Activision Blizzard buys itself from Vivendi for $8.2 billion

By Scorpus
Jul 26, 2013
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  1. Media giant Vivendi held a majority stake in Activision Blizzard up until today, with the gaming company announcing that they will be buying a portion of Vivendi's stake to regain majority control. The buyback will cost around $8.2 billion: $5.83...

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  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,885   +642

    Does this mean we'll see any better games though? What does activision blizzard gain from this?
  3. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Vivendi is in, if I recall correctly, upwards of 15 billion in debt. Since Vivendi owns Activision by owning I think it was around 70% of shares, they were planning on taking Activision's cash reserve to pay off little over half of their debt. While a good thing for Vivendi, this would have meant Activision wouldn't enjoy the financial stability to produce and market games, especially with Gen 4 around the corner. It would have been pretty bad for them.

    So essentially what Kotick did was, make Activision buy about 88% of Vivendi's shares, leaving Vivendi with about 12% ownership, or for all intent and purposes, nothing. This means Activision is now its own boss, leaves Activision with about 3 billion in cash reserve, and Vivendi can use the cash it got from the sale to pay off its debt.
    Burty117 and MilwaukeeMike like this.
  4. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,291   +55

    $8.2 billion! Lots of money in games.
  5. Classified1

    Classified1 TS Rookie Posts: 77

    Activision ruins games, enough said.
  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,937   +157

    Thank you for making diablo 3, a console port that took 2 years to reach consoles.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    Kotick's still around? Damn, I remember he used to open his mouth just to change feet. I would've thought he'd be on pension by now.
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +627

    Okay, so it would have been bad for Activision. However, now it's even worse for games.

    With a large cash reserve, they can now sit high and happy while they blow money on ridiculous advertising campaigns for their next clone of COD24.

    If they lost their nice reserve, they'd be forced to actually make a decent game.
  9. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Activision doesn't "make" games, so I don't know what you're talking about. They publish (as in fund, package, and market) games. Most developers (the ones that make the games) have complete control over successful franchises, that's why BF will never be like CoD, even though it could, theoretically speaking, make EA more money.

    Also, CoD alone is multi-billion dollar franchise (franchise, not *just* a game), meaning at best--if worst comes to worst--EA could maybe, just maybe scrape together the money for it and keep it afloat. But what will happen to the rest? If Activision were to fall, the are other franchises that could be lost in an auction if no bids are placed.

    Meaning that World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft could be lost or brought by other publisher with studios with different vision. That's also not to mentioning the smaller other IP that Activision's studios and their subsidiaries own.

    And that's not even the most important thing.

    The biggest issue is the loss of industry revenue, as less games means less money spent at GameStop and other retailers, consequently leading to lost jobs and downsizing. It means consoles have less variety of titles and perhaps less people playing games; it means financial institutions are less willing to give money to developers because the titan of the industry collapsed, and of course worst of all: hundreds or perhaps a couple of thousand very talented workers across the world would likely not have replacement jobs in the industry without having to move to new parts of their respective countries or even around the world.

    If someone as big as Activision falls, every developer, gaming outlet, and gamer feels the effect because it sets a precedent and leaves people out of work. It wouldn't kill the industry--far from it--but it could seriously dampen the outlook of the industry and its creativity for years to come.

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