Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Blizzard and Activision Announce $18.8bn Merger

Zonk posted more than 5 years ago | from the jigaa-whaaaaa dept.

Businesses 298

Ebon Praetor writes "The BBC reports that Blizzard and Activision have announced an $18.8bn merger. Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, will become the head of the joint company, while Vivendi, Blizzard's current parent company, will become the largest single investor in the new group. Even with the size of the merger, the combined company will still be smaller than the industry giant EA. '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 ... Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.'"

cancel ×

298 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

A dupe in itself? (5, Funny)

hysma (546540) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553047)

Not too often the summary itself IS the dupe...

END MODERATOR ABUSE (-1, Offtopic)

Taco Meat (1104291) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553733)

I have again been the victim of moderator abuse http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=366293&cid=21424075 [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] MOD me up to correct this injustice.

Too many moderators use Insightful as "I agree". Too many moderators fall for unoriginal groupthink and mod it up. People complain about trolls, but the REAL line noise on slashdot comes from the posts modded +4 or +5 that contribute NOTHING to an intelligent discussion. You can't filter that out, and even if you have your thresholds set high, you still see all the stupid stuff that you've already seen. That's why digg sucks and will never be anything but a place for 1338 high-skool haxx0rs. And it's happening here. So I used this account to call shenanigans on sucky posts. I getted modded into oblivion for pointing out truth. I guess that's how it goes. Most of you are a bunch of mindless sheeple.

One way to fix this: I think Slashdot should give IQ tests to all would-be moderators. That would ensure most of the ramshackle pseudo-intellectuals who get mod points would be replaced by people who can actually read the moderator guidelines and adhere to them.

Re:A dupe in itself? (1)

Ebon Praetor (459548) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553883)

I blame the editor for quoting the story when I had already bothered to summarize it.

Also, more coverage from the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] .

Oh Em Gee (-1, Offtopic)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553051)

Holy frijoles!

World Of Warcraft (4, Interesting)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553061)

How is the WoW community going to take it?

I think it really matters whether the game developers are going to be replaced by Activision or not, as a decrease in quality might spark some anger.
Especially since their number of players are ... alot.

Re:World Of Warcraft (1, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553189)

Not just the WoW community. There are many people who are fans of Blizzard games in general, and I, for one, will be not too happy if the excellent quality of their games goes down because of this. Will they have the balls, for example, under their new management, to cancel mostly-finished games just cause they aren't happy with how it's turning out? I doubt it, but we'll see.

Color me skeptical on this one. Almost as skeptical as I am about the BioWare/EA deal.

Re:World Of Warcraft (2, Interesting)

icedcool (446975) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553993)

Sure,
On the plus side what if Activision's management is replaced with Blizzard's. Blizzard's process obviously works. This could be the start of us seeing a lot of much higher quality games.

Hopefully.

Re:World Of Warcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553261)

great, billions of dollars spent, and bnet is still hosted on a single pII box..

Re:World Of Warcraft (5, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553287)

I doubt they're going to mess with Blizzard. It's going to be more like the Disney-Pixar buyout. Disney was at least smart enough not to mess with what Pixar was doing, because it was damned obvious that they were doing something right. If Activision has any shred of intelligence, they'll let Blizzard keep doing what they're doing with minimal interference, because Blizzard is making over $100m a month off of WoW.

Re:World Of Warcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553369)

If they weren't going to change something why would they but it?

Simple. (3, Insightful)

Kortalh (1102177) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553437)

To make money.

Re:World Of Warcraft (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553475)

Yes, obviously they bought Blizzard out so that they could nerf warriors; it had nothing to do with the money.

Uptime improvements? How many 8's of uptime? (2, Interesting)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554267)

If Blizzard is doing something right its not uptime.

Most people who deliver online services like to measure their uptime in 'nines'.

Blizzard measure theirs in 'eights'.

COD5: Azeroth Edition (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553351)

Call of Duty 5, Azeroth Edition-

"{crackle} SGT Hulka, bring up your platoon of Orcs and get a crossfire on those Dwarves STAT!"

