Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Activision-Blizzard is not Blizzard

I worked at Blizzard for close to three years. During my time there I saw a lot of big things happen: the closing of the Console Division and shelfing of Starcraft Ghost, the launch of the first (and second!) World of Warcraft expansion ... and one that some people say is the biggest event in Blizzard's history, Vivendi Games' merger with Activision.

The merger was, of course, a controversial move; and, like any corporate maneuver, it's generated a lot of misunderstandings, misreporting, misinformation ... in general, it's been a flurry of mis-es. It's upsetting and frustrating to see so many people not understand what the merger means and, in turn, form stubborn opinions.

If you want to help curb ignorance and misunderstanding regarding what's going on with the merger, you're in luck. My former employment at Blizzard means I have a lot of information to share to set the record straight. Even if you're going to continue believing that Blizzard is somehow dipping in quality or in a bad way because of the merger, at least read what I have to say. It'll be worth it.


You can choose to believe these answers or not, that I was fed a corporate line or that I was unaware of things going on in offices on floors higher than mine. This is your prerogative. Just remember that I no longer have a vested interest in defending Blizzard or lying to back them up.

Let's first start with some basic questions.

What is Blizzard?

Blizzard is a game development studio and publisher. They create video games from start to finish and prepare them for distribution, as well as distribute the games they create.

What is Activision-Blizzard?

Activision-Blizzard is a publisher. It is the publishing company formerly known as Vivendi Games, which published studios like Blizzard and Sierra. Vivendi Games shares were converted into Activision shares, thus forming a new company of which Vivendi Universal immediately purchased 52%.

Is Blizzard's development run by Activision now?

No. Activision's development teams have not merged with or joined Blizzard's.

What was Activision before the merger?

A game publisher, and it remains as much.

What does a publisher do?

A publisher does just that -- it publishes and distributes games made by development studios. Publishers are likely to provide financial backing for development of games by their specific developers. Most studios have a single publisher that they work with for every title they develop.

Who published Blizzard's games before the merger?

Blizzard did!

Does a publisher control what a development studio makes?

In many cases? Yes. A publisher generally has certain criteria for what they want published, and are likely to instruct the developer on how and when a game will be published. This may include release dates, game content, etc. Thankfully, Blizzard still publishes its own games, not Activision, so this is moot.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories