WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

July 9, 2008 -

Mike Musgrove of the Washington Post reports that the Activision-Vivendi merger is now official, following a vote by 92% of Activision shareholders to approve the deal.

The new company will be known as Activision Blizzard. We hope to see a new logo unveiled, as opposed to mock-ups, like the one at left, which can found around the web.

Referring to EA's now-former status as the biggest kid on the game industry block, Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter told Musgrove:

It's good to have a duopoly instead of a monopoly. This just makes the industry that much more interesting.

 


Comments

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

I think the merger is a wonderful thing and it opens up many new possibilites to getting games published in other countries around the world.  I also think that the reason they chose to select Activision and Blizzard as the front-names in the merger is because if you've reviewed Vivendi's earnings statements, blizzard accounts for almost 70% of Vivendi's profits.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

as long as they didnt choose acti-zard, cause it sounds like some lizard or a lame power rangers thing. >.<

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

I don't mind Activision Blizzard.  I just don't want Take Electronic Activision-Blizzard Sega-Atari Nintensony, a branch of MICROSOFT!

Has very little to do with Blizzard

This is what bugs me about the name change; People keep getting confused.

This is about Vivendi (a publisher) and Activision (also a publisher) merging together. It has very little to do with the actual development company named Blizzard and people keep asking if it will impact anything that Blizzard does because of the silly Activision Blizzard name that has been given to the merger by Vivendi.

Blizzard has already stated several times that the merger is happening external to their studio and will not affect any games in development or future development at Blizzard.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

And giving this, I demand L70ETC at least has a song in an upcoming Guitar Hero

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

They already do have a song. "I am Murloc" available as DLC on the 360

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Er, uh, then, the Blood Elf guitarist as an unlockable character

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Eh, everytime i hear "Activision" i think of the song Superman by Goldfinger from the first THPS

Man those were good times...

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

AS for the name, it is very common for two high profile companies to merge and retain both names. The interesting point here though is the fact that they are choosing to go with the name of a subsidary of the company doing the merger, Vivendi. Blizzard is such a high profile developer, that both Activision and Vivendi saw that putting Blizzard's name in the new company name rather than Vivendi's woule make it a larger selling point to the consumers. Who here buys games because they are produced by Vivendi? Now who here has bought a game because it was produced by Blizzard? There is a large difference there.

As for concerns over Activision messing up Blizzard, I highly doubt it. Blizzard is what the industry likes to call a "cash cow." Or you could refer to it as a "goose that lays golden eggs." Most sane companies would know to leave it alone and let it print money for you. Every now and then however, you will get a publisher that gets greedy and attempts to extract the gold from the goose *cough*EA*cough*. That destroys the goose. Hoepfully, Activision is a bit smarter than that. Judging by the choice of name, I would say that they are.

AS for this affecting the quality of games currently produced by Activision, good luck. It's tough to teach an old dog new tricks.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

I was hoping for the name "Acti-Bliz" heh.

As per affecting the quality of Activision games, while the merger does not have an immediate effect it does have other far reaching effects.  Vivendi owns Universal Music Group which means that EA's Rockband now has less songs to liscense whereas the Guitar Hero franchise comes into a massive benefit... being that I like Rockband a lot better than Guitar Hero due to being able to have a tonne of fun with friends who don't like the wrist crippling guitar controller like I do.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

I was actually rooting for "Blactivision." 

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Tom is smarter than the rest of the 20 million people playing Blizzard's games.  Why can't we all look past the fact that we're having fun and see that they don't stand up to the high standards of Tom?

 

What I want to know is how a merger of two companies changes things from a monopoly to a duopoly.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Because activision-blizzard is now a large scale business on an approximate level with EA so there's 2 superpowers rather than one. I'm getting cold war flashbacks, here's hoping that EA don't have nukes...

As much as I hate to agree with anyone, I can understand where Tom is coming from. Diablo 3 looks like a prettier version of diablo 2 which was a prettier version of diablo 1. Warcraft 3 was a prettier version of warcraft 2 which was a prettier version of warcraft 1. I've not looked at starcraft 2 because I was so incredibly bored with starcraft 1 but I'll take a chance and guess that it'll be a prettier version of starcraft 1. World of Warcraft looks practically identical to the 2-3 other MMOs that I've had the misfortune of trying but I'm strongly biased against MMOs so my opinions are hardly objective on this one.

Sure, if you like those games, all power to you and I hope you have awesome fun but from my perspective they don't look like they've done anything different beyond the occasional unit and prettier graphics since their respective first iterations.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Well, in my observation Blizzard hardly messes with a formula they found that works

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Nor does EA, they've built a major corporation out of doing the same thing over and over. Whilst blizzard's stuff is vastly better made in general and people might not be enslaved & worked to death quite as often, their stuff is very samey.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

True, however, if EA had gotten Blizzard we'd no doubt see one Warcraft expansion a year, or every six months

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

That or SimOrc

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

The duopoly things likely refers to how thw two companies are coming together, instead of EA's strategy of swallowing up a company and then raping the quality out of the games.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Monopoly - one big company dominates a sector.  Duopoly - two big companies dominate a sector.  Nothing to do with how the companies came into being.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Damn straight!  Finally someone else sees the light!  If we get a few more people we can get rolling with Tomunism!

