Activision Blizzard (AB) contains Activision and Blizzard, obviously, but it also owns mobile game company King and other game development studios like Raven Software, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and Vicarious Visions are all a part of AB.
Activision, a portmanteau of “active” and “television,” was founded in 1979 by a few former Atari employees and Jim Levy, a music executive who became its first CEO. Today, it’s CEO is Bobby Kotick.
From 1997 until 2008, Activision acquired seven gaming companies before merging with Vivendi Games, which owned Blizzard.
Skylanders games are action-adventure fantasy titles for kids centered around characters that use different elements to fight evil. There are six Skylanders games as well as a Netflix animated series and IRL collectible figurines.
The franchise has been largely retired.
Activision owns the rights to all the Tony Hawk skateboarding video games. Since 1999, more than 20 have been published. The development of this franchise has slowed since its heyday in the early 2000s but Hawk remains a Millennial icon, so it’s unlikely Microsoft will retire this IP permanently.Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Guitar Hero was super popular in the early 2000s, but it’s no longer “cool,” apparently. Which is the perfect time for a reboot. There hasn’t been a game released under the franchise since the iOS mobile game Guitar Hero Live came out in 2015.
World of Warcraft (WoW) is Blizzard’s most famous franchise. The all-consuming fantasy MMORPG has become a cultural touchstone of epic proportions since it was first released in 2004. WoW has been featured on South Park and even got its own CGI-heavy feature film inspired by the game’s lore.
Blizzard develops the Diablo games, which are a series of gothic, dungeon-crawling RPGs. Blizzard is currently working on Diablo IV for PC and console as well as Diablo Immortal, an infamous mobile game.
Neither have a confirmed release date yet.
Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital card game inspired by Warcraft characters and lore. The game continues to receive patch updates and has an esports scene.
Hearthstone has been critiqued for its pay-to-win structure, as players must buy card decks in order to expand their roster of playable characters.
Overwatch is a first-person PvP shooter with MOBA elements. Teams must work together to eliminate enemies while securing objectives or pushing payloads.
Overwatch has a massive esports scene and a ravenously passionate community, despite the delay of Overwatch 2 and the departure of the Overwatch team’s lead dev, Jeff Kaplan.
Blizzard is the developer behind Starcraft and Starcraft II. In Starcraft II, the real-time strategy experience resembles a game of sci-fi chess. One player must fight against another by building, mining and attacking as one of three “races.”
Also known as HoTS, this Blizzard game is often scathingly referred to by gamers as a “Walmart” version of League of Legends. As such, the HoTS esports scene is officially dead. Blizzard has all but abandoned the game in terms of future development.
Nevertheless, HoTS can be fun for any die-hard Blizzard fan, as the game’s characters have all been pulled from other Blizzard titles.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard (and King) likely means you’ll be seeing ABK titles on Xbox Game Pass.
As corporate America continues to operate with a conglomerate mindset in the name of revenue, Microsoft edges closer to a monopoly over an entire industry.
This is watershed moment for the gaming industry.