Activision Publishing was founded on October 1, 1979 by Atari programmers David Crane, Alan Miller, and Bob Whitehead. It was the world's first independent developer and distributor for video game consoles. Their first titles were games for the Atari 2600 video computer system and they were the first third-party developer for it. In 1988, their name was changed to "Mediagenic" when it began involvement on video game systems. However, in December 1992 after emerging from bankruptcy, it was officially renamed back to its current name. In December 2007, it was announced that Activision was to be merged with Vivendi Games, the owner of Blizzard Entertainment, and the merge was completed on July 2008. The company is currently a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard and is known for publishing and distributing the Tony Hawk, Call of Duty and Crash Bandicoot franchises, and was also known for publishing the Vigilante 8, Spider-Man, Tenchu, True Crime, Guitar Hero and Skylanders franchises. On July 20, 2O21, holding company Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing due to widespread allegations of sexual harassment. As a result, on January 18, 2022, it was announced that Microsoft would be acquiring Activision Blizzard. As of late 2022, the FTC is suing to block the acquisition.
1st Logo (1979-1991, November 19, 2002, November 14, 2006, July 24, 2007, November 14, 2008)
Logo: Copyright info for the game's year of release appears. It then moves upward, with the Activision logo (just the word "ACTIVISION" written in custom font with "V" horns expanded to the top and connected to the letter "T", and a rainbow attached to the back of the "A", respectively) appearing from below.
- On Activision Anthology, the logo is redone in good quality. Also, the rainbow appears from the left, and pulls the Activision logo on-screen from the right. The logo, now complete, then flashes. The variant is based on the animation of the logo used in Activision adverts from the 1980's. The music was used in the ads as well. Activision's motto from the era was "We put you in the game".
- Some Atari 2600 games don't have the rainbow attached to the "A".
- The rainbow's color is different on some Atari 2600 games.
Technique: None. For the variant, sprite-based animation.
Music/Sounds: None. On the variant, a brief brass-synth rock ensemble plays.
- It is seen on some Amiga games from the company, as well as on the bottom of the screen when an Activision game for Atari 2600 is inserted and running. It also reappears when the game ends. Both A Collection of Activision Classic Games on PlayStation and Activision Anthology on PlayStation 2 keep the logos intact on all games emulated on the discs.
- The variation is only seen on the PlayStation 2 version of Activision Anthology. It doesn't appear on Activision Hits Remixed for PSP or Activision Anthology for iOS, as the former used the 5th logo instead and the latter did not use the variant. This logo also made surprise appearances on the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s and the Nintendo DS game Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades.
2nd Logo (Still variants) (1984-)
Logo: We see the Activision logo in white, and this time the rainbow is gone.
Variants: There are a lot of variants of this logo.
- On Ghostbusters II, the logo is blue with a thin red outline. "Presents" is seen below.
- On X-Kaliber 2097, the logo is seen on a completely blue background.
- On some games, like the SNES version of MechWarrior, MechWarrior 3050 and Radical Rex, the logo is on a blue background with scattered white fragments.
- On the Sega CD and Atari Jaguar versions of Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, the camera pans down to the brown rocky logo standing in animated water and a jungle.
- On Zork Nemesis, the logo is white with "presents" below.
- On Shanghai 2: Dragon's Eye, the logo is colored in gradient blue and brown (a reflection of the sky and the ground).
- On HyperBlade, the light blue logo is seen on a futuristic blue and gray background.
- On some GBC and GBA games, the logo is blue with a white outline.
- On the GBA version of Shrek 2, the logo is made of green rocks in a swamp. The onion carriage from the movie can be seen strolling in front of it.
- On the GBA version of Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, the logo is engraved on a stone wall with carvings of deities on it. It then pans upward to show the Torus Games logo.
- On the GBA version of Shark Tale, the logo is made out of green graffiti on a brick wall. The shorties from the movie spray it before swimming away.
- On the GBA version of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, the logo appears like an old film, and is placed into a black-and-white filmstrip.
- On Shrek 2: Beg for Mercy for GBA, the logo seen in a forest. Puss in Boots then runs under the logo.
- On the GBA and DS versions of Madagascar, the background shows a crack on the yellow surface. Marty appears from the lower right and jumps over the crack.
