Vivendi Games

Last updated

Vivendi Games
Formerly
  • CUC Software
  • (1996–1997)
  • Cendant Software
  • (1997–1998)
  • Havas Interactive
  • (1998–2001)
  • Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing
  • (2001)
  • Vivendi Universal Games
  • (2001–2006)
Type Division
Industry Video games
FoundedJuly 24, 1996;24 years ago (1996-07-24) in Torrance, California
DefunctJuly 10, 2008 (2008-07-10)
FateMerged with Activision
Successor Activision Blizzard
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
North America, Europe
Key people
Bruce Hack (CEO)
Parent

Vivendi Games was an American video game publisher and holding company based in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1996 as CUC Software, the publishing subsidiary of CUC International, after the latter acquired video game companies Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line. Between 1997 and 2001, the company switched parents and names multiple times before ending up organized under Vivendi Universal (later renamed Vivendi). On July 10, 2008, Vivendi Games merged with Activision to create Activision Blizzard.

Contents

History

On February 21, 1996, CUC International announced its intention to acquire Davidson & Associates (including Blizzard Entertainment) and Sierra On-Line, two American video game companies, in a US$1.8 billion stock swap. [1] The deal closed on July 24, 1996. [2] CUC International previously only operated membership shopping clubs, wherefore analysts were surprised by the company's move into the software industry. [1] Subsequently, following the acquisitions, CUC International established CUC Software around the Torrance, California-based operations of Davidson & Associates to oversee the new video game properties. [3] Under that new umbrella, both Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line would act independently from CUC International. [4] Bod Davidson, co-founder of Davidson & Associates, became chairman and chief executive of the new establishment. [5] On November 5 that year, CUC International announced that they would additionally acquire Knowledge Adventure, another developer, in a stock deal valued between $50 million and US$100 million. [5] The acquisition was completed on February 3, 1997. [3] On February 10, Davidson announced that he had stepped down from his positions at CUC Software, and that his wife, Jan, ceased as president of Davidson & Associates, while both Davidsons stayed on CUC International's board of directors. [3] Christopher McLeod, an executive vice-president for CUC International, took over CUC Software in Bob Davidson's place. [3] In April 1997, CUC International acquired Berkeley Systems for an undisclosed sum. [6]

On May 28, 1997, CUC International announced plans to merge with Hospitality Franchise Systems to create a single, "one-stop" entity. [7] [8] The merger was finalized in December that year and created Cendant. [9] As a result of the merger, CUC Software was renamed Cendant Software. [10] On November 20, 1998, French media company Havas announced that it would acquire Cendant Software for $800 million in cash and up to $200 million contingent on the performance of Cendant Software. [11] [12] Subsequently, the division was renamed Havas Interactive. [13] On May 16, 2001, Havas Interactive was renamed Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing, while its direct parent, Havas, became Vivendi Universal Publishing. [14] Under the new name, the company was split into two parts: Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing North America and Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing International, both of which took responsibility for their respective publishing regions. [14] On November 13, 2001, both parts were streamlined under the name Vivendi Universal Games. [15] When Vivendi Universal sold all of its media operations to General Electric in October 2003, Vivendi Universal held on to Vivendi Universal Games, which was re-organized as a direct division of the conglomerate. [16] On March 3, 2006, Vivendi Universal announced they would be dropping the "Universal" part of their name. [17] The same day, the company opened a mobile games division known as Vivendi Universal Games Mobile. [18]

In December 2007, American publisher Activision announced a proposed merger deal with Vivendi Games that would create a new holding company named Activision Blizzard. [19] [20] The deal was approved by Activision's shareholders on July 8, 2008, [20] and the merger was finalized on July 10, creating Activision Blizzard while dissolving Vivendi Games. [21] Bruce Hack, who served as chief executive officer of Vivendi Games, became vice-chairman and chief corporate officer of the new company. [21] Many of Vivendi Games' properties were later dropped by Activision, citing that they would not make for a good fit for the company's long-term strategy. [22]

Subsidiaries

Publishing

Development

Games

Related Research Articles

Blizzard Entertainment American video game publisher and developer

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California. A subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994, the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., and eventually Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates. Shortly thereafter, Blizzard released Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

Activision American video game publisher

Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It currently serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.

Sierra Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher. The company was founded in 1979 by Ken and Roberta Williams, and known for pioneering the graphic adventure game genre including the first such game, Roberta's Mystery House. The company is known for its graphical adventure game series King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Gabriel Knight, Leisure Suit Larry, and Quest for Glory.

Valve Corporation American video game company

Valve Corporation, also known as Valve Software, is an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It is the developer of the software distribution platform Steam and the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Dota series.