Re:World Of Warcraft (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553561)

It's not gonna happen. Blizzard's not about to take their baby and throw it to the wolves just because they had a merger.

It's like one day they'll just go to the WOW dev team 'Hey gang, we've had a good run but you're all fired. Get the hell out right now. Your personal belongings will be burned, and security has been authorized to tazer you if you try to say goodbye to any of your former co-workers. Activision is bringing in a gaggle of hillbillies to take over the project, I hope you all rot in hell'

Re:World Of Warcraft (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554071)

Don't taze me orc!

Re:World Of Warcraft (1)

Lord of Hyphens (975895) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554171)

How many of the original devs that did WoW are still on WoW?

Re:World Of Warcraft (2, Interesting)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553871)

How is the WoW community going to take it?
I think that depends on when and how the Wrath of the Lich King comes out. As of patch 2.3, they've trashed most of the sport of WoW (leveling to 60), so I'm sure I'm not the only one anxiously awaiting the new expansion.

Give me my World of Warcraft (as I've experienced it for the last year or so) and I don't particularly care what they do corporate-wise.

I'm not sure why I love that game more than Nethack/Rogue, but I do.

Re:World Of Warcraft (-1, Flamebait)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554221)

I think it really matters whether the game developers are going to be replaced by Activision or not, as a decrease in quality might spark some anger.

Are you kidding? I'm more worried about Blizzard decreasing the quality of Activision's games. Blizzard is probably the most overrated video-game company at present. Outside of Starcraft, it hasn't made a good game since The Lost Vikings II.

Rob

Makes sense (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553067)

Both companies do little else other than release sequel after sequel for once popular series. Most of their original titles were released in the 90s.

Re:Makes sense (0, Troll)

Acrimonymous (1164185) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553415)

Blizzard doesn't release sequels anymore, they just release half-assed updates and add-ons for retards who think World of Warcraft is either "good" or an RPG.

Whoever thought up WoW should be kicked in the beanbag repeatedly for the damage they've done to computer gaming in general, and RPGs in particular. Between WoW and Halo, gaming has fallen just as fast and hard as TV since Survivor first came out (although TV didn't have half as far to go...). Computer and video games used to be fun, now they're just derivative WoW and Halo clones for mushbrained frat boys with shriveled nutsacks.

Fuck Blizzard and fuck Activision for just making generally crummy games. I hope this merger kills them both and I hope everyone employed by both companies winds up on the street eating rotting baked beans out of a dumpster.

Re:Makes sense (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553541)

I hate to be the one to break this to you, buddy, but Blizzard's franchises are STILL popular. Warcraft III was highly acclaimed when it came out, and widely enjoyed. Starcraft is still, of course, rabidly played in Korea and other places, as will Starcraft II, I imagine. World of Warcraft (the last game Blizzard released for a while) doesn't even count as a sequel to Warcraft in any way, considering that it isn't an RTS. So yeah, I don't know where you get your ideas, but it isn't reality.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Trintech (1137007) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554259)

I wonder how this will effect the free servers that games like Diablo II, etc are played on?

Obviously WoW servers wont be changed one bit but I can see Blizzard and Activision possibly combining server farms to cut overhead costs. This could have an interesting effect on people who still play Diablo II on Bizzard's servers so they dont have to put up with all the hacks, etc on "personal" servers.

I can't wait until I can buy their games. (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553071)

I can't wait to start buying their games and various swag -- all emblazoned with the new Blactavision logos!

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (4, Funny)

shystershep (643874) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553095)

I prefer the Actalizzard, myself.

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553317)

I'm kinda partial to Blizzavision.

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553703)

I'm kinda partial to Blizzavision.

No, that's what causes me to hit on ugly chicks after six drinks.

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (3, Funny)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553867)

You shouldn't complain about something that pushes your chances of getting laid up into the single digits. :-o

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553901)

No, that's Blitzavision.

I prefer Active Blizzard for the name (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553705)

has a nice energy to it. I can only imagine how long the suits argued about the name of the new company.

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (0, Redundant)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553157)

Seriously that's the dumbest name I've ever heard.

