In an interview with The Financial Times, CEO Robert Kotick discusses Activision's criteria for acquisitions.
"You want profitability, some proprietary development capability that is proven and successful, you want them to have a history of multi-million unit sellers, you want good management and you want it to be non-dilutive financially," he said.
Activision, who purchased developer Bizarre Creations last month, has acquired a dozen companies in the past five years, among them Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane and Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward.
"The few times that we havenât stuck to that criteria, weâve made mistakes," Kotick said.
Kotick also told The Financial Times that independent studios have been falsely accused of lacking discipline.
"We pick our studios carefully and allow an independent culture. I find them deadline-focused, milestone-driven, incredibly responsible and sensitive to the needs of the audiences."
Over the past 16 years, Kotick has brought Activision from insolvency to its position as the leading US third-party publisher during the first eight months of 2007. He is currently the longest-serving CEO among the five biggest US third-party publishers, which include EA, THQ, Take-Two, and Midway Games.
Under Kotick's leadership, the company relocated to Santa Monica, California, close to the Hollywood movie studios whose properties--Spider-man, James Bond, Transformers, Shrek--are frequently licensed by Activision.
"If you own Hollywood property and you want to have it in interactive media, I think weâre the first stop," Kotick said. "Being here, we feel we have this unique perspective, an appreciation of whatâs important to our partners."