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Author Topic: Blizzard and Activision Merging  (Read 11586 times)

ackblom12

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Blizzard and Activision Merging
« on: 02 Dec 2007, 17:30 »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7123582.stm

Holy mother of god, EA just got raped in the race to keep the largest Publisher crown.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #1 on: 02 Dec 2007, 17:41 »

EA's been #2 behind Activision in terms of size for some time. People just happen to think of EA when they hear the words "huge game company".
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ackblom12

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #2 on: 02 Dec 2007, 18:20 »

As i understood it Ea had recently taken it back with the purchase of Bioware/Pandemic. It was just bitch slapped by the fact that no matter how much I may love Bioware, Blizzard has Warcraft.

Just imagine a race with 2 "great" sprinters, both working tirelessly to beat out the other, EA gets back ahead and... BLUE SHELL!
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #3 on: 02 Dec 2007, 18:46 »

As i understood it Ea had recently taken it back with the purchase of Bioware/Pandemic. It was just bitch slapped by the fact that no matter how much I may love Bioware, Blizzard has Warcraft.

Just imagine a race with 2 "great" sprinters, both working tirelessly to beat out the other, EA gets back ahead and... BLUE SHELL!
That may have been the case.

To be honest, I'm not as keen on Blizzard as I used to be. I've no interest in MMOs at all (even the KOTOR MMO that made the rumor mill rounds awhile back didn't catch my attention) and I've really grown out of RTSes, being as it is that I only play defensively, building up my base and going the "overwhelming force" route that makes me a sitting duck. With the Diablo folks gone, I've got nothing to look forward to from Blizzard.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #4 on: 02 Dec 2007, 18:52 »

They've been hiring people who "have a passion for the Diablo series" just so you know.  And even then, I'm still not too big on Blizzard.  WOW was (and is) shit, and fantasy RTSes just aren't as cool anymore after Civ 4 and Rise of Nations.  I was not much a fan of Diablo to begin with, even though everyone else on the internet seems to be.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #5 on: 02 Dec 2007, 18:55 »

Diablo was a fun hack-and-slash, arguably the first and best of its kind. A little too click-intensive, but fun nonetheless. Though considering the fact that I've never beaten the first and never gotten past Act II in the second (I've played through Act I a million fuckin' times, heh) I might be giving them more credit than they deserve.

And IMO, turn-based strategy will always trump real-time strategy. What Starcraft had was exceptional balance, and I'm wary of that being lost in the sequel.
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ackblom12

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #6 on: 02 Dec 2007, 19:39 »

Blizzard lost it's place in my "if they make it I'll probably like it" category of developers (Valve, Bioware and Nintendo being the only ones currently in it) when Warcraft 3 was released. Diablo was an amazing franchise for me, I loved the first 2 Warcraft games, and Starcraft was an amazingly well balanced game that I sucked horribly at and then Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft happened and I just stopped caring about them at all.

However, that aside, this is still a huge fucking deal as far as the video game business is concerned.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #7 on: 02 Dec 2007, 20:00 »

Oh, well that just goes without saying.  I'm most likely going to be working for Firaxis or Big Huge when I get out of college, and Firaxis is under 2K (who've had some trouble) and Big Huge is, as far as I know, an independent developer.  Between the two big ones, though, I'd probably side with EA right now as they're trying to do a lot of original IPs.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #8 on: 02 Dec 2007, 20:27 »

Big Huge is in fact independent. Microsoft published the Rise of Nations games, but the RPG they're making with Elder Scrolls designer Ken Rolston is being published by THQ and is multiplatform, and they've apparently got a Wii game in development as well.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #9 on: 02 Dec 2007, 20:38 »

They've been hiring out the wazoo as far as I can tell.  After next semester I'm gonna shoot for an Assistant Programmer position/paid internship.  Supposedly all you need is two semesters of C++ classes and a solid understanding of the basics and you can get the job.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #10 on: 02 Dec 2007, 23:21 »

Man. What good have Activision done for me lately?

Meanwhile EA has put out some absolutely incredible games this year.
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Storm Rider

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #11 on: 03 Dec 2007, 00:04 »

Well, Call of Duty 4 is apparently awesome. I haven't played it, so I wouldn't know. Everything else... eh.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #12 on: 03 Dec 2007, 00:07 »

Man. What good have Activision done for me lately?
I believe they put the last nail in the coffin of Troika.

Don't know if that means much to you.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #13 on: 03 Dec 2007, 00:12 »

I don't think he means 2005 when he says 'recently'. Also, if we start talking about that, then you know somebody's going to come in and bring up Westwood and then it'll all go downhill from there.

Goddammit I pay too much attention to this hobby.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #14 on: 03 Dec 2007, 11:30 »

Also, they held a conference call today and the only thing I thought was notable about it (since all of the games Activision mentioned they had in the pipeline were completely obvious) was that this new company will control 15% of the worldwide gaming market. 15 PERCENT. In one company.
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Shamana

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #15 on: 03 Dec 2007, 14:34 »

Man. What good have Activision done for me lately?
I believe they put the last nail in the coffin of Troika.

Don't know if that means much to you.

