On high-danger of this article’s comment section turning into a giant argument-slinging hate-fest, it would seem to be the always forum-flame inciting Activision Blizzard is in the news again. This time however it’s being reported that after the recent removal/forced-stepping-down of its CEO that Vivendi Universal, the company who for more than 13 years has owned Blizzard Entertainment and for a shorter term Activision, is looking for a buyer to lay down 8.1 Billion dollars for its 61% share of the company that contains, at this moment, 13 development studios, including Infinity Ward.
Now a very brief glimpse into history. In 1998 Blizzard Entertainment (then owned by another corporate entity) was purchased by Vivendi Universal and added to their Vivendi Games lineup which included Sierra Entertainment at the time. In 2008 Vivendi Universal acquired Activision and merged it together with its Vivendi Games lineup. Taking the names of its two biggest developers, Activision and Blizzard Entertainment, Vivendi Universal created Activision Blizzard.
Yes, the two companies that much of the internet hates don’t have the final say on what products they make or the activities they do. Now, agreed, both companies have some autonomy certainly… but you can bet that at the end of the day, since all of our money is going to Vivendi Universal, they certainly have their say.
But it seems they’re looking to throw away two of the largest and most accomplished game developers in history, and it puzzled me to even ponder why. As a publicly traded company with no debt and a publicly filed bankroll of $3.48 Billion in cash and short term investments as of March 31st, last year alone the company returned a total of $886 Million to shareholders in dividends, Activision Blizzard isn’t exactly draining money from the Corporate Bank Account.
Whatever the reasons Vivendi has for the decision, it would seem there’s no one out there making themselves known that they’d like to hand over the $8.1 Billion price tag. If such continues and Vivendi decides to press the issue, they’ll be forced to essentially drain the company dry of non-essentials and sell the whole package for a price even my pocket book might look at. Given the chance, I’d likely sell off my entire portfolio and sell off every restaurant and storefront I owned if it meant grabbing Activision Blizzard’s falling shell.
But something tells me it’s not going to come to that. We’ll keep an eye out and keep you posted.