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Submitted by iamironman 1248d ago | news

Vivendi still looking to sale Activision Blizzard; Sony not interested, Microsoft haggling price

IncGamers: Media powerhouse Vivendi is still looking to get rid of its majority €8 billion stake in Activision Blizzard, a “credible source” claims.

Said source has claims that a Vivendi sales of Activision Blizzard still “absolutely remains under consideration”, despite Vivendi’s finance director saying last week that a break up of the company was out of the question.

News first arose of Vivendi’s plans to sale Activision Blizzard this past July, when a price tag of €10 billion was touted. (Activision Blizzard Inc., Industry, Microsoft, Sony, Vivendi Universal)

TheMasterShake  +   1248d ago
sony if i were you i'd try to buy out the spyro and crash IP's from activision through vivendi. best do it now since vivendi is trying to sell blizzard Activision off.
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CalvinKlein  +   1248d ago
they would probably not be able to afford the price as Im sure activision would want tons of money for spyro since skylanders is huge at selling plastic junk to children for 10-15$ a pop. Its like COD DLC but for children who are to young to know they are being ripped off. They buy some characters and its suddenly a 120$ game they are playing. Way more profitable then waiting for the sequels to make the next 60$ from the series, especially when the sequel comes out a year later anyways with its own DLC.

I dont think Activision would sell that for cheap.
xX-StolenSoul-Xx  +   1248d ago
Honestly suprised Sony does not want to buy it. Just for Billzard's WOW Itself I thought SOE was a huge player in the mmo industry they could take over wow.

Having all of activisions library would be also good especially taking back some of its old first party titles like crash
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TCG_Returns  +   1248d ago
8 billion is a lot of money to spend on something.Would you risk that kind of money, even when the longtime shareholders seem so eager to be rid of them?

I wouldn't.
gaffyh  +   1248d ago
Even if it's 8 Billion I'm sure any company who buys them will more than make their money back on COD and WoW (guaranteed money) and all the other titles. Not much of a risk if you look at it that way.
nukeitall  +   1248d ago

"Honestly suprised Sony does not want to buy it. Just for Billzard's WOW Itself I thought SOE was a huge player in the mmo industry they could take over wow."

Sony can't afford it. Activision Blizzard is worth 14% more than Sony at the moment. In fact, Activision Blizzard has no debt while Sony has plenty of debt.

So there is almost no way Sony could buy *half* of Activision Blizzard even if they wanted to because of their own business situation. At least not without huge loan and huge risk.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   1248d ago
It seems like a no brainer to go out and buy Activision Blizzard, but 8 billion is a lot so it is no surprise Sony isn't interested.

It would be interesting if Microsoft picks up Activision. Seeing Spyro and Crash exclusive to Xbox would be something you wouldn't think of in a million years, now there is an actual possibility for that to happen.
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papashango  +   1248d ago
its actually not a really good investment and this is why Vivendi is looking to sell. Right now is the perfect to sell before we begin to see the beginning of the end. I'll give my opinion

1. I will bet anything they want to sell before November We will see how much marketshare the CoD franchise has lost by the end of the year. Blackops topped 25 mil, MW3 is still in the teens. I'm gonna guess BO2 doesn't break 10 million. still impressive yes but if you're a shareholder you are NOT happy. I can guarantee you CoD becomes Rainbow Six next-gen. Short term it'll make you money but this franchise is done.

2. I guarantee they want to sell at a price that will have you depending on the revenue of WoW for at least 5-10 years. Would you bet everything on a game that's losing subscribers? It's a war of attrition right now. Does anyone really believe WoW will be on top 10 years from now?

Vivendi is simply trying to maximize profits before the inevitable demise.
sway_z  +   1248d ago
I think I could live without those two franchises.... Two fairly good games from a by gone era....Truthfully, I'm not really a platformer.

*PSN titles only? ....maybe.
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koehler83  +   1248d ago
It's true, but it would makes sense for Sony by reducing complications anytime they want to go back and revisit the IPs, in the way they're currently doing with All-Stars.

Also, Spyro is worth a fortune right now.
CalvinKlein  +   1248d ago
well thats the problem. THey cant spend that much money just to maybe make some game that probably wouldnt even sell very good. If they did buy spyro/crash back they would HAVE to start pumping out skylanders games in order to make their money back and that really isnt what we would want them to do with the ips.