You say it like it's a good thing. Troika was notoriously bad when it came to how they released their games, but all three were memorable. Heck, for all its flaws, Bloodlines is one of the most awesome games I've played so far.
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ackblom12

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #16 on: 03 Dec 2007, 16:14 »

I don't think Kid meant that in a positive light.

Also, if 15% is true, I kinda wonder if that's enough for certain monopoly watchdogs to step forward on the merger.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #17 on: 03 Dec 2007, 17:09 »

I liked Bloodlines a lot, myself, but Troika needed to be euthanized. They were always big on concept and all their games had their strong points, but always fell short on execution, and the company itself was hemorrhaging cash because the founders didn't really know how to run a business. It takes awhile to realize how barren Bloodlines is, and the other two games' drawbacks often eclipse their strengths. The Escapist has a characteristically excellent article on the studio's history. A company like Troika was a dream destined to fail. I probably would have jumped ship had they released their spiritual successor to Fallout because I wouldn't bear to play another half-functional game that obviously could've been revolutionary. But I digress.

Given the state of the rest of the entertainment industry (Clear Channel, etc.) I'd be surprised if anyone called foul on Activision/Blizzard's 15% share of the market. It's not difficult to imagine that 2 regional conglomerates, one for Asia and one for the Americas / Europe, will make up the industry 10 years from now. The only company that doesn't seem to be in danger of getting assimilated is Nintendo.

Speaking of Troika, Leonard Boyarski (the guy responsible for Fallout's iconic visual design) migrated to Blizzard, so one imagines he's in a pretty position right now. Jason Anderson, on the other hand, recently returned to Interplay and is working on a game, which is confusing everybody.
« Last Edit: 03 Dec 2007, 17:20 by Kid van Pervert »
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #18 on: 03 Dec 2007, 19:30 »

Source here.

As far as merger approval goes, I wouldn't expect the ghost of American Anti-Trust to put up much of a fight, so I have serious doubts it'll have much trouble passing the FTC. Vivendi, however, is a French company, so presumably it will have to pass their equivalent body as well. I don't know the French government's attitude towards this sort of thing, so maybe it could get shot down on that side? Who can say?

By the way, the unannounced games that Activision revealed in the conference call were Call of Duty 5, Guitar Hero 4, an unnamed racing game from newly acquired Bizarre Creations, a new Tony Hawk game, multiple new Marvel games, some stuff based on Dreamworks, and a James Bond game. In other words, absolutely nothing surprising whatsoever. I feel almost as if EA and Activision have switched places at this point, and EA is now the one taking risks on new IP (speaking of which, some new screens for Deep Space were released) while Activision churns out as many sequels as they possibly can.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #19 on: 03 Dec 2007, 19:41 »

Based on Dreamworks or associated with Dreamworks? I had heard Spielberg and co. were planning on getting their fingers into the gaming pie, but they've been tight-lipped about project specifics.
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ackblom12

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #20 on: 03 Dec 2007, 20:00 »

While I agree that from a business standpoint Troika was doomed from the start, they still made Arcanum and Bloodlines, both of which I consider to be among the best RPGs ever made. Honestly, neither really had any more problems than Fallout.

Of course I guess that's akin to telling an AIDS victim that they could be sicker.

Jason Anderson, on the other hand, recently returned to Interplay and is working on a game, which is confusing everybody.

That busted my brain.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #21 on: 03 Dec 2007, 20:08 »

Based on Dreamworks or associated with Dreamworks? I had heard Spielberg and co. were planning on getting their fingers into the gaming pie, but they've been tight-lipped about project specifics.

Spielberg has two projects in the works (which I think are both being published by EA?) that are completely unrelated to the Dreamworks license, which Activision has under contract, at least for the near future.
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Dimmukane

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #22 on: 03 Dec 2007, 20:40 »

Just popping in to say that it's Dead Space, not Deep Space.  Please don't Godwinize.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #23 on: 03 Dec 2007, 21:24 »

Jason Anderson, on the other hand, recently returned to Interplay and is working on a game, which is confusing everybody.

I keep hearing that, yet I find it roughly as plausible as Duke Nukem Forever and Chinese Democracy being released to mass acclaim.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #24 on: 03 Dec 2007, 22:26 »

Jason Anderson, on the other hand, recently returned to Interplay and is working on a game, which is confusing everybody.

I keep hearing that, yet I find it roughly as plausible as Duke Nukem Forever and Chinese Democracy being released to mass acclaim.
Anderson's definitely working for Interplay. What's implausible is the idea that Interplay could ever find the funding for any project after the company's implosion. Bethesda's just waiting until '09 when they get the MMO rights to Fallout from them. Anderson isn't working on the MMO, btw. He's lead designer on some unnamed project. They don't have many licenses, I think they still have Earthworm Jim and Descent, maybe a few others. But it's still stupid that Anderson would go back to Interplay after Herve Caen screwed everybody who worked for him. The only reason he paid his workers what they were owed years after Interplay folded the first time was because it was a stipulation in Bethesda's acquisition of the Fallout license (something Bethesda doesn't get enough credit for) I wager Anderson thinks things couldn't get any worse so he might as well slum. Meanwhile Tim Cain's at NCSoft and Boyarsky's living it up at Blizzard. Bad luck.

