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Report: Activision 'possible buyers' include Microsoft, Tencent

Activision parent company Vivendi may be looking to sell off its video game division. "Possible buyers" include Chinese game giant Tencent and Microsoft.

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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.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 11, 2012 11:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Report: Activision 'possible buyers' include Microsoft, Tencent.

    Activision parent company Vivendi may be looking to sell off its video game division. "Possible buyers" include Chinese game giant Tencent and Microsoft.

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      July 11, 2012 11:13 AM

      wait this has legs? I thought this was all conjecture? wow.

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      July 11, 2012 11:15 AM

      Hmm, how to make Activision worse, add in Windows Live to all its games and totally ignore PCs!

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        July 11, 2012 11:43 AM

        It's not like Activision's PC titles are all that great barring Blizzard (which is its own beast).
        I would actually find it quite interesting if all of Activision's console titles became 360 exclusives.

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      July 11, 2012 11:17 AM

      imagine if mircrosoft buys them and make cod an xbox exclusive franchise?

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        July 11, 2012 11:20 AM

        Wouldnt that be awesome? Let XBOX be an official FPS platform made for frat boys and teenagers who like to scream on their mic.

        I kid. I kid.

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        July 11, 2012 11:21 AM

        nothing of value would be lost

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        July 11, 2012 7:24 PM

        Exactly.

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      July 11, 2012 11:40 AM

      TIME FOR THE ELECTRONIC ARTS POWER MOVE !!!

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        July 11, 2012 12:11 PM

        That'd bring out the antitrust lawyers in a big way.

        Personally, I HOPE it's Microsoft. They may actually fix a lot of the FAIL coming out of activision lately.

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      July 11, 2012 1:40 PM

      soooooo Apple? Apple has the cash right?

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      July 11, 2012 1:44 PM

      isn't bungie with activision now? it would be funny if they were grabbed up by microsoft again

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        July 11, 2012 2:00 PM

        Yeah those bungie guys wouldn't be too impressed.

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        July 11, 2012 2:28 PM

        pretty sure its a publishing deal, activision does not own bungie.

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          July 11, 2012 2:42 PM

          ^^^This. Bungie is independent again.

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            July 11, 2012 5:07 PM

            How "independent" is a company that has a 10-year contract for two opposing biennial franchises, getting the majority of their funding via that contract?

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              July 11, 2012 5:11 PM

              well they own the IP right? That's a big deal. They can take it elsewhere when the contact they voluntarily signed is up. Are you automatically not independent if you have a publisher? Or if you have a contract for more than 1 game at a time?

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                July 11, 2012 7:11 PM

                Sure, they own the IP. Just like Infinity Ward owned the Modern Warfare IP, and well, at the end of the day, the REAL infinity Ward IS NOT producing the Modern Warfare games. Modern Warfare 3 didn't come close to Modern Warfare 2.

                And don't get me started with Terarch or Black Ops folks.... I might get Black Ops 2 a chance, but they will always be the B team. Just because the "A" team goes away, doesn't make the "B" team equal to the "A" in quality- fact.

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              July 11, 2012 7:10 PM

              Get off the high horse archvile. Independent means they aren't owned by their publisher. The deal they signed was done willingly, so it's not liek it was forced on them.

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                July 11, 2012 7:14 PM

                I'm just saying that when almost all of your funding is coming from one contract with one publisher, how "independent" is that in the grand scheme of things?

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                  July 11, 2012 7:24 PM

                  You are playing semantics and the usual "hate teh big corps" card. They own themselves and their current IP. What the deal with ATVI is will be seen, but by all definitions they are an independent developer.

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                    July 12, 2012 10:26 AM

                    The contract (If I remember correctly) is based on the first game bungie makes being a 360 exclusive but the ones after are cross platform.

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      July 11, 2012 2:14 PM

      oh yeah, the two biggest options:
      - Microsoft - Suddenly acitvision only releases on xbox 360, the few that may get through for Windows will use their broken GFWL
      - Tencent - Everything will be f2p and be microtransaction supported

      Its a sad day for the gaming industry today :(

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      July 11, 2012 2:41 PM

      What games does activision even make that anyone cares about? CoD?

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        July 11, 2012 3:37 PM

        Besides all of Blizzards stuff?

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          July 11, 2012 7:03 PM

          That's a different building... in a different county.

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        July 11, 2012 7:29 PM

        Well CoD is arguably the strongest IP in gaming. Then you have all the Blizzard IPs that everyone pretty much loves. If I was a billionnaire I'd buy them :D

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      July 11, 2012 4:21 PM

      maybe this would finally "motivate" Blizz to make, say, Starcraft: Ghost...

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      July 11, 2012 6:32 PM

      Google should buy em, get rid of that krotchtik guy

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      July 12, 2012 9:16 AM

      Guys don't confuse a subsidiary for a studio, they are a very different relationship. Owning snow-goggles is basically an investment relationship for the most part, owning a majority stake in a company, while EA owning DICE for example, is much more than simply owning the studio. EA handles payroll and generally all of the hurf durf business crap for their studios (stuff like payroll, stock options, tec), provides special equipment studios (like sound, motion capture etc), shares resources between them(running code from Madden used in BF3), handles advertisement of the studio's games. EA gets thoroughly balls deep in the involvement of its studios, mostly for the good of them.

      A parent media company doesn't tend to get anywhere near as involved as an EA/Activision would.

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      July 12, 2012 10:47 AM

      If Microsoft do buy Activison naturally all activision owned IP's would become Microsoft owned. I think there are 3 general outcones which are possible if MS do buy A, first MS (who are expected to report a loss because they bought a media advertising company to compete with Google) buy A and can't make the money back quick enough and their releasing of Windows 8, tablets, phones and the next Xbox is too much strain and MS gets into financial troubles. Second MS buy A but fail at integrating A into MS (they really aren't good at integrating new buys from what I hear) and damage A's IP's and damage the XBOX brand but stay financially stable. Last MS integrates A really well, Windows 8 (that will probably have an Xbox app for games rather than Windows games) and the Xbox will have great exclusive IP's and the Xbox will dominate the console market. If the last one happens Ea and Sony's relationship will be even stonger and Nintendo will find it even harder to compete without activision publishing on it's platforms and Nintendo may become a software only company.