Blizzard had been shunted around the industry like a pinball before being picked up by CUC International in 1996.
However, two years later, more turmoil: revelations of dodgy dealings meant CUC (now Cendant) lost 80 per cent of its stock value. Canny Vivendi's media subsidiary Havas wasted no time at all in picking up Blizzard and fellow Cendant baby Sierra Online for 800m – a figure which raised more than a few eyebrows at the time.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Blizzard became one of the most successful, lucrative publishers in the world and, thanks to World Of Warcraft, one of only a handful to truly take advantage of the potential of both the MMO market and Far Eastern territories. Oh, and it was the jewel in the crown of the $19 billion Activision Blizzard deal.