Report: Activision 'possible buyers' include Microsoft, Tencent

Activision parent company Vivendi may be looking to sell off its video game division, a new report suggests. Vivendi, a French media conglomerate, has been struggling in recent months, with S&P placing it under "negative credit watch" today.

According to a new report, Vivendi is talking to "possible buyers" of Activision, a move which will help the parent company raise up to $10 billion. Although the company has not commented directly on the matter, "every option is on the table."

"It's nothing official yet, but they've asked a bank to go and talk to possible buyers for Activision," a source close to the Vivendi board told Reuters (via IGN). Among the possible buyers at this time include Chinese game publisher Tencent, Microsoft, and Time Warner. Other potential buyers include KKR, Providence, and Blackstone, according to Reuters' banking sources.

Although Activision is the largest third-party publisher in the industry, its valuation is considered "affordable" for potential buyers, according to the report. Tencent and Microsoft would be interesting candidates for taking over the company, as both have a vested interest in the Call of Duty franchise. (Tencent will distribute a free-to-play entry in the series for China.)

A Microsoft purchase of Activision would truly change the landscape of the industry, but is it something that's even remotely possible? "They probably don't want to distract themselves too much, but they are the ones who, if they want to stay in games, would think about owning some of these big franchises, not just providing the consoles," the source said.