The BBC is reporting that Blizzard and Activision have issued a surprising announcement: The two gaming giants are going to merge their companies into one. The new company will go by the name of “Activision Blizzard“.
Activision and Blizzard have said they will form “the world’s most profitable games business” in a deal worth $18.8bn (£9.15bn).
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 and its chief executive will be Activision’s current CEO Bobby Kotick. Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.
Jean-Bernard Levy, Vivendi chief executive, 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.”
Blizzard has posted a FAQ page with some more details.
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.
The rest of the FAQ makes it clear that Activision will not affect Blizzard’s game development in any way:
- Blizzard’s team and its management will remain the same
- Release dates (what ever they are) will not change
- The Blizzard offices will remain operational
- The famous logo will continue appearing on game boxes
Activision obviously understands that Blizzard knows what it’s doing and will not attempt to alter Blizzard’s winning formula. If they don’t figure it out themselves, Blizzard’s hoards of fans will have to … explain it to them.
On the bright side, this paves the way for the inevitable “World of Guitar Hero”, where players roam a fantastic world, churning out guitar tunes to formulate spells instead of clicking mouse buttons repeatedly.Google+
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