LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), lands at Licensing Expo 2015 with a powerhouse portfolio of some of the most compelling and immersive entertainment properties in the world. Anchored by tentpole franchises Skylanders®, Call of Duty®, Destiny and now Guitar Hero® Live, Activision’s Licensing & Partnerships business, established in 2012, has exponentially grown the videogame publisher’s global reach through a multi-pronged strategic approach. New and returning best-in-class partners such as McDonald’s, Crayola, MEGA Brands, Power A, BioWorld and Penguin will continue to drive the company’s licensing, merchandising and retail business in 2015 and beyond.
“Activision’s award winning and top-selling billion dollar franchises Skylanders and Call of Duty, along with Destiny, the biggest new videogame franchise launch in history, have provided us with meaningful opportunities to create multiple consumer touchpoints,” said Ashley Maidy, vice president of global licensing and partnerships at Activision Publishing, Inc. “The videogame industry has truly become the source of some of the biggest entertainment launches of our time. These world-class IPs enable us to build consumer products programs that complement these massive franchises.”
Activision’s Licensing & Partnerships business is led by a comprehensive global kids licensing program for Skylanders and a lifestyle merchandising program tailored for Call of Duty’s millions of fans worldwide. The company expanded its reach in 2014 and teamed with Bungie on Destiny to create a program supported by industry leading partners in key categories that can reflect the rich universe of the game. In 2015, the team is kicking off a global program for Guitar Hero Live focusing on lifestyle and gaming accessories.
The company arrives at Licensing Expo 2015 with exciting property updates:
Since launching in 2011, the award winning Skylanders franchise has generated more than $3 billion in retail sales worldwide, has sold more than 250 million toys worldwide and is in every key licensing category1. Skylanders has been the #1 kids' console videogame franchise, including toys and accessories, for three consecutive years and has also outsold the #1 action figure line in the U.S. and Europe1.
Launching on Sept. 20 in North America, the recently announced Skylanders® SuperChargers brings a new toy category to life -- toy vehicles. For the first time ever, players can mix high-octane gameplay and combat over land, sea and sky using toy vehicles that they bring to life in a kids’ action-adventure videogame.
Skylanders licensing and partnership highlights for 2015 include:
- McDonald’s – Skylanders is in its third consecutive year with McDonald’s Happy Meal®, which will appear in more than 40 countries
- Party City – All stores nationwide now feature a three foot Skylanders section where moms can come to plan their ultimate Skylanders party
- Fathead® – Life-sized wall decals from Fathead featuring fan favorites like Eruptor, Spyro, Kaos and Stealth Elf are available in stores and online now
- NKOK – Two fully functional RC cars with working headlights will retail for $18 this fall
- Punch Bowl – Online and on-demand branded party invitations will be available in July
Additional licensees will launch product assortments in 2015 including:
- POWER A (Carrying Cases & Game Accessories), Rubie’s Costumes (Halloween – new Kaos costume!), Mad Dog Concepts (Sleepwear), Issac Morris (Sportswear), Mad Engine (Apparel), Thermos (Lunch Kits & FUNtainers™), FAB (Backpacks & School Supplies), Penguin (Publishing), Crayola (Color & Activity), American Greetings (Party Goods & Supplies), Franco (Bedding), Camelot (Fabric), Aso (Bandages), IDW (comics), AME (Sleepwear), York Wall Coverings (clings).
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty® phenomenon continues to drive sales in licensing across categories, including Apparel and Accessories, Headsets, Publishing and Collectible Construction Sets. Last year’s Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare was the #1 top‐selling console game of 2014 in the U.S., based on physical game unit sell-through. And the Call of Duty series was the #1 gaming franchise in the U.S. for the sixth year in a row, based on revenue. The franchise has generated more than $11 billion in retail sales and has inspired legions of fans worldwide.
In 2015, Activision will release the much anticipated Call of Duty®: Black Ops III. This will be the most robust licensing program for Call of Duty yet with new categories and more partners in anticipation of the next chapter in the Black Ops universe.
New and returning partners include:
- MEGA Brands – Realized unprecedented success of the Call of Duty Collectible Construction Sets, which marked the largest new IP launch in MEGA’s history
- BioWorld – Continues to offer fans authentic apparel and accessories, globally
- Funko – Delivers line of Pop! Vinyl figures at GameStop
- BradyGames – Once again allows fans to learn all the intricate details of the blockbuster game with the comprehensive strategy guide book
- Fathead – Introduces epic new wall decals inspired by the game this fall, allowing fans to further experience the game
- Surreal – Offers Call of Duty-themed barware, beach towels and throws for the ultimate fan
- Power A – Outfits gamers with themed accessories and gifts
- KontrolFreek – Provides Call of Duty fans the latest controller upgrades and accessories
- Razer – A household name in PC Gaming brings Call of Duty fans the ultimate PC Gaming Gear on the market
Destiny is the biggest new videogame franchise launch in history with more than 20 million registered users. The licensing strategy for Destiny has been focused on partnering with industry leaders and category experts that can reflect the rich universe of the game.
From Bungie and Activision, Destiny is the next evolution in interactive entertainment and an epic adventure unlike anything players have experienced. A sweeping adventure set within a bold, new universe, Destiny features an unprecedented combination of cooperative, competitive, public and personal activities seamlessly woven into an expansive, persistent online world. The recently released Destiny Expansion II: House of Wolves furthers the Destiny adventure.
Destiny’s robust merchandising program includes partnerships with:
- BioWorld and GAME UK – Brings fans branded Apparel & Accessories
- Insight Editions – Gives players insight into the Destiny world with Art Books, Journals and Poster Books
- BradyGames – Allows gamers to learn details of the game with a comprehensive strategy guide book
- Trends – Delivers Posters
- World 3A Toys – Creates high-end collectible action figures
Guitar Hero Live
Launching in fall 2015, Guitar Hero Live introduces two powerful ways to play: GH Live, a first-person point of view where players are up on stage as the star of the show in front of live action reactive crowds; and GHTV, the world’s first playable real music video network. Following its release in 2005, Guitar Hero became the quickest console franchise in video game history to reach one billion dollars in sales in North America and Europe at that time², and was played by more than 40 million players. Activision is kicking off a global program for Guitar Hero Live focusing on lifestyle and gaming accessories at Licensing Expo 2015.
Activision will be located at Booth #R171 at this year's show. For more information, please visit: Activision.com/presscenter.
About Activision Publishing
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Activision maintains operations throughout the world. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activision.com or by following @Activision.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the expected release dates of Skylanders SuperChargers, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Destiny, Guitar Hero Live are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing'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 Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes 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 Publishing or 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.
©2015 Activision Publishing, Inc., SKYLANDERS, SKYLANDERS SUPERCHARGERS, FREESTYLEGAMES, GUITAR HERO, GH, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS and ACTIVISION are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.
© 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.
¹According to The NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, Activision Blizzard internal estimates, including toys and accessories
²According to The NPD Group and GfK Chart-Track retail sales data for North America and EU