Studios and projects face the axe after Activision Blizzard merger

Studios and projects face the axe after Activision Blizzard merger
Michael French

By Michael French

July 16th 2008 at 3:40PM

'There will be a number of people at Vivendi Games who are going to be terminated,' says COO

The merger of Activision and Vivendi will mean that some of its overlapping projects and studios will be axed, the new publishing giant has confirmed.

Earlier this year chiefs at the two firms initiated an internal review of staff and projects - with some operations staff re-interviewing for jobs and developer asked to re-pitch in-the-works proejcts.

Speaking to Variety, Activision Blizzard CEO said that projects which 'don't meet requirements' will most likely be dropped.

He said: "We have a very good view into which products are going to have the prospects for profits that we look for.

"Which ones have the margin potential that is important to us, which can be sequelled, which have worldwide distribution potential... If projects or business units don't meed our requirements for return to our shareholders and our profitability and operating margin targets consistent with our historical performance, they won't likely be retained."

Bruce Hack, former Vivendi head and now COO at Activision Blizzard added that "there are some very good assets that may not meet the hurdle" and those projects could be "divested or closed down."

And it seems likely that the cuts will be seen predominantly across the Vivendi Games portfolio of studios, which includes the likes of Swordfish, Radical, High Moon and Massive, and its corporate staff.

"We are in large part using the Activision organization as a backbone," said Hack, who Variety said is leading the process of integrating the two companies.

"We will strengthen that backbone with employees and processes from Vivendi Games. At the same time, there will be a number of people at Vivendi Games who are going to be terminated."

No decision has been made on what may stay and might not, however - although staff will be notified in 30 days.