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Activision set to acquire Raven

Computer game maker Activision Inc. Thursday sealed a deal to acquire Raven Software Corp., an entertainment software firm best known for action/role-playing software titles such as “Heretic” and “Hexen: Beyond Heretic.”

The acquisition will make Raven a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, and Raven stockholders will receive 1,040,000 shares of Activision common stock. The transaction will be effected on a tax-free basis and will be accounted for as a pooling of interests.

Brian and Steven Raffell, founders and principal shareholders at Raven, will continue to manage the company’s studio operations.

In addition to adding the big-selling “Heretic” and “Hexen” games to its product lineup, Activision also said it would create new extensions and sequels to the titles. According to Raven, approximately 1 million units of the two properties have been published. Raven had already begun development on the “Hexen II” game with id Software, and Activision is planning a September release of the title. Raven titles “Mageslayer” and “Take No Prisoners” are also expected for fall debuts.

Raven Software, based in Madison, Wisc., was founded in 1990. Activision, based in Los Angeles, creates computer games for Microsoft DOS, Windows and Apple Macintosh systems, as well as the Sony PlayStation, Sega and Nintendo dedicated game platforms.