Activision Blizzard Completes Deal with Vivendi, Takes Control of Stock

October 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision Blizzard has closed a deal to buy back shares from France-based conglomerate Vivendi a day after a Delaware Supreme Court judge lifted an injunction on the plan put on the deal by a lower court judge in response to several shareholder lawsuits.

With the deal complete Activision Blizzard now has a controlling interest in itself. Activision Blizzard now owns $5.83 billion of stock, with CEO Bobby Kotick and his partners owning $2.34 billion. Vivendi's stake has been reduced significantly to 12 percent.

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Activision Blizzard Stock Repurchase Plan Gets Greenlight by Delaware Supreme Court

October 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Delaware Supreme Court unanimously reversed a lower court ruling that put a temporary injunction on Activision Blizzard‘s plan to buy back most of Vivendi’s stake in the video game maker for $8.2 billion.

With the injunction lifted, Activision Blizzard can move forward with the plan. In a hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for Activision Blizzard argued that the provision was inapplicable, since it applied only to a merger, while the company’s plan was a stock repurchase.

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Activision Blizzard Sues Worlds, Inc. for Patent Infringement

October 7, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In what can only be described as ironic, Activision Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Worlds, Inc. for patent infringement. In its lawsuit, the World of Warcraft maker says that Worlds, Inc. has violated two of its patents that relate to navigating a 3D space and the interaction of objects with a 3D space. The irony is that Worlds, Inc. sued NCSoft - a lawsuit the two companies settled in April of 2010 - related to scalable chat systems and another one related to interacting in a virtual space.

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Delaware Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Shareholder Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard

September 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision Blizzard will take its fight against shareholders trying to block a deal to become independent from majority stakeholder Vivendi before Delaware's Supreme Court next month, according to Reuters.  Lawyers for the company hope to overturn a lower court's surprise decision earlier this month to halt the video game company's planned $8.2 billion deal with French media conglomerate Vivendi SA.

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Delaware Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Activision Blizzard-Vivendi Deal

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Delaware Chancery Court has issued a preliminary injunction against a plan that would see Activision Blizzard separate itself from parent company Vivendi with a stock repurchase program. The court blocked the deal after multiple lawsuits were filed by shareholders seeking to block the deal. The transaction will be halted until its terms are modified on appeal or the transaction is approved by a shareholder vote of "non-Vivendi stockholders."

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Team Coco Takes on Diablo III

September 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Late Night with Conan O'Brien tackles Diablo III in a segment featuring the Barbarian and Demon Hunter classes frolicking in the early part of the game. The voice-overs chatter on about smores, micro-brews, auctions, and roaring fires, along with copious amounts of somersaulting.

"For such a dark, gritty game, it seems to feature a lot of lighthearted somersaulting," notes the description of the video on YouTube.

I think Team Coco may have captured the essence of Blizzard's action RPG better than anyone else has yet... Watch the video to your left.

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Gamers for Good's KKG Game Art Book Hopes to Raise Funds for Sick Blizzard Artist

September 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

An artbook of video game fan art is being put together to help raise money for a Blizzard game artist who is suffering from a rare form of cancer. Kevin Kanai Griffith, who currently works as an artist on Diablo III at Blizzard Entertainment, has been fighting an unusual form of cancer known as Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (ASPS) for more than 12 months. There's no cure or clear treatment for this type of cancer, which means that treatment options are fairly expensive because they are likely experimental.

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Activision Hires Prominent D.C. Lobbying Firm to Tackle Sen. Jay Rockefeller's Video Games Research Bill

September 9, 2013 - James Fudge

Activision Blizzard has hired a prominent Washington D.C.-based lobbying firm to take aim at legislation to research video games.

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Shareholder Sues Activision Blizzard Execs Over Vivendi Buy Back Deal

August 2, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard shareholder Todd Miller filed a derivative lawsuit on Thursday against the company and other parties associated with an $8.17 billion deal to buy back a controlling interest from major stakeholder Vivendi. In his lawsuit filed in Superior Court, Miller claims that the deal to buy back stock from Vivendi gives "insiders" a windfall of more than $600 million on the discounted sale of stock from Vivendi, while Activision Blizzard shareholders get no enrichment from the deal.

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Blizzard Adds Options for Color Blind Players in Upcoming StarCraft II Patch

July 30, 2013 -

The latest update for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm goes a step in the right direction for those players who are color blind. Blizzard Entertainment announced plans to release update 2.0.10 for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm later this week that will add a new color blind mode and some new eSports features.

