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Meet your new Overlords: Activision Blizzard


I'm a little overwhelmed by the news that Vivendi has acquired control of Activision to form Activision Blizzard. The PDF (you'll need Adobe Reader) for the transaction is here.

There is an excellent writeup of the whole deal with quotes from the principals over at Massively, but here are the highlights:

  • Vivendi is contributing Vivendi Games (which includes Blizzard ) and some cash to the tune of $1.7 Billion.
  • Vivendi will have a 52% stake in Activision Blizzard.
  • Activision will be merged entirely into Activision Blizzard and will bring all of their games including Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Tony Hawk.
My main concern in all of this is a selfish one. I don't want Blizzard to be kept to new deadlines in creating their games. The "we'll release when it's ready" philosophy may be frustrating when we are impatient for new games and expansions, but it produces high quality games. Having worked for a video game publisher before, I know how rigid deadlines can hurt otherwise promising games. And we can see where the Diablo team still produces a fun game, but one that was obviously released before it was ready when we play Hellgate: London.

What do you think of this news? Will the merger hurt WoW? Or do you think Blizzard will be able to continue mostly autonomously considering they are currently such a cash cow for their owners?

[Thank you to everyone for all the tips!]

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