LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard brings its powerhouse slate of franchises to Brand Licensing Europe 2017, along with a strong lineup of partners to drive the expansion of some of today’s hottest properties. Making its international debut, the recently formed Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG) will present a roster of iconic, blockbuster titles, including: Call of Duty®, Skylanders®, Crash Bandicoot™ and Bungie’s Destiny from Activision; Overwatch®, Hearthstone® and World of Warcraft® from Blizzard Entertainment; and Candy Crush™ from King. Reaching a global audience of more than 400 million¹, the company’s franchises of the future feature thrilling gameplay, linear storytelling, esports and consumer products, offering exciting opportunities for multi-category licensing.
“With some of the world’s most popular brands like Call of Duty and Overwatch, Activision Blizzard is helping re-define entertainment and the ways it is enjoyed,” said Tim Kilpin, CEO and president, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. “We’re excited to work closely with our partners to create new and innovative merchandising opportunities that’ll bring fans around the world closer to their favorite videogames and characters, players and leagues.”
Commitment to International Growth
Activision Blizzard continues to invest in growth, most recently with the hire of Philippe Bost, vice president of International Consumer Products, Activision Blizzard. In his role, Philippe will drive international growth across the portfolio to provide added strength at retail and generate more engagement opportunities.
Additionally, ABCPG has recently appointed Tinderbox as the Call of Duty licensing agent to expand the company’s European footprint in key markets. This has resulted in such partners as Rubber Road, EMP, Paladone and Sun City, to date.
Further bolstering its growth trajectory, ABCPG is also collaborating with PowerStation Studios on the development of a rich assortment of creative assets for both Call of Duty and Overwatch. In doing so, they will help support the expansion of product variety and range providing broader opportunities for licensing and retail partners.
Activision Blizzard is squarely at the forefront of the competitive gaming phenomenon with its Overwatch League™ and Call of Duty World League. The esports market is expected to reach nearly 600M² viewers by 2020 and affords rich possibilities to give fans around the world new ways to play, display, wear and live the brands they love.
The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with 12 city-based teams. The preseason begins on December 6 at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles with a series of exhibition matches—the world's first chance to see Overwatch League professionals in action. The inaugural season kicks off on January 10, 2018 and will continue into June with the finals in July.
Additionally, the Call of Duty World League leveraged the global strength of the best-selling console franchise and the reach of MLG media network. This year’s competition awarded $4M in total prize money throughout the season, concluding with the Call of Duty World League Championship that took place in August.
Franchises of the Future
ABCPG drives some of the strongest, most culturally relevant IP in the entertainment industry reaching virtually all demographics. Licensing partners around the world are sustaining excitement for ABCPG’s powerhouse slate with a vast product line-up.
- Call of Duty: With more than $15 billion³ in franchise revenue since inception, the pop culture phenomenon Call of Duty is one of the biggest videogame franchises of all-time. The highly anticipated new game – Call of Duty®: WWII – is scheduled for release on November 3. It will be supported by a roster of partners including: Rubber Road (Apparel, Accessories); Paladone (Apparel, Accessories); Sun City (Apparel); Exquisite Gaming (Cable Guys, Crates); Dreamtex (Bedding, Cushions, Beanbags); and Loot Crate (Dedicated Crate with exclusive items).
- Crash Bandicoot: Leveraging the ’90s nostalgia trend, Crash came back in a big way this year with the top-selling Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy. New partners include: Exquisite Gaming (Cable Guys, Crates); Rubber Road (Apparel, Accessories); Bioworld International (Apparel); and NECA (Plush, Figures, Tabletop Games, Novelty).
- Destiny 2: Bungie’s award-winning Destiny is supported by a global community of passionate fans. On the heels of a successful Destiny 2 console launch in September, the highly-rated game saw player concurrency hit an all-time high for the franchise. Fans now are gearing up for the launch of Destiny 2 PC on October 24. Bungie’s Destiny consumer products program continues to expand globally with toys, figures, apparel, publishing and accessories, such as: ThinkGeek (Vinyl Figures, Apparel, Accessories); Funko (POP! Vinyls); McFarlane Toys (Action Figures); Razer (PC Gaming Peripherals); Prima (Strategy Guides); GB Eye (Posters, Mugs, Prints); and Rubber Road (Apparel, Accessories). Visit the Bungie Store at: http://bungiestore.com.
