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Could Valve be buying Activision?  

Let me be clear on this: This is a rumor. There is no evidence to support it. The known facts are these: 

Vivendi is looking to sell Activision
Not too many companies are actually interested in buying Activision
Valve has some money burning a hole in their pocket. 
Valve has plans for rapid expansion. 

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I have not yet been able to identify a source for this rumor. From what I can gather this rumor may have started after inquiries into Activision's /Linux support caused by Paulson's tweet on Gabe Newell's Interview and the views on Windows 8. It is well known that Blizzard has worked on OpenGL and /Linux support internally, support that has only materialized on Apple's OSX/Mach_BSD.

From what can be gathered Blizzard would LIKE to support /Linux, but cannot do so on orders from upper management.  It seems that some comments may have been made that whoever bought Activision would likely have a say in which platforms Activision ultimately supported... and it is possible that those comments may have included wishes for Valve to purchase Activision. 

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All this being said, both Josh Allen and I agree that as ludicrous as the rumor sounds, it's actually a fairly logical business choice. Bringing Activision in house would immediately buy Valve marketshare in all of the major consoles, as well as position Valve to directly answer EA+Origin. Warcraft versus Warhammer. Call of Duty versus Battlefield.

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Where the idea basically falls apart is in the execution of an acquistion. Bobby Kotick and the rest of Activision's upper-management are not exactly known for their winning personalities or flexibility. Case in point being the exploitation of the Call of Duty properties, and the endless array of sequels.

The guys at Valve are known for having a Nintendo-like attitude towards game development: e.g. the game is done when the game is done. 

Bringing Activision on-board with the current development teams intact would basically generate a huge tonal whiplash. Would resulting games be worth playing?

Well, honestly? I think both Nintendo and Valve has shown that quality matters over quantity. Better games are played longer, and a slower development cycle gives more time to polish each game. 

I think bringing Activision titles in-house to Valve and loosening the development reigns may result in some incredibly awesome titles. 
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