They couldnt spend all that money and then make some platform games that probably wouldnt sell good.
HebrewHammer  +   1248d ago
Seems like a waste of money to me. Instead of spend an arm and a leg to buy up Activision just for Crash and Spyro, why not devote resources to already owned franchises of a similar calibur, like R&C, Sly, and J&D?

Also, Sony has made some of the most compelling new IP this gen - why the need to buy old ones when they are more than capable of revolutionizing with new?

And we seem to be forgetting that Sony saw one of their steepest share drops in some time, but we're endorsing they toss 10 Billion at Acti/Blizz?


It's being sold for good reason. The company is volatile. The CoD bubble won't burst, but it will be surpassed by others nex-gen. MMO's are going FTP, WoW will soon follow suit by the end of 2013. And Diablo III pissed a lot of people off.

I'd stay away from it too.
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shutUpAndTakeMyMoney  +   1248d ago
Buying activition is to risky for sony right now. If ms buys them then game over. I don't like xbox though.

As for pc gamers they hate MS for good reason. Might see Bizzard kinect game maybe. Diablo 4 will have xbox menu on pc version.

There is no company that is as anti pc gaming as MS. Even origin/EA is better than them.

I wish valve had the cash to buy acti.
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iamironman  +   1248d ago
perhaps is someone else took over they'd actually make some interesting games? rather than just releasing sequels to the same few over and over again.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   1248d ago
Like Resistance, Uncharted, GT, God of War, Ratchet & Clank....etc.

Why stop pumping out IP's that actually sell to a consumer base that actually like them....heaven forbid.
MrBeatdown  +   1248d ago
He says something about Activision, a company that is notorious for pumping out sequel after sequel, to the point that it completely ruins and kills all interest in once great franchises, and seemingly gives new IPs the lowest priority of any publisher out there, and your first thought is to jump on Sony?
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tehpees3  +   1248d ago
Well Sony really can't afford it and Microsoft seem sure they have activision's bias for years to come yet.
CraigyScotsman  +   1248d ago
Even though Sony is bleeding money at the moment, they still have over 13 TRILLION Yen in assets ($166 billion). So I'm pretty sure they can afford to buy Activision. They just don't want it.
Swiggins  +   1248d ago
What a magical world you seem to live in...
StayStatic  +   1248d ago
Hopefully blizzard gets back their second half of the companies shares and splits leaving only bobbyvision.
KMCROC54  +   1248d ago
Microsoft owning Call of Duty and World of Warcraft & a few other IP's would be interesting.
sway_z  +   1248d ago
Sorry to disappoint...but even if MS took the deal....I seriously doubt WOW would ever make it to 360....maybe it's successor, but even then....

and don't MS already own COD (lol) Jokes aside.....COD would suck even more if it was exclusive to MS...just 'cos.
KMCROC54  +   1248d ago
Never said anything about exclusivity on those two games, but exclusivity on the less stellar IPS intergrated w/ kinect features. that's where my thoughts were heading
Lvl_up_gamer  +   1248d ago
He didn't say anything about being on the 360 exclusively. WOW could still stay on the PC only, but Diablo could see it's way to the 360 exclusivly....COD could be an exclusive. This could help push more consoles, either 360's or 720's out the door and into consumers homes.
cloud 279  +   1248d ago
to lvl_up_gamer

Buying Blizzard for MS would be not smart, knowing they take forever with releasing their games. If Blizzard started work on Diablo for the next Xbox, it wouldn't release until Xbox 4 was close to announcement. So ponying up 8 billion for Blizzard isn't worth it, maybe I'm wrong and they work on a new IP which is based around consoles architecture. COD which is a fan favorite currently could also change in the future and be on the way down. Currently the only profitability in owning Acti-Blizz is for short term only. Currently I don't see a future for MS to buyout Acti-Blizz. This could change with the new leadership MS will be bringing if they buy them out.
supraking951  +   1248d ago
that stupid thought would be awesome imo. Id love Microsoft to ruin those franchises just like they did with Rare and all of its games.
KMCROC54  +   1248d ago
Ruin what games ,they will keep the money maker making profit like they do now.
Rare was crap, top guys had gone elsewhere nothing left but a modest group remained.
The Rare purchase was more of an investment in IP's. as for the non stellar games that A/B has they can be rejuvenated w/ some kinect features .
Megaton  +   1248d ago
I think Microsoft is more comfortable just paying them off for the ad rights and timed-exclusive DLC.
sway_z  +   1248d ago
There is absolutely nothing within the Activision roster that warrants the purchase IMO. Both MS & Sony have their own key franchises.

