LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard unleashes its franchises of the future at Licensing Expo 2017 – showcasing a slate of 360-degree entertainment properties that will drive its global licensing and retail business in 2017 and beyond. The newly formed Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group makes its debut at the Expo to leverage the iconic, blockbuster franchises from across the company, including: Call of Duty®, Skylanders® and Bungie’s Destiny from Activision; Overwatch®, Hearthstone® and World of Warcraft® from Blizzard Entertainment; and Candy Crush™ from King. With a massive audience reach, the company’s tentpole properties offer opportunities across gameplay, linear storytelling, esports and consumer products.
“Activision Blizzard has evolved from launching videogames to building long-lasting, trans-media entertainment franchises that drive engagement. The recently formed Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group is poised to leverage our powerhouses such as Blizzard’s Overwatch and Activision’s Call of Duty in new ways, especially as our esports business continues to grow,” said Tim Kilpin, CEO and president, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. “We’re looking to give our fans new ways to play, display, wear and live the brands they love.”
Building on the success of existing consumer products businesses, the new Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group will provide more strength at retail and generate more engagement opportunities for the company’s community of 430 million players in 196 countries who spent 40 billion hours playing its games last year. The division is passionate about working with best-in-class partners to create high quality and deeply relevant merchandise for their global gaming audience based on its beloved franchises.
Details of Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group’s line-up of marquee entertainment properties follows:
A leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment, Activision is home to a powerful portfolio of properties, including Call of Duty, Bungie’s Destiny, Skylanders and the retro ‘90s Crash Bandicoot™.
With more than $15 billion in franchise revenue since inception1, the pop culture phenomenon Call of Duty is one of the biggest videogame franchises of all time. Activision recently revealed Call of Duty®: WWII, scheduled for release on November 3, a game that defines World War 2 for a new gaming generation. Further, players will compete for a $4 million total prize pool during this season’s Call of Duty World League, a premier esports series. Additionally, a Call of Duty film franchise is in development. Supported by a merchandising program that lives beyond annual game title releases 365 days a year, Call of Duty partners include: Bioworld (Apparel, Accessories), Insight Editions (Field Manual), DGL Group (Drones), Astro Gaming (Headsets), Mattel (Collectible Construction Sets) and Otterbox (Mobile and iPad cases), among many others.
Bungie’s Destiny is supported by a global community of passionate fans who have played more than 3 billion hours, life-to-date. Destiny continues to be one of the most engaging videogames and has become the #1 most-watched console-only game on Twitch by minutes watched for the second year in a row. And now, for the first time ever, Destiny 2 will be available on PC at retail and as the first third-party game to be offered digitally via Battle.net®, Blizzard Entertainment's online gaming service. In celebration of the Destiny 2 launch on September 8, Bungie, in collaboration with Activision, aims to expand the adventure through new and existing licensees, including: Bioworld (Apparel and Accessories), McFarlane Toys (Action Figures), Mattel (Construction Sets), Funko (Vinyl Figures), Razer (Gaming Accessories), RockLove (Jewelry), Concept One (Headwear and Accessories), Insight Editions (Art Book, Journals), USAopoly (Puzzles and Playing Cards) and KontrolFreek (Gaming Controller Accessories).
Rounding out Activision’s portfolio is the award-winning, $3.5 billion Skylanders franchise. Based on the debut success of the “Skylanders™ Academy” animated television show, Netflix has ordered a third season for 2018, with the second season planned for later in 2017. Skylanders continues to be supported by a roster of best-in-class partners. Additionally, everyone’s favorite marsupial Crash Bandicoot is back, enhanced and ready to dance in the Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy coming in June. The game is supported by a merchandising program appealing to fans of the nostalgic ‘90s game, including: Changes (Apparel), Concept One (Accessories), Rubber Road (Apparel, Accessories, Mugs, Home Décor) and Venture Classics (Collectible Figures).
