Microsoft has been earmarked as a possible buyer of Vivendi's 60 per cent stake in Activision Blizzard, sources closed to the situation have told Reuters.

Once source said that the French media conglomerate has "asked a bank to go and talk to possible buyers for Activision".

A sale could raise in the region of $10 billion, funds which the firm needs.

No formal process has begun, but sources say Vivendi is ready to approach cash-rich firms including Microsoft, China's Tencent and Time Warner.

Microsoft and Time Warner declined to comment when approached by Reuters.

However, sources don't believe Tencent to be a viable option.

On Tencent's credentials, a banking source said: "They have two big franchises, Call of Duty on the console side and World of War Craft on the MMOG side. And China is not a big market for console businesses; online games are much bigger for various reasons."

Regarding Microsoft, the source said was more upbeat: "They probably don't want to distract themselves too much, but they are the ones who, if they want to stay in games, would think about owning some of these big franchises, not just providing the consoles."

Vivendi told Reuters that "every option is on the table" and that its board will take its time.