Activision Publishing, Inc.

Historical Events


    • The company formed from former Atari developers.


    • The company launches a series of multi-million selling Atari 2600 titles, including the Pitfall! series followed by Kaboom! (1981) and River Raid (1982).


    • The company completes initial public offering (IPO).


    • The company purchases Infocom.


    • The company changes its name to Mediagenic.


    • The company, as Mediagenic, publishes the first interactive entertainment product on CD-ROM, The Manhole.


    • The company relocates to Los Angeles from Northern California.
    • The company opens Australian office.
    • The company changes its name back to Activision.


    • The company opens an office in United Kingdom.


    • The company releases Return to Zork as the first fully interactive MPEG adventure game.
    • The company raises $42.5 million in equity to boost production and distribution of new titles.


    • The company releases Zork Nemesis, the sequel to the hit game Return to Zork and the seventh title in the blockbuster Zork series.


    • The company acquires worldwide rights to id Software's Quake II.
    • The company acquires development studio Raven Software.
    • The company acquires worldwide interactive rights to the Heavy Gear giant robot role-playing universe.
    • The company completes $60,000,000 private placement of seven-year Convertible Subordinated Notes to finance its product development and product acquisitions efforts.

    Jun 16, 1997:

    • The company forms a German subsidiary with the acquisition of Take Us!, a German marketing firm.

    Nov, 1997:

    Dec 01, 1997:

    • The company expands its pan-European publishing and distribution infrastructure with the acquisitions of CentreSoft Ltd., an independent distributor of interactive entertainment software in the United Kingdom.


    • The company opens office in France.
    • The company acquires worldwide rights to id Software's Quake III Arena.
    • The company signs deal with Marvel to develop games based each of on the X-MEN and Spiderman for the PlayStation game console.
    • The company signs multi-title deal with Disney Interactive to publish video games based on Disney animated feature properties.
    • The company and LucasArts Entertainment Company enter into exclusive publishing and distribution partnership in the United Kingdom and 45 additional countries including Scandinavia, Central Europe, the Middle East and certain African countries.
    • The company and Viacom Consumer Products sign exclusive 10-year agreement that allows Activision to develop and publish interactive entertainment titles based on the Star Trek franchise.
    • The company signs long-term agreement with world-renowned skateboard champion, Tony Hawk, to develop a line of video games.

    Jul 01, 1998:

    • The company acquires HeadGames Publishing, Inc., a developer and publisher of value-priced outdoor sports and lifestyle PC CD-ROM games.

    Sep 30, 1998:

    • The company acquires CD Contact Data, a distributor of entertainment software products with offices in Belgium and the Netherlands.


    • The company acquires Expert Software, a developer and publisher of value-priced PC software.
    • The company expands its relationship with Marvel Enterprises and signs a licensing agreement to develop and publish games based on Marvel's X-MEN and Blade franchises.
    • The company and Codemasters Limited sign exclusive North American affiliate label agreement.
    • The company signs long-term agreement with Cabela's, the world's largest hunting outfitter.

    Jun 29, 1999:

    Oct 04, 1999:


    • The company makes an equity investment in Gray Matter Interactive Studios, to develop the follow up to one of the most revered PC games of all time, id Software's Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
    • The company's Board of Director's authorizes the purchase of up to $10 million shares of common stock and convertible subordinated notes.
    • The company signs agreement with vert ramp biking legend and nine-time world champion, Mat "Condor" Hoffman.
    • The company acquires rights to develop sequel to id Software's legendary first person shooter game Wolfenstein.
    • The company enters exclusive partnership with world-champion snowboarder Shaun Palmer and legendary world-class surfer Kelly Slater to develop next-generation console games based on both athletes.
    • The company announces strategic restructuring plan to accelerate the development of games for the next-generation consoles.
    • The company signs licensing agreement with Nokia to encode text-adventure games for WAP-enabled devices.
    • The company's Board of Director's approves additional $5 million increase to previously approved $10 million repurchase authorization.
    • The company's Board of Director's adopts a shareholder's rights plan.

    Jun 09, 2000:

    • The company reorganized into a holding company organizational structure. As a result, Activision, Inc. changes its name to Activision Publishing, Inc. and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Holdings, Inc. Activision Holdings, Inc. becomes the parent company and changes its name to Activision, Inc.