JumpStart Games, Inc. is an American edutainment game developer based in Torrance, California. Founded in 1991, it owns the Neopets virtual pet website, and is itself owned by Chinese holding company NetDragon Websoft.

Davidson & Associates Defunct American developer of educational software

Davidson & Associates, Inc. was an American developer of educational software based in Torrance, California. The company was founded in 1984 by husband-and-wife Bob and Jan Davidson, the latter of whom led the company as president until January 1997. Specializing in the production of edutainment software, the company was acquired by CUC International in February 1996 and served as the base for CUC's CUC Software division, being made responsible for the sales and distribution of the combined company.

Cendant

Cendant Corporation was an American provider of business and consumer services, primarily within the real estate and travel industries. In 2005 and 2006, Cendant broke up and spun off or sold its constituent businesses. Although the company was based in New York City, the majority of Cendant's headquarters employees were located in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey.

Vivendi French media company

Vivendi SE is a French media conglomerate headquartered in Paris. Widely known as the owner of Universal Music Group, Groupe Canal+, Havas, Editis, Vivendi Village and Dailymotion, the company has activities in music, television, film, book publishing, communication, tickets and video hosting services.

Ken Williams is an American game programmer who co-founded On-Line Systems together with his wife Roberta Williams. On-Line Systems eventually became Sierra On-Line and was ultimately renamed Sierra Entertainment. The couple were leading figures in the development of graphical adventure games. At its height, Sierra employed nearly 1,000 people prior to its acquisition in 1996.

Gameloft French video game publisher

Gameloft SE is a French video game publisher based in Paris, founded in December 1999 by Ubisoft co-founder Michel Guillemot. The company operates 19 development studios worldwide, and publishes games with a special focus on the mobile games market. Formerly a public company traded at the Paris Bourse, Gameloft was acquired by media conglomerate Vivendi in 2016.

CUC (Comp-U-Card) International Inc. was a membership-based consumer services conglomerate with travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement and financial services offered to more than 60 million customers worldwide based out of Stamford, Connecticut and founded by Kirk Shelton and Walter Forbes. In 1998, it became involved in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into what, at the time, was the biggest accounting scandal in corporate history.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment American video game publisher

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is an American video game publisher based in Burbank, California, and part of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. WBIE was founded in January 2004 under Warner Bros. and transferred to the Home Entertainment division when that company was formed in October 2005. WBIE manages the wholly owned game development studios TT Games, Rocksteady Studios, NetherRealm Studios, Monolith Productions, WB Games Boston, Avalanche Software, and WB Games Montréal, among others.

Coktel Vision French video game developer and publisher

Coktel Vision was a French video game developer and publisher based in Paris. It was best known for its educational and adventure games.

Radical Entertainment Inc. was a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia and a subsidiary of Activision. The studio was founded in 1991 by industry veterans Rory Armes and Dave Davis, as well as newcomer Ian Wilkinson. It is best known for developing three games in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and the Prototype series of games.

Behaviour Santiago

Behaviour Interactive Chile Ltda. was a Chilean video game developer based in Santiago. The company was founded as Wanako Games in 2002, by Esteban Sosnik, Tiburcio de la Cárcova, Santiago Bilinkis, Wenceslao Casares. The studio was first acquired by Vivendi Games in February 2007 and ended up under Artificial Mind and Movement in December 2008. When Artificial Mind and Movement was renamed Behaviour Interactive in 2010, Wanako Games was renamed Behaviour Santiago. Behaviour Santiago was shut down in November 20, 2017.

High Moon Studios

High Moon Studios, Inc. is an American video game developer initially formed in 2001. After nearly a year as an independent studio, the developer was acquired by Vivendi Games in January 2006 and placed under Sierra Entertainment. It is now owned by Activision Blizzard, Vivendi Games' successor and parent company of Activision. It has developed multiple Transformers video games and assisted in the development of select Call of Duty games, as well as Destiny.

Activision Blizzard American video game company

Activision Blizzard, Inc. is an American video game holding company based in Santa Monica, California. The company was founded in July 2008 through the merger of Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games. The company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol ATVI, and since 2015 has been one of the stocks that make up the S&P 500. Activision Blizzard currently includes five business units: Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, King, Major League Gaming, and Activision Blizzard Studios.