Activizzard, on the other hand...

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553199)

Why you gotta be such a racist and hate on Blactavision? Shut yo mouff!

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553423)

Shut yo mouff!

I'm just talking about Blactavision!

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (2, Funny)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553889)

I can dig it.

Yo! (2, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553395)

Activizza in da hizza!

"Blactavision" makes me think of "Blacula". But silly as that (and my suggestion) sounds, it's better than "Activision Blizzard". What were they thinking? They may as well have called themselves "No Imagination Games Corp."

-Keeping Activision (on its own) would have been cool for the nostalgia factor.
-Keeping Blizzard (on its own) would have been cool for the currently-successful factor
-If they couldn't decide, they should have just gotten a new name altogether. Maybe they could have sold themselves as a bridge between the gaming industry and general media distributors and called themselves gPod. Or maybe Gune...

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (1)

Gunslinger47 (654093) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553447)

Actiblizz! Like Squeenix, it'll likely be unofficial, but it'll be cute and fit nicely into a headline.

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (1)

tighr (793277) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553743)

A good name for the new company would be Activard, I think. My hope is that this move doesn't impact things like Starcraft II negatively. That is a game that millions of gamers have been waiting for since the original Starcraft won Game of the Year in 1998, as evidenced by the fact that people are still playing it 10 years later. It has big shoes to fill, and bureaucracy is generally not good for games (the already mentioned EA Sports, with its monopoly on NFL games and other sports franchises that are a dime a dozen, yet cost $50 each). Well, its good to know that Slashdot dupes are begining to appear in the summary itself now, mentioning twice who the CEO would be and which company will have the largest stake in the company!

Re:I can't wait until I can buy their games. (0)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553765)

>all emblazoned with the new Blactavision logos!

I just heard an ad for their next game, it goes like this:

Who's the black private dick
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?

New MMORPG (4, Funny)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553077)

World of Command and Conquer?

Re:New MMORPG (3, Informative)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553123)

Damn - upon further research, I find that it was EA that bought Westwood, not Activision. Now I feel really stupid.

It's too bad too. Imagine how awesome it would be to have a game where orcs could be pwned by an Obelisk of Light.

Re:New MMORPG (1)

White Shade (57215) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553403)

A command and conquer MMORPG would be kinda cool actually ... I dunno how it'd be possible, it might end up being kinda lame like C&C Renegade, but a sorta world-wide warfare would be sweet, especially if the world actually changed and there were tangible results from blowing stuff up and taking places over....

alas, it'll never happen :(

Re:New MMORPG (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553445)

Join the army and get yourself a job flying UAVs... sounds like that would be your bag.

Re:New MMORPG (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553409)

Command and Conquer?

      You better not let EA hear you say that. They're the ones that own Westwood now no? Anyway they suck, all the good people left. Petroglyph ftw.

Re:New MMORPG (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553659)

I might pay good money for World of XCom

Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (5, Informative)

Jon.Laslow (809215) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553085)

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

Provides some details. From their front page:

Blizzard to Join Forces With Activision
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.

There will be no changes to our games, our websites, our personnel, or our day-to-day operations as a result of the deal. However, this combining of resources will benefit all of the companies involved and will further strengthen Blizzard's ability to continue delivering high-quality content for our players around the world for many years to come.

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553237)

However, this combining of resources will benefit all of the companies involved and will further strengthen Blizzard's ability to continue delivering high-quality content for our players around the world for many years to come.
I would have thought Activision was the one that needed to strengthen their ability to deliver high quality content.

They routinely rush studios to push out complete and utter crap under the Activision Value title. Even the decent games still come with serious flaws due to the rushed timetables.

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (1)

prencher (971087) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553807)

They are good at letting established studios do their thing (unlike EA, who ruined westwood and countless others): Look at Infinity Ward and Call of Duty 4, for example.

