ACTIVISION BLIZZARD: UK publishers welcome news

The biggest names in the UK publishing industry have predicted great things for new giant Activision Blizzard – and celebrated the audacity of the Vivendi-driven deal.

Giants such as Nintendo and Ubisoft have predicted that the consolidation of the two companies will enhance the quality of product coming to market, and bolster the overall strength of games when it comes to rivalling other entertainment mediums.

Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton told MCV: The merger really shows the vibrancy of the video games industry. The synergy that both companies will bring to our formats with their strong IPs will only enhance all of our businesses. Any savings they make will give them the opportunity to invest in new IP and development, to share the risk in pushing the boundaries of supporting new talent to help them maintain a creative edge.

Many people worry about these sorts of situations, but with a strong and successful industry everyone has an opportunity to share in its growth.”

And Ubisoft’s managing director Rob Cooper added: The move is a positive one for the whole of the industry. It reflects the value and continuous growth of the business, and is an indication that the major entertainment giants now recognise that video games are a key part of consumers’ entertainment and lifestyle. Consolidation for some is also a natural progression, as publishers strive to meet the cost of developing triple-A product.”

Even smaller publishers have been left unworried – but cautious – by the knock-on effect of the move. Mastertronic chairman Andy Payne said: The merger is good news for everyone really. EA are now in second place, which can only make EA up their game. There will be more consolidation to come, whether it is forced or voluntary, and I am sure there are people who work for publishers and developers – large and small – looking over their shoulders.”

And despite many forecasting that it would hit EA the hardest, the defiant publisher told MCV: 

We wish them good luck and look forward to the competition,” said UK boss Keith Ramsdale. We believe that EA still has the industry’s strongest portfolio of game franchises. We’re always at our best when we have a clearly defined competitor.”

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