Activision Blizzard is an American video game developer and publisher. It was founded in 1979 by former Atari programmers who wanted to create games that were more like arcade games. They became one of the largest publishers in the gaming industry until being acquired by Vivendi Universal Games in 2007 for USD 18 billion, when Activision’s annual revenues exceeded those of Electronic Arts, making it the biggest acquisition in video gaming history. In July 2008, Activision merged with fellow Vivendi subsidiary Blizzard to form Activision Blizzard. Activision Blizzard has three business segments: the Call of Duty franchise, which is responsible for the Call of Duty series, Skylanders, and other fighting games; the Activision Publishing Group APG, which is responsible for the Call of Duty franchise and has transitioned into a growing portfolio of online games; and Activision Blizzard Mobile, which is an online network that provides mobile telecommunication services. Blizzard also owns game franchises widely recognized outside their respective titles. These include Guitar Hero, Tony Hawks, and World of Warcraft.
Blizzard has been awarded many prestigious awards for numerous achievements in technology. In 2009, the company was named one of the 100 Best Places to Work in America by The Equality Group and was ranked 78th on Fortune magazine’s list of America’s Top 100 Employers. According to its Best Place to Work programmer list, ESPN.com ranked it as the number one company in 2008 and 2010. It was also listed as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in 2011 by Computerworld.
Blizzard is based in Santa Monica, California, and maintains offices worldwide. The company has a market capitalization of nearly US$14 billion, and it is a constituent of the S&P 500 Index. The company is overseen by CEO Robert Kotick and Chairman Brian Kelly. They are often criticized for running the company for their benefit with little care for investors or customers.
Although Blizzard is a colossal business, the company’s culture is very diverse and open to all. The fact that it consists of many different work areas, such as marketing and development, makes it perfect for those interested in getting insights from different parts of this giant corporation. Many employees have worked at Blizzard for many years and have since become founders or board members within other corporations. It is not uncommon for staffers to go on to launch their start-up businesses or take positions at other media corporations.