- Overwatch: With more than 30 million players and more than 100 Game of the Year awards, Overwatch has captured imaginations and driven strong global engagement. The franchise is supported by: Bioworld International (Bags, Accessories); Good Smile Company (Figures); Razer (Mouse); J!nx (Hoodies); Dark Horse (Artbook); Funko (Figures); and Scholastic (Books).
- World of Warcraft: The iconic World of Warcraft has engaged more than 100 million passionate players in an ever-evolving online adventure. World of Warcraft: Legion™ is one of the fastest-selling PC games ever, and Warcraft (2016) is the highest-grossing videogame film adaptation of all time. Partners include: Ju Ju Be (Bags and Accessories); J!nx (Apparel); Insight Editions (Cookbook); Funko (Figures); and Dark Horse (Publishing).
- Candy Crush: With hundreds of millions of players, Candy Crush is one of the most popular mobile games in the world. The award-winning Candy Crush property is supported by partners like BakedIn whose Candy Crush Baking Kit won Best Licensed Food or Drink Range at the recent Licensing Awards. Additional partners include: Rossi (Ice Cream); Poetic Gem (Apparel); Mallowtree (Confectionary); Tikiboo (Activewear); Doshisha (Confectionary); and Partnership with Mrinalini Chandra (Jewelry).
Located at Booth #E40, ABCPG also will continue to highlight Skylanders and Hearthstone.
About Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group
Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group is a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), an S&P 500 company and the world's most successful standalone interactive entertainment company. Building on the existing consumer products businesses, the newly formed Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group encompasses Activision, Blizzard and King’s franchises of the future. The division is passionate about working with best-in-class partners around the world to create high quality and deeply relevant merchandise that gives fans new ways to play, display, wear and live the brands they love. Activision Blizzard is home to iconic and beloved entertainment franchises, including Call of Duty®, Overwatch®, Bungie’s Destiny, Skylanders®, World of Warcraft® and Candy Crush™.
About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the Fortune 500 and S&P 500, is the world's most successful standalone interactive entertainment company. We delight hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world through franchises including Activision's Call of Duty®, Destiny and Skylanders®, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Heroes of the Storm®, and King's Candy Crush™, Pet Rescue™, Bubble Witch™ and Farm Heroes™. The company is one of the Fortune "100 Best Companies To Work For®." Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world, and its games are played in 196 countries. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activisionblizzard.com.
Bungie is an independent, employee-owned game development studio dedicated to creating hopeful worlds that inspire passionate player communities. For more than two-and-a-half decades that purpose has led to the creation of some of the industry’s most celebrated gaming franchises, including Marathon, Myth, Halo, and Destiny. Today, Bungie is focused on creating new experiences and adventures for the Destiny 2 community to share.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Blizzard's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the company's Consumer Products division, including with respect to Brand Licensing Europe 2017 and its partners, programs and expected international growth, the release dates of Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 PC and the release dates and features of the Overwatch League, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Blizzard's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and the company does not assume any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
© 2017 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision, Call of Duty, Call of Duty: WWII, Skylanders and Crash Bandicoot are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.
© 2017 Bungie, Inc. All rights reserved. Destiny, the Destiny Logo, Bungie and the Bungie Logo are among the trademarks of Bungie, Inc. Published and distributed by Activision. All other trademarks or trade names are the properties of their respective owners.
© 2017 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD, WORLD OF WARCRAFT, WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LEGION and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
¹Activision Blizzard has over 400 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs).
We monitor MAUs as a key measure of the overall size of our user base.
MAUs are the number of individuals who played a particular game in a
given month. We calculate average MAUs in a period by adding the total
number of MAUs in each of the months in a given period and dividing that
total by the number of months in the period. An individual who plays two
of our games would be counted as two users. In addition, due to
technical limitations, for Activision and King, an individual who plays
the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would
be counted as two users. For Blizzard, an individual who plays the same
game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would generally
be counted as a single user.
²According to Newzoo 2017 Esports Market Report
³According to the NPD Group, GFK Chart-Track and Activision Blizzard internal estimates, including in-game content sales.