Activision Blizzard

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Activision Blizzard, Inc.
NASDAQ-100 Component
Industry Video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded 2008 (as Activision, Inc.)
Headquarters Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Coordinates 34°01′10″N 118°27′09″W / 34.0195°N 118.4524°W / 34.0195; -118.4524Coordinates: 34°01′10″N 118°27′09″W / 34.0195°N 118.4524°W / 34.0195; -118.4524
Area served
Key people
Brian Kelly (Chairman)
Mike Griffith (Vice Chairman)
Robert Kotick (President and CEO)
Products Activision:
Call of Duty series
Skylanders series
Spyro the Dragon series
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series
Guitar Hero series
Blizzard Entertainment:
Warcraft series
StarCraft series
Diablo series
Heroes of the Storm
Revenue Decrease US$ 4.41 billion (2014)
Decrease US$ 1.183 billion (2014)
Decrease US$ 817 million (2014)
Total assets Increase US$ 14.746 billion (2014)
Total equity Increase US$ 7.513 billion (2014)
Number of employees
6,690 (Feb. 2015)
Subsidiaries Activision
Blizzard Entertainment
Footnotes / references

Activision Blizzard, Inc. is the American parent corporation[4] for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment, headquartered in Santa Monica, California, United States. In 2014, Activision Blizzard was the fifth largest gaming company by revenue.[5]


Merger into Activision Blizzard[edit]

In December 2007, Activision announced that the company and its assets would merge with fellow games developer and publisher Vivendi Games. René Penisson, formerly a member of the Management Board of Vivendi and Chairman of Vivendi Games, would serve as Chairman of Activision Blizzard. Robert Kotick, once head of Activision, was announced to become President and CEO of Activision Blizzard.

In April 2008, the European Commission permitted the merger to take place. The commission essentially needed to approve that there weren't any antitrust issues in the merger deal.[6] On July 8, 2008, Activision announced that stockholders had agreed to merge. The deal closed on July 9, 2008, and the total transaction was an estimated $18.9 billion.[7] Vivendi was the majority shareholder, with a 52% stake in the company.[7] The rest of the shares were held by institutional and private investors and continue to be traded on the NASDAQ stock market, for the first 10 trading days post closing as ATVID, and subsequently as ATVI. Jean-Bernard Levy replaced René Penisson as chairman of Activision Blizzard.[8]

On March 30, 2012 Worlds, Inc. filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Massachusetts Federal Court alleging Activision Blizzard, Inc et al. had infringed on several patents.[9]

Restructuring (2013)[edit]

Activision Blizzard does not publish games under its central name and instead uses its subsidiaries to publish games, similar to how Vivendi Games operated before the merger.[10] The merger made Activision parent company of Vivendi Games' former divisions until July 25, 2013.

While Blizzard retained its autonomy and corporate leadership, other Vivendi Games divisions did not. For example, long-time label Sierra ceased operation. With the merger, there was a rumor that if a Sierra product did not meet Activision's requirements, they "won't likely be retained."[11] Some of Sierra's games such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and Prototype have been retained and are now published by Activision.[12] Also, due to the closure of Sierra, the Sierra Community Forums servers have been shut down as of November 1, 2008[13] until Sierra was reopened on August 7, 2014.

Shortly after the conclusion of the merger, Thomas Tippl, CFO, alluded to future layoffs stating that the company "will exterminate some of our overlap through redundancy – but we will treat people fairly and respectfully in that process."[14] Also, games such as Brütal Legend, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, World in Conflict: Soviet Assault, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Zombie Wranglers, Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust and Wet were all dropped from the publisher to be picked up by other companies.

Split from Vivendi (2013)[edit]

On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced the purchase of 429 million shares from owner Vivendi for $5.83 billion, dropping the shareholder from a 63% stake to 11.8% by the end of the deal in September.[15] At the conclusion of the deal, Vivendi was no longer Activision Blizzard's parent company,[16] and Activision Blizzard became an independent company as a majority of the shares are owned by the public. Robert Kotick and Brian Kelly own a 24.4% stake in the company. In addition, Kotick remains the President and CEO, with Brian Kelly taking over as the Chairman.[15]

On October 12, 2013, shortly after approval from the Delaware Supreme court, the company completed the buyback, along the lines of the original plan.[17] Vivendi sold half its remaining stake in May 22, 2014, reducing its ownership to 5.8%,[18] which subsequently helped finance Vivendi’s takeover of EMI via Universal Music Group.

