Blizzard and Activision merge in $18 billion deal

blizzlogoIn a move that’ll shake the gaming industry, BBC News revealed that Blizzard Entertainment will merge with Activision to form "the world’s most profitable games business."

As a result, Activision will henceforth be called Activision Blizzard and the deal is worth to be $18.8 billion.

Blizzard will invest $2 billion into Activision Blizzard while Activision will invest $1 billion. Activision’s current CEO, Bobby Kotick, will become CEO of the new company and Vivendi Universal, the parent owner of Blizzard, will remain the biggest shareholder in the company by retaining 52% of the shares.

Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of Vivendi, 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."

Mike Morhaime, CEO and president of Blizzard, said, "From our interactions with the Activision team, it is clear we have much in common in terms of our approaches to game development and publishing. Above all, we are looking forward to continue creating great games for Blizzard gamers around the world, and we believe this new partnership will help us to do that even better than before."

Blizzard Entertainment is the developer of World of Warcraft, a 9+ million subscriber MMORPG, along with several classic RTS and RPG games under its belt. Activision is a top-ranked games publisher whose notable franchises include Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk and Call of Duty.

The deal also includes Universal Music Group — the world’s largest music company — and will give future Guitar Hero titles a backing possibly stronger than Rock Band’s alliance with MTV.

On Monday, the management of both companies will be holding a live conference call for investors at 8:30 AM EST, 2:30 PM Paris time, and and 1:30 PM London time. You can call in and listen live by dialing into (888) 765-5554 in the U.S. or (913) 312-1235 outside the U.S. The live webcast of the call can be accessed at and

For those unable to listen to the live conference call, an audio replay of the call will be available through December 17, 2007, approximately two hours after the call’s conclusion and can be accessed by calling (888) 203-1112 in the U.S. or (719) 457-0820 outside the U.S. and entering the pass-code: 5648597. In addition, a webcast replay also will be archived on the Investor Relations section of each company’s website. 

Whether you like this or not, this is a huge step in the gaming market considering that both companies have dominant positions in the market. So what’s next, Call of Warcraft? World of Duty?

Brendon’s edit: Blizzard has just put up their press release on it, and I’ve thrown in some additional info. If you want to read through several pages of business jargon and positive quotes from anyone with a fancy job title at Blizzard and Activision to get more, check it out here.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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