What makes a video game company independet?
July 31, 2013 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Activision Blizzard is set to split from parent company Vivendi after a deal has been made to buy back the company for just over $8 billion.
Now according to many news sites "Activision Blizzard will become an independent company as majority of the shares will be owned by the public." That's it?

I thought that,
1. publicly traded companies are not independent
2. indie gaming companies doesn't have publishers (or the financial backing of a publisher) that's why they are indies

So what makes a video game company independet?
Or now I can say that, yes, World of Warcraft is the biggest indie MMORPG ever and Call of Duty is the biggest indie gaming franchise ever?
posted by bdz to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Best answer: It's an independent company because it is not a subsidiary of another company (i.e., Vivendi). The mainstream business press is not talking about "indie gaming." TBH, that's not really on their radar.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:02 AM on July 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: But who or what is 'the public' on the market? Investment groups, banks etc.
Independent companies are mostly owned by those who work there.

So it looks there are more than one answer to that question.
posted by bdz at 8:06 AM on July 31, 2013

"Independent companies are mostly owned by those who work there."

There's more than one way to define "Independent." You're using one definition; mainstream business coverage of this is using another (ie, "not a subsidiary of another company,") and the definition of "indie" as it relates to game developers is hazier but definitely different than both of the above.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:13 AM on July 31, 2013

Independent business often refers to a privately held company, Blizzard is blurring the term, but it's not an official technical term or anything, and Haddock is spot on. They just mean they won't be a Vivendi subsidiary. They're not joining NFIB anytime soon.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:14 AM on July 31, 2013

They're not saying it's "an independent company" in the sense that you're thinking. It is independent of its former parent company.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:14 AM on July 31, 2013

You're confusing independent as in "indie games" with independent as in "corporate entity A is no longer part of corporate entity B." These are two completely different definitions of the same word.

(The term "indie game" is fairly loosely defined anyway, as with "indie films" it's more of a convenient label for things that are Not Mainstream than it is a precise definition. But in any case it has zero to do with the Activision/Vivendi deal you're talking about; the report you linked to is only using 'independent' to mean 'separate from'.)
posted by ook at 8:15 AM on July 31, 2013

Yeah, it's not more than one answer, it's more than one question. It's an independent company (that happens to make videogames) because it is not a subsidiary of another company.

It is not an indie game company because it is one of the most established brands out there.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks Admiral Haddock! And to everyone of course.
posted by bdz at 8:29 AM on July 31, 2013

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