MERGER Activision Blizzard VS Electronic Arts
This Sunday a merger was announced between two industry giants. Vivendi Universal, and Activision. Most of the details have yet to be hammered out but several key things are:
“Following the completion of the transaction, Robert Kotick will be President and Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. Bruce Hack, current Chief Executive Officer of Vivendi Games, will serve as Vice-Chairman and Chief Corporate Officer of Activision Blizzard, accountable for leading the merger integration and the finance, human resources and legal functions.
Mike Griffith will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Activision Publishing, which after closing will include the Sierra Entertainment, Sierra Online and Vivendi Games Mobile divisions in addition to the Activision business.
Mike Morhaime will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Blizzard Entertainment. Thomas Tippl, currently Chief Financial Officer of Activision, will be appointed Chief Financial Officer of Activision Blizzard and Jean-François Grollemund, currently Chief Financial Officer of Vivendi Games, will be appointed Chief Accounting Officer of Activision Blizzard.”
*Vivendi will remain the majority in shareholdings (largest percentage of ownership of the two companies)
*Activision will likely remain a separate, independent division of Vivendi in much the same way as Blizzard Entertainment.
The reason for the merger, partly to better compete against EA, especially in the ever-growing online games, (including MMOs’ ) market. EA, like Vivendi has many divisions including popular BioWare/Pandemic, Mythic/Warhammer Online. Needless to say, it will be a struggle to compete with this new combined force.
Another significant reason for the merger is to be the immediate dominate force in the market, and more importantly begin to spread and develop an Asian market. They also note the many benefits in the future development of new games by the influx of experienced developers and industry professionals. Guitar Hero stands at the forefront of this as it benefits from a new relationship Universal Music Group (world’s largest music company.)
The bottom-line is that this new merger will spur a new a growth of ideas, development and possibilities to both companies. Regardless of whether you love/hate or are neutral about the deal you must respect the decision. It has the potential to powerfully influence the entertainment industry for years to come.
Mike Morhaime, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blizzard summed this up best. “From our interactions with the Activision team, it is clear we have much in common in terms of our approaches to game development and publishing. Above all, we are looking forward to continue creating great games for Blizzard gamers around the world, and we believe this new partnership will help us to do that even better than before.”