Blizzard Entertainment, a premier award-winning game developer and publisher, is home to some of the world’s most passionate fans who are deeply engaged with blockbuster games like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo® III, StarCraft® II, Heroes of the Storm® and Overwatch, Blizzard’s internationally acclaimed team-based shooter.
Celebrating its first anniversary on May 23, Overwatch has won more than 100 Game of the Year awards and reached more than 30 million players globally. Overwatch’s wide appeal stems from the game’s vibrant and optimistic vision of a near-future Earth, its diverse cast of heroes and its exciting objective-and-team-based action. In addition, Overwatch represents a next-generation esports experience, with an upcoming competitive league that will feature professional franchises tied to major cities. In an effort to provide Overwatch players with even more opportunities to showcase their passion for the game and its community, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group is looking to expand the merchandising program to create additional touchpoints.
The iconic massively multiplayer online role playing game World of Warcraft has engaged more than 100 million passionate players in a rich, ever-evolving online adventure that has spanned more than a decade. Its latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion™, is one of the fastest-selling PC games of all time. World of Warcraft players around the world share a passion for the characters and stories of the Warcraft universe, which serves as the foundation for multiple games and other trans-media products. Last summer they saw some of their favorite heroes and villains brought to life on the big screen in the Warcraft movie, which became the highest-grossing videogame film adaptation of all time.
Blizzard games are supported by a tailored merchandising program designed to extend fans’ experiences far beyond the games themselves. Licensees include Good Smile (Figures), J!nx (Apparel), Dark Horse (Publishing), Insight Editions (Cookbook) and Tokidoki (Apparel, Accessories). Blizzard developers, including artists and designers, work closely with licensees as part of Blizzard’s commitment to creating high-quality products that fans will love.
King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, supports an active community of hundreds of millions of players with Candy Crush Saga, one of the world’s most popular mobile games, along with its sister titles, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Candy Crush Jelly Saga. Designed for adults, the Candy Crush brand and its merchandising program brings to life a fun, magical world in which players must match colorful candies in combinations of three or more to win points, defeat obstacles and progress through more than 2,000 levels.
With candies at the center of the licensing program, the food-related category – including Confectionary, Chocolate and Ice Cream – is one of the most successful categories for Candy Crush licensing. Another leading category is Publishing, having launched a Candy Crush Tips and Tricks book, two adult-only coloring books and a Candy Crush Cakes & Bakes book. This summer, fans will enjoy seeing the live-action television game show hosted by Mario Lopez on CBS prime-time.
The award-winning Candy Crush property is supported by partners including: Amber House (Health & Beauty), Ascania (Soda Drinks), BakedIn (Bake at home kits), InPhase (Air Fresheners), Rossi (Ice Cream), Tubz (Candy), Little Brown (Publishing) and Winning Moves (Board Games). King is dedicated to supporting its licensees through far-reaching, integrated marketing initiatives, including event-based activities, partnerships, public relations and social campaigns. This includes leveraging the massive Candy Crush franchise social media following of more than 80 million fans on Facebook.
Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group can be found at the Licensing Expo in Booth U-202, where some of the company’s newest games will be available to play. The focus for the show includes seeking new partners across multiple categories for Overwatch; expanding the lifestyle merchandising program for Call of Duty; and in partnership with Bungie, leveraging the intense excitement for this year’s Destiny 2 launch.
About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the 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, Calif., 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.
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 the Licensing Expo and the Overwatch, Call of Duty and Destiny franchises; the release dates and gameplay of Call of Duty®: WWII; the features of the Call of Duty World League; the development of a Call of Duty film franchise; the features, release dates and licensees of Destiny 2; the features and release dates of Skylanders Academy; the release dates of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy; and the release dates of the Candy Crush live-action television game show, 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 Activision Blizzard Studios, LLC. “Skylanders Academy” is a trademark 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.
- According to the NPD Group, GFK Chart-Track and Activision Blizzard internal estimates, including in-game content sales.