Anyway, I think we're getting a little too off-topic.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #25 on: 03 Dec 2007, 22:55 »

I actually think somebody bought Descent from them. Or at least, Interplay was directly trying to farm the IP out, they may or may not have had any takers. If there was a Descent project in the works, they certainly wouldn't have tried to get somebody to buy the rights.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #26 on: 06 Dec 2007, 02:52 »

I don't really care much about the merger, but I a reasonably happy Activision killed Troika.  Temple of Elemental Evil was an excellent game made close to unplayable by numerous frustrating bugs, not the least of which a sinister savegame bug in which something you did a while ago could cause a crash later in the game and then corrupt all your savegames.  It was maddening.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #27 on: 06 Dec 2007, 07:31 »

There was also a bug for that that in like 4 cases total would uninstall Windows. 
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #28 on: 06 Dec 2007, 09:22 »

I feel like I should mention that my newspaper's business section hasn't mentioned this at all.  Anytime more than a 100,000 dollars are involved in a business transaction, it's considered news, and yet this slips by.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #29 on: 06 Dec 2007, 12:22 »

It's because only serial killers play video games, dude. Duh.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #30 on: 06 Dec 2007, 14:13 »

TOEE had the best pen and paper combat simulator ever created, but beyond that it was painfully dull.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #31 on: 07 Dec 2007, 02:57 »

What the news about the merger means to me: Okay?

Blizzard hasn't produced a game in years, guys.  The last game they released was World of Warcraft, which is how old now?  The initial release was in the fall of 2004, wasn't it?  They haven't produced a new game in 3 years.  Starcraft II is finally in development but we're not likely to see a release for another year or two tops.

I have lost my love of Blizzard.  I'm sure the merger means a huge deal to the people involved in both houses, but to the average gamer, this should be a giant "meh."  Activision produces some good games and to my knowledge doens't have a lot of rushed titles out there (or at least, doesn't make companies making large, big name games rush their product), but it's not like Blizzard actually makes video games anymore.  They continue to make their MMO shittier and shittier, more inaccessible to the average gamer, more inaccessible to people who actually want to live a decent, proactive life with every patch, and all the real talent at the studio HAS FLED.

The only last thing I have to say about Blizzard is that their most successful franchise shit all over itself.  Warcraft USED to be cool.  I loved the story.  I thought it was a very cool fantasy setting.  THEN CHRIS METZEN FORGOT WHAT HE'D DONE IN HIS OWN WORLD.  Awesome job there, buddy.  Let's "forget" that one of the most poignant stages in Warcraft 3 never actually happened.  Maeiv Shadowsong, WHO YOU KILL YOURSELF IN THE CAMPAIGN IN WARCRAFT 3, is somehow, miraculously, alive and well in World of Warcraft which is the current Warcraft world.  Retconning a universe is just a slap in the face to all the fans.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #32 on: 07 Dec 2007, 06:45 »

If retcons are a slap in the face then Stan Lee must have been pissing in the nation's cheerios for a good couple of decades.

As far as World Of Warcraft goes, people really need to chill out. It's a decent MMORPG and people need to accept that MMORPGs aren't really sustained by retaining the average gamer. NCsoft tried that with City of Heroes and found out that you end up with about a sixth month retention no matter what you do with an MMORPG, and aside from that they didn't have the content at the high end to retain the obsessed raider types either. That works fine if you're NCsoft because they openly go for a portfolio strategy- they want people subscribing to NCsoft games and don't particularly care if people jump ship from COH as long as the next MMORPG they try is Lineage II. But for Blizzard? That'd be kind of stupid; as you said, they don't really have other games for people to jump ship to, and as long as that's true high end content will be where their energy lies.
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ackblom12

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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #33 on: 07 Dec 2007, 10:40 »

Blizzard has always had a ridiculously long development time anyways. I'd still say that the fact that Activision and Blizzard merged is a much bigger deal to gamers who keep up with gaming news than a great big meh. It's something that's pretty likely going to have a fairly big affect on the market and confirms, along with EA's acquisition of Pandemic/Bioware, that none of their favorite developers have a chance in hell of not being bought/merged at some point.

Except Nintendo, cause they eat magic for breakfast.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #34 on: 07 Dec 2007, 11:10 »

I'm not sure if I said this here or somewhere else, but independent studios are becoming rarer and that trend will only continue, because with the cost of game development being much higher in recent years it's extremely valuable for publishers to snap up talented development teams that are pretty likely to recoup their investment, especially if they can pick up some proven IP in the process. Perhaps some of the really really huge developers have enough cash to avoid that, but those are only the people who made the bulk of their money before consoles became the dominant force in the market, such as Valve, id, and Epic. Valve is sort of a special case because they have Steam, naturally, but still.
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Re: Blizzard and Activision Merging
« Reply #35 on: 17 Dec 2007, 02:48 »

I must say, I love Steam.  It's not perfect, but SHIT man, it's got like the largest library of indie computer games at a click-and-you're-there interface.
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