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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Vivendi Games and Activision Merge

Default Vivendi Games and Activision Merge

December 3rd, 2007, 13:50
We've actually reported this at MMOWatch but as several readers have noted, this is big news and needs to be covered here. Vivendi SA has taken a controlling interest in Activision and merged it with Vivendi Games to form Activision Blizzard:
Game Makers Vivendi Games, Activision to Combine in Deal That Gives Vivendi Controlling Stake

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vivendi SA said Sunday that it plans to acquire a controlling stake in Activision Inc. and combine the company with Vivendi Games in a deal that would create a rival to Electronic Arts Inc. as the world's largest video game publisher.
The combination of Santa Monica-based Activision, whose titles include "Guitar Hero," "Call of Duty" and the "Tony Hawk" series, and Vivendi Games, which publishes "Crash Bandicoot" and owns the online role-playing franchise "World of Warcraft," would create the world's largest pure-play online and console game publisher, the companies said.
Vivendi Games will convert its equity into Activision shares valued at $8.1 billion, and Vivendi will buy an additional $1.7 billion of stock, for a total of $9.8 billion, giving Vivendi a 52 percent stake in a new company to be called Activision Blizzard. On that basis, Activision and Vivendi valued the combined company at $18.9 billion.
"This transaction has always stuck out as the way to become the number one most successful video-game publisher," Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in an interview.
Vivendi's Irvine, Calif.-based Blizzard Entertainment is behind the top multiplayer online role-playing game franchise, "World of Warcraft," which the company says more than 9.3 million subscribers worldwide. Blizzard's Warcraft and Diablo series are two of the top-selling video game lines of all time.
Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and chief executive officer of Vivendi, pledged the deal "will unlock the value of Blizzard."
Said Jeff Brown, spokesman for Electronic Arts: "We wish them luck. We look forward to the competition and believe that EA still has the strongest portfolio of perennial game franchises."
Kotick, who will stay on as president and CEO of the new company, said the deal had been in negotiations since January.
Under the agreement, shares of Vivendi Games will be converted into 295.3 million new shares of Activision common stock at a price of $27.50 per share, for a value of $8.1 billion, the companies said in a statement.
Vivendi, based in Paris, France, also will purchase 62.9 million newly issued shares of Activision common stock at a price of $27.50 per share, or $1.7 billion, giving Vivendi its 52 percent stake.
Activision Blizzard will continue to operate as a public company traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker ATVI.
After the transaction closes, expected in the first half of 2008, Activision Blizzard will launch a $4 billion all-cash tender offer to purchase up to 146.5 million Activision Blizzard common shares at $27.50 each. Vivendi also has agreed to acquire an additional $700 million of newly issued Activision shares, giving Vivendi about a 68 percent stake in Activision Blizzard if the tender offer is fully subscribed.
The offer price is a 24 percent premium to Activision's closing price Friday of $22.15 per share.
Activision Blizzard's board of directors will be comprised of six directors designated by Vivendi, two Activision management directors and three independent directors who currently serve on Activision's board of directors.
Vivendi Games CEO Bruce Hack will serve as vice chairman and chief corporate officer of Activision Blizzard.
The merger will provide Activision Blizzard with the most diversified and broadest portfolio of interactive entertainment assets in the industry, according to the statement.
The companies said the transaction would be accretive to earnings for both companies' shareholders in the first year after the deal closes. The combined company is targeting pro forma operating income of $1.1 billion and pro forma earnings per share of more than $1.20 in calendar year 2009.
Thanks Sir Markus, Bundyo and Galaad! I think it needs a better name…Blizzion?
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December 3rd, 2007, 13:50
How about Activizzard?

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December 3rd, 2007, 14:20
They need to follow the lead of 2K

Activision California, should do it.
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December 3rd, 2007, 15:27
I like Activizzard. Or what about Blizzivision?

