MARCH 4, 2009 • Despite most game publishers being forced to shed studios and expenditures to ride out the current recession, Activision Blizzard let it be know that it was willing to tap its $3 billion in cash to acquire developers when the fit was right.

Impact: A lot depends on what Activision Blizzard spends its money on. So far the company has made some of the smartest plays in the games business. But success sometimes breeds indulgent spending. While buying studios might bring excellent talent to the company, in our view, buying into some of the rising publishers of free-to-play online content in emerging markets would be the kind of investments that make the most sense.