Activision and Vivendi merge to form serious EA rival
With revenues at around the $3.9bn mark (estimate for this year), EA has long been the biggest name in games worldwide. But that's all about to change.
In an $18.9bn deal announced yesterday Activision and Vivendi are to merge and create Activision Blizzard.
By combining the two businesses their revenue will increase to around $3.8bn for the current year, which puts them virtually neck-and-neck with EA. What's more interesting is the momentum Activision Blizzard will carry in comparison.
EA have had their troubles this year. What with buggy games coming out on all platforms and an inability to produce anything worthy of the PS3 thus far, it's not been great for them. Add in the cost cutting they've had to put in place (such as shutting the Chicago office in the US and the Chertsey office in the UK) and it's obvious they're feeling the heat right now. From a personal perspective, FIFA 08 is the first EA title I've ever had to return because it was so full of issues it became unplayable.
Activision, on the other hand, own some of the most popular titles around such as Guitar Hero and Call of Duty. And Vivendi have the incredible World of Warcraft which probably still has another two years of growth in it and will contribute around $1.1bn a year. World of Warcraft is such a phenomenon that over half of the world's entire MMORPG gaming community are registered players.
It looks like a good deal for both companies and Activision Blizzard will automatically become the leaders in the MMORPG space that EA is so desperate to get into. I predict they'll be the number one games company in the world by this time next year - anyone want to disagree?