ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CONSUMER PRODUCTS GROUP HIGHLIGHTS RAPID INTERNATIONAL GROWTH THROUGH ICONIC FRANCHISE PORTFOLIO, ECOMMERCE EXPANSION AND TAILORED MERCHANDISE PROGRAMS
The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain amongst others top list of fast budding European markets, in addition to China, for consumer products
LONDON – Oct. 1, 2019 – Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG) returns to Brand Licensing Europe 2019 (BLE) showcasing its strong international growth within key consumer video game markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France and Italy, as well as China, amongst others. With each of these key markets capturing a large community of video game fans, Activision Blizzard continues to expand its consumer products offerings tied to the company’s iconic franchise portfolio through tailored and localized brand collaborations and partnerships. ABCPG consumer products will be featured at Booth #D300 of the ExCeL London.
“With Activision Blizzard continuing to expand its global reach through content in areas of mobile and esports, additional opportunities are opening up for us to deliver product programs that bring our games to life in the real world,” stated Steve Young, President of Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. “With Europe being an already mature market for our games, consumer products’ expansion in key territories like the UK, France or Germany is a natural extension for all of our franchises. China also presents a massive opportunity for growth, with fans who are incredibly passionate and engaged with our titles. Our communities are global and, with that in mind, we are dedicated to delighting our players around the world with customized, culturally relevant merchandise programs to extend the core game experience.”
Through the continued expansion of the company’s international reach, ABCPG is working with best-in-class, global and regional retailers and licensees through diverse distribution channels across consumer product categories, such as specialty, mass, grocery, homeware, beauty and fashion. Sample partners and collaborators include Rubber Road’s apparel, fashion accessories and home goods; Paladone’s homewares; Gaya’s apparel and home products; AOC’s branded monitors; HLA’s apparel; and language-based specialists Panini’s novels, amongst many others.
Adapting an “Always-on” Approach for Call of Duty
The definitive first-person, action game franchise Call of Duty also continues to build on an expansive previous year with new relationships and offerings in 2019 centered on a 360-degree strategy – evolving from a cyclical to an “always-on” approach creating new consumer touchpoints that extend the franchise beyond the core game experience.
Today’s launch of Call of Duty: Mobile offers expanded opportunities globally to fans and new ways to connect with the brand. The accessibility of the game on mobile allows ABCPG to fully embrace the possibilities with consumer products around the globe as Activision Publishing continues with new releases for fans throughout 2019 and into 2020.
With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releasing on Oct. 25, ABCPG will continue to expand the brand into new categories in the lifestyle space. In collaboration with Activision Publishing, international streetwear brand DRKN will launch a high-end Call of Duty capsule collection, which will be available in Fall 2019. Newly appointed Pan-European apparel and fashion accessory partner Fashion UK will also launch with a range of products across a wide selection of retailers for Call of Duty fans worldwide. McFarlane will also kickoff the McFarlane Call of Duty line with the release of the Captain Price McFarlane Collectible. Additional Call of Duty products will also return from existing partners Astro, KontrolFreek, New Era and Pyramid International.
The upcoming professionalized 2020 Call of Duty esports league season with 12 franchise teams will feature a major professional esports league with city-based teams. The next iteration of Call of Duty esports begins in 2020 and will feature games played in each team’s home market. ABCPG is exploring consumer product opportunities for the new format and season.
Diversifying the Overwatch® Consumer Products Portfolio and Disrupting the Esports Space through the Overwatch League
Product offerings for Blizzard Entertainment’s team-based first-person shooter Overwatch continues to diversify and expand throughout 2019. The Overwatch League continues to break new ground following the launch of its new ecommerce platform with partner Fanatics and the epic conclusion to the 2019 season. The 2020 Overwatch League season will be filled with homecomings for fans as matches are leaving the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles for local venues across the globe. With matches in 19 cities around the world, such as New York, Vancouver, Paris, Shanghai and Seoul, there will be many chances for global fans to purchase the gear of their favorite teams and players at homestand events and local retail stores throughout the season.
Hasbro and the LEGO Group continue to lead the charge with the successful launches of Hasbro’s Overwatch Ultimates action figures and new Nerf Rivals blasters, and the latest LEGO Overwatch additions. The franchise also continues to build its publishing portfolio. Working with Insight Editions, global Overwatch fans and foodies can also get their hands on the newly released Overwatch: The Official Cookbook filled with more than 100 recipes inspired by the heroes of Blizzard Entertainment’s hit game. New Overwatch product licensees include home and bedding licensee Character World, UK fashion and apparel licensee Level Up Wear, and Paladone who will be releasing Overwatch gifts and accessories.
Activision Blizzard Anniversaries at the Forefront
With three milestone anniversaries – the 40th anniversary of Activision Publishing, the 25th anniversary of Blizzard’s Warcraft® franchise, and the 15th anniversary of World of Warcraft – celebrating the rich history of its iconic brands, ABCPG is leaning further into consumer interests and demand through expanded world-class partnerships to deliver engaging, relevant and innovative consumer products.
This year is the 40th anniversary of Activision Publishing and its rich history helping to support and define the standard for innovation within the video game industry. Looking into Activision’s past, present and future, ABCPG wants to celebrate gamers – across generations – by leaning into the strong consumer demand for retro properties with the reemergence of iconic characters from Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. ABCPG is dedicated to fully embracing the possibilities with consumer products as the company continues with new releases for fans throughout 2019, with products such as the Crash Bandicoot POP! Figures and Crash Team Racing vinyl figures from Funko, Spyro Big Box Exclusive Merchandise Crates and Cable Guys from Exquisite Gaming, and Crash Bandicoot homeware from Pyramid International, among a number of others.
This year, Blizzard Entertainment is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Warcraft franchise and the 15th anniversary for World of Warcraft. At BLE, fans will be able to have the first look at the World of Warcraft fine art print collection from Cook & Becker, a new board game from Asmodee, and the upcoming World of Warcraft novel World of Warcraft: Traveler from Scholastic, in addition to expanded offerings from new licensees.
BLE Gaming & Esports Activation Zone
In conjunction with the Activision and Blizzard anniversary celebrations, Activision Blizzard’s iconic franchises will be featured in PowerStation Studios’ new Gaming & Esports Activation (Booth #D280) for the first time ever, which will be located in the Character & Entertainment Zone at BLE. The Gaming & Esports Activation will offer a colorful, innovative and interactive gaming experience for visitors, including a 14-meter long Character Mural and Gaming Timeline bringing to life beloved gaming brands and icons from the last 40 years. Activision Blizzard properties will be featured in two areas within the gaming activation zone, including the following:
- An elaborate mural of gaming history featuring some of Activision and Blizzard’s most memorable IPs, including:
o Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Pitfall, Spyro, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft
- The lifestyle Activision booth, where attendees will take a look into ABCPG’s license products creative development process. Featured properties include Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Activision Classics
More information on the new PowerStation Studios’ Gaming & Esports Activation can be found on the BLE website here.
Later this month, ABCPG will also attend the 2019 China Licensing Expo to showcase its range of upcoming and available consumer products, Asian partnerships and collaborations to drive further growth within the Chinese market.
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 a leading standalone interactive entertainment company. Building on the existing consumer products businesses, the Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group encompasses Activision, Blizzard and King’s franchises. The division is passionate about working with best-in-class licensees 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 Activision’s Call of Duty®, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Skylanders®; Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, and Overwatch®; and King Digital Entertainment’s Candy Crush.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone, Overwatch®, the Warcraft, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multifranchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and numerous Game of the Year awards. The company’s online gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest online-gaming services in the world, with millions of active players.