Vivendi Universal, Activision Merge

Giving EA a run for its money in the size/profitability stakes.

I think it’s pretty safe for me to assume that anyone tech-savvy enough to be reading this will know who Vivendi and Activision are, if not Google is just over there. What you might not know is that as of yesterday, the two companies are now one; it almost seems impossible these days for such a large announcement not to be preceded by weeks of rumour and speculation, but there you have it. For those not in-the-know, Vivendi is the company responsible for the Sierra brand and Blizzard, of 9.3-million subscriber strong World of Warcraft fame, while Activision holds such franchises as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Town Hawk.

The merger has cost in $18 billion or thereabouts and sees the creation of the new and inspiringly named Activision Blizzard, of which Vivendi will own 52 per cent; however despite the new name, Blizzard Entertainment is still the name which will appear on any games such as, say, StarCraft 2 for example. Full details of exactly how all the games owned by the respective companies will be affected is still sketchy, but we’ll of course keep you updated should anything important emerge.

René Penisson, current Chairman of Vivendi Games, had this to say: “We are very confident that by combining forces, Activision Blizzard will set the highest standards in quality, reputation and profitability, and will bring together the best creative teams in the industry. The combination of this unique product portfolio with highly professional employees gives us great confidence in the growth prospects for Activision Blizzard.” Going by the subsidiaries past efforts, there seems to reason at all to doubt him.

Press release (PDF Alert!).

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