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Sierra’s Crash, Ice Age, Spyro, Prototype survive ActiBlizz merger: Ghostbuster, Brutal Legend, WiC assumed whacked

Tuesday, 29th July 2008 06:56 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Activision announced this morning that only five Vivendi IPs will make the transition into the newly formed Activision Blizzard, namely Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age, Spyro, Prototype and an as-yet unannounced property.

The publisher also confirmed is will “support” the existing VUG catalogue.

No mention was made in the release of Ghostbusters, Brutal Legend or World in Conflict, all of which are now assumed dead in the water.

“Four of the five properties that we are keeping will be wholly owned properties that further bolster our strong brand portfolio,” said Activision CEO Mike Griffith.

“We are very excited to add such recognizable and successful brands as Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age and Spyro, which reinforce our leadership position in movie-based and family entertainment video games.

“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. We are reviewing our options regarding those titles that we will not be publishing.”

Press release after the link.

Activision Publishing Broadens Product Portfolio With Crash Bandicoot(R), Ice Age(R), Spyro(R) and Two New Intellectual Properties
Monday July 28, 6:00 pm ET
Company to Streamline Vivendi Games’ Studio Operations

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Further strengthening its foundation for future growth, Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI – News) today announced that the company will broaden its product portfolio by adding Vivendi Games’ multi-million unit selling properties Crash Bandicoot®, Ice Age® and Spyro® to its roster of proven franchises. The company will also retain two new intellectual properties that are currently in development — Prototype and a second game that has not yet been announced.

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Additionally, Activision Publishing will continue to support the Vivendi Games’ catalogue including The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor(TM), which was launched on July 22 in conjunction with the release of Universal Pictures’ theatrical feature film.

Games based on Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age and Spyro have been top-selling titles in North America and Europe. The Crash Bandicoot franchise has sold more than 35 million units across multiple platforms in North America and Europe since its first release in 1996, and life-to-date units of Spyro have exceeded 20 million worldwide. The Ice Age feature films have grossed in excess of $1 billion in theatrical box office revenues worldwide, and Sierra Entertainment’s Ice Age® 2: The Meltdown(TM) sold nearly two million units worldwide.

“Four of the five properties that we are keeping will be wholly owned properties that further bolster our strong brand portfolio,” said Mike Griffith, CEO of Activision Publishing. “We are very excited to add such recognizable and successful brands as Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age and Spyro, which reinforce our leadership position in movie-based and family entertainment video games.”

Griffith added, “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. We are reviewing our options regarding those titles that we will not be publishing.”

Additionally, Activision Publishing announced that the company intends to adapt the Vivendi Games’ studio operations to better align the studio structure against the new product slate. The company will realign staffing at Radical Entertainment and High Moon Studios and is exploring options regarding Massive Entertainment and Swordfish Studios, including the possibility of divestiture.

Griffith continued, “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.”

The company also is evaluating options regarding two non-strategic business units Vivendi Games Mobile and Sierra Online, which provides casual games for the PC and Xbox® Live® Marketplace, including the possibility of divesting these business units.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

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12 Comments

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  1. Blerk

    Jesus fucking wept. That’s right, ActiBlizz – can the original titles and the ‘something a bit different’ titles and keep Crash Fucking Bandicoot, Spyro and your balls movie licenses.

    I guess there’s a chance some of these will be picked up by other publishers? Seems Activision have taken up the attitude that EA have finally managed to leave behind. Removing all the risk from their portfolio might make for reasonable sales in the short term, but I fear for their bland, inoffensive, middle-of-the-road future.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Habe

    But, but, but…. Ghostbusters????

    #2 6 years ago
  3. patlike

    I think there’s a very clear trend emerging for “comic-style” gaming, and I think it’s going to become more pronounced in the next year. That’s why Prototype made it, and I assume it’s in no small part to the reaction to inFamous at E3. Stuff like Brutal Legend, WiC, etc, really do fit into the “old” style of game, hence, all the best. Spyro, etc, sell tons: I can’t say I’m shocked.

    Real shame about Ghostbusters, though.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Blerk

    I know they’re a business and they’re here to make money and that, but they could at least pretend that they give a shit about the content.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Michael

    …why the fuck would they axe the Ghostbusters game? That title had the entire freakin’ backing of the original cast, and was clearly going to be a decent money spinner.

    And Brutal Legend too? Poor Tim Schafer… =(

    Fucking ActiBlizz morons. These kinds of moves reek of incompetence.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Whizzo

    Activision really just wanted Blizzard didn’t it? Some of these cancellations are just bizarre, not just Ghostbusters but considering the numbers the first 50 Cent game did, however bad the game was, not going ahead with that is just weird.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. patlike

    *points to top*

    #7 6 years ago
  8. rainer

    This was coming sad to see some of the titles I had suspected like Brutal Legend, hope they get a new publisher.

    Also Massive and the World in Conflict series are probably dead or being cut loose. Blizzard talks a lot of PC gaming & others doing not enough to support it but we will see if they step in to rescue Massive or not because they are both PC RTS game makers.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. SticKboy

    I hope there’s a chance the cancelled projects get picked up by other publishers. All would be a great fit as Ubisoft games.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    WiC console has such huge potential, for inclusive wide-spread virtual HD devastation, that it just can’t die! :(

    I hope that WET hasn’t been utterly washed away also, as I liked the style, locations, and even possible gameplay shown in the trailer they released, even if the main character was rough-around-the-edges.
    Riddick’s too far along, you’d have to imagine, to lose out. Ghostbusters stands as an either-way, for me; though, after the effort gone to to realise the games, you can confidently imagine someone will release it.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. El_MUERkO

    http://www.destructoid.com/rumortoid-future-of-ghostbusters-and-brutal-legend-in-question-97180.phtml

    back from the dead, oooOOOOooooOOOOoooo

    #11 6 years ago
  12. mightyhokie

    Well, certainly we should all jump out and support this move. After all, I don’t care at all about playing original titles from geniuses like Tim Schafer, Dan Akroid, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray. A bunch of hacks. They are making a great move giving gamers what we want…retreads of bad ideas from characters that were shit when they came out with uninspired gameplay and linear stories raped from mario. I mean, why play face-meltingly awesome concepts like Brutal Legend or Ghostbusters when we can all play Spyro 2: Electric Boogaloo?

    As you Brits would say, these guys are a bunch of fucking gits. I won’t buy anything from them unless I have no choice. Diablo III, if it comes out on the consoles, would be the exception. Other than that they can kiss my nuts. I’m pissed!!!

    Tim Schafer is a genius and his games are top shelf and original. If gamers would put down the fucking re-tread games and start experiencing…aww screw it. I’m too upset to talk!

    #12 6 years ago