Home Gaming Activision buys its independence from Vivendi

Activision buys its independence from Vivendi

2 min read


Well, well, well. It seems Activision-Blizzard’s not been too happy with all of major-stakeholder Vivendi’s constant meddling in its financial affairs, and Bobby Kotick, the man everybody loves to hate has made plans to buy the company out from under its overlords – making Activision-Blizzard an independent company.

The house of Call of Duty and Warcraft will buy 439 million shares from French conglomerate Vivendi for $5.83 billion. On top of that, a new investment group lead by Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly will purchase $2.34 billion worth of shares – with Kotick and Kelly investing $100 million combined of their own cash. The group also includes Chinese company Tencent, Davis Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners.

“These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi,” said Kotick.

“We should emerge even stronger-an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value and expand our leadership position as one of the world’s most important entertainment companies. The transactions announced today will allow us to take advantage of attractive financing markets while still retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability.”

“Our successful combination with Blizzard Entertainment five years ago,” Kotick added,” brought together some of the best creative and business talent in the industry and some of the most beloved entertainment franchises in the world, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Since that time, we have generated over $5.4 billion in operating cash flow and returned more than $4 billion of that to shareholders via buybacks and dividends. We are grateful for Vivendi’s partnership through this period, and we look forward to their continued support.”

That’s …some pretty incredible news. With Activision-Blizzard being independent and no longer having to answer to corporate frogs in suits, we may actually see the company taking more risks with IP – though I doubt we’ll stop seeing annual Call of Duty releases. Vivendi’s been trying to offload Activision for ages – so I think everybody involved might be happy with this. Except other indie developers, when they lose next year’s “Best Indie Game of 2014” to the latest Call of Duty.

Last Updated: July 26, 2013


  1. DarthofZA

    July 26, 2013 at 07:54

    This is how all Fridays should start from now on.


  2. LordCaptainAwesomeness

    July 26, 2013 at 07:58

    with Kotick and Kelly investing $100 million combined of their own cash……

    Damn, that some nice cash…. all the WoW and CoD Junkies have been good to their dealers..


    • That Super Twit

      July 26, 2013 at 08:05

      They have been very good…


      • Trevor Davies

        July 26, 2013 at 08:33

        Cash-In of Duty 😉


        • Gustav Willem Diedericks

          July 26, 2013 at 08:44

          Ah Yeah!


      • RinceandLeSIGH

        July 26, 2013 at 08:39

        Hahahah! Nice 🙂


  3. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    July 26, 2013 at 08:12

    This could actually be a good thing. Maybe, just maybe we might see them move away a little from all the perma-online nonsense (Apart from CoD naturally)


    • Mark Treloar

      July 26, 2013 at 08:18

      Maybe they will actually start working new IP’s……oh wait no Bobby Kotick is still there


  4. Trevor Davies

    July 26, 2013 at 08:17

    I wonder if there will be much change in the way they do business. The different shareholders will still want their pound of flesh, and CoD & WoW are pretty much printing money – so there probably won’t be a change there.

    Hope they do go with some smaller creative projects now & not just try for big AAA style titles – and then if one of those small ones pay off big, expand it – and don’t be afraid if they don’t do so well either, but keep trying.


  5. Hesperus Phosphorus

    July 26, 2013 at 08:20

    Wow, good news! But Tencent really is getting fingers in pies everywhere it can…not necessarily such a bad thing, I guess.


    • Mark Treloar

      July 26, 2013 at 08:31

      Activision developed and FTP COD for them. It makes sense for them to invest. It would be funny though to see a Call of Gears.


  6. Gavin Mannion

    July 26, 2013 at 08:20

    Awesome incredible news… so glad that corporate greed didn’t destroy Activision.


    • Robert Infy Hart

      July 26, 2013 at 08:21

      It didn’t?


      • Gavin Mannion

        July 26, 2013 at 08:29

        Nope, I honestly don’t see Activision as an evil company at all. And instead of Vivendi plundering them they can now control their own future


        • Ultimo_Cleric N7

          July 26, 2013 at 09:24

          And the Blizzard guys arent too bad either.


  7. RinceandLeSIGH

    July 26, 2013 at 08:39

    Geoff, approved. You can stay.


  8. Admiral Chief Minion 47

    July 26, 2013 at 09:14

    Good, get rid of the “cheese eating surrender monkeys” as a certain character defines it.

    Give back gaming to gamers. VIVA!!!


  9. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    July 26, 2013 at 09:23

    MAn, so happy to hear his, Those Vivendi suits are Money sucking Vampires.


  10. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    July 26, 2013 at 09:33

    So that’s how you do it?

    1) Work for 5 – 10 years as a CEO,

    2) Get a grossly obscene and inflated salary,

    3) Then use that same salary (+ stock accumulation in your portfolio) to break the shackles that bind you.

    4) ???????

    5) Profit!


    • Ultimo_Cleric N7

      July 26, 2013 at 09:45

      Stop making sense Dammit!


    • Unavengedavo

      July 26, 2013 at 09:51

      Kinda sounds like Gladiators of ancient Rome :/


  11. Unavengedavo

    July 26, 2013 at 09:53

    On a side note… What the hell is up with all the Minion profile pics? 😛 (not that I am complaining)


    • CaptainNemo42

      July 26, 2013 at 09:59

      It’s about grown men buying Happy Meals… For themselves.


      • Unavengedavo

        July 26, 2013 at 10:05

        There is nothing wrong with that 😛 I do it as well sometimes, I got a transformer and Batman 😀


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        July 26, 2013 at 10:23

        I have 2 minions so far… damnit McDonalds, why don’t you sell the toys and add the burgers for free.


        • CaptainNemo42

          July 26, 2013 at 10:30

          Same here. I want another one. Problem is, they’re not real…. And in their thousands. 🙁


  12. OVG

    July 26, 2013 at 10:33

    5 COD games can easily make more money than that anyway. Cut paste x5. wait 1 year and BINGO.
    Crazy world.


  13. Crash0Lux

    July 26, 2013 at 19:36

    Nooooooooooot Indie! For the thousandth time stop screwing wioth people’s perception of what indie is its making real indies suffer, seriously!


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