Well here is your new strength ! (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553831)

/devil advocate

Blizzard (or at least the worker there) as far as I can tell has always tried to not rush, and make sure all major bug are out before getting a title out. Which is how they got their reputation. But on a short term point of view, this is a loss for the share holder, since more money is spent whereas they could already release the title at an earlier point. So now blizzard get strengthened by activision dev cycle : rush everything out. Spend less money on title. Churn them quicker. Customer might lose a bit on the change, but share holder on the short term might not.

/devil advocate

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554165)

Even the decent games still come with serious flaws due to the rushed timetables.

Guitar Hero 3 would be a great example of that. When the game came out the online was workable, as in it wasn't bad, but was far from good. The quickmatch selections simply don't work, but if you choose a custom match or create your own you have a decent chance of getting matched with someone.

If you used the unlock all songs or unlock all everything cheats to check out the content when the game first came out, the game would still save, so you would continue to have everything unlocked even though you might not have the cheat on. As a result if you used either of the unlock cheats you ended up with a bunch of achievements. TBH, theirs no way Activision/Neversoft could have made that mistake if they tested the cheats more than once.

There's a bug that can allow you to cheat in online play, but you can end up being the one using it on accident.

If you go to the career store and look to shop for DLC, it clears all your existing DLC scores. Buying DLC through the online menu or at the XBL dashboard will not.

And on top of those the game freezes every once in a while for no reason. If you do voice chatting with someone, it freezes way more often. If you do voice chatting while doing online play (like if you were playing with a friend over and over), it's hard to make it through more than one or two matches without either of your games freezing.

All of these are issues that shouldn't have happened because they are just normal use scenarios. But they did. So Activision/Neversoft has issued a patch, right? Not yet, but they will release one [scorehero.com] Soon®. The game has been out for a month now, and it seems like its been forever without a patch, but for all I know that could be on par with how long the Orange Box cake... errr patch took to be released.

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553349)

There will be no changes to our games, our websites, our personnel, or our day-to-day operations as a result of the deal.
That's what they always say first.

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (3, Insightful)

Minupla (62455) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553441)

There will be no changes to our games, our websites, our personnel, or our day-to-day operations as a result of the deal.
if this is true, how can:

... combining of resources will benefit all of the companies involved and will further strengthen Blizzard's ability to continue delivering high-quality content
Also be true? Either nothing is changing or something is, you can't have it both ways. The reason for mergers and aquisitions is generally that the companies involved believe that through the merger some gains can be made. The way that history proves works is through reductions is redundancy. (call these layoffs, retrenchments, rightsizing, as your personal tastes dictate) The other not-so-successful-historically model is the "merge two companies with no redundancies, run them together and lose money" model (ref: AOL-Time-Warner among others)

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (2, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553855)

There will be no changes to our games, our websites, our personnel, or our day-to-day operations as a result of the deal.
if this is true, how can: ... combining of resources will benefit all of the companies involved and will further strengthen Blizzard's ability to continue delivering high-quality content
Also be true? Either nothing is changing or something is, you can't have it both ways. The reason for mergers and aquisitions is generally that the companies involved believe that through the merger some gains can be made. The way that history proves works is through reductions is redundancy. (call these layoffs, retrenchments, rightsizing, as your personal tastes dictate) The other not-so-successful-historically model is the "merge two companies with no redundancies, run them together and lose money" model (ref: AOL-Time-Warner among others)
They now have ~twice the advertising clout and a bigger stick to negotiate with retailers. ie. Stock or we will only have limited quantities of SC2 and COD5 for you.

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (3, Interesting)

Ghubi (1102775) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554109)

Or maybe... 1bn + 2bn = 18.8bn.

The way I see it, Activision must have had some super cool idea for the next major online cash cow err game. But, Activision must have determined that they lacked the resources to complete this epic production on their own. So, they carefully weigh their options of ways to raise the extra 2bn they estimate is needed to complete the project. Stock offering, venture capitalists... apparently they decided that their best option was to merge with another larger gaming company.

There's no reason why this new 3bn project should interfere with the day to day operations of the other 15.8bn of whatever makes up the total merger. I can't wait to find out exactly what this new 3bn project is.

Re:Here's an FAQ from Blizzard (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554103)

Well... at least it wasn't Microsoft that bought Blizzard.

My gosh (4, Funny)

guardiangod (880192) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553093)

Activision and Blizzard have said they will form "the world's most profitable games business"

I screamed.

Re:My gosh (1)

ashamanq (1077889) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553179)

It really saddens me when game companies make good business decisions that, to me, seem like they will hurt gamers in the long run. But, it just occurred to me... does this mean we're guaranteed to get Diablo 3? Suddenly I'm less pessimistic...

Guitarcraft: Lords of Music (2, Interesting)

Crock23A (1124275) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553101)

How long until I can play some crazy rhythm-based RTS with my guitar hero controller?

Re:Guitarcraft: Lords of Music (3, Funny)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553355)

Thrall Pro Skater 2: grinding in dalaran

Re:Guitarcraft: Lords of Music (4, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553639)

How long until I can play some crazy rhythm-based RTS with my guitar hero controller?

You know, that might actually be quite fun. Did you ever play Loom? That was a point-and-click adventure game where all your actions were done by playing short phrases of music.

Update it to the present day, and you have your character roaming the wilderness blowing monsters away with your sw33t r1ffs. The more powerful the spell, the harder it is to play, so your character's skills are directly related to your skills. If you could solve the lag issue, you could even have the ability to team up with other players and jam together for extra power.

Hmm. Different character classes would map to different types of music quite well. Healer == psychedelic 60s. Tank == 80s power ballad. Fighter == rock. Necromancer == death metal...

Re:Guitarcraft: Lords of Music (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554105)

You mean, something like this [youtube.com] or this [youtube.com] ?

Re:Guitarcraft: Lords of Music (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553655)

Now that you mention it, WOW is crying out for a Bard class...

$18.8bn? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553147)

Why are the amounts quoted in Barbadian dollars?

Starcraft (4, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553205)

As long as Starcraft 2 is still going to be released, this is fine with me.

(Shudder...) (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553219)

No one makes games with great replay value like Blizzard does. Blizzard's strategy of not releasing a game until its ready is almost unheard of in this industry. I seriously hope that the new overlords don't mess with this - I'd hate to stop benefiting from Blizzard's good work.

Re:(Shudder...) (1)

Iceman_B (1108441) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553735)

Excuse me? Are you telling me that WoW was finished when they released it? You so funny xD Seriously, they release the game when big chucks of gameplay wasn't finished and were added latet through huge patches. How is that "releasing a game until its ready " ._.?

Re:(Shudder...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553931)

what else do you expect out of a fanboi?

Re:(Shudder...) (2, Informative)

Hexedian (626557) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553969)

By MMO standards, World of Warcraft was a finished product. You only need to look at other games, like Anarchy Online, or, more recently, Tabula Rasa (Which was so incomplete upon release that they thought it a good idea to start numbering their patch from 0.1 onward), to see that a game that is fully HALF complete really IS a good deal.

Re:(Shudder...) (5, Funny)

cdomigan (833362) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554029)

I seriously hope that the new overlords don't mess with this
Not the end of the world if they do - you can always SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS

some questions (1, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553243)

So, does anyone know who's going to be put in charge of the new company? And what about Vivendi? I thought they owned part of Blizzard. Any word on them?

Re:some questions (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553299)

You can't even read the summary? "Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group."

Re:some questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553465)

*ZoomZoom* (much better than whoosh)

Re:some questions (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553629)

I think you need to grow a few feet, because that one completely missed your head.

Aikon-

R.I.P. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553259)

Innovation, imagination etc. All that will be left is "The Sure Thing".
 

Re:R.I.P. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553573)

Don't be too worried. Mergers and acquisitions happen because the merged/acquired is either very strong or very weak. The weak get ingested, stripped of individuality in a spreadsheet driven attempt to 'improve efficiencies' and such. The strong get bought just because they're strong--it's worth having them as is, and beyond some HR and Finance integration, there's very little desire to screw up a good thing.