The new color blind mode alternates the colors that are used to designate players and shows the build grid when the "Display Build Grid" message is enabled. The minimap terrain is also darkened to show more visual contrast between units and terrain.

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BMO Capital Markets Weighs in on Activision Blizzard-Vivendi Buyback Plan

July 26, 2013 -

BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward S. Williams says that Activision Blizzard's plan to buy back its shares from Vivendi is a good thing and has reiterated his firm's rating of "outperform." Last night Activision Blizzard announced that - with its own cash on hand and investments from outside sources - it would buy back a total of 601 million shares from Vivendi to the tune of $8.2 billion.

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World of Warcraft Loses More Subscribers

July 26, 2013 -

As part of its announcement this morning that it would break the iron grip of Vivendi's controlling interest, Activision Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have fallen to 2007 levels. The number of paying World of Warcraft monthly subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, according to Activision Blizzard. That's close to what the game had in 2007 before The Burning Crusade helped it break into the 8 million subscriber mark.

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Blizzard Celebrates StarCraft 2 Third Birthday with Perks

July 23, 2013 -

Blizzard is celebrating three years of StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty being available by giving players some special treats. For a limited time it is unlocking all three of the game's races (Humans, Protoss and Zerg) in the Starter Edition of the game, offering a new wallpaper, and increasing XP gains for a limited time by around 25 percent. Here's more from Battle.net:

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Report: Vivendi May Make Activision Blizzard Pay Special Dividend

July 22, 2013 -

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Vivendi may force Activision Blizzard to pay a special dividend that would give the company $2 - $3 billion to help it pay down some of its debt. The company's board will discuss the move at a regular meeting on Monday and may seek Activison's board members to approve it at a meeting later this week, WSJ claims in its report. Since six of eleven Activision board members are from the Vivendi group or its units such a vote would likely be approved.

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Activision Blizzard Rejoins ESA

July 8, 2013 -

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today that Activision Blizzard has rejoined the trade group as a member after a five year absence. Chinese firm Tencent also joined the association as a member.

Tencent owns League of Legends developer Riot Games and owns a stake in Epic Games.

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Blizzard Considering Additional Microtransactions in World of Warcraft

July 5, 2013 -

After an in-game store was discovered on a World of Warcraft test server, Blizzard publicly acknowledged that it is looking into adding microtransactions to its long-running MMORPG. In response to questions about this from members of the community, Blizzard community representative Jonathan Brown made the following post on the Battle.net forums:

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More Diablo III Players Banned for Cheating

June 27, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment has banned more Diablo III players, but did not disclose just how many accounts had been banned, precisely when the bans were issued, or if they were permanent or temporary. In a blog post today the company revealed the bans and why they occurred.

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World of Warcraft Accounts Hacked, Auction House Taken Offline

June 25, 2013 -

Blizzard seems to be having a hell of a time with its online auction houses lately.

Last month, a Diablo III patch introduced a gold-duplicating bug that forced the developer to take the game's auction house offline until it could fix the bug and audit players' accounts.

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Diablo III Coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 Sept. 3

June 6, 2013 -

Blizzard announced this morning that Diablo III will be released on the PlayStation 3 on September 3, 2013. The company also revealed that an Xbox 360 version of the game has been in the works for quite some time and will release on the same date. Both games will be released simultaneously in the U.S., Canada, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Diablo III: One Year Later

May 22, 2013 -

It's been a year since Blizzard launched Diablo III to the masses, and even though it struggled in the beginning because the game requires a constant connection in order to play (and servers were constantly going down during the launch window), players eventually were able to play and enjoy the game.

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Report: Activision Blizzard Interested in Buying Back Some of Vivendi's Holdings in Company

May 15, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard majority stakeholder Vivendi is still interested in selling off the 61.2 percent it owns in the company but according to the Wall Street Journal, Activision Blizzard would like to buy back some of it. The WSJ reports that Activision Blizzard management is interested in using some of the cash reserves it has managed to stockpile to buy back at least some of what Vivendi owns. This is probably a good idea since Vivendi has been looking to offload its stake in the company since last year.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 51

May 13, 2013 -

In Episode 51 hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the possible name of the next Xbox console from Microsoft, two studies about violent video games, Iron Man 3, the Diablo III gold duping exploit introduced in the last update to the game, and some other equally delightful topics related to video games. Download Episode 51 now: SuperPAC Episode 51 (1 hour, 15 minutes) 68.7 MB.

