Activision Blizzard Case Study

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Activision Blizzard is a leading video game developing and publishing company.
Its games operate on gaming consoles, mobile devices and PCs and are sold through retail channels or digital downloads.

1.1.1/ History of the company

Activision Blizzard was created in July 2008 from the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games (parent company of Blizzard).

Activision (currently named “Activision Publishing”) was initially founded in 1979 by two former employees of Atari, David Crane and Alan Miller, and became the world’s first third-party developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles. The goal of its founders was to compete with video game consoles makers who were, until then, the only publishers of video games. Unlike the consoles makers, Activision wanted to reward lead developers of a given franchise by putting their name on the game box. Atari, who was one of the leading consoles makers at the time, launched a suit against Activision to preserve its monopoly on games for its system, the Atari VCS. By the time the suit settled in 1982, Activision had already launched several games running on the Atari 2600, including River Raid,
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The $19bn merger was completed in July 2008, after shareholders’ approval. According to the CEO of Vivendi, Jean-Bernard Lévy, this merger will form “the world leader in online and console games” with “the combined strengths of the two businesses offer[ing] immense growth potential”. Indeed, the new entity will combine the console business of Activision and the PC gaming business of Blizzard, which will be represent a strong competitor for Electronic Arts. At the time of the merger, Vivendi kept a 52% stake in the new
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