A lot of merged/acquired/grown by purchasing companies are little more than feudal arrangements where divisions operate by themselves and pay tribute to head office. As an example, EMC bought VMWare a couple years ago, and there's still almost zero integration--they're an independent fiefdom within EMC, and no one's going to hobble EMC's hottest property with an ill-conceived attempt to 'familize' them.

Re:R.I.P. (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554061)

What was the big innovation in World of Warcraft again?

Gamers have made it clear that they'll buy secondhand ideas if the games are put together with a high enough level of quality and polish. Quality outsells originality -- mostly because the objective of gamers is to have fun, and a lot of the old ideas are very fun when executed well.

WOW I only see POSITIVES coming from this merger! (1)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553265)

I have always liked Activision as a game company since Battlezone. I enjoy playing their games quite a lot and I have the distinct feeling that Blizzard will remain the same as always (one of, if not the best pc game house) and this stands to help further Activision and develop them as a higher quality company.

I'm very excited about this and think we will only see the PC industry be enhanced by such a merger. With Blizzards track record of releasing quality games when they feel they are ready, this model could easily translate to Activision and enhance their final products. I feel there maybe a trend of quality in the future of PC Gaming. When people look at Blizz, their profit margin on games, and the fact they rarely release them in time for the particular holiday season that corporate companies would force the game out... I think companies will realize, especially in the PC market, we want finished products, not products ready to be delivered under the Christmas Tree or released at the appropriate timing with the fiscal quarter or year, etc.

Commentary (4, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553269)

It's not Blizzard that is merging: They've been part of Vivendi universal for years. Their parent company has many developers other developers outside of Blizzard. WoW is their cash cow though.

That said, it doesn't seem like their different developer studios have a lot of synergy though: The end result is a company that has very diverse offerings, and will be difficult to market as a single entity. It's not like either company needed the other for stability purposes though: Both WoW and Guitar Hero are the kind of franchises that allow a company to have a nice R&D budget and take risks with new franchises.

So I guess the merger will just mean they'll be able to push retailers around more easily, and make their revenue even more predictable.

hmm (1)

Deadfyre_Deadsoul (1193759) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553285)

I for one would like to welcome our new gaming overlords. Some of the forums I visited listed this, but I figured it was a farce until I saw it here, now, I may go back to bed. Most of the gaming devs in various other games and genres would learn alot of blizzard. I loathe playing pay to play beta's for half finished games. Not that the release of WoW was not a pay to play beta. EA on the other hand, doesnt seem to care for their customers concerns, and just releases the games any way. World of Duty, Call of Warcraft. Me, I wanna play Medal of Homer.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553455)

mmmmm.... pixelated donuts.

Finally! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553347)

a chance for a classic to be reborn!

world of pitfall anyone?

Makes sense (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553381)

No wonder their stock has been climbing lately. I have made so much money day-trading them. I guess it's time to go short now that all the sheeple will want some... I'll sell you some on Monday afternoon.

Half this summary is redundant (1)

shine-shine (529700) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553485)

"Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, will become the head of the joint company"
"its chief executive will be Activision's current CEO Bobby Kotick"

"Vivendi, Blizzard's current parent company, will become the largest single investor in the new group"
"Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group"

Short stories work just as well. No need to repeat everything.

I have a solution... (3, Insightful)

theorem4 (1101729) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553503)

Put Blizzard employees in all management spots. Call me naive, but I think with them in charge it would keep a certain level of quality in the company that us fans like so much.

Eighteen billion? (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553505)

How does that work? Do they add up the estimated values of both companies and dish out a number? But when one of the companies is putting 1 billion into the deal, and the other company 2 billion, doesn't that only equal 3 billion? Or are they just spending that on lawyers, donuts and hotel accommodations for the merger meeting? I don't get it. Either way, a billion dollars sure doesn't buy what it used to.


-FL

Sierra Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553537)

I wouldnt be surprised if this wasn't partly a way to realign the failing sierra games (also owned by Vivendi) and to rebrand it with more popular Activision/Blizzard logos.

Sure Activision wants to ride on the coattails of blizzard's quality reputation, and vivendi probably drools over activisions distribution channels and platforms, but Viv has to be re-orging some studios for this....and it ain't blizzard's.

