Every so often, two industry heavyweights decide to stop competing with each other and merge into a single entity. Yesterday, that very thing happened in the game industry with Activision and Vivendi Games. As Shacknews reports, the two companies have announced that they will merge their assets in a deal worth a whopping $18.9 billion.
Activision is best known as the publisher of high-profile game series like Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk's, Call of Duty, Quake, and Doom (from Doom 3 onwards). Paris, France-based Vivendi Games is less well known by itself, but it's the publisher of Blizzard Entertainment's hugely popular World of Warcraft, Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series as well as other franchises like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Empire Earth, and Tribes.
Together, Activision and Vivendi Games will become known as Activision Blizzard. In their press release, the two companies assert that Activision Blizzard will be "the world's largest pure-play online and console game publisher" with the "highest operating margins of any major third-party video game publisher" and combined 2007 revenue of $3.8 billion. Blizzard Entertainment was quick to post a FAQ on its website in which it says there will be "no changes in the way [it] operates" as a result of the deal.