Just how big of a name is Call of Duty these days? Well, you could try asking Vivendi - following reports that the corporation cannot sell its ownership of Activision/Blizzard (not even Microsoft wants to buy), it has had to call in assistance from top banks Barclays and Goldman Sachs to secure a sale of $8.1bn. To anybody, I suppose.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Vivendi's stock price also shot up since it was revealed that it was to sell the studios (reported here
) behind World of Warcraft
, Call of Duty
. This may have more to do with the fact that Vivendi has a high level of debt and is siphoning off the game makers to repay what it owes.
The fact that the pair are reportedly worth around $13.4bn, and that negotiations are being prepared for $8.1bn, perhaps shows a lack of confidence in the brands associated with the third-party games publisher.
Take-Two, Warner, Disney and Chinese telecommunications firm Tencent have all reportedly been approached for a sale, but a buy-back of the 61 per cent controlling share from Activision/Blizzard itself has not been ruled out.