EA is no longer alone at the top. (4, Interesting)

6350' (936630) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553539)

Many news-sites are actually reporting this as a merger between Vivendi and Activision (perhaps more of a semantic distinction, but it does serve to remind that Blizzard is owned by someone, and is not an independant self-owned development studio, in the strictly on-paper sense).

This is a fascinating move for one very important reason: EA. This merger combines a hugely profitable juggernaut of game-making (Blizzard) with what is probably the largest publisher out there (Activision). Electronic Arts suddenly got not only competition, but may have just dropped into second place, all in one fell swoop.

This is a great move for Blizzard: there is no other development company that is such a proven success, having long passed the point of "one hit wonder" or "a lucky run," and they now have access to, in light of how bankable they are, absolutely vast wodges of capital for their future plans. This is an awesome move for Activision: a publisher (with some developer in there too) that has quietly grown over the last decade to become one of the largest now has pretty much the ultimate triple-A development juggernaut at its core. This last bit is a key point, as it reflects EA. EA is large publisher wrapped around a large and important development house. Vivendi and Activision have now stepped up to that level and type of operation, and can be expected to give EA a run for its money.

What particularly pleases me is how this could be seen as providing a "good guys" team to stand against EA's often-percieved "bad guys" team [livejournal.com] , which should be an interesting public dynamic to watch :P

Re:EA is no longer alone at the top. (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553805)

EA was already 2nd to Activision.

Re:EA is no longer alone at the top. (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554147)

By what possible measurement? Activision's annual revenue is 1.4 Billion (USD) while EA's just under 3 which is over twice that of Activision. Vivendi is are 1.2 Billion, leaving the new combined company to still be nearly .5 Billion behind EA.

On a consumer experience level the both suck, but EA at least try's while Activision doesn't seem to give rats as as long as they are getting their fat check at the end of the year. Personally I think I have purchased my last Blizzard game since there is no way Activision is getting another dime of my money.

Re:EA is no longer alone at the top. (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554101)

Many news-sites are actually reporting this as a merger between Vivendi and Activision (perhaps more of a semantic distinction
That's like saying there's a "semantic" distinction between fruit and fruit trees. Vivendi owns several media and telecom businesses. (In fact, they used to be a major player in the media world, with movie studios, cable networks, and more. But that's another story.) Not only will this new company be a small part of Vivendi's operation, but Vivendi will share ownership with Activision's former stockholders.

Who needs to purchase games from conglomerates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21553579)

such as Activision Blizzard when you can download [wikipedia.org] games [wikipedia.org] for [wikipedia.org] free [wikipedia.org] ? The Activision Blizzard merger is just making them more of a monopoly in the non-free areana so please download free games which are legal instead of supporting the conglomerates.

Activision Blizzard (2, Funny)

bcharr2 (1046322) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553585)

Activision Blizzard? That's the best name they could come up with?

If they wanted to depend on brand name recognition, they should have simply called themselves "The Creators of WOW & Call of Duty".

Re:Activision Blizzard (1)

Taleron (875810) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553755)

& Call of Duty
Juuust the publisher. The developer was Infinity Ward.

Starcraft II ramifications (2, Insightful)

AngelKurisu (1173447) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553633)

Blizzard has long been a 'Release it when its done' company--and the resulting products have almost always been very polished. Activision(at least in the past 15 years), has been willing to push crap out to market. With Activision's CEO taking over the merged company, can we expect anything -but- a quality drop in Blizzard's future products?

Guitar Hero (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553669)

I think this is the real news:

Vivendi, owner of the Universal Music Group -- world's largest music publisher, buys a controlling stake in Activision, maker of Guitar Hero -- the world's most popular music-based game franchise.

Re:Guitar Hero (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553849)

What... do you think they'll try to make players pay a fee for every time they hear a song? Sue players for having more people in the room than they've bought controllers for?

It'd be my hope that this means that the entire UMG library will be available for GH players to use, but I'm afraid of what they're actually likely to do.