- On the GBA version of Shrek Super Slam, the logo (with a slightly blocky look) slides in from the right on a black background. It then slides to the left and the Amaze Entertainment logo appears in its place.
- On the DS version of Shrek Super Slam, the logo (in 3D) is seen in a pond in the titular character's swamp. It then pans to the right to show the Amaze Entertainment logo.
- On the trailer for Quake 4, the logo has a crystallized orange look.
- On the GBA version of Over the Hedge, the logo is made of blue and yellow flowers on some grass in the woods. This sequence is interactive, as you can move RJ (one of the characters) around it.
- On the DS version of Over the Hedge, the logo is seen on a bag of potato chips.
- On the GBA version of Over the Hedge: Hammy Goes Nuts, the logo is seen on a television screen.
- On the GBA version of Spider-Man 3, the logo is shown underneath a picture of a meteorite flying through a skyline.
- On the DS version of Spider-Man 3, the logo gets pulled by the titular hero's web-line against a black background with a spider-web, a smaller Activision logo and some hexagons.
- On the GBA version of Shrek the Third, we see a pirate ship sailing through a sea with Shrek, Donkey and Puss aboard, and we see them sail pass a large wooden sign with the logo in red on it.
- On the DS version of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, the logo slides in from the left and squishes itself before settling and sliding away against an African background.
- On both Transformers: War for Cybertron: Autobots and Decepticons for DS, the logo is seen on a starfield background and there are blue (for Autobots) or red (for Decepticons) borders.
- On the DS version of GoldenEye 007, the logo is black with a golden outline and two golden borders at the top and bottom of the screen.
- On the DS version of SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge, the logo is light blue and appears in front of an aquatic background with flowers.
Technique: Depends on the variant, but usually none.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.
Availability: Seen on the games mentioned above on their respected platforms using their respected variants. It is currently used in tandem with the fifth logo.
Legacy: The still version of the logo comes untamed from the very early years of existence.
3rd Logo (1995-1997)
Logo: The Activision logo is made out of stone (and in perspective), which is posed against a cloud background and it hangs above the water surface with its reflection in it, which is waving.
Music/Sounds: The sound of the water waves. Sometimes, the game's background music is heard.
Availability: Rare. Appears on Activision's earlier Saturn and PlayStation games such as Blast Chamber, Grand Tour Racing '98 and Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. It can be also seen on PC games as well, such as the PC versions of Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure and Earthworm Jim: Special Edition.
4th Logo (1997-June 20, 2003, 2010)
Logo: We start out with a black screen. After a few seconds, a piece of the screen breaks out, revealing a beam of light. More pieces break out, and more light emits through the holes. The light begins to change color as more pieces are breaking out. As all the pieces fly off-screen, the Activision logo is shown. It glows purple-blue for a few seconds, and then vanishes via a TV power off-like effect by zooming in blurring, and then finally disappears.
- There is a later and more common variant where the animation is enhanced, and the light just glows blue, and the pieces are blown out faster than usual, and the effect towards the end is different. On some games, however, the logo is sped up a little.
- On the Nintendo 64 versions of both Vigilante 8 games, the logo is white and in 3D. After a few seconds, the logo turns blue, squishes itself and disappears.
- On Star Trek titles published by the company, the logo hangs in space and it's plain white and doesn't glow. Then, the Starship Enterprise flies from the left side of the screen and blows the logo to ashes.
- On games published by Activision Value, the word "Value" in cursive appears on the bottom of the Activision logo.
- On Heavy Gear II, the logo fades out instead of disappearing.
- A still version exists. It can be on either a black or white background.
Music/Sounds: The prototype variation is as follows: At the beginning, there is a choir when the screen is black, then an explosion sounds when the pieces are breaking out, accompanied by a THX-like ascending synth note when the logo is revealed. Then, an electric power-off sound when the logo disappears. On the later variant, the music and sounds were enhanced.
- On the PlayStation version of Spider-Man (the 2000 game of the same name), the last second of the audio is cut off.
- On the still version, none or the opening theme of the game.
