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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vivendi Games
  • CUC Software
  • (1996–1997)
  • Cendant Software
  • (1997–1998)
  • Havas Interactive
  • (1998–2001)
  • Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing
  • (2001)
  • Vivendi Universal Games
  • (2001–2006)
IndustryVideo games
FoundedJuly 24, 1996; 24 years ago (1996-07-24) in Torrance, California
DefunctJuly 10, 2008 (2008-07-10)
FateMerged with Activision
SuccessorActivision Blizzard
Area served
North America, Europe
Key people
Bruce Hack (CEO)

Vivendi Games was an American video game publisher and holding company based in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1996 as CUC Software, the publishing subsidiary of CUC International, after the latter acquired video game companies Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line. Between 1997 and 2001, the company switched parents and names multiple times before ending up organized under Vivendi Universal (later renamed Vivendi). On July 10, 2008, Vivendi Games merged with Activision to create Activision Blizzard.


On February 21, 1996, CUC International announced its intention to acquire Davidson & Associates (including Blizzard Entertainment) and Sierra On-Line, two American video game companies, in a US$1.8 billion stock swap.[1] The deal closed on July 24, 1996.[2] CUC International previously only operated membership shopping clubs, wherefore analysts were surprised by the company's move into the software industry.[1] Subsequently, following the acquisitions, CUC International established CUC Software around the Torrance, California-based operations of Davidson & Associates to oversee the new video game properties.[3] Under that new umbrella, both Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line would act independently from CUC International.[4] Bod Davidson, co-founder of Davidson & Associates, became chairman and chief executive of the new establishment.[5] On November 5 that year, CUC International announced that they would additionally acquire Knowledge Adventure, another developer, in a stock deal valued between $50 million and US$100 million.[5] The acquisition was completed on February 3, 1997.[3] On February 10, Davidson announced that he had stepped down from his positions at CUC Software, and that his wife, Jan, ceased as president of Davidson & Associates, while both Davidsons stayed on CUC International's board of directors.[3] Christopher McLeod, an executive vice-president for CUC International, took over CUC Software in Bob Davidson's place.[3] In April 1997, CUC International acquired Berkeley Systems for an undisclosed sum.[6]

On May 28, 1997, CUC International announced plans to merge with Hospitality Franchise Systems to create a single, "one-stop" entity.[7][8] The merger was finalized in December that year and created Cendant.[9] As a result of the merger, CUC Software was renamed Cendant Software.[10] On November 20, 1998, French media company Havas announced that it would acquire Cendant Software for $800 million in cash and up to $200 million contingent on the performance of Cendant Software.[11][12] Subsequently, the division was renamed Havas Interactive.[13] On May 16, 2001, Havas Interactive was renamed Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing, while its direct parent, Havas, became Vivendi Universal Publishing.[14] Under the new name, the company was split into two parts: Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing North America and Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing International, both of which took responsibility for their respective publishing regions.[14] On November 13, 2001, both parts were streamlined under the name Vivendi Universal Games.[15] When Vivendi Universal sold all of its media operations to General Electric in October 2003, Vivendi Universal held on to Vivendi Universal Games, which was re-organized as a direct division of the conglomerate.[16] On March 3, 2006, Vivendi Universal announced they would be dropping the "Universal" part of their name.[17] The same day, the company opened a mobile games division known as Vivendi Universal Games Mobile.[18]

In December 2007, American publisher Activision announced a proposed merger deal with Vivendi Games that would create a new holding company named Activision Blizzard.[19][20] The deal was approved by Activision's shareholders on July 8, 2008,[20] and the merger was finalized on July 10, creating Activision Blizzard while dissolving Vivendi Games.[21] Bruce Hack, who served as chief executive officer of Vivendi Games, became vice-chairman and chief corporate officer of the new company.[21] Many of Vivendi Games' properties were later dropped by Activision, citing that they would not make for a good fit for the company's long-term strategy.[22]






