So Activision has bought WoW then? Or has Vivendi bought Guitar Hero?
Neither, but sort of both too. Neither company has bought out the other. What’s happened is that the two publishers have merged to form the new Activision Blizzard company which shares the assets of both. Vivendi just has a controlling interest.
Traditional Activision or Blizzard series like COD and Starcraft will still be labelled with their original company’s logos.
Isn’t wrapping everything up in the same company going to make the industry stagnant, with one big corporation in charge?
It’ll probably have the opposite effect. EA had been the biggest grossing third-party publisher in the world for years until Activision's mammoth profits for the first half of 2007 saw it overtaking, and that new rivallry really shook things up. This new deal sends competition for EA through the roof and means that the assured dominace it once had is well and truly gone.
It (and in fact any other big publisher) is now going to have to work harder to compete. Don’t forget, Activision Blizzard might be a mega-corporation, but it’s made up of very worthwhile and rightly-loved ingredients. Guitar Hero, WoW, Diablo, Call Of Duty, Starcraft… It’s a good package all round.