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Activision has High Moon working on Transformers, Radical on Spider-Man

When Activision Blizzard buys a development studio, it generally asks one simple question: Which one of our franchises can these guys work on?

The publisher's business model is based entirely on brands that it "exploits" (sequelizes and spins off) on a regular basis. Once in a while a studio gets to make a new property, like Raven is doing with "Singularity," but most of the time, they're working on a franchise. Infinity Ward has "Modern Warfare," Neversoft took ownership of "Guitar Hero," Vicarious Visions does Wii versions of "Guitar Hero," etc.

So after Activision merged with Vivendi Games last summer and its management took control of the new entity, you know CEO Bobby Kotick and his executive team had only one thought as they perused Vivendi's development studios: Which ones fit a need for one of our franchises?

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