Activision Blizzard buys FreeStyleGames

Publisher signs on UK-based B-Boy developer to create localized Guitar Hero DLC, original rhythm game.

In 2006, Activision made the acquisition of a lifetime. After Guitar Hero became an overnight sensation, Activision picked up the game's publisher, RedOctane, along with the rights to the game, for a cool $100 million. In the years since, that Guitar Hero franchise has gone on to sell more than 22 million units worldwide, generating sales of more than $1 billion in the process.

The publisher would no doubt be thrilled with a fraction of that success coming from its latest acquisition, as today Activision Blizzard announced the purchase of music game-oriented studio FreeStyleGames. Fresh off its work on the critically panned rhythm dancing game B-Boy, FreeStyleGames has been charged with developing localized downloadable content for the Guitar Hero franchise and is also at work on a new intellectual property in the rhythm genre.

"Activision Publishing is the undisputed leader in the music-based games, and we see tremendous opportunity for continued growth, particularly in Europe," Activision Publishing president and CEO Mike Griffith said in a statement. "An important part of our European growth strategy is to work with local developers and provide music content that resonates with the market."

As per the terms of the deal, FreeStyleGames will remain headquartered in Leamington Spa, UK, and Activision Blizzard has signed on the company's current management to long-term contracts. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Discussion

41 comments
JJpenguin
JJpenguin

Woah...I live next to leamington...

rachkovsky
rachkovsky

Give 'em some credit they deserve it!

ratavaquera
ratavaquera

bah i still love Blizzard.. and Activision

dj_b02us
dj_b02us

gah im so tired of hearing about bigger companies buying up startups.

reneetruss
reneetruss

Geat Deal, I could see FrestyleGames heading up the new DJ Hero franchise.

kenkashijd
kenkashijd

these independent companies is being devored thats not good at all.

Terminal_Omega
Terminal_Omega

"....Why? What could Activision Blizzard possibly gain by doing this? What a dumb move and waste of money on their part..." They lose a competitor and gain a team that can support their current music development team.

ParkCarsHere
ParkCarsHere

"...Activision Blizzard has signed on the company's current management to long-term contracts." That much at least is good. I'm glad to see FreeStyleGames' leadership is still intact for the foreseeable future. What I'm not happy to see is EA and Activision Blizzard buying every single independent company out there... lol.

Alter_Echo
Alter_Echo

It wont be much longer and every game that comes out will be developed, published and released by one of 2 or 3 remaining companies. They wont have to worry about making better content because there simply wont be anything else to play.

Digital_DJ_00
Digital_DJ_00

....Why? What could Activision Blizzard possibly gain by doing this? What a dumb move and waste of money on their part...

tyzwain
tyzwain

Hmm not good. Still think that AB and EA are too big now, and we need to have these independent studios.

mugupo
mugupo

I think Activision Blizzard should try to buy Take Two before EA take it, cause that company no doubt can produce high quality game and can sell very well.

barJerubsheol
barJerubsheol

ctg867 "Well that's great, but Acti Bliz is still a spawn of everything that's wrong with the industry: companies merging, cutting games, laying people off, killing competition, and furthering a monopolized agenda." Says the person with Microsoft's flagship ip as his profile pic.:) Just messing, it is a great game. I do agree. These anti-competitive companies who buy out everything that could compete with them are ridiculous; though admittedly, i do not know much about this Freestyle Games.

ctg867
ctg867

Well that's great, but Acti Bliz is still a spawn of everything that's wrong with the industry: companies merging, cutting games, laying people off, killing competition, and furthering a monopolized agenda.

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

I hope they turn out to be what EA should have been and not what they are.

Vuud
Vuud

The beast is hungryyyyyyy....

Questlove711
Questlove711

Activision drops Brutal Legend.. but picks up this crappy company? That makes sense...?

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Wait, so Activision sees Massive as "non-strategic", yet they buy up FreeStyle and give them new projects?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM??

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

When Activision Blizzard, EA collide it will be like a meeting of two supermassive black holes

Dreamerdude26
Dreamerdude26

Buying a studio that had anything to do with B-Boy sounds like a bad idea to me.

PolskaKing
PolskaKing

@KlausRottingham The Universe would indeed implode

siLVURcross
siLVURcross

I wonder what life would be like if all gaming companies just merged into one to make a single console/handheld and was the only one to make games. Boy, we sure would be limited, just like the outlook on this acquisition.

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

We used to b**** about EA gobbling up companies, and now looks like we have a new hungry hippo.

Gergroy_
Gergroy_

@spy guy14 still DDR was hardly the first music rythim game out there, the genre has been around for a very long time. DDR and GH are just the games that brought it mainstream. However, I also wouldn't call halo a rip off of call of duty, or vice verce, just because they both use guns in first mode doesn't make them the same or even a rip off of eachother. A rip off is a game that doesn't bring anything new to the table, and that is how i would define it.

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Im with Fixer WE WANT GHOSTBUSTERS, WE WANT GHOSTBUSTERS every one join in..WE WANT GHOSTBUSTERS!!!!!!!!!Who you going to call GHOSTBUSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KlausRottingham
KlausRottingham

If Activision Blizzard merged with EA, would the Universe implode?

Desperados11
Desperados11

dance dance revolution makes u look like a retard jumping on a colored mat while guitar hero actually makes u look kinda cool, not to mention the fact u feel good when u get to feel like a guitar god

spy_guy14
spy_guy14

gergroy something can be better and a rip off at the same time i think what he meant was that the aspect of matching symbols and tempo are very similar in the two games and i happen to agree with franko's statement in that effect... I can haz cheezborger now

stevo_360
stevo_360

Activision Blizzard move one step closer to world domination!

fixer293
fixer293

Hey Actiblizzard, (bullhorn) GHOSTBUSTERS!!!!, WE WANT GHOSTBUSTERS!!!!!!

Holdwick
Holdwick

Ahhhhh Activision Blizzard is getting too large! I hope the EA effect doesn't happen and their games lose their quality.

Gergroy_
Gergroy_

@franko, haha, come on, really, a rip off of dance dance? the quality of guitar hero is at least 10 times that of ddr. You have WAY better songs, the controls are A LOT more fine tuned. DDR sucks, to be frank, while GH has a lot of polish and merit, there is a reason why it makes more money than DDR, and that is reason is that it is much better.

Franko_3
Franko_3

"In the years since, that Guitar Hero franchise has gone on to sell more than 22 million units worldwide, generating sales of more than $1 billion in the process. " It's incredible how much money you can make from something so casual and limited like GH. I mean, it's just a rip-off of dance dance revolution, except that the dancing pad is a cheap plastic guitar.