.....and for the love of gaming, let's hope Apple don't snap this opportunity up....I dread to think what could happen if COD and other IP's became exclusive to any platform.

*Sorry to discount Nintendo...but I think we might all agree 1st Party is more to their interests and agenda, even if Ninty is trying to secure better 3rd party support.
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topekomsi  +   1248d ago
Wow i wonder what it would mean for ps3 if M$ did aquire acti/bliz, 360 timed exclusivity would be the bright side after that, i fear.
Dread  +   1248d ago
Do it MS!

this would basically put MS and Sony even exclusive wise.
smashman98  +   1248d ago
No not even close as a matter of fact. Though if microsoft could force that side to create new I.P.s and bring back dead ones then yes unfortunately that is neither microsofts nor activisions style
Ben_Grimm  +   1248d ago
Wow, I would think MS and Sony would be wrestling on the floor to get rights to Blizzard?Activision IP's. #1 MMO and RTS and the #1 FPS on consoles not mention the other IP's Activision has ran into the ground could be solely MS's or Sony.

Imagine CoD exclusive to one console? That to me would be a huge game changer.
chasegarcia  +   1248d ago
Sony does not have the cash to buy it.. They could afford millions not billions.
MrBeatdown  +   1248d ago
There's so many reasons not to buy Activision. First of all, they're a multiplatform company. Take that away, and you've got a company that loses a substantial number of it's potential customers, and therefore, a lot of it's value.

Being bought by MS or Sony means they'd go exclusive. Everyone playing CoD on the platform that loses it isn't going to suddenly flock to another console. Some will, but definitely not all. That bump in sales isn't worth it for basically just Call of Duty.

Activision is big on licensed games. Go exclusive to one console, and Marvel goes elsewhere for Spiderman. Hasbro goes elsewhere for Transformers. Those companies don't care about console wars. They care about being able to sell to the biggest audience possible. Go exclusive, and there goes a big chunk of the business.

What's left is CoD, Skylanders, WoW, and the corpse of Guitar Hero. By comparison, look at what could be done with the money it would cost to buy them. MS and Sony are better off reaping the benefits of Activision, without taking on all the risk, and putting their own money into improving their own platforms. I don't know the currency conversion, but pretty much any amount with a "billion" after gives you one hell of a budget for creating new IP, building studios, and securing publishing deals.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   1248d ago
"There's so many reasons not to buy Activision. First of all, they're a multiplatform company. Take that away, and you've got a company that loses a substantial number of it's potential customers, and therefore, a lot of it's value. "

This could be said about any 3rd party that chooses to develop solely for a single console like Insomniac and Quantic Dream. They would have a much larger audience if they released their games multiplatform yet choose not too and they are still in business. MS is a very very rich company so taking a multiplatform company and making it an exclusively only company could result in larger sales for hardware at the cost of software. It all depends where MS would want to allocate the loss and which would be more beneficial to them. Heck, MS could still allow Activision to make multiplat's just more money in MS's pocket at the end of the day. They could just have exclusive DLC for their console. Media Molecule didn't have a problem selling out to Sony when they could have maintained as an independent studio who could make whatever games they wanted and put them on any platform they wanted.

If MS owned Activision, it would give a much larger incentive to purchase a MS console over their competitors thus resulting in a much larger market share. It could also push more "games for windows" on PC's.

Sure not ALL will "flock" to the other console, at least not at this point in the generation. Start of next gen could be a different story. New next gen purchasers that would normally have bought a PS4 may now decide to just buy a 720 because that is where they will get their COD fix. That in turn will cause their friends to buy a 720 since that is were all their friends will be playing COD.

