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Rumour: Microsoft in frame to buy Activision majority share

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:50 GMT By Stace Harman

Potential buyers for Vivendi’s 60 percent share of Activision Blizzard include Microsoft, Time Warner and Tencent, news source Reuters has reported.

Media corporation Vivendi has apparently started “testing the appetite” of potential buyers for part or all of its 60 percent share of Activision Blizzard.

The sale process has not yet officially begun, but bankers close to Vivendi are said to be sounding out cash buyers including the likes of Chinese company Tencent as well as Time Warner and Microsoft.

“It’s nothing official yet, but they’ve asked a bank to go and talk to possible buyers for Activision,” said a source close to the Vivendi board.

A sale by Vivendi could supposedly help raise up to $10 billion to shore up its share price. Reuters reported that both Microsoft and Time Warner declined to comment on a possible buy-out.

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25 Comments

  1. TheBlackHole

    That would be some move by MSFT, especially with the next gen around the corner.

    CoD exclusive for launch? WoW console exclusive?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. voxelman

    that would be a big win for MS, but there would be a lot of issues like all the movie licenses which have cross platform clauses. Also Activision would lose almost half of it’s value instantly if they were limited to 360 and possibly PC. All of which will count against them with the other shareholders and the current board I am sure.

    Also I would hate Blizzard to be shut down (or gutted) like Ensemble because they don’t make good console games.

    Tencent would be interesting as suddenly Blizzard would have the most successful MOBA under the same roof again lol.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Ireland Michael

    They’re probably the only one in any position to do so.

    And if they played it right, the next console “war” will be won before it even begins.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. mickey2002

    @2 I don’t think M$ would lock out the products. But stuff like later launch dates so like the normal early nov date for xbox end of nov for ps.

    Also they are already paying money to them for the rights to the dlc for 30 days. So they’d save money on that and can just do it themselves and keep everything else as is and they’d save money there alone. Be a great buy if m$ did it but I’ll be gobsmacked if it happened because it just wont lol.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    Even if MS was to do this it would be moronic to have them limit their biggest seller to one or two platforms. It would be smarter to allow them to keep doing what they have been doing. You know if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    I don’t see how Microsoft would bother to put that kind of money down for a bunch of studios.

    The only thing they’ve demonstrated in the games space over the last 10 years is their affinnity for destroying every studio they come into contact with.

    I guess that makes them and Activision a match made in heaven, but I don’t see it. Microsoft never really cared about games, even if they put out some great ones over the years.

    @5 But the fact that something is moronic has not ever stopped Microsoft, and you can still make a tidy profit just on the PC and 360.

    If they were truly shrewd, they’d see buying Activision in terms of the PC market as well, and launch their own crappy Origin service from the ashes of the Windows Marketplace.

    But again, I doubt it. Microsoft just aren’t a games-oriented company.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    @2
    That’s the big issue. If MS did buy them then how could they justify a move which is hugely beneficial to them but not to other ActiBlizz shareholders? They would need to somehow force or get to a full purchase of the shares.

    Also worth noting the info is from the Vivendi side, i.e. they (or their bankers) have gone to MS and the others to see if they wanted to buy the stock. MS hasn’t come to them.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @4
    “Also they are already paying money to them for the rights to the dlc for 30 days. So they’d save money on that and can just do it themselves and keep everything else as is and they’d save money there alone.”

    The other 40% of shareholders would be happy with that would they?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Razor

    Yeah, I’m with DSB.

    Would 60% even give MS control over what happens with CoD? i.e. making it Xbox exclusive? Influence over CoD seems like the only reason you’d want to be part of Acti; although WoW has some pull, I suppose :)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. typeface

    Honestly the Reuters article is speculation. Vivendi needs to offload it since they see less of a future in gaming plus they need to be more pro-active. It’s pretty much it.
    MS and WB have the money but MS isn’t really going to invest 5+Billion on a company like Acti-Blizz looking at where their current focus is. Warner Bros could but at the same time it’s not looking entirely feasible. KKB and Blackstone seem fairly likely. Mind you this is for majority holdings and that’s 61% – it’s a lot easier for consortiums and some sort of equity firm to buy it. I wouldn’t be surprised if even a Pharmachem company bought it, perhaps the same guys who bought Warner Music.

    MS current focus is to beat Apple, reiterated by Ballmer yesterday. They also want to be a hub in your living room – they’d invest in more diversified entertainment options before buying Acti-Blizz. Mind you COD is annualised and the current generation is about to get over. It’s very rare that console marketshare products maintain the same mindshare during the next generation. MS would and is heavily investing new products that will see them through. They didn’t invest and open all those new studios for nothing.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    If this is true poor bungie, they cannot escape microsoft one way or the other, microsoft is up to them, is like the song ***one way or another i gonna get you, i gonna find you, i gonna seek you…tara rarara tara….**

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @11 LOL :D

    Good god, that’s it! Microsoft is stalking Bungie!