    • The company acquires worldwide rights to Sony Pictures Family Entertainment's hit animated television how Jackie Chan Adventures.
    • The company introduces new brand identity Activision O2 as umbrella brand for companies line of action sports games.
    • The company acquires rights to develop, publish and distribute interactive games based on Stephen Spielberg's sci-fi film "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise.
    • The company consolidates its value operations. Company restructures Head Games to operate as Activision Value incorporating certain assets from Expert Software and Elsinore Multimedia.
    • The company strengthens leadership position as top publisher of superhero games with the acquisition of worldwide interactive rights to Marvel's Fantastic Four and Iron Man properties.
    • Activision is the only interactive entertainment company to be selected by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 100 fastest growing publicly held companies in the U.S.
    • Activision files a shelf registration for potential future public offerings of 7.5 million shares of its common stock.
    • The company's Board of Directors approves three-for-two split of its outstanding common shares.
    • The company acquires exclusive worldwide interactive entertainment rights to Columbia Picture's multi-million dollar feature film "Spider-Man."
    • The company's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 ranks as best-selling video game in the U.S. for the PlayStation game console during calendar 2000, according to NPD's TRSTS Data.
    • The company signs agreement with world class wakeboarding pro Shaun Murray.
    • The company signs publishing deal with BBC Multimedia to obtain interactive rights for BBC's top-rated U.K. game show, The Weakest Link.
    • The company completes full redemption or conversion of its 63/4% convertible subordinated notes due 2001 reducing its debt by $60 million.
    • The company wins three PlayStation Choice Award - Spider-Man named "Game of the Year," Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 voted "Best Extreme Sports Game" and Disney/Pixar's Toy Story Racer won "Best Children's Title."
    • The company named licensee of the year in the sports/special events category in recognition of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 by International Licensing Industry Merchandiser's Association.
    • The company announces that Kenneth L. Henderson has been elected to the Board of Directors following the resignation of Harold A. Brown.

    Oct 03, 2001:

    Jan 14, 2002:

    Apr, 2002:

    • The company acquires the console games development studio Shaba Games.

    Apr 02, 2002:

    • Activision joins S&P Midcap 400 Index.

    Apr 09, 2002:

    • Activision extends O2 lineup into the popular motocross arena by signing undefeated X-Games Gold Medallist Travis Pastrana/

    May 21, 2002:

    • Activision acquires 30% equity in the newly formed development studio Infinity Ward.

    May 22, 2002:

    • Activision acquires developer Z-Axis.

    May 23, 2002:

    • TDK Mediactive and Activision announce worldwide alliance to co-publish video games.

    Oct 11, 2002:

    • Activision acquires developer Luxoflux

    Oct 30, 2002:

    • Activision acquires worldwide interactive rights to "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events".

    Mar 05, 2003:

    • Milberg Weiss files a class-action suit against Activision. It says that the publisher lied in statements so that company officers and directors could sell their stock at a higher value.

    Oct 30, 2003:

    • Activision exercises its option to acquire the remaining 70% of common stock in Infinity Ward.


    • In 2004, Activision celebrated it 25th anniversary, which included a retrospective at E3 in Los Angeles.

    Nov 03, 2004:

    • Activision joins aDeSe (Spanish rating association).

    Jan 20, 2005:

    Mar, 2005:

    • Activision settles the lawsuit with Paramount Pictures over its Star Trek license. The terms were not disclosed, and neither side admits any wrongdoing.

    May 03, 2005:

    May 25, 2005:

    Aug, 2005:

    Oct, 2005:

    • The company countersues Spark Unlimited after an initial filing in August. In the complaint, Activision accuses the developer of breach of contract, fraud, trade secret misappropriation, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and false advertising. The full story can be read here.

    May 09, 2006:

    May 10, 2006:

    • The company announced that it would open a studio facility on the DreamWorks campus to facilitate simultaneous co-development between DreamWorks' CG feature films and Activision games based on those films.

    Jun 21, 2006:

    • Through the acquisition of CSR Entertainment's software distribution operations, the company opens a publishing office in Seoul, Korea.

    Mar, 2007:

    • The company acquires DemonWare, a network middleware company.

    Sep 26, 2007:

    Dec 02, 2007:

    Jul 09, 2008:

    • The company unveils the "Wee 1ST" brand for an upcoming series of casual Wii games.

    Sep 12, 2008:

    Nov 10, 2008:

    Apr 06, 2009:

    • The company acquires the game development outfit 7 Studios.

    Oct 09, 2009:

    • The company confirms to have closed its development studio Shaba Games.
    Company history contributed by Corn Popper (69566), Trixter (9128), Guy Chapman (2001), Sciere (502430), Kabushi (196639), Kasey Chang (4623), DarkDante (6198) and Indra is stressed (20731)