It's part of my job to keep my ear close to the ground for interesting developments and shifts in the world of games, but I have to confess that this one caught me off-guard too. It seems to have just had that effect on most everyone and even Joystiq
were more than a little shocked.
Lets cut to the chase: Vivendi Universal, owner of the Sierra brand and of Blizzard Entertainment, has merged with Activision, owner of Call of Duty 4
and the Tony Hawk
So, yeah - the news is pretty damn big.
The merger has resulted in the formation of a new company with the oh-so-imaginative name of Activision Blizzard and the move cost around $18 Billion. Vivendi Universal will own around 52 percent of the new company, but Activision Blizzard will be headed up by Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick.
For all those WoW
addicts though who're worried about the future of their
game, Blizzard sent President Mike Morhaime to explain things to 1-Up
"If you want to buy stock in the company, the stock is called Activision Blizzard; the central shared services for the company, such as the sales and distribution force, will be Activision Blizzard. But Blizzard Entertainment will continue to be a publishing label... You should not see it [Activision Blizzard] on anything. It will not be associated with any product.
" He said.
News is still trickling through on how the merger may effect the future of other games and we will keep everyone updated obviously, but until then you can always let us know your thoughts in the forums