While reading on Wikipedia about Activisions history, I discovered some very interesting things. On this blog, I'm going to go through how Activision changed the gaming industry as a whole.

Third-Party Publishing

Now, before I explain what Activision actually did with its founding, I think a brief description of third-party publishing is neccesary for this blog. Basically, third-party publishing is the publishing of games for different platforms (PS3, Xbox etc) by companies not owned or affiliated with the maker of said platform. For example, Sony would allow other companies to publish games on the PS3, other then Sony exclusively publishing games on their platform. This would be quite troublesome for the developers of video games, as they would not recieve financial rewards for games that sold well, and no credit would be given for the developers.

Since this is out of the way, let's move into what Activision actually did.

What Did Activision Do?

Before Activision (Founded 1979), there was no third-party publishing. Games were only published by the makers of systems, such as Atari exclusively publishing for the Atari 2600. Atari programmers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead met with Atari CEO Ray Kasser in May 1979 to damand that Atari treat video game developers as record labels treated musicians, with royalties and credit for the games developers made. This was met with hostilitie by CEO Kasser, who told the men that "anyone can do a cartridge", also calling them "towel designers". This eventually led to the resignation of Crane, Miller and Whitehead from Atari, and also leading to the founding of Activision in October 1979. Other notable figures in the creation of Activision include former music industry executive Jim Levy, venture capitalist Richard Muchmore and former Atari programmer Kaplan. The name "Activision" was possibly decided upon so that the company could appear before Atari in the phone book.

Unlike Atari (Those greedy piglets), Activision credited and promoted game developers along with the games themselves. Steps taken to ensure this included a page devoted to the game developer in their instruction manuals, challenging a players to send in a high score in order to recieve an embroidered patch. These different approaches helped the company attract vast amounts of experienced talent.

The departure of the four programmers caused legal battles between Atari and Activision, which ended in 1982. As the market for game consoles started to decline, Activision branched out, acquiring different small developers and publishing for home computers.

So, without Activision, different publishers possibly wouldn't exist, such as Electronic Arts and Rockstar Games. Also, without Activision, the 1980s market crash could have been much, much, MUCH more severe.

In conclusion, Activision invented third-party publishing for video game developers.

If you spot any grammar mistakes, point them out if you want.

Thanks for reading.

- Miller

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