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Activision Publishing, Inc.

Moby ID: 25

AKA +
  • Activision, Inc. (from 1992 to 2000-06-08)
  • Mediagenic (from 1988 to 1992)
  • Activision, Inc. (from 1979 to 1988)
  • VSYNC, Inc. - Name of first incorporation. (from 1979 to 1979)
  • Video Computer Arts, Inc. (from 1979 to 1979)

Overview edit · view history

Activision is an American video game publishing company. It was founded in 1979 by four programmers at Atari after they wanted more money and recognition for the games that they created for the Atari 2600. A sales sheet, intended to list what type of games sold best so the programmers would make more like those, showed that the four of them made over 60% of the company's sales at the time, over US$ 60 million. Atari president Ray Kassar dismissed their contract renegotiations and at that point they left.

David Crane, Alan Miller, Robert Whitehead, Larry Kaplan, and former record industry executive Jim Levy founded Activision and their games would have a biography and their signature at the end of the instruction booklets. This took off and Activision made millions in sales. It also marked the start of third-party publishing and development, as previously the owner of the hardware also made all the games for it.

The name of the company was chosen because they wanted a name that was higher up alphabetically than Atari in order to show that it was superior.

In 1984, sales began to fall as the video game crash happened (in late 1983), there was a split on the direction of the company on whether to keep going with video games or computer games. Over the next few year, key employees at Activision left and formed their own companies. Many of these new companies chose names alphabetically above Activision (such as Accolade, Acclaim, and Absolute Entertainment). With sales dropping and Jim Levy's style of crediting individuals in the games becoming less effective, he left the company in 1985.

In 1989, they started focusing on other computer software and changed their name to Mediagenic. In 1991, Mediagenic filed for bankruptcy, eventually they changed their name back to Activision and in 1993, they surfaced again. Since then, Activision has been turned into the second largest publishing company in the United States.

In the late 1990s and much of the 2000s, the company acted as the main distributor for LucasArts' games. It additionally operated the Activision Value Publishing subsidiary for budget-range games.

In 2000, Activision reorganized into a holding company organizational structure. The reorganization was made effective by a merger between Activision, Inc. (the surviving company) and ATVI Merger Sub, Inc. a subsidiary of Activision Holding Company, Inc., which in return was a subsidiary of Activision, Inc.

The merger resulted in all shares of Activision Holding Company, Inc. owned by Activision, Inc. to be canceled and retired, followed by Activision, Inc. changing its name to Activision Publishing Inc. and Activision Holding Company, Inc. to Activision, Inc. The newly Activision Publishing Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc. In the same year, Activision stopped developing games in their internal Los Angeles studio - the last productions Star Trek: Armada and Call to Power II were finished with the help of Mad Doc Software. From then on, development was handled by owned subsidiaries and licensed external parties.

In 2008, the company was acquired for US$ 18.8 billion by Vivendi, a media conglomerate. The new holding company was named Activision Blizzard, Inc.. Activision would gain the bulk of the IPs of the Sierra backlog, but would sell some franchises and studios off immediately.

Known subsidiaries

Names in italics used to be subsidiaries, but no longer are as they were closed or sold off.

Credited on 1,189 Games from 1980 to 2024

Displaying most recent · View all

Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile (2024 on iPhone, iPad, Android)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023 on Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 5...)
Crash Team Rumble (2023 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5...)
Crash Team Rumble (Deluxe Edition) (2023 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5...)
Pharaoh: A New Era (2023 on Windows)
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 (2022 on Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series...)
Call of Duty: MWII - Modern Warfare II (2022 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Call of Duty: Vanguard (2021 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Call of Duty: Vanguard (Ultimate Edition) (2021 on Xbox Series, PlayStation 5, Xbox One...)
Call of Duty: Vanguard - Cross-Gen Bundle (2021 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4)
Crash Bandicoot: Crashiversary Bundle (2021 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Crash Bandicoot: Quadrilogy Bundle (2021 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series...)
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War (2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Campaign Remastered (2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Call of Duty: Warzone (2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Destiny 2: The Collection (2019 on Stadia)
Crash Team Racing & Spyro-Spielepaket (2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Crash-Spielepaket (2019 on PlayStation 4)

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History +

October 9, 2009

The company confirms to have closed its development studio Shaba Games.

April 6, 2009

The company acquires the game development outfit 7 Studios.

November 10, 2008

The company announces to have acquired development studio Budcat Creations.

September 12, 2008

The company acquires development studio FreeStyleGames Ltd.

July 9, 2008

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

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Trivia +

Activision are the first true third-party developers in history.

Ticker symbol for Actvision is ATVI.

Activision used to offer fabric patches (the one's you stitch on your jacket) for players that achieved high scores on their games. Players were to send in a photograph of their TV with their high score showing (as proof) and mail it in. Activision would then send back a patch.

The patches were intended for games of the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Intellivision, and Colecovision platforms. Not all Activision games offered patches however. These patches now are highly collectible items by the way.

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Related Web Sites +

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