Activision Blizzard 'streamlining' Vivendi

Prototype, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and Ice Age survive the big merger; Massive Entertainment and Swordfish Studios under the microscope.


You can't make the world's largest third-party omelette without breaking a few eggs. In the wake of the merger with Vivendi Games, Activision Publishing today announced that it is streamlining the subsumed company's operations.

As part of the drive for increased efficiency, Activision will "realign" staff at Radical Entertainment (Prototype, Crash of the Titans) and High Moon Studios (The Bourne Conspiracy, Darkwatch). As for their sister subsidiaries Massive Entertainment (World in Conflict, Ground Control) and Swordfish Studios (50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Cold Winter), Activision is "exploring options," including the sale or closing of the outfits.

The future is similarly uncertain for Sierra Online (Assault Heroes 2) and Vivendi Games Mobile (Prison Break, Cake Mania 2). The publisher deemed them "non-strategic business units" and said it is exploring the possibility of closing or selling them as well.

"We are focused on improving efficiency across the combined organization and are concentrating on businesses where we have leadership positions that are aligned with Activision Publishing's long-term corporate objectives," Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith said in a statement.

As for the Vivendi properties that are definitely sticking around, Activision said it is adding Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Ice Age to its stable of popular brands. It will also bring in two new intellectual properties Vivendi had been working on: Radical Games' Prototype, and one as yet unannounced title.

"We have conducted a thorough review of Vivendi Games' brand portfolio and are retaining those franchises and titles that are a strong fit with our long-term product strategy," Griffith said. "We are reviewing our options regarding those titles that we will not be publishing."

The press release makes no mention of other anticipated Vivendi titles like Double Fine Productions' Brutal Legend or Terminal Reality's Ghostbusters. Activision representatives did not immediately respond to GameSpot's requests for comment on the status of these and other Vivendi projects.

Back in March, Variety reported that Vivendi developers were having to repitch their games to the incoming Activision management. At the time, Double Fine head Tim Schafer said he hadn't been asked to go anywhere or pitch anything special.

[UPDATE]: An Activision Publishing representative confirmed for GameSpot that it will not be publishing Vivendi titles beyond the scope of the five announced franchises. That leaves a number of high-profile projects in limbo, including Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters, Wet, Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, World at Conflict: Soviet Assault, 50 Cent Blood on the Sand, Zombie Wranglers, Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, as well as several Xbox Live Arcade titles.

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Avatar image for lop890

ea waiting to these game to drop then they will pick then up and maybe be back to making somewhat good games while activision will be making baby games

Avatar image for Kvain

Kind of disheartening for Vivendi fans. Luckily, for now, I'm not in the same boat.

Avatar image for Trooperdx3117

So instead of getting world in conflict:Soviet assault we'll be getting spyro, crash bandicoot and ICE AGE, what the hell Activision. Could we be seeing the birth of a new EA

Avatar image for Cobra5

I guess the chances of me seeing Ground Control III are slim... :( Too bad, I was really excited to find out what happened.

Avatar image for mohfrontline

I have been lookin foward to the new Riddick game I seriously hope they don't cancel it in favor of some Spyro game that no one over the age of 10 will buy. Give me a break.

Avatar image for zhuge_liang_

Ouch... World in Conflict Soviet Assault is what I've been waiting for...

Avatar image for DarkDamo

IncipitOmega: Jesus,50 can u make a game about him. This is the SECOND 50 cent game ;) I don't know how they sold enough to make a second....

Avatar image for IncipitOmega

Jesus,50 can u make a game about him.

Avatar image for veggita-15

Riddick, Ghortbusters and Larry are the titles I was looking foward to. While I haven't seen any confirmed cancellations yet, this is pretty upsetting to see my interests being replaced by a buch of "kiddie games". If any or none of these are allowed to see daylight, please grab everyone's attention of this situation and get a boycott started. Activision either needs to get it's priorities straight or a few people in the level of upper management should have their careers terminated. In addition, the actors who have their share of work in these projects can press charges for being forced out of a contract. Just so you know activision will still take a nice hit should they try to be another EA.

Avatar image for ps3thabest

@Hvac0120 i agree 50 cent is one of the most wackest rappers im sorry gamespot u had 2 play that crap im tryin 2 4get about it.

Avatar image for JoshChambers

where is my Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Avatar image for Kez1984

Activision would quite happly see an end to pc exclusives, I don't like them.

Avatar image for cooldude03

I want Riddick, I hope a different publisher will pick it up.

Avatar image for brain20035

did this guy actually mistyped "World At Conflict", instead of typing World IN Conflict???!!!

Avatar image for makemeweak

So, basically, they are only keeping the profitable franchises (with the exception of prototype) - even though they are lame. And they are cutting the risky new IPs, even though they look good.

Avatar image for remark666

ahh, Chronicles of Riddick common, make it, make, i want it!

Avatar image for pidow

Ghostbusters....... !.

Avatar image for jmc88888

That Ghostbusters game looks tight. Anyone around 30, probably 22-38, would like this game if they were a fan of the movie(s). Looks as if you were in the original movie. Destroying things in the ballroom of the upscale hotel, green slimer, and 1984 style proton pack laser beams...gotta love it. I bought the original one on Apple II way, waaay back in the day, and would definitely buy this one....hopefully it comes out. Mergers, done for a profit, that's one time and then it's gone, and you're back to being unprofitable with less resources on hand to make it profitable. But hey the stockholders make money even if they never put out a decent game. Activision, just like EA used to mean something to gamers, quality. The best games were almost always Activision, and EA, whoops guess the apple has fallen very far from the tree. At least before you come out with Shrek 67 the video game. followed by another kiddie animation film with obligatory crappy movie game. A 50 cent video game? lol dude is the cheaper than 50 cents in his real life, sues people left and right, and was about to make a dollar on his own crappy video game. lmao, serves him right. Besides, he should be in the studio making sure he wasn't a one hit/one album wonder.