- Appears on PlayStation, Dreamcast and PC games from the era such as Dark Reign 2, Vilgante 8 and its sequel, Vilgante 8: 2nd Offense, SiN, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and its sequel, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (PlayStation and Dreamcast versions only), X-Men: Mutant Academy, the PlayStation and Dreamcast versions of both Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue! and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Toy Story Racer, BattleZone (the 1998 PC game based on the 1980 arcade game of the same name), Asteroids (the 1998 remake of the 1979 arcade game), A Collection of Activision Classic Games for the Atari 2600 and its sister game, A Collection of Classic Games for the Mattel Intellevision, Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle, Spider-Man (the 2000 game; excluding it's PC version, which has the logo below), Apocalypse, Tai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger, Heavy Gear and its sequel, Heavy Gear II. It can also be seen on Orphen: Scion of Sorcery and the North American release of Bloody Roar 3 (the European release has the 10th Virgin Interactive logo instead, and the Japanese release outright omits it), which are the only PlayStation 2 games to use this logo.
- This logo is kept on the iOS version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, but the first 2 seconds of this logo are cut off. As of 2014 however, due to incompatibility with iOS versions past 7 on video playback, the game was removed from the App Store.
- The still version appears on games by this company, like some of the aforementioned games for Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color (not counting the N64 version of THPS2 released in 2001, it used the Activision O2 brand instead, and the GBC version of Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!, which was instead published by THQ). The logo described above is rare, as it appears mostly on some games for the PC and PlayStation from 1997-1998 like Nightmare Creatures, Dark Reign: The Future of War and Zork: Grand Inquisitor.
- The Star Trek variant appears on Star Trek titles published by the company like Star Trek: Invasion, Star Trek: Away Team, Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force and its sequel, and Star Trek: Bridge Commander.
- The Activision Value variant is seen on low priced PC games such as the PC version of The House of the Dead 2 and Boards and Blades 2.
5th Logo (August 26, 2001-)
Logo: On a black background with many different symbols sliding in from many areas, we see the "V" swooping in from the right getting to the center. Then, the letters "A", "C", "T", three "I"'s, "S" "O" and "N" appear from different areas spinning quickly around the "V". Then, all the letters quickly connect into the word "ACTIVISION", in the similar font as the past logos as the background disappears and the very dark light rays appear. The logo quickly zooms into us, shaking for a brief moment and the rays dye out. The logo turns two-dimensional and fades out after a couple of seconds.
- Starting with Call of Duty 2 in 2005, there is an elaborate HD version of the logo, which doesn't have the blur and the background is a bit darker. Also, there is a widescreen version of it depending on the selected resolution.
- There is a still version, as well as a color inverted version.
- Sometimes, and on later revisions, the logo cuts to black early at the end.
- On the PlayStation 2 version of X-Men: Next Dimension, the logo plays at a lower frame rate.
- On some games, such as the console versions of Shrek 2, the PlayStation 2 version of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: The Night of the Quinkan, the logo is horizontally squished.
- On the console versions of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, the logo is slowed down slightly.
- On the Wii version of Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, the logo has a slight tinge of green.
- The logo is also been rendered in 60 frames per second in some games.
- On 007: Quantum of Solace, the logo (without the "O") forms stylishly on a dark red and black background with a red wavy line below it. A red circle appears like the gun barrel from the James Bond movie openings and becomes the "O". The logo then disappears as we transition to the Treyarch logo. The PlayStation 2 version has the regular variant instead.
- On Call of Duty: World At War, it appears after the Treyarch logo, and is black and white with a projector effect. When the logo ends, it cuts out like a projector.
- On Prototype, the logo, with a red outline, glitches on an interlaced red background that flickers, and cuts away, followed by the Radical Entertainment logo.
- On Guitar Hero 5, the logo is projected on to a building, with the RedOctane logo in blue below it.
- On Band Hero, the logo is formed by a neon pink cardiogram. It then flashes, transitioning to the Neversoft logo.
- On DJ Hero 2, the logo halts after it zooms in, but doesn't turn two-dimensional. It then begins to zoom and spin back and forth as the colors began to offset, and rewinds to the beginning, as if you're scratching a record on a turntable. Then the logo plays again, but with the FreeStyleGames logo instead.
- On Call of Duty: Black Ops, the logo also comes after the Treyarch logo, but this time it has red numbers, "Presents" next to it, and 2 Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters flying in the distance before it fades to white.
- On Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Modern Warfare Remastered, the logo appears on a green and white radio wave/heartbeat monitor background and dissolves shortly after. The Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games logos follow afterwards in a similar manner. On the latter game, the logo appears in a slightly different way.
