Posted on March 5, 2008,

Kotick Talks About What Activision Has Already Learned from Blizzard


It hasn’t been long since the merger between Activision and Vivendi was announced, but Activision CEO Bobby Kotick seems to be excited about what his company has already been able to learn from their new colleagues at Blizzard. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, Kotick detailed just what it is Activision has learned thus far.

One of the nice things about the transaction is we’ve had a lot of opportunity in the integration and planning process, to really understand what is definitely different – but, turns out, complementary – business in Blizzard and make sure that we’re figuring out how to capture the very best resources from all parts of both our business as well as the Vivendi business.

Activision had been long seeking entry into the MMO market, Vivendi was looking to expand in the console and handheld market.

So, after what was a fairly lengthy period of time in trying to figure out what would make the most sense from a transaction standpoint, we ended up getting this deal almost done.

What we realized is that the opportunity of just taking the institutional knowledge that exists at Blizzard…For example, how do we take Guitar Hero – which is the best-selling game that we’ve ever had – and take that to Korea or take that to China and be thoughtful about it? You know, these guys have so much institutional expertise on how you go to market in these territories.

Just the few hours of conversations we’ve had in brainstorming has given us a lot of value in thinking about those markets. And then when you think about other properties that we own and control like Call of Duty, and what would be the natural evolution of a property like Call of Duty into a massively multiplayer environment, and how do you monetize that, the same rules apply.

A Call of Duty MMO? That could be interesting if it worked in a similar fashion to PlanetSide, which I’ve always felt was far ahead of its time.

For some reason, I feel like a Tony Hawk MMO is inevitable. That’d certainly be one way of taking things up a notch after EA’s Skate kicked Tony Hawk to the curb last year.


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