The merger between Vivendi's games division and Activision is a big deal in the videogame business. The industry's Davids now have not one but two Goliaths to sling stones at. More importantly, console makers have two equal-sized publishers to play against each other. But it wasn't Activision CEO Robert Kotick's dream of forming a company to rival Electronic Arts that convinced him to form Activision Blizzard with Vivendi — it was World of Warcraft. According to accounts in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Kotick was "eager" to get into online games — multiplayer online worlds are all the rage right now.
"We looked every which way to figure out how to participate in what Blizzard had created," said Kotick, "We couldn't find a way to duplicate it, but we could acquire the expertise." That would usually mean finding young talent that's successfully run a few massively multiplayer online games, like Three Rings. Instead Kotick turned to Blizzard, with its one-trick pony — hopefully for Kotick, it won't be going out to pasture any time soon.