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Well here's hoping that this inspires Blizzard to actually make something interesting and new.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Meanwhile the brainiacs at Kotaku went "here's to hoping Activision will make good games because of this" the last time this was in the news.

Funny enough, I recall them having done so more than enough on their own.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

What interesting, new thing has Blizzard done in, well, ever?  I'm not suggesting that what they produce isn't of the highest quality, just that it's nothing that hasn't been seen before.

They are very adept at presentation, packaging and refining ideas to their most precise and, often, most playable form.  However a company that so effortlessly rakes in such a massive amount of cash can certainly take a few risks yet Blizzard consistently chooses not to.  Why is this?

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Yes they do have the capability to delve into uncharted territory. But who is to say that they aren't? They have two unconfirmed games in production. They have not announced the names or gameplay style. But they are there. Considering they have already announced Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, there really isn't much more to make anotehr game on other than Warcraft. I doubt they are making two new Warcraft games.

They also have made other games in the past outside of their formula. Lost Vikings for one. But Blizzard is a company that has found a formula that works for them and makes them money and they are well within their rights to do that. I would rather have a company repeatedly make quality games in existing franchises than waste effort and money on possibly company breaking "interesting, new things."

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

I understand that they have games in development and while that is intriguing their last foray into previously unexplored territory, Starcraft Ghost, died a quiet death.  What I have to judge, what's been made available, is that the first two new games that they're releasing in a long time are sequels to existing franchises that are fundamentally 3D rehashes of existing gameplay ideas.



I would love to see a Lost Vikings sequel.  That was a good, fun game.  The thing is that Lost Vikings is more a piece of Blizzard arcana then an active piece of gaming culture.  Their last non-Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo game was Justice League Task Force in 1995.  That's almost a decade and a half of developing three franchises focusing on, when you boil it down, two gameplay styles.  Starcraft and Warcraft are RTS games and Diablo and WoW are loot-based click-and-watch, grind-heavy RPGs.  Certainly Blizzard has refined formulas to their most precise, most playable and, arguably, most fun but for a game studio that is heaped with so much praise I don't think that it's absurd to question their strategy of evolution and refinement over innovation.



It certainly is within their rights to continue cashing in on their existing franchises and gameplay styles.  I would never suggest otherwise.  I have a very different opinion tne you do on you final point, though - I would rather have a company attempt new and interesting things, possibly breaking them in the process, then rehash the same concepts.   Blizzard is also in the unique position to be able to release something new and have it get traction.  As a gamer who values innovation over familiarity I would love to see Blizzard put some of their admittedly impressive talent and obscenely deep pockets behind a truly novel idea.



All of this being said I really do hope that Starcraft II and Diablo III are pieces of requisite fan-service that Blizzard feels compelled to "get out of the way" before they start working on new ideas.


 

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

I have to agree with you on the point that Blizzard needs at least one new IP. As much as I love Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft, to the point of absorbing all the lore throughout my childhood(except when they retconned half of WC's story in WC3), I'd really like to see something new come out.

Blizzard is a MASTER of giving consumers exactly what they want in their games. They've always worked with as close to cutting edge technologies as they can, while still being available to the masses, and they always make games as a labor of love. To me it really shows that they aren't just cashing in on their franchises when they listen to their customers and don't give a damn that the customers think they're taking too long to make a game. I mean come on, Diablo 3 has admittedly been in production for "at least 4 years" and its still "nowhere near done."

To me, that enough is plenty of reason for them to break into a new IP. If they were to fill it with lore like they've done with their big 3(ever read the manuals for a Blizzard game? Half of it is lore) and then work on it just like they would any Big 3 game, it would be a great game, no matter what kind of game it was. If Blizzard were to make an FPS, I could pretty much guarantee you that it would have more backstory and lore to it on release day than Halo did until after Halo 2 came out.

I think StarCraft Ghost would have been a great way to branch out, while still remaining in sovereign territory, but it died because of issues with contracted companies causing the developement prices to soar. Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans ended up dying because interest in that style of game was in sharp decline and because by the time it was released, it would have already been obsolete in almost every way.

 

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

What the fuck kind of name is "Activision Blizzard"? That is SOO lame!

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

Doesn't change the fact that it's a stupid as hell name.

Re: WaPo: Activision Blizzard Now Official

 

Activision Blizzard?  Thats almost as hard to say as Miller-Coors... As long as this doesn't affect Diablo 3, and  Blizzards high standards, it doesn't bother me.

 
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