Activision Blizzard, Inc. history, profile and history video
Activision Blizzard, Inc. is an American entertainment and gaming holding company headquartered in Santa Monica, California, U.S. It traces its history back to 1979 when four software programmers decided to create a console video game developer. Initially called “Computer Arts, Inc.,” the team pivoted and came up with the idea to combine “Active” and “Television,” thus resulting in “Activision”—the very first independent, third-party console video game developer. Their first breakout title was Pitfall.
In 1991, Allen Adham, Frank Pearce, and Mike Morhaime founded Silicon & Synapse, entirely self-funded including money borrowed from their grandmothers. Three years later, changed its name to Blizzard Entertainment.
In 1994, Blizzard released its first breakthrough hit, a real-time strategy game called Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
In 1996, the Blizzard technology team began the development of Battle.net, the first free online gaming service incorporated directly into the games people were already playing. It launched with the release of Blizzard’s action-role-playing video game series Diablo.
In 1998, Blizzard Entertainment releases StarCraft®, a sci-fi real-time strategy game. Featuring a multiplayer mode, StarCraft allowed players to compete with or against one another through Blizzard’s Battle.net platform.
In 2003, Activision and the development studio Infinity Ward, released Call of Duty, a first-person action set in World War II that would go on to become one of the biggest game series of all time.
In 2008, Activision, Inc. merged with the games division of the French media conglomerate Vivendi, Vivendi Games, a holding company principally for Sierra Entertainment and Blizzard Entertainment. The merger brings together Activision and Blizzard with some of the biggest games across both console and PC. Vivendi was the majority shareholder, with a 52% stake in the company, and Blizzard retained its autonomy and corporate leadership in the merger. Other Vivendi Games divisions such as Sierra ceased operation.
In 2012, King releases Candy Crush Saga, which became one of the highest-grossing mobile game franchises ever created.
On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced the purchase of 429 million shares from owner Vivendi for $5.83 billion, becoming an independent company as a majority of the shares became owned by the public. Vivendi was no longer Activision Blizzard’s parent company.
In November 2015, the company announced the formation of Activision Blizzard Studios, a film production division that would produce films and television series based on Activision Blizzard’s franchises.
In 2016, the Social gaming company King was acquired.
The company’s portfolio includes some of the most iconic franchises in all of the entertainment, developed by Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, King Digital Entertainment, and their independent studios, including Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch, and Vicarious Visions.
Activision is a worldwide developer, publisher, and distributor of interactive entertainment for various gaming consoles, handheld platforms, and PC, including blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty®, Crash®, and SpyroTM.
Blizzard Entertainment is a developer and publisher of entertainment software, creating some of the industry’s most iconic games, including World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, StarCraft®, and Diablo®.
King.com Limited, known as King Digital Entertainment, is the mobile gaming developer behind the Candy Crush™ franchise, as well as mobile games, including Farm Heroes™, Bubble Witch™, and Pet Rescue™.
Activision Blizzard Esports operates Activision Blizzard’s professional gaming properties, including the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty League™, Hearthstone® Masters and Grandmasters, World of Warcraft® Mythic Dungeon International, and Arena World Championship. It also operates Tespa™, the leader in collegiate esports.
Activision Blizzard Media
Activision Blizzard Media is the gateway for brands to one of the largest cross-platform gaming companies in the western world, with hundreds of millions of players across over 190 countries.
With more than 9 500 employees, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s most successful standalone interactive entertainment and gaming corporations. According to Forbes, it is considered one of the top 2000 largest public companies in the world.
*Information from Forbes.com, Wikipedia.org, and www.activisionblizzard.com.
**Video published on YouTube by “Business Casual“.