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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December 3rd, 2007, 18:00
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
How about Activizzard?
This sounds like an Adventure Quest monster, though I still like the sheer sound of it.

Btw, another interesting read is this gamasutra article http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new…hp?story=16458 for anyone interested
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December 3rd, 2007, 18:26
Can we expect a Pitfall III by Blizzard?

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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December 3rd, 2007, 18:30
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Can we expect a Pitfall III by Blizzard?
It will be Pitglide III, because you can't actually fall into a pit, as that would be too harsh and constitute an actual death penalty. Instead, when you miss a rope, you glide along the ground, and you have to wait several seconds until you get another chance to hang onto a rope.

They're not going to cater to hardcore gamers, and why should they?
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December 3rd, 2007, 18:52
lol D

Dhruiny was this the company's press release? I went to MMOGWatch and found the BBC news link. Arma, thanks for the Gamasutra link.

I mentioned before, there's a girl in my classes who's father is David Crane, one of the founders of of Activision. I was trying to get her the details on this.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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December 3rd, 2007, 19:52
Hard to pick between Activizzard and Blizzivision.

There's quite a bit of news about it all over the net, Lucky Day-you might check out Blues News for a good summary:
On the Activision/Vivendi Merger:
A Blizzard Entertainment Press Release offers an official FAQ on the just-announced merger between Blizzard and Activision (story). Also, the Activision/Vivendi Merger Q&A on IncGamers talks with Blizzard President and CEO Mike Morhaime about the deal, there's another Q&A with Morhaime on GameSpot, another on 1UP, still another on IGN, an article-format conversation on GameDaily, and Five Key Points about the merger on Gamasutra. Finally, News of Merger Sees Vivendi Shares Rise on Next Generation offers early returns on the financial implications of the deal.
The actual links to all this are here.

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December 3rd, 2007, 20:29
Big numbers — wow. How about "Vivizzard"? That doesn't actually make sense based on this merger, but I just like the name!

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December 3rd, 2007, 21:53
I'm voting for "Living Vision in an Active Blizzard". Always liked long names…
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December 4th, 2007, 04:42
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I think it needs a better name…Blizzion?
How about … Oblizzion?
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December 4th, 2007, 14:47
Originally Posted by Dantre View Post
How about … Oblizzion?
Then you'd need BethSoft involved

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December 4th, 2007, 15:20
Actiblizion!
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December 4th, 2007, 15:55
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
How about Activizzard?
Sounds great !


I still don't understand why it had to be Activision ?

They are here in Germany only one publisher among others, and not even a really big one - at least from my perspective.

Although they do publish good games - yet the name isn't as much in my memory as like Eidos, Ubi Soft or so.

Might be a bias towards certain games, though.


Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Can we expect a Pitfall III by Blizzard?
Only for a "next-gen" console, I'd bet.
Not for the PC at all.

It just wouldn't fit" on the PC as a gaming platform anymore, because on the PC this type of games has died out.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 4th, 2007, 16:41
Activision hasn't published anything RPG-worthy in recent years, save perhaps Troika's Vampire - Bloodlines, and we all know how they went. Blizzard hasn't published anything worthy since Bill Roper and co left the building (at least that's my point of view). Vivendi (read as Vivendi's non-Blizz dev/pub arm) as hasn't published anything worthy of anything (as in something I actually care about) for years. They did have some potential - LotR universe licence, for example but did nothing with it, untill it went to EA, who now do nothing with it.

The overall message I get from the announcements and stuff goes like this - Vivendi had tons of money and had nothing to do with it so they conviced Activision of this merger of a sort. Nothing RPG like is ever going to come out of this (hope I am wrong with this) or anything I would care about.
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December 4th, 2007, 23:36
Activendi
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December 5th, 2007, 08:22
the evil hand of Rupert Murdoch surely must be behind this ='.'=

I purrsonally would vote for Blizzivision. It sounds like some kind of weird William Castle gimmick or something
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