Again, examples like Marvel and Hasbro are not AAA games and don't sell that much anyways let alone define a console and give it identity, but just because MS would own activism doesn't mean EVERYTHING that comes out will be exclusive. Games like Transformers and Spider-man could very well remain as multiplatform.

Why should MS put the money into "bettering their own platforms" when their platforms not only rate highly amongst the industry with titles like Forza and Halo but also already bring in hundreds of millions of dollars? Why not buy Activision and increase the size of your exclusive library with the likes of Diablo, COD, Guitar Hero, WoW etc?

So many complain about MS's lack of exclusive IP's and now that MS may now have a chance to expand their exclusive library of IP's by purchasing already well established IP's, you all want them to not do it.

The ONLY ones that seem to have a problem with MS buying activision are those who strongly support the competition.

As per your reply up top - You need to re-read what I wrote. I wasn't jumping on Sony, I stated that great games deserve sequels because people purchase them consistently. Why are you so defensive when anyone mentions Sony...even to the point of ignoring when it's a compliment?

Sheesh...issues much?
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Ben_Grimm  +   1248d ago
Those are not good reasons at all you mentioned.

CoD is THE largest FPS franchise out right now all over the world. Imagine if one console got the rights to this franchise, you mean to tell me that wouldn't be a game changer in this "console war"?

Skylanders is a HUGE success, it has captured MAJOR attention from kids all over. Imagine if the third sequel came out for one system and come Xmas the kids are screaming and nagging to their parents to have the latest Skylanders. For the easily swayed parents they have to buy the system if their kid doesnt have it and purchase the game. That would be huge and also capture a big chunk of the kids/casual market.

On the Blizzard side you have WoW, the number ONE MMO out on the market, DIII and Starcraft II which are both just as equally popular. Imagine having some version form on console for those three extremly popular and world recognized IP's on one console system.

Also you get any in house development tools or engins that these guys might use to ceank out their games.

There are just as many reasons to buy them.
nukeitall  +   1248d ago
Actually, Sony or MS buying Activision doesn't mean any franchise has to be exclusive. It only means favoritism to one platform. Besides that, MS could influence Blizzard to release some of their games exclusively on PC and Xbox since they don't appear on consoles yet.

Keep in mind that only half of Activision Blizzard is on sale (unfortunately the half that has the power).

Also to answer your other question why buying ATVI is a great idea? It is because you get a controling stake by only buying half a company and you get a known quantity of quality business. Blizzard itself is a crown jewel.

Under normal circumstances you would have to pay the full price for this sort of access!

Which leads me to this:

"I don't know the currency conversion, but pretty much any amount with a "billion" after gives you one hell of a budget for creating new IP, building studios, and securing publishing deals."

How much did it cost to create a MMO? How many have been successful? You instantly get access to not only a very profitable business and ip, but also instant access to the leader in MMO.

As far as I can tell, nobody else has been able to profit from large scale MMOs.
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MrBeatdown  +   1248d ago
@lvl-up, ben, and nukeitall

Let's get the nonsense out of the way. MS has no interest in developing for all the competing consoles. In fact, the logic for justifying why they should buy Activision... more exclusives... contradicts it.

Now, did one of you prove why it's worth spending 8 billion euros, or the equivalent $10 billion to buy Activision? Nope!

I can come up with a few reasons not to though, just to get that common sense flowing again.

1. Gears of War cost $10 million to develop. $10 billion lets you develop GoW 1000 times over. GTA4 cost $100 million. They could develop GTA4 100 times over. Or they could come up with a few more blockbusters of their own and use those to sell the console. I hear that "Halo" thing worked out well for them.

2. In 2010, Live revenue was over $1 billion. MS could make Live free for 10 years. And that figure may or may not include digital sales, which if anything, just goes to show what $10 billion gets you.

3. They could knock $100 off the price of the first 100 million next-generation Xboxes sold. People like discounts!

So, I just layed out what $10 billion could buy MS... An astronomical development budget which would provide all the exclusives MS would ever need, a way to instantly eliminate all criticism against Xbox Live and make it the undisputed leader in online service both in value and functionality, or they could offer a whopping discount on day 1 to drive console sales, which in turn drives software sales.

