of this unholy tryst will be imaginatively named Activision Blizzard, with the WoW people putting in $2bn, and Guitar Hero’s daddies throwing down $1bn. Vivendi’s chief exec, Jean-Bernard Levy, sounds pleased.

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

Yes you are, Mr Moneybags. Yes you are.

Poor old EA, eh? This sort of one-up-manship will really get their goat. EA – BUY THE MOON! THE MOON WE TELL YOU!

, , .

49 Comments »

  1. Five says:

    Terrible name, terrifying possiblities.

    My first thought was EA too, what are they going to do now?

  2. Jack Monahan says:

    What Five said. EA is Big Brother enough for most people; I don’t know how I feel about living in a world where EA isn’t the biggest/scariest games conglomerate. Woof.

    Also come on, guy. “Activision Blizzard” ? I hope there were at least a few ridiculous name-combo possibilities tabled, such as ActiBlizz, or possible Blizzavision. This stuff writes itself.

  3. Five says:

    Blactizzision?

  4. fluffy bunny says:

    It’s Activision and Vivendi that are merging, not Activision and Blizzard. I know the company is going to be called Activision Blizzard, but Blizzard is just a Vivendi-owned studio, so it’s not accurate to say “Activision and Blizzard are merging”.

  5. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Actually, no, fluffy bunny. Activision and Blizzard are merging, and Vivendi are merely going to be the largest shareholder of that combined entity.

  6. Koala says:

    Next thing is UbiArts?

  7. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Or, alternatively, forget what I said. Corporate things are confusing. So many layers.

  8. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Ok, looks like the best way to describe tis is:

    Activision is merging with “Vivendi Games”, the wholly owned subsidiary of the megalithic Vivendi SA.

    Activision + Vivendi Games = Activision Blizzard.

    Vivendi SA = largest shareholder of Activision Blizzard.

  9. The_B says:

    I’m very confused as well, MCV reports as if it’s Vivendi Games and Activision that are merging, with Blizzard being a part of that. Or is it just being misinterpreted?

  10. Richard says:

    Largest shareholder and controlling influence to the point where it’s this much short of a purchase.

  11. Icarus says:

    ActiBlizzion?

  12. Vollgassen says:

    Why does this seem so foreboding?

  13. O.G.N says:

    I would have thought ActiVendi would be the obvious corporate friendly name for the combined entity.

  14. Thomas says:

    As already said it is Activision and Vivendi Games that are merging, Blizzard being a subsidiary of Vivendi Games are obviously in this merge as well.

    As for “Activision Blizzard”, i guess the easy answer here is that we have 2 companies with a VERY good track record of games, Vivendi’s track record isn’t THAT good unfortunately.

    Slap a new brand on their Games sections using a legendary developer and publisher and you can use that to sell your mediocre titles.

  15. Will Tomas says:

    CVG’s take on this seems to confirm that it’s Vivendi Games rather than just Blizzard.

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=176765

  16. Thomas says:

    From the World of Warcraft forums

    We’re pleased to announce that along with the other companies that make up Vivendi Games, we are merging with Activision to form a new global entertainment organization called Activision Blizzard (pending shareholder and regulatory approval). Similar to our previous arrangement, Blizzard Entertainment will now operate as a division of this new organization.

    They confuse people a bit by mentioning “Blizzard joining forces with Activision”, and with the “Activision Blizzard” name but other than that it’s pretty straight forward

  17. Alexander says:

    Yay, the whole world is finally becoming a single entity, only a few years and the free market economy will give us all the wonderful free choice of one company delivering all those wonderfully different products!

  18. hobbes says:

    “Blactizzision?”

    Sounds like something starring Richard Roundtree.

  19. Seniath says:

    I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of EA shareholders cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  20. Hump says:

    *scrambles to buy Activision stock…….*

  21. drunkymonkey says:

    This is going to ruin Blizzard’s exemplary good name, I just know it.

  22. The_B says:

    Imagine if EA and Activison then bought each other out, resulting in a coporate implosion.

    “Quick, everyone out of the universe!”

  23. Zeh says:

    News from out of nowhere. And on a sunday no less.

  24. yxxxx says:

    No more Futurama for you Mr B

  25. AbyssUK says:

    Not looking for group

  26. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Isn’t this a good thing for Blizzard? Before, they were a small (though very profitable) part of a huge multi-media conglomerate, and now they become a big part of a gaming-only company.

  27. Ben Hazell says:

    Actizard, definatly.
    Because really, nobody’s going to bother using two words. So we can either ignore the blizzard thing (likely) or all agree on a happy soloution (unlikely).

  28. malkav11 says:

    That’s owned in significant part by a huge multimedia conglomerate.

  29. malkav11 says:

    And I’m actually rather surprised that they didn’t just chuck the Activision name and go with “Blizzard”. I mean, Activision is certainly a long and storied name, but I don’t associate them with pure, unadulterated gaming goodness the way I do Blizzard.

  30. Ben Hazell says:

    But Blizzard is still the name of a company. We don’t want to confuse them with being responsible for Activisions whole output.

  31. Hump says:

    Perhaps Blizzards propensity to only released highly polished, complete games will rub off on Activision.

  32. Mario Granger says:

    An FAQ on Blizzard’s site details the changes (or lack thereof) in their day to day operations from this merger:

    http://blizzard.com/press/activision-faq.shtml

  33. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Then, they all become the new AT&T.

  34. Mickiscoole says:

    “Actard”
    EA is going to buy the one company any day now because it’ll be thinking to itself ‘two birds with one stone’

  35. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    EA is going to buy the one company any day now because it’ll be thinking to itself ‘two birds with one stone’

    Blizztronic Artsivision?

  36. Crispy says:

    Actard is definitely the best description of what just happened.

    I’m not optimistic about the games likely to be churned out delicately crafted by this newly-wed corporate machine partnership made in heaven.

    I definitely can’t see any more good RTS games coming from the Blizzard side. They’ll no doubt be concentrating on the big MMORPG money-spinners.

  37. Thomas says:

    Blizzard do have atleast 3 developement teams, i don’t think they’ll focus exclusively on MMO’s.

    We already know they do have Starcraft 2 on their ways.

  38. Kieron says:

    It’s worth stressing that Blizzard have existed as a totally-owned part of a massive corporation forever. I’d be honestly surprised if it had a major change on what they’re doing.

    KG

  39. AK says:

    Maybe now StarCraft: Ghost will finally see the light of day.

  40. mrkstphnsn says:

    Activision Vivendi Merger Interview with Blizzard`s President and CEO, Mike Morhaime

    http://www.incgamers.com/1/article/6763.html

  41. The_B says:

    So in an attempt to clarify once and for all for my, if no one elses benefit:

    So it’s Vivendi Games and Activision that have merged, with Blizzard being a key part of the merger and Vivendi the media conglermate owning a majority stakehold in the new company. Which will probably on the surface affect nothing in the development teams. Is that a vague approximation of correct?

  42. Kieron Gillen says:

    Yeah, sounds about right to me.

    KG

  43. Mario Granger says:

    Any speculation as to what Blizzard stand to gain from this merger? Basically control over Vivendi’s Games’ Division? Cheaper distribution channeling?

    I can’t imagine it’s for marketing reasons, Blizzard’s games have never wanted for an audience.

  44. Kieron Gillen says:

    Blizzard were a fully owned studio of Vivendi. They don’t really have much of a say in it.

    KG

  45. fluffy bunny says:

    Maybe the post should be updated to reflect this? eh? eh? :)