Why DID blizzard merge with activision anyway?

Ahem. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Blizzard didn’t merge with anyone.

Blizzard as company has never been independent, only as Silicon and Synapse.

They were under Davidson and Assoc. as Blizzard, Davidson sold them to Vivendi and Vivendi merged with Activision, Blizzard never had a say.

Fun fact, Vivendi was actually the majority holder at the start.

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Lots of historical sites. The short answer is $$$. Vivendi wanted to cash out its Blizzard holdings.

It was a lie, Mike latest interview confirm this.

when you’re a part of a public company, there’s only really so much independence you can actually have, because I didn’t actually own the company for such a long time.

Activision own Blizzard.

Yea, no. I started declining in Wrath. That was still manned by the ‘original’ developers.

Want to take a guess? I’ll wait…

Okay so the answer is… :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag:

Maybe a bad comparison, but they are like insurance companies. You cannot function without one. The risk is too great.

There’s never enough liquid capital to allow any business to function without protection from some kind of internal or external failure.


10 char


Oh, you’re serious?


Yeah, it was kind of amazing to see how many naive people there were on the forums saying that Blizzard Ent was an independent entity under ActiBlizz. Ownership has its privileges (and responsibilities).

But Blizzard Ent is responsible for the games that Blizzard makes. I doubt ActiBlizz ever told WoW devs what features they had to include in the game. As long as WoW made enough money to hit their targets, they probably didn’t care how WoW made money.

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This sums it up quite nicely.

Blizzard hasn’t owned itself since 1994. Blizzard didn’t decide to merge with Activision. It was sold to Activision by its former owner, Vivendi.

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I doubt most people would agree with you. But you are entitled to your opinion, of course.

This is an apt analogy. It’s basically one of those situations where if you can get top-cover to help your company in the event of a loss and give you more access to additional resources as necessary you’ll probably be interested in doing it. Obviously there is the potential for control issues but if the “lanes in the road” in the corporate structure are set ahead of time and written into the acquisition contract they can usually be avoided. Obviously some informal influence may still occur, but the benefits usually outweigh the detriments.

Easy answer. $$$$$$

They didn’t have a choice…

In 1994, Blizzard needed money to fund their games. So the company was sold to Davidson & Sons. In 1996, Davidson & Sons along with Sierra Online was purchased by a company called CUC International. CUC International defrauded their shareholders and others so it was broken up. The gaming companies it owned were sold to a French media company called Vivendi. The new division was called Vivendi Games and Blizzard was part of it.

In 2007, Activision was on hard times so they merged with Vivendi and the game division was renamed Activision / Blizzard to capitalize on the brand name recognition. After this, the CEO of Activision / Blizzard decided the company should stand on its own. So he talked to his buddies with money and they raised $8 Billion dollars and offered the majority to buy Activision / Blizzard from Vivendi Games. This was accepted because Vivendi was having hard times. Finally in 2013, Vivendi sold the remaining stock they had in Activision / Blizzard.


World of Warcraft is one of the most well-known games in the world in multiple countries. I have never met a single soul that has never heard of World of Warcraft. It even went so far as to inspire series, shows, be featured in series and shows, have references to it in other games outside of blizzard products, and even causing other players to partake in creating their own content, fan flash games, superb machinima styled animations (The grind series, Illegal Danish, Snacky’s Journal, Oxhorn, etc).

Yes, I stand by my “Gods of the gaming industry title.” More people knew who WoW was than Crash Bandicoot. That’s impressive.

They didn’t “merge.” Blizzard didn’t suddenly take control of a bunch of Activision titles. Rather, Activision purchased the company. The developers and product managers have little say in these matters. It’s all in the hands of the investors. Typically, one company offers a certain amount of money to purchase a company, and if no investors object, the sale is made and shares of one company are converted to the others’. That’s all that happened.

Contrary to what many on these forums think, these interactions seldom have an immediate impact on day-to-day operations, and they hardly ever have a direct one. Sometimes one company will buy a competitor for the sole purpose of killing their product, but in this case, Activision wanted to add Blizzard to its portfolio because it was hugely profitable, it was growing, and they wanted to share in its bright future. Profitable companies are generally left alone to keep doing whatever is making them so profitable, as long as profits and revenue keep growing.

With regard to game design, Activision has absolutely no say in the matter. I doubt Bobby Kotick even plays WoW. He certainly doesn’t maintain a direct line to Ion or insist on poor design decisions. These are all the domain of product management. I’m sure that Ion has some input, but he is hardly the sole arbiter of what does and doesn’t go into the game, the way that many claim.

While Activision has no direct say in design, they can set profitability goals, and Blizzard may take actions they would not otherwise have taken to meet those goals. Firing portions of the QA and CM teams could very well be a result of those directives, and that’s why I said that Activision doesn’t directly impact day-to-day operations.

The reason isn’t just money. Many investors were happy to convert their shares of a risky startup with only a handful of titles over to shares of a much larger company with a broad portfolio. That way, if one title goes belly-up, there are plenty of other potentially successful titles to soak the losses. Investors call that strategy diversification.


Probably money. They probably made more money together. Merges happen when both sides profit somehow.

At the time of the merger Vivendi (Blizzard ) had controlling share but over time Activision purchased the majority and took controlling interest