Now, which do you think would be most beneficial to MS as they compete in the next generation? I know for damn sure "make CoD 37, Skylanders, and a few Blizzard games exclusive to Games for Windows " isn't going to make me buy an Xbox, and more importantly, continue to spend my money on Xbox anywhere near as much as any of the options I came up with.

Oh, and did I mention, Microsoft can continue to reap the benefits of maintaining their relationship with Activision. Oh and they can recoup lost revenue with a new premium tier of service. Or they could sell those games they develop at a profit, bringing the cost of all these ideas down. Crazy, right?

Now, let's look at the reasoning from all of you... people would buy an Xbox instead of other consoles for an Activision game. That's true! Except for all those who would by two consoles either way and would just buy that one game for that different platform. And all those people that just won't buy it because they like everything else on PlayStation or Wii or PC or whatever. Or the ones that find an alternative to a game like CoD... like Battlefield, or Medal of Honor, or Homefront, or Killzone, or any other game that pops up to fill the void on the non-Xbox platforms. So few choices!

So, I ask, why exactly, are a few Activision games, and all the Bobby Kotick-y goodness that comes with it the best use of Microsoft's $10 billion?
MrBeatdown  +   1248d ago
Now that that's out of the way...


"This could be said about any 3rd party that chooses to develop solely for a single console like Insomniac and Quantic Dream."

Yeah, it could. It can't be said about basically every other developer and publisher out there though. So a few developers choose to let Sony buy them for whatever reason... security, less financial risk, creative freedom other publishers don't provide... who knows. The few examples you listed pale in comparison to the fact that nearly every major studio is now multiplatform.

"Marvel and Hasbro are not AAA games and don't sell that much anyways"

And yet you suggest MS might want to take on the responsibility of developing them. For all platforms no less. Uh huh.

"So many complain about MS's lack of exclusive IP's and now that MS may now have a chance to expand their exclusive library of IP's by purchasing already well established IP's, you all want them to not do it."

Yeah, everyone out there has been just clamoring for MS to take content away from other consoles, rather than create their own new content. Seriously, this kind of thing needs to be explained?

"The ONLY ones that seem to have a problem with MS buying activision are those who strongly support the competition."

Of course. Pay no attention to the fact that three staunch Xbox supporters are here trying to argue with me. It's always "those other guys" that are the problem, right?. It's never you. Oh, no, never.

"Why are you so defensive when anyone mentions Sony...even to the point of ignoring when it's a compliment?"

Let's recap. A guy criticizes Activision's milking of their franchises. You follow that up with "Like Resistance, Uncharted, GT, God of War, Ratchet & Clank....etc." How could I have possibly mistaken that for anything but a glowing compliment? Perhaps I should have read further to when you used the term "pumping out". Such an endearing term. I would have used "dumping" or shoveling". Nothing implies a positive tone quite like comparisons to plumbing, ditch digging, and trash disposal. I know if someone came up to me and told me how proud my dad must have been when my mom "pumped me out" I'd be pleased as punch.

"Sheesh...issues much?"

Was that a complement too? It's hard to tell with you. Now, onto the comments Ben pumped out...

(See how complimentary that sounds?)


You said nothing of substance. We all know they are big franchises. But you didn't provide a shred of context to that. I came up with some perspective. Three ideas... many of which address the core areas that will determine how the next Xbox will fare against the competition... pricing, games, and online.

I did find this amusing though...

"Also you get any in house development tools or engins that these guys might use to ceank out their games. "

Yeah. Microsoft wants Activision's development tools for their own console. Because we all know Activision is the pinnacle of technical achievement this generation. Who needs Epic or Crytek and their impressive engines, or even your company's own knowledge of it's console when you've got a modified Id Tech 4 engine? I can hear Steve Ballmer now... "WRITE THE FREAKIN' CHECK!!!"
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Treian  +   1248d ago
If MS buys Blizzard, WoW will be ruined.
LAWSON72  +   1248d ago
If microsoft buys blizzard that will be a sad day for their fans since that means byebye PC and hello Xbox.
sypher  +   1248d ago
8 billion is a lot. Hard to see how anyone would be making back that money. Especially this late in the game. I'm thinking it will end up selling to some conglomerate non gaming entity. After all Vivendi own 61% so that is controlling interest. Hopefully they keep the company around and don't try and sell of all its assets in the hope of making back their 8 billion plus a little extra.