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Blizzard Donates Money Made from Diablo III Gold Glitch to Children's Charity

May 13, 2013 -

Blizzard is turning a bad situation into a good one by donating the money made from a money duping bug in the real money auction to a children's charity. Diablo III production director John Hight announced via the game's official forums this weekend the charitable contribution to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. He said that those who made money of the exploit would have their ill-gotten gains donated as well as its transaction fee that it charges in the real-money auction for the game. The company did not disclose just how much money was made off of the glitch:

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Blizzard: No ETA on Return of Diablo III Auction Houses

May 10, 2013 -

Blizzard announced that it will keep the Diablo III auction houses offline for awhile longer as it deals with the aftermath of a gold duping bug that was introduced in a patch released earlier this week. While the nasty little bug that saw a handful of users take advantage and create trillions of in-game gold has been squashed, Blizzard tells the community that it needs a little more time to audit players who may have used the exploit and made transactions in the auction houses.

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New Diablo III Update Introduces Economy Wrecking Glitch, Blizzard Suspends Auction Houses

May 8, 2013 -

The new Diablo III update has caused the game's in-game economy to go a little bit crazy after some enterprising (unscrupulous?) players found and exploited a gold duping bug. The problems with the game's economy forced Blizzard to shut down the game's auction house temporarily. According to some reports, the problems with the patch have enabled some players to generate "trillions" in gold. One post in the Battle.net forums claims that a user managed to amass a whopping 371 trillion gold using the exploit.

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PSA: BlizzCon Tickets Go on Sale Later This Week

April 22, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment passed along a reminder that tickets go on sale for BlizzCon later this week in three different allotments. The tickets for the annual fan gathering put on by Blizzard Entertainment (November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California) sell out very fast, so being prepared is essential to getting your hands on them.

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PSA: BlizzCon 2013 Tickets on Sale April 24 and 27

April 4, 2013 -

Mark those calendars and get ready to camp out at the official BlizzCon site at the end of April! Blizzard Entertainment announced the dates when you'll be able to pick up tickets for its upcoming fan gathering, BlizzCon 2013. Tickets for BlizzCon 2013 will officially go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. PDT (10 PM EST) and Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 PM EST) through the official BlizzCon website.

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Diablo 3 for Consoles Will Not Require a Constant Internet Connection, Will Not Include Auction House

March 25, 2013 -

When Diablo 3 lands on the PS3 and PS4 it won't have some of the features or the requirements that its PC counterpart currently has. According to Polygon, a Blizzard official told them at PAX East this weekend that Diablo 3 will not require a constant internet connection in order to play.

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Blizzard Reveals First F2P Game: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

March 22, 2013 -

Blizzard's first foray into free-to-play isn't an MMO, or an online action or strategy game - it's a collectible card game based on the popular Warcraft universe. Today at PAX East (even as it was showing off a special build of Diablo III for PS3), Blizzard revealed a free-to-play strategy card game for Windows, Mac, and iPad called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

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Zerglings Have Feelings, Too, Says PETA

March 11, 2013 -

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are now protesting the treatment of aliens. Yes, they have decided that they will hand out fliers at the launch event of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm in Irvine, Calif. tonight. The launch event, which will have several members of Blizzard Entertainment on hand at the Irvine GameStop, will be treated to the kind of ridiculous protests that only a group like PETA can put on. So what will they be doing at the Heart of the Swarm event?

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Michael Chandra"You know how game journalists are a corrupt bunch that do shady dealings? Well so are the politicians at the NATO!" #clickbait09/16/2014 - 8:22am
james_fudgeit's simply a case of an org trying to latch onto a hashtag without knowing what it is about.09/16/2014 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightOk. I admit it. I have absolutely no clue what that article was trying to say. Can you explain it to me?09/16/2014 - 8:04am
Michael ChandraWhy am I not surprised seeing that coming from a man who allegedly didn't respect women's wishes regarding condom use?09/16/2014 - 8:01am
Michael Chandrahttp://www.newstatesman.com/media-mole/2014/09/wikileaks-wades-gamergate-says-nato-corrupt-video-games-journalism09/16/2014 - 8:00am
E. Zachary KnightGot a link?09/16/2014 - 7:58am
quiknkoldas in, they gave a big shout out to Gamergate09/16/2014 - 7:43am
quiknkoldWikileaks just joined Gamergate09/16/2014 - 7:42am
james_fudgePortlandia is good and strange.09/16/2014 - 7:04am
E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
 

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