    #12 3 years ago
  13. TMRNetShark

    @11 HAHAHA

    Yeah, Bungie is MS’s bitch basically. I think MS should get CoD as an exclusive… that would make one (Halo), two (Gears of war), three (CoD) shooter exclusives that Xbox has. Good job! Right direction because the world always needs more shooters!

    /sarcasm

    #13 3 years ago
  14. The_Red

    I think the winner will either be a surprise bidder (Outside the current roster) or a third party like Warner.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. James Mac

    I think a smarter move would be to buy THQ.
    It’s cheaper, comes with a bunch of studios and franchises, they can buy it outright and expand their first party lineup pretty extensively.

    I don’t see them going for Acti… there’s a reason Vivendi are bailing and as has been pointed out by others, it’s a lot of work for a gain they may not be able to exercise.

    It’ll probably be one of the big players in China or Asia who buys in.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. daytripper

    I don’t think they will buy any current third party studios, they will stick to exclusive DLC, a couple of timed exclusives maybe a new I. P and the usual Halo, Forza, Fable with some XBLA exclusives with the download cap lifted to 4gb by 2014. They will use more of their financial muscle to try to compete with Apple in the media side of things.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @14 I think Warner would be the most likely of those three. I don’t think Tencent have that kind of money laying around.

    Another thing to consider is that games aren’t very appealing right now. Most of the major publishers are on a downward slope, and the ones that are stable are practically stagnant, without much in the way of profit.

    Activision are probably the most profitable publisher around right now, but I’m not sure games is the first place I’d invest right now. They’re way behind practically every other industry.

    @15 True that about THQ. I don’t know a lot of asian publishers that could afford it though.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. James Mac

    @17
    I meant one of the Asian companies would buy out Vivendi…

    Realistically, I don’t think anyone’s going to buy THQ.
    The more likely scenario is that it collapses and publishers but up the studios and IPs seperatly. I’ve heard speculation that Acti would pick up Volition and Saints Row to get a GTA competitor.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. OlderGamer

    Best to just wait and see.

    If MS did this….nagh best to just wait.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. GwynbleiddiuM

    oh, fuck no! I hate Activision but please someone stop this cruelty, and the fact that I want Blizzard to remain PC focused.

    @DSB true, Microsoft would just kill it off.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Da Man

    MS keep any relevant devs, as both Halo and Forza show, Rare repeatedly proved they can’t make a decent video game. Much of 343 staff are ex-Bungie.

    And last I checked there was the AoE online.

    Activision on the other hand..

    #21 3 years ago
  22. The_Red

    @17
    Yeah, my money is on Warner too if anyone of current nominees buy the majority share. They are the only big player on the rise (Rocksteady’s Batman games, LEGO games and finally Netherrealms fighting games) and could really use a huge MMO and a super popular FPS.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. ManuOtaku

    #21 “Rare repeatedly proved they can’t make a decent video game”
    Banjo nuts and bolts is one heck of a game mind you, and viva piñata is a very underated game

    #23 3 years ago
  24. CPC_RedDawn

    Wouldn’t it be insanely hilarious if by any chance at all (if pigs could fly and shoot lasers from their asses!)

    If Nintendo brought them out!!! LMAO

    It will NEVER EVER happen, but it would be an insane shock to the gaming world. Plus it would make sense given that the Wii U is just around the corner. Imagine that a Nintendo console with COD as its launch title exclusive!! HAHAHA!!

    Wii U launch lineup:

    New Super Mario Bros. 2

    Pikmin 3

    Call of Duty: Kirby’s Magic Gun Show!

    LMFAO!!!

    #24 3 years ago
  25. fearmonkey

    @23 – I agree, I see it posted all the time what terrible games Rare makes, but Viva Pinata is an awesome game, and Banjo nuts and bolts is too. I thought Kameo was alot of fun, the only rare games I haven’t liked is Perfect Dark Zero and the Kinect games..

    #25 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]

  • Halo 3: ODST and Relic remake come to The Master Chief Collection in May

    Halo 3: ODST and Halo 2′s Relic map remake are coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection next month. 343 Industries has announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners will get Halo 3: ODST campaign and the Relic remake in the next content update, due in May. And as promised, the April update has […]

  • Rockstar says Social Club wasn’t hacked, account details leaked from other websites

    Following a number of reports from users who had their Social Club accounts hijacked, Rockstar has confirmed that the service has not been hacked. Over the last couple of days, a few users on Reddit and Rockstar Twitter support started reporting getting kicked out of their GTA Online sessions and seeing an error telling them […]