Who owns Blizzard?

by / ⠀Who Owns / November 27, 2023
Who owns Blizzard

Who owns Blizzard Entertainment? Blizzard is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, which is a publicly-traded company. Activision Blizzard, Inc. was formed from the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games in 2008. Vivendi initially had a majority stake, but over time, it divested its shares. The ownership of Activision Blizzard now lies with numerous shareholders, including institutional investors and individual investors who have purchased its stock (NASDAQ: ATVI). The largest shareholders are investment firms like Vanguard Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc. Therefore, no single individual owns Blizzard; it is owned collectively by many shareholders through Activision Blizzard.

Company History

Blizzard Entertainment, formerly known as Silicon & Synapse, is an American video game developer and publisher. The company was founded in 1991 by Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce, and Allen Adham. Over the years, Blizzard has seen changes in its ownership and structure. Here is a brief history of the company and the changes in its ownership:

1. Silicon & Synapse (1991 – 1994)The company was founded in 1991 by Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce as Silicon & Synapse. They initially focused on developing game ports for other studios and creating their own games.

2. Chaos Studios (1994)In 1994, the company briefly changed its name to Chaos Studios.

3. Blizzard Entertainment (1994 – Present)Later in 1994, the company took on the name we know today: Blizzard Entertainment. This change occurred after their acquisition by Davidson & Associates, an educational software company.

4. CUC International (1996)In 1996, CUC International, a large conglomerate, acquired Davidson & Associates (and thereby Blizzard Entertainment) for about $1.6 billion.

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5. Cendant (1997)In 1997, CUC International merged with another company, HFS Corporation, creating Cendant. Blizzard Entertainment became a subsidiary of this newly-formed corporation.

6. Havas Interactive (1998)In 1998, Cendant experienced a corporate accounting scandal, leading to the sale of its software division to Havas Interactive, a division of French company Havas. Blizzard Entertainment became a part of Havas Interactive, positioning them under the umbrella of a European multimedia giant.

7. Vivendi Games (2000 – 2008)In 2000, Vivendi acquired Havas, and Blizzard Entertainment became part of Vivendi Games, a newly-formed division of the media conglomerate.

8. Activision Blizzard (2008 – Present)In 2008, Vivendi Games merged with Activision, one of the biggest video game publishers at the time. This created a new company called Activision Blizzard, with Vivendi holding a majority stake in the new entity. As a result, Blizzard Entertainment became a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard.

9. Independent (2013)In 2013, Activision Blizzard announced its separation from Vivendi through a transaction where the company would buy back around 429 million shares from Vivendi for approximately $5.83 billion, effectively making them an independent company with majority ownership moving to the public.

Currently, Blizzard Entertainment continues to be a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, which is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: ATVI). The ownership of this company is in the hands of numerous individual and institutional shareholders, effectively decentralizing control over Blizzard Entertainment. Throughout its history, Blizzard has grown tremendously, developing and publishing iconic games such as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch.

Who was the original founder?

Blizzard Entertainment, originally known as Silicon & Synapse, was founded by three individuals: Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce. Let’s focus on Michael Morhaime, who became the most recognized figure among the founders and served as the president of Blizzard for a long time. Michael Morhaime was born on November 3, 1967, in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Granada Hills High School and later went on to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). At UCLA, Morhaime studied electrical engineering and computer science, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1990.

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While at UCLA, Morhaime befriended Allen Adham, who shared his interest in video games. After completing their degrees, Morhaime and Adham, along with Frank Pearce, decided to start their own venture in the video game industry. In 1991, they founded Silicon & Synapse, which would later become Blizzard Entertainment in 1994. The company initially began in the gaming industry by providing support for other game developers.

They worked on game ports and adaptations for various platforms. Their early projects included Battle Chess, RPM Racing, and The Lost Vikings. The company saw massive success with its later games, such as the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series. Under Morhaime’s leadership, Blizzard Entertainment became one of the most respected and successful video game companies, creating a massive global fanbase with its high-quality games and exceptional online play experiences.

Morhaime stepped down as president of Blizzard in October 2018 and was succeeded by J. Allen Brack.

FAQ: Who Owns Blizzard

1. Who owns Blizzard Entertainment?

Blizzard Entertainment is owned by Activision Blizzard, which is a result of a merger in 2008 between Blizzard’s former parent company, Vivendi Games, and Activision.

2. What is Activision Blizzard?

Activision Blizzard is a leading global video game and entertainment company, with many well-known franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch under its umbrella.

3. When was Blizzard Entertainment founded?

Blizzard Entertainment was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name “Silicon & Synapse” by Allen Adham, Michael Morhaime, and Frank Pearce.

4. What are some popular games developed by Blizzard Entertainment?

Some popular games developed by Blizzard Entertainment include World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.

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5. How has the ownership of Blizzard Entertainment changed over the years?

In 1994, Blizzard Entertainment became a subsidiary of Davidson & Associates and later the same year, Davidson & Associates was acquired by CUC International. In 1997, CUC International merged with HFS Incorporated to form Cendant, which transferred Blizzard Entertainment under its Vivendi Games subsidiary in 1998. Finally, in 2008, Vivendi Games and Activision merged to create Activision Blizzard, the current owner of Blizzard Entertainment.

Sources for More Information

 

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