- On Prototype 2, the logo appears after the Radical Entertainment logo, and flickers in a ghoulish white color on what appears to be a CCTV monitor while zooming in slightly.
- On Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the logo is on a beige background with some war footage, including blood dripping from a hanging pendant, a T-72 tank driving, soldiers marching, a man's face burning, Ronald Reagan giving a speech, and a Boeing AH-64 Apache flying towards us, before coming to the logo, with some text above reading "THE CALM HAS ENDED. THEY ARE BEGINNING TO RETURN.", and "PRESENTS" under it before it cuts to black.
- On Call of Duty: Ghosts, the logo is formed from mauve shards of glass. After a few seconds, the logo disintegrates and the remains of it form into the Infinity Ward logo.
- On Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the logo, in golden, wipes in on a brown background with particles flying everywhere.
- On Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the logo forms after the Treyarch logo, where it consists of black buildings, which form the logo.
- On Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the logo forms in a computer graphic-like fashion on a starfield background.
- On Call of Duty: WWII, the logo (with a more three-dimensional look) fades in on a black background with some fog and barely visible film scratches while zooming in slightly. The Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software logos follow in the same manner.
- On Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the logo is superimposed on some archive footage, with "PRESENTS" below it. On later updates, the logo is positioned over gameplay.
- On Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), the logo appears in a similar manner to the Modern Warfare 3/Remastered variant, but it is blue, has footage of soldiers inside it and is also interlaced.
- On Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the logo is on a glass wall with a map of the world, specifically Hainan in China.
- On Call of Duty: Vanguard, the logo is similar to the the WWII variant, but is sepia-toned and has particles flying in the background like in the Advanced Warfare variant.
- On Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022), the logo in green zooms towards us on a dark green computerized background, before scrolling down and leaving a ghostly trail of the logo.
Music/Sounds: Many swirling and whooshing sounds as the letters spin, followed by a deep bang when the logo zooms in quickly.
- On some games like the PlayStation 2 version of Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions and Shrek: Smash & Crash Racing, the sounds are higher pitched.
- On Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven and its Xbox port Return From Darkness, the sounds are heavily compressed.
- On 007: Quantum of Solace, we hear a timpani roll that slowly segues into the iconic James Bond theme.
- Starting in 2009 with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, the whooshing sounds and the bang are different. However, some games, like Transformers: Devastation and Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, retain the original sounds.
- On DJ Hero 2, we hear the whooshing sounds from the regular variant during the first five seconds, followed a synthesized whoosh when the logo halts, turntable sounds when the logo spins, and rewinding sounds when the logo reverts to the beginning. The whooshing sounds play again when the FreeStyle letters swirl, but we hear a different bang along with along with a male voice shouting "Uh!" when the logo zooms in quickly.
- On Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, Dr. Neo Cortex (voiced by Lex Lang) announces, "Activision presents...a smashing blast from the past!".
- On Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, the speech is the same, but announced by another narrator.
Availability: Current, and very common. It appeared on many games published by the company since Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro. Notable examples of where you can find it on include X-Men: Mutant Academy 2, X-Men: Next Dimension, Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Madagascar, the Spider-Man games from the aforementioned Enter Electro to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the Call of Duty series prior to World at War, as well as many other games including the Tony Hawk series starting with Tony Hawk's Underground, the True Crime series, X-Men Legends and its sequel, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Gun, The Movies, Over the Hedge, the first two Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, and Bee Movie Game, among many others. The HD version appears on later games for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii among others starting with Call of Duty 2, as well as Singularity, the 007 games from GoldenEye 007 (2010) to 007 Legends, the Skylanders series, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, Deadpool, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. This logo strangely does not appear on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (the 2009 game). This logo is still used, despite being mostly replaced by its custom variants on newer titles (especially the Call of Duty ones), as it recently appeared on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2, as well as Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.
6th Logo (Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock variant) (September 24, 2010)
Logo: We see the Activision logo in the same style as the past logos standing on a molten rock, as lava flows through the rock and splatters all around. Other logos appear in the same way.
Technique: The lava flowing through the molten rock and splattering below.
Music/Sounds: A rock-like tune along with sounds of lava bubbling and splattering.
Availability: Only seen on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.