Activision (ATVI) is an American video game developer and publisher, majority owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA. It was founded on October 1, 1979 and was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles. Its first products were cartridges for the Atari 2600 video console system. Activision is now one of the largest third party video game publishers in the world and was also the top publisher for 2007 in the United States. On January 18, 2008, Activision announced they were the top US publisher in 2007, according to the NPD Group.
On December 2, 2007, it was announced that Activision would be acquired by Vivendi, with Vivendi contributing its gaming division plus cash, in exchange for a majority stake in the new group. The merger between Activision and Vivendi Games took place on July 9, 2008, with the newly formed company known as Activision Blizzard. Activision will still exist as a subsidiary owned by Activision Blizzard, and it will still develop and publish games such as Call of Duty, and Guitar Hero, along with some of Vivendi's owned IPs. Activision announced in 2008 that they may sell the Sierra brand.