Video game publishers Activision and Vivendi announced this week that their merger -- in the news for months -- is official. The new company, Activision Blizzard, brings together the makers of immensely popular series "Guitar Hero" and "World of Warcraft."
The Washington Post's Mike Musgrove got an outside opinion on the Activision Blizzard deal:
Game industry analyst Michael Pachter said that the merger should be a positive development for consumers. For years, the industry's biggest player has been Electronic Arts, known for titles such as the popular Madden football franchise. So large is EA that it has often gotten the first pick of projects, such as landing deals to make tie-in games for the Lord of the Rings movies, he said.
But this merger should give the newly-formed company enough heft to compete with EA for such blockbuster projects, said Pachter. "It's good to have a duopoly instead of a monopoly," he said. "This just makes the industry that much more interesting."
We had a chance to talk to Bobby Kotick, CEO of the new company. While he isn't shy about saying the deal is big -- and that it makes Activision Blizzard "the most profitable pure-play online and console game publisher in the world" -- he played down the notion of a duopoly with Electronic Arts.
"It's not a duopoly," he said. "[The market] is completely fragmented."
He listed maybe a dozen competitors -- Nintendo, Microsoft, Sega, Capcom and the like -- and said it would be "very presumptuous" to dismiss them.