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Kotick could have bought Blizzard for $7m

Instead, it cost Activision billions.

Bubbly brunette Bobby Kotick likes to laugh, even when it's about wasting billions of dollars. The Activision chief has revealed that he thought $7 million was far too much to pay for Blizzard back in 1995. 12 years later, Activision would merge with Vivendi Games in a deal worth $18.9 billion, largely so Kotick could get his hands on the Warcraft developer.

Kotick told Game Informer about a dinner in 1995 with Davidson & Associates in which the educational software company revealed it had bought Blizzard for $7 million.

"That year Activision probably had 60 million in revenues," Kotick said. "They said they paid seven million dollars for Blizzard. I'm like, 'Are you out of your minds? They're like a contract developer! They have Warcraft but what else do they have? You paid seven million! That's insane!"

Kotick's not the only one to rue a missed opportunity, although for Blizzard founder Mike Morhaime, the situation is reversed.

"I was talking to Mike Morhaime the other day and I said, 'You know, I could have bought you for seven million and instead it was seven billion,'" laughed Kotick. "He said, 'Yeah, could you imagine if I had just held out for the seven billion instead of the seven million?'"

Kotick sounds pretty jolly for someone who's said he wants to "take all the fun out of game development". Still, the two men have plenty to smile about. Analysts estimate World of Warcraft contributes half of Activision Blizzard's revenues. And since 1995, it's taken Blizzard just six games and six expansion packs to multiply its valuation a thousand times over.