If Apple/Google wanted to get into the console market this could be a potential buy in. But I think any company looking to make money and continue the company wouldn't be looking at anything like exclusivity to a console as the IP's would be pushed as making as much money as possible. So the more devices the better. So not really a feather in the cap of Sony or MS (and again at this late stage with the next gen around the corner).

So short term buyer (some Bain Capital type company) would be thinking of making as much money as quick as possible by any means necessary. They wouldn't be a gaming interest.

A long term buyer would only buy the company if they are a gaming company themselves and hoping to make a profit in 20 years or so :p But at least the company would continue.
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CandyCaptain  +   1248d ago
I thought the funny thing is if Microsoft does acquire them they get Bungie working right under them again! lol
FinaLXiii  +   1248d ago
Microsoft better not buy it cause it will ruin the Call of Duty brand forever.
madjedi  +   1248d ago
I know 343 is still unproven, but ms actually does have some decent devs or at least had.

If ms bought cod, it might actually be beneficial for the franchise, and i doubt ms would make it exclusive. Just to not lose out on millions of sales of course make the other version inferior as incentive to switch platforms for cod fanatics.

How much lower can cod honestly go, it's already been left in the dust by countless games.
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Jazz4108  +   1248d ago
The reason this is unlopular on n4g is a buyout from ms could put the final nail in $onys coffin. That coffin is allready laid out with several nails in it.
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madjedi  +   1248d ago
And it's dumbass comments like this that leads to 38 ignores, by all means let ms buy out activison and make cod exclusive to the xbox. The only idiots going out and buying a 360 for it are the cod casuals who play nothing else.

Actual gamers have alot more content to choose from. Speaking of coffins, ms might want to revamp it's lineup, i see only 2 new games that look to be good and one is a third party title.

I don't count mp's since, the 360 is a secondary console for me.

You know some of us, ignore the console war bs at time and just enjoy playing fun games. Post your psn id, my gt is spiredequation0, either prove you own the console or stfu.

While we are on the subject why do 360 owners just assume ms will have as many new ip's under development for the 720 as the 360 did. When ms has done the exact opposite(close studios) the last 4 yrs.

343 is only dealing with halo, you need alot more than 1 studio and a few kinect based studios.

There are 2 types of posters on n4g typically, opinionated assholes that play games and give their personal opinions on systems ect.

And then various spin docters, shareholders and sales analysts who refute any criticism of their preferred game or console by screaming about sales numbers.

And typically create new accounts every few months when their old accounts are either debubbled or get too many ignores.
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smashcrashbash  +   1248d ago
The kind of comments on N4G shows how little many people know about business. It's not simply having the money to buy it, it's if the company fits in with your plans. To buy a company you have to think synergy, if it fits in with your short and long term plans, if it is necessary, or profitable or cost effective.Just like most things people just think like a fanboy and think 'Oh gee you get Call of Duty, Spyro WOW and Crash and that is wonderful and if I owned a company I would buy it just like that'. But whether a company has the money or not doesn't automatically mean that you run out and buy anything that comes your way. For example Microsoft ran out and brought Rare and Rare was not the type of company that fits with Microsoft's way of gaming which is one of the reasons the games they made failed so miserably.

They didn't connect with the company they just latched them on to them and hoped for the best. So Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard could very well be a catastrophe if they are just buying them just for the sake of buying them. People always think that when companies buy other companies everyone will just click and make friends and everything will just go smoothly from then on but if they have no synergy going on between them and the employees then you might as well leave it alone.People always think it is only all about money. Many times companies don't buy other companies because they know very well it isn't going to work between them or fit into their plans.

But people seem to forget that a company is made up of people and all the money in the world isn't necessarily going to make it work for you.You can have all the resources but that doesn't mean you can make it work for you. Sony buying a company like this may sound like a good idea to a gamer or a missed opportunity but could be a very bad idea to them business wise. A new company means more people to deal with, more resources to manage and more positions to organize.The reason why I am writing this is in response to the 'Sony can't afford it' claim when they could just not want it at all.
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