Activision Blizzard Readies for Gaming's Post-Retail Future

The proposed merger of Activision and Vivendi Games would create an $18.9 billion company capable of parlaying its hot franchises and savvy online strategy into the world's biggest third-party videogame developer.

The deal, announced Sunday, would combine Activision, owner of the highly successful Guitar Hero and Call of Duty franchises, with Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment, best known for its massively multiplayer online game series World of Warcraft, and three other Vivendi divisions. The resulting company, to be called Activision Blizzard, should be in a powerful position to compete in gaming's post-retail future as online business models overtake physical distribution.

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