Bobby Kotick American businessman and CEO of Activision Blizzard

Robert A. Kotick is an American businessman who currently serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Activision Blizzard. He was the head of several technology companies early in his career. He purchased a stake in Activision in 1990 and became CEO the next year. Kotick engineered the Activision Blizzard merger, and he became CEO of the combined company in 2008. He is on several company boards. From 2003 until 2008, he was a director at Yahoo!. In February 2012, he became a non-executive director of The Coca-Cola Company. He has also served on the board of the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) since he co-founded the organization in 2009.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Lewis, Peter H. (February 21, 1996). "CUC Will Buy 2 Software Companies for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  2. "CUC INTERNATIONAL INC. COMPLETES ACQUISITIONS OF DAVIDSON & ASSOCIATES, INC. AND SIERRA ON-LINE, INC". PR Newswire. July 24, 1996.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 KAPLAN, KAREN (February 10, 1997). "Davidson Founders Make Quiet Exit" . Retrieved July 20, 2018 via LA Times.
  4. HELM, LESLIE (February 21, 1996). "Marketer CUC to Buy Davidson & Associates" . Retrieved July 20, 2018 via LA Times.
  5. 1 2 KAPLAN, KAREN (November 6, 1996). "CUC Will Buy Knowledge Adventure" . Retrieved July 20, 2018 via LA Times.
  6. 1 2 "CUC Buys Content Maker Berkeley Systems". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  7. Bagli, Charles V. (May 28, 1997). "$11 Billion Merger Plan Would Join HFS and CUC". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  8. "CUC-HFS Merger Deal to Create Strong One-Stop-Shopping Entity". Associated Press. May 28, 1997. Retrieved July 20, 2018 via LA Times.
  9. Jebens, Harley (April 28, 2000). "CUC Gets Renamed". gamespot.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  10. "CUC Now Cendant". Game Developer . UBM TechWeb. March 1998. p. 13.
  11. Hansell, Saul (November 20, 1998). "Cendant Said to Near Sale of Software Division". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  12. "Cendant Sells Software Unit". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  13. "Vivendi's High Wireless Act". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  14. 1 2 "Havas Interactive Changes Name To Vivendi". gamasutra.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  15. Graser, Marc (November 15, 2001). "Viv U streamlines games". variety.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  16. "General Electric buys Vivendi media empire". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  17. "Vivendi Universal to shorten company name". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  18. 1 2 Maragos, Nich. "Gamasutra - The Art & Business of Making Games". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  19. Rosmarin, Rachel. "Vivendi To Merge With Activision". forbes.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  20. 1 2 Alexander, Leigh. "Activision Blizzard Merger Official". kotaku.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  21. 1 2 Alexander, Leigh. "Activision Blizzard Merger Finalized". kotaku.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  22. Pattison, Narayan (July 29, 2008). "Activision Drops Several Vivendi Games". IGN .
  23. "L'américain Sierra-On-Line absorbe Coktel Vision - Les Echos". www.lesechos.fr. May 4, 1994. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  24. "VU Games cède Coktel à Mindscape". gamekult.com. October 21, 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  25. 1 2 Boyer, Brandon. "Vivendi Acquires Secret Lair, Studio Ch'in". gamasutra.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  26. "Vivendi acquires Centerscore". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  27. Dobson, Jason. "Vivendi Acquires Centerscore, Expands Mobile Portfolio". gamasutra.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  28. "Buy Low, Sell High: Vivendi's History in Video Games". Kotaku UK. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  29. Teather, David (June 19, 2000). "Vivendi seals merger". the Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  30. IGN Staff (November 13, 2002). "Europe Gets Hard Early". ign.com. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  31. Varanini, Giancarlo (August 13, 2002). "Vivendi creates new studio". gamespot.com. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  32. IGN Staff (August 13, 2002). "VU Creates Black Label Games". ign.com. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  33. Pham, Alex (March 11, 2003). "Fox Sells Video Game Division to Vivendi" . Retrieved July 22, 2018 via LA Times.
  34. Takahashi, Dean (March 1, 1994). "Technology" . Retrieved July 22, 2018 via LA Times.
  35. "Vivendi Universal sells educational games division". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  36. "Vivendi Universal Publishing announces the acquisition of Massive Entertainment - Blue's News". www.bluesnews.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  37. Parker, Sam (October 3, 2002). "Vivendi Universal acquires Massive Entertainment". gamespot.com. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  38. "VU Games acquires Simpsons: Hit & Run developer Radical Entertainment". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  39. Jenkins, David. "Gamasutra - The Art & Business of Making Games". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  40. "Vivendi nets Swordfish in new acquisition deal". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  41. "Vivendi Universal acquires High Moon Studios". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  42. "Vivendi Acquires Assault Heroes Developer". Wired. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  43. Boyer, Brandon. "Vivendi Acquires Wanako Games". gamasutra.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  44. "Vivendi acquires Wanako Games". engadget.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.