Activision Blizzard

Marius

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Activision Blizzard, Inc., formerly Activision, Inc., is the American holding company for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. It is said that it is the only publisher that has "leading market positions across all categories" of the video game industry. Activision Blizzard is the world's second-largest gaming company by revenue after Nintendo.

In December 2007, Activision announced that the company and its assets would merge with fellow games developer and publisher, Vivendi Games. René Penisson, formerly a member of the Management Board of Vivendi and Chairman of Vivendi Games, would serve as Chairman of Activision Blizzard. Bobby Kotick, once head of Activision, was announced to become President and CEO of Activision Blizzard.

In April 2008, the European Commission permitted the merger to take place. The commission essentially needed to approve that there weren't any antitrust issues in the merger deal. On July 8, 2008, Activision announced that stockholders had agreed to merge. The deal closed on July 9, 2008, and the total transaction was an estimated $18.9 billion. Vivendi was the majority shareholder, with a 52% stake in the company. The rest of the shares were held by institutional and private investors and continue to be traded on the NASDAQ stock market, for the first 10 trading days post closing as ATVID, and subsequently as ATVI. Jean-Bernard Levy will replace René Penisson as chairman of Activision Blizzard.

Activision and Blizzard Entertainment still exist as separate entities. The holding company does not publish games under its central name and instead uses its subsidiaries to publish games, similar to how Vivendi Games operated before the merger. The merger makes Activision parent company of Vivendi Games' former divisions.

While Blizzard retained its autonomy and corporate leadership, other Vivendi Games divisions did not. For example, long-time label Sierra ceased operation. With the merger, there was a rumor that if a Sierra product did not meet Activision's requirements, they "won't likely be retained." Some of Sierra's games such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and Prototype have been retained and are now published by Activision. Also, due to the closure of Sierra, the Sierra Community Forums servers have been shut down as of November 1, 2008.

Source: Wikipedia

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