Activision Blizzard Inc.

Overview

Video game maker Activision Blizzard Inc. is best known for brisk-selling title franchises such as World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and Call of Duty. The Santa Monica, Calif., company also makes games based on licensed properties from LucasArts, Marvel Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation. Its titles are produced for console game systems and handheld devices from Sony Corp., Microsoft Corp., and Nintendo Co. Ltd., as well as games for Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

In 2008, Vivendi acquired a majority stake in the company, then called simply Activision, in a deal valued at $9.8 billion. The merger combined Activision with Vivendi Games, forming Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard recently sought to reduce the number of vitriolic exchanges between gamers in its online forums, by requiring users to post their full, real names. Predictably, perhaps, the company quickly did an about-face after a storm of protests regarding user privacy.

Culture

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said at a 2009 Deutsche Bank Securities Technology conference that he considers himself a businessman, not a gamer, and runs a strict corporate culture. According to MarketWatch, Kotick said his company is focused on “profit and nothing else.” He said he accomplishes this by instilling a culture of “thrift” and by employing only developers who will “take all the fun out of making video games.”

Recruiting


Activision Blizzard offers an extensive training program for new employees. The company provides a personal career development plan, a leadership development program, web-based learning programs, and a performance management process.

A caution to candidates interested in game-design jobs: These positions are rarely available. The best shot at becoming a game designer for the company is to first get a job as a 3D-level designer.



Subsidiaries & Divisions


  • Activision Inc.
  • Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • DemonWare Ltd.

  • Activision Games Inc.
  • Blizzard Games Inc.

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