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Blizzard: Activision was our choice

Mon 30 Jun 2008 1:00pm GMT / 9:00am EDT / 6:00am PDT
Business

Warcraft developer reveals that it was instrumental in the selection of partners for the Vivendi merger

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment was instrumental in the choice of Activision as the partner for Vivendi Games' merger, according to the company's COO Paul Sams.

In an interview during the Worldwide Invitational, Sams told GamesIndustry.biz that he was confident that the merger would benefit both parties, and that the hugely successful developer was "on board" from the very beginning.

"What people don't realise is that Blizzard is absolutely, positively supportive of doing this," he said. "I think maybe people believe that Activision and Vivendi got together and sat in a room, and thought it would be great, and then informed us.

"But the fact of the matter is that we felt doing something like this was a positive and important thing to have happen, and we were part of all those meetings. We were sitting with Bobby and those folks when we talked about what the structure would be like.

"The Vivendi people were there, but the reality is that in Vivendi Games, Blizzard is the crown jewel, so we needed to be on board and believe in it. And honestly, when [Vivendi] said to us they were thinking about exploring the possibility of something like this, we said that if we were going to do something like that, it should be with Activision - those words came from our mouth."

Sams also backed up CEO Mike Morhaime's words that fans wouldn't notice any changes following the formation of Activision Blizzard with a clear message that there would be no staffing changes internally either.

"There's not a single change as it relates to our management structure, and every single employee is going to be in the same job that they are today," he explained. "The only real material difference is that Mike Morhaime is going to report to Bobby Kotick instead of Bruce Hack."

The full interview with Paul Sams, in which he discusses the company's ability to work on three key franchises simultaneously, the reasons for success in Asia and whether or not Blizzard plans to work on consoles, will be available shortly.

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