I think there is something afoot. (2, Informative)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553789)

I have been keeping an eye on the hiring page for Blizzard for awhile and they have been hiring for a "top secret" project(their words)for quite some time. http://www.blizzard.com/jobopp/ [blizzard.com]
(Look on the upper right side of page)

I have been making potshot guesses regarding what they are up to.

This changes those guesses. It may boil down to simple licensing issues. Activison has something Blizzard needs and is willing to pay for it? A merger here would put a lot of those licensing issues out of the purview of most people, allowing them to do so without blowing their cover. Thats a wild guess though.

The thing that puzzles me the most is that ACTIVISIONS current CEO will be running the ship. Granted, that may have been a concession on the part of Vivendi, but it sure looks to me like Blizzard/Vivendi has the majority of the chips on the table. Which, again, leads me to believe that Vivendi wants something from Activision and that was the only way to get it.

Merger FAQ (1)

indonaught (1197353) | more than 5 years ago | (#21553845)

A FAQ has been posted on Blizzard's web site detailing the effects of this merger on Blizzard's development efforts. Pasted below: http://www.blizzard.com/press/activision-faq.shtml [blizzard.com] Q: What are the details of the deal? A: Under the terms of an agreement with Vivendi, Blizzard and the other companies that make up Vivendi Games will combine with Activision to form a new public company called Activision Blizzard. We do not anticipate any difference in Blizzard's operations as a result of the combination. Joining forces with Activision will create a stronger and more diversified company that we anticipate will benefit and strengthen both brands. Q: What will happen to the Blizzard brand name? A: The Blizzard brand name will stay the same as it's always been: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Q: What will change with regard to the day-to-day operations at Blizzard? A: There will be no changes in the way Blizzard operates. All of the people, processes, and philosophies that have made Blizzard so successful will be preserved. Blizzard will benefit from all-star sales and distribution teams to service our products. In addition, the combined company will be stronger financially, managerially, and operationally. Q: How will this impact Blizzard's games? A: This will not impact Blizzard's games. We remain committed to providing the same high-quality game content and support that we always have. Development on Wrath of the Lich King and StarCraft II, as well as on our unannounced games, is continuing as normal. Q: Will there be any visible differences in Blizzard's logo or packaging/marketing materials as a result of this deal? A: No, there won't be any changes to our company name, logo, packaging/marketing materials, or anything else along those lines. Q: Will there be any management changes at Blizzard as a result of this deal? A: No, there won't be any management changes at Blizzard as a result of the combination. Q: Will Activision and Blizzard now share development teams? A: No, both of our companies will continue to operate as they have previously with regard to game development. Q: Will the release schedules for any Blizzard games be impacted? A: No, the transaction will not have any impact on our games, our day-to-day operations, or our release timelines. Q: Will any of Blizzard's offices close as a result of the deal? Or, will any new offices open? A: No, all of our offices will continue to function as they have, and we don't foresee the need to open any new offices for the time being. Q: Will any employees move to different offices as a result of the deal? A: We don't anticipate making any such moves as a result of the deal. Q: Does this deal include Activision's and Blizzard's international offices? A: Yes, every part of our companies in the U.S. and abroad is involved in this deal. Q: If Activision Blizzard is a public company, does that mean I'll now be able to buy stock in Blizzard? A: Activision will be renamed Activision Blizzard, Inc and will continue to be a publicly listed company traded on NASDAQ. You will be able to buy stock in the combined company. Q: When will the transaction be complete? A: The transaction is subject to approval of Activision shareholders, customary closing conditions, and regulatory approvals. Pending approval, the companies expect the transaction to be completed by mid 2008.

Antitrust? (0)

dgg3565 (963614) | more than 5 years ago | (#21554019)

It wasn't that long ago that $18.8 billion would have been a figure for the industry's total revenue. With all the mergers lately (this one coming just a short while after the Bioware/EA merger), I'm wondering when or if we're going to see some antitrust rumblings out of the Feds.

Comic authors have psychic powers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21554161)

The story makes this Penny Arcade comic seem oddly prophetic.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/09 [penny-arcade.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>