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Activision is known in the United States as the first "third-party" developer, getting its nose in the video game industry with games for the Atari 2600, and co-founded by four former Atari designers (David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Bob Whitehead and Alan Miller) on October 1, 1979. Against Atari's publishing policies at the time, Activision was the first studio to allow programmers to take credit for the games they designed.

Unlike many other companies developing games for second-generation consoles, Activision survived The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 intact, being quick to jump on the Commodore 64 bandwagon, and even added to its catalog several games from defunct competitor Imagic, whose advertising Tagline for their games was "Designed By Experts For Experts". Activision acquired Infocom in 1986.

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In 2007, Activision merged with Vivendi Games (who owned Sierra and Blizzard Entertainment at the time), to become Activision Blizzard, the single largest third-party game developer in the United States, surpassing Electronic Arts. (Vivendi Games was previously Vivendi Universal Games, as Vivendi was the parent company of Universal from 2000 to 2003 and retained the "Universal" part well into 2006note ).

Today, the company is best known for being the publisher of the Call of Duty series, kicking off the late 2000s music game fad with the Guitar Hero seriesnote  and for its controversial business practices, especially concerning the contractual dispute with Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward. In 2021, parent company Activision Blizzard became the subject of a huge scandal following a lawsuit filed by the DFEH (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing) that revealed a toxic culture across both Activision and Blizzard that had existed for many years, where many employees were paid minimum wages and female employees were subjected to regular sexual harassment by male employees, all with full knowledge of leadership who defended the perpetrators and retaliated against victims of harassment if they complained. The knowledge revealed by this lawsuit resulted in the company's reputation being irreparably damaged.

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In January 2022, Microsoft announced that it would acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in the wake of the DFEH's lawsuit, which will (ironically given their origins) make Activision a first-party developer for a console manufacturer.


Pre-crash Activision games:

Pre-crash Imagic games:

Post-crash Activision games:

Sierra Entertainment/Vivendi/Universal properties:

Blizzard properties:

See Blizzard Entertainment For a complete list.

Licensed Games


Alternative Title(s): Activision Publishing Inc, Activision Publishing

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