Avatar image for Hvac0120

Please Activision don't make the 50 Cent game. It was bad enough that Gamespot and other game publications had to review that piece of crap and give it web and paper space. Don't put people through that again. 50 cent is the most "commercial" rapper out there and doesn't give a crap about anything but money. This will give that piece of crap more money that he doesn't need and surely doesn't deserve. Make an Eminem game and then I'll be happy... :-)

Avatar image for necronaux

Can't believe that Spyro and Crash still have anything new to offer. Bring on Riddick!

Avatar image for mikewalsh69

all i hope is that they just reward the gamers every once in a while eg free maps, new game modes, buy 6 months get the 7th one free etc.

Avatar image for Captain_Yogen

To SunnyYG: As u said: "Haven't they got any business ethics, at all? >=(" Well, thay r doing it for business, to get a better profit. These days, not many developers make videogames with "love", or that stuff, most do em only for money, and that suck ass

Avatar image for BXSENTINEL

and yet the intellegent decisions these game companies continue to make, never stop amazing me! im sure the next ice age will be the best selling game of all time; maybe a few hundred copies sold at least ..but the ghostbusters and riddick would never gain a profit; smart thinking activision. keep making those millions..... lol

Avatar image for SavoyPrime

This is the downside of mergers in the gaming industry. :(

Avatar image for NemesisLives

And now it starts...

Avatar image for SunnyYG

Screw them, no one touches Massive, no one touches World in Conflict. This is insane, it's like tossing us aside just to cater to the casual gamer market. Haven't they got any business ethics, at all? >=(

Avatar image for Doom64


Avatar image for markharris31

Vivendi SA is the parent company for Vivendi games and yes, they do have the controlling stake in AB. However, part of the deal is that the Activision management would take over control of Vivendi games. The execs at Vivendi SA have left the operations of all gaming under AB to the execs from Activision.

Avatar image for KhanhAgE

Chronicles of Riddick and World in Conflict are being left in limbo, WHY?! Activision are lucky they have one of the best developer behind them now, Blizzard. They should be called "Blizzard Activision" not the other way around.

Avatar image for Faisal_Amir

Activision's quickly becoming the new EA, now that Electronic Arts has kinda mended its ways....

Avatar image for Mike5589

Someone pull the plug for Activision already. Only thing they know how to do is cancel highly hyped games(Ghostbusters) and then bring us nothing but useless games that no one plays anymore. They butchered the Crash Bandicoot series, naughtydog should of kept that franchise. Please, someone bring Ghostbusters back, I was looking forward to it.

Avatar image for jarule88

Man..... who is even playing those games????? hahahahahahhah Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2...... those are games, not this ****!

Avatar image for John_of_Fire

TrueProphecy22- Look harder. I wonder who will buy them up. Most of them look to be promising titles and most of them will be out by next Christmas.

Avatar image for TrueProphecy22

Never even heard of most of those developers games...

Avatar image for Doric6

I thought vivendri had the controlling stake? yet there getting walked over by activision. We could see EA2 if they continueing going like this.

Avatar image for crummyname

Great, another EA

Avatar image for sunilian

this is not good

Avatar image for arc_salvo

I don't think they'll cancel Ghostbusters or Chronicles of Riddick, and especially not World at Conflict: Soviet Assault. The other stuff I can see canceled, including Brutal Legend (unfortunately) but not those three. Ghostbusters is too popular, World at Conflict's a successful game, and Chronicles of Riddick is a sequel to one of the most awesome games of all time.

Avatar image for gnbfd

Damn Activision. You're turning into the next EA. No. This is worse than EA. EA would NEVER think about cancelling a Ghostbusters game.

Avatar image for SickM0R0N

This is a large wow for me, obviously activision is like the rest of the industry and looking for new customers. Ice age and spyro vs Chronicles of Riddick and Ghostbusters. I'm sad

Avatar image for slurpee720

Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Ice Age= Three games I'll never buy -This better not set back WIC: Soviet Assault, not that it should, the original was awesome.

Avatar image for ColdfireTrilogy

Zoomer30 PS3 home is under revision .... id rather see it come out working splendidly then a botch crap release like half the other things that are coming out these days ... its been in beta for a while now so no its not even vapor ware. The only thing im really bumming about is the whole World in conflict thing :S blizzard is safe as usual so im happy.

Avatar image for earlthecannibal

lol@ 50 cent

Avatar image for Zoomer30

Bye Bye Ghostbusters, you have as much a chnace of seeing the light of day now as DNF and PS3 Home

Avatar image for blujetz1234

I want World in Conflict for XBOX 360 not stupid Ice Age: the New Beginning or whatever piece of crap game their gnna make I mean cmon the movie stunk and the video game too

Avatar image for khamsin17

I miss Tribes 2, Tribes Vengeance was horrible. Vivendi was the reason Tribes Vengeance was horrible.

Avatar image for DontEatCream

Damn, no hope for World in Conflict? That's just rough.

Avatar image for SteveTwo

TitusAndronicus, that would be awsome. I would really love to play another Hero's Quest (Quest for Glory after the name change) as those were definately my favorite Sierra games. Fighter, Thief and Magic User, if I remember correctly :-)

Avatar image for SrTVBR

A new time is comming. Cya EA. Welcome the biggest dream maker company.

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