Recent years (2014–2015)[edit]

In 2014, Activision Blizzard was the fifth largest gaming company by revenue.[5]

By September 2015, Activision Blizzard was working on a movie for the World of Warcraft gaming franchise, with Travis Fimmel to star. The movie is set to be released in the summer of 2016.[19]






Patent infringement lawsuits[edit]

On March 30, 2012 Worlds, Inc. filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Massachusetts Federal Court alleging Activision Blizzard, Inc et al. had infringed on Worlds, Inc. US Patents Nos. 8,082,501;7,945,856; 7,493,558; and 7,181,690. Worlds, Inc. a small publicly traded IP firm asked for damages arising out of the Activision infringement, including enhanced damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284. Further asking and enjoining Activision and their respective officers, agents, employees, and those acting in privity with them, from further infringement. The infringement covers the highly successful Call of Duty franchise among several other yet to be named game titles.[9]

During pre-trial oral arguments Activision Blizzard lead counsel was quoted on the record stating "billions were at stake"[25] in regard to the claims made by Worlds, Inc.

The case was heard on October 3, 2014 in Massachusetts Federal Court with Judge Denise Caspar presiding. As of December 31, 2014, Judge Denise Caspar had yet to rule on which of the claims would proceed to trial.[26]

As of June 29, 2015 Worlds Inc. asserts the federal court that on Friday issued a Markman ruling related to the company's infringement suit against Activision "ruled that the majority of our patent claims construction language means precisely what the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office interpreted the claims to mean in the patents they granted to us," thereby leaving the company "in a strong position for a jury trial." Worlds hopes to receive a trial date at a July 30 scheduling hearing.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Activision - Corporate Info". from Activision's official website. 
  2. ^ "Activision Blizzard - Annual Report 2013" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Vivendi. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Activision - Blizzard: Our Company". 
  5. ^ a b "The Top 25 Public Companies Generated $54.1Bn Game Revenues in 2014, Up 10.4% Year-on-Year". NewZoo. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander. "EU greenlights Activision-Vivendi merger". 
  7. ^ a b Thang, Jimmy. "Activision/Vivendi Games Merger Approved: Stockholders support Activision Blizzard venture". 
  8. ^ Thorsen, Tor; Sinclair, Brendan (2009-05-05). "Vivendi CEO Activision Blizzard's new chairman". Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  9. ^ a b "Worlds vs. Activision Original patent infringement". 
  10. ^ "Activision Blizzard Inc details.". p. 2. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  11. ^ "Blizzard stay autonomous in Activision merger, Sierra not so lucky - Strategy Informer". 
  12. ^ Sinclair, Brendan. "Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters, more dropped by Activision". 
  13. ^ "Sierra Community Forums - Closure Announcement". [dead link]
  14. ^ "INTERVIEW - Thomas Tippl | Gaming Industry | Interview by MCV". 
  15. ^ a b "Activision Blizzard Announces Transformative Purchase of Shares from Vivendi and New Capital Structure". Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  16. ^ Seppala, Timothy J. (October 13, 2013). "Activision Blizzard completes buyback from Vivendi Universal in multi-billion dollar deal". endgadget. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (12 Oct 2013). "Activision Blizzard completes buyback from Vivendi". GameSpot. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013. 
  18. ^ "Vivendi to sell 41.5 million Activision Blizzard shares". Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Darrell, Larry (September 4, 2015). "Director Of Activision Blizzard, Inc. Warcraft Movie Reacts To Leaked Teaser". BidnessEtc. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  20. ^ "Activision Acquires U.K. Game Developer Bizarre Creations". from Activision's website. 
  21. ^ Sinclair, Brendan. "Budcat put down". 
  22. ^ Fritz, Ben (February 11, 2010). "Activision lays off about 200 employees, shuts down Santa Monica studio Luxoflux". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Fahey, Mike (3 May 2014). "Report: Neversoft Merging With Call Of Duty Developer Infinity Ward". Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Phillips, Tom (July 10, 2014). "Tony Hawk studio Neversoft bids farewell, burns eyeball effigy". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  25. ^ Patent Plays (13 February 2014). "Where's The Next Billion-Dollar PAE Play?". Seeking Alpha. 
  26. ^ Patent Plays (3 October 2014). "With Cameras Rolling, Worlds Inc. Battles Activision Blizzard October 3". Seeking Alpha. 

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