  1. ^ a b c d Lewis, Peter H. (February 21, 1996). "CUC Will Buy 2 Software Companies for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e KAPLAN, KAREN (February 10, 1997). "Davidson Founders Make Quiet Exit". Retrieved July 20, 2018 – via LA Times.
  4. ^ HELM, LESLIE (February 21, 1996). "Marketer CUC to Buy Davidson & Associates". Retrieved July 20, 2018 – via LA Times.
  5. ^ a b KAPLAN, KAREN (November 6, 1996). "CUC Will Buy Knowledge Adventure". Retrieved July 20, 2018 – via LA Times.
  6. ^ a b "CUC Buys Content Maker Berkeley Systems". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (May 28, 1997). "$11 Billion Merger Plan Would Join HFS and CUC". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "CUC-HFS Merger Deal to Create Strong One-Stop-Shopping Entity". Associated Press. May 28, 1997. Retrieved July 20, 2018 – via LA Times.
  9. ^ Jebens, Harley (April 28, 2000). "CUC Gets Renamed". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "CUC Now Cendant". Game Developer. UBM TechWeb. March 1998. p. 13.
  11. ^ Hansell, Saul (November 20, 1998). "Cendant Said to Near Sale of Software Division". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  12. ^ "Cendant Sells Software Unit". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  13. ^ "Vivendi's High Wireless Act". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Havas Interactive Changes Name To Vivendi". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  15. ^ Graser, Marc (November 15, 2001). "Viv U streamlines games". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  16. ^ "General Electric buys Vivendi media empire". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  17. ^ "Vivendi Universal to shorten company name". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Maragos, Nich. "Gamasutra - The Art & Business of Making Games". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  19. ^ Rosmarin, Rachel. "Vivendi To Merge With Activision". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Alexander, Leigh. "Activision Blizzard Merger Official". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Alexander, Leigh. "Activision Blizzard Merger Finalized". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  22. ^ Pattison, Narayan (July 29, 2008). "Activision Drops Several Vivendi Games". IGN.
  23. ^ "L'américain Sierra-On-Line absorbe Coktel Vision - Les Echos". May 4, 1994. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  24. ^ "VU Games cède Coktel à Mindscape". October 21, 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  25. ^ a b Boyer, Brandon. "Vivendi Acquires Secret Lair, Studio Ch'in". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  26. ^ "Vivendi acquires Centerscore". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  27. ^ Dobson, Jason. "Vivendi Acquires Centerscore, Expands Mobile Portfolio". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  28. ^ "Buy Low, Sell High: Vivendi's History in Video Games". Kotaku UK. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  29. ^ Teather, David (June 19, 2000). "Vivendi seals merger". the Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  30. ^ IGN Staff (November 13, 2002). "Europe Gets Hard Early". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  31. ^ Varanini, Giancarlo (August 13, 2002). "Vivendi creates new studio". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  32. ^ IGN Staff (August 13, 2002). "VU Creates Black Label Games". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  33. ^ Pham, Alex (March 11, 2003). "Fox Sells Video Game Division to Vivendi". Retrieved July 22, 2018 – via LA Times.
  34. ^ Takahashi, Dean (March 1, 1994). "Technology". Retrieved July 22, 2018 – via LA Times.
  35. ^ "Vivendi Universal sells educational games division". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  36. ^ "Vivendi Universal Publishing announces the acquisition of Massive Entertainment - Blue's News". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  37. ^ Parker, Sam (October 3, 2002). "Vivendi Universal acquires Massive Entertainment". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  38. ^ "VU Games acquires Simpsons: Hit & Run developer Radical Entertainment". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  39. ^ Jenkins, David. "Gamasutra - The Art & Business of Making Games". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  40. ^ "Vivendi nets Swordfish in new acquisition deal". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  41. ^ "Vivendi Universal acquires High Moon Studios". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  42. ^ "Vivendi Acquires Assault Heroes Developer". Wired. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  43. ^ Boyer, Brandon. "Vivendi Acquires Wanako Games". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  44. ^ "Vivendi acquires Wanako Games". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
This page was last edited on 12 July 2021, at 06:11
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