Activision, Vivendi and Blizzard. Wow!

Did ya see what I did there? I crack me up, me.

Well, another day, another bloody hell! moment with Vivendi Universal effectively buying Activision.

Didn’t see that one coming I have to say, but then apparently neither did anyone else that I’ve talked to! Talk about out of left field.

I might not have been surprised if some of the smaller outfits had started eating each other – I could see THQ Gobbling up Majesco, or someone eating Jowood, but at this level? Totally didn’t see it coming.

I think it’s interesting that most of the top spots are going to be taken by ATVI people – I think that’s an indicator that VUG wanted the ATVI leadership and process, and with the success of COD 4 and Guitar Hero III fresh in everyones minds, I can quite see why.

I think this is match made in heaven – VUG has the Blizzard cash cow and is very deep in those area’s in which it excells, but it’s breadth isn’t that great. Scarface made it’s money back but wasn’t the hit they expected. ATVI, on the other hand, has great breadth in what it does, from the Value stuff to Barbie, to Call of Duty, to the Id Stuff, Raven, Tony Hawk and so on. But it isn’t that deep, with perhaps the exception of Tony Hawk and COD (although I do tend to believe we are seeing the winding down of the Tony Hawk franchise – could be wrong about that though). Plus it has no persistant online presence – no MMO presence, which Blizzard brings to the table.

Really it’s a great match between the two, I can quite see how this is going to give EA issues.

Now this does effectively put EA on the defensive though. Now they are number 2 in revenues etc. EA has not put out huge quality recently, with Godfather barely breaking even and The Simpsons not reviewing as well as was expected. They bought Pandemic / Bioware which is great, but they won’t start really seeing the results of that for at least a year.

I can quite see EA making an acquisition of this magnitude sometime soon – Smart Money is on Ubisoft, although it would be costly – Ubisofts stock is 4x what it was when EA bought 20% of them.
I dunno, I’m thinking Eidos. It’s been on the block for a while and I can see EA sniffing around it to get hold of Tomb Raider and Crystal Dynamics.

We shall see! I’ll keep the Magic 8 Ball handy.

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