Tag - activision blizzard

Overwatch Celebrates One Year Anniversary

The Overwatch team is excited to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of Overwatch with our latest seasonal event – Overwatch Anniversary, a Free-Weekend and the release of Overwatch®: Game of the Year Edition!

Overwatch Anniversary Event – Save the Date

The upcoming Anniversary Event begins on Tuesday May 23rd, 2017. To celebrate, the Overwatch team has created a “Year in Review” trailer which is available in the link below.

We’ve also included the seasonal event logo and a new illustration featuring all 24 heroes at the link below.

Overwatch Free-Weekend

In addition to Overwatch Anniversary, we will be holding another free-weekend from May 26th-29th. For this free weekend, we’re making Overwatch’s full roster of heroes and maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the latest Weekly Brawl. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options. If players decide to purchase a copy of Overwatch after the free-weekend they will get to keep any progress made during the weekend.

Overwatch®: Game of the Year Edition

On Tuesday May 23rd we will be releasing the digital version of Overwatch®: Game of the Year Edition for PC, Xbox One and PS4. The Game of the Year Edition will include a variety of in-game goodies for Blizzard games:

  • Overwatch® – 10 Bonus Loot Boxes

o   Enjoy 10 bonus Loot Boxes which each contain random items that can be used to customize the appearance of your heroes and personalize them. Loot Boxes may include Skins, Emotes, Victory Poses, Voice Lines, Sprays, and Highlight Intros, as well as Credits you can use to acquire many different customization options.

  • Overwatch® – Hero Skins

o   Pay homage to the original Overwatch strike force by wearing the vintage Blackwatch Reyes or Strike-Commander Morrison skins. Explore other heroes’ origins with Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and even Slipstream Tracer!

  • Heroes of the Storm® – Tracer Hero

o   Jump into the Nexus with Tracer and surprise your enemies in the blink of an eye.

  • World of Warcraft® – Baby Winston Pet

o   Adorably cuddly and highly intellectual, the Baby Winston pet will be at your side as you fight your way through Azeroth.

  • Diablo® III – Mercy’s Wings

o   Slay demonic forces throughout the High Heavens and Burning Hells as you don Mercy’s wings. All of Sanctuary will know of your allegiance to Overwatch!

  • StarCraft® II In-game Portraits and a Hearthstone® Card Back!

o   With portraits of Tracer, Reaper, Pharah, Winston, Bastion, and Soldier: 76, you’re sure to become a champion of the Koprulu Sector. You can also battle it out in Hearthstone with an Overwatch-themed card back fit for a hero!

To learn more about the free weekend please check out our blog: https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/blog/20793052

Destiny: Rise of Iron – Age of Triumph Launch Trailer

March 23, 2017 – On March 28, Age of Triumph, the final live update of the Destiny 1 era content will go live.

Age of Triumph is a celebration of the player’s journey through the world of Destiny. Guiding their travels, the largest Record Book to date will contain pages of new challenges to complete for most of Destiny activities. In addition to conquering the new Record Book, players will be able to experience the return of iconic Raids raised to 390 Light, take on the new Daybreak Nightfall modifier, earn new gear and weapons, collect items of Destiny’s past, and more.

Skylanders Academy Season 3 Announced

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – February 2, 2017 Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that its Netflix original series “Skylanders™ Academy” has been renewed for a third season. Production on the third season of “Skylanders Academy”—the first television series developed and produced by Activision Blizzard Studios—will begin in February, with animation again created by the renowned TeamTO studio in France.

“Activision Blizzard Studios celebrates the opportunity to bring another season of quality programming to families around the world,” said studio Co-President Nick van Dyk. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Netflix on this iconic franchise.”

Season 3 will launch in 2018. This year, audiences can enjoy Season 2 of “Skylanders Academy,” which brings back Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks as Eruptor and Norm Macdonald as Glumshanks.

New addition Felicia Day (The Guild, Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will join the cast in Season 2, voicing the role of Cynder, a new cadet at the Academy with a mysterious past. The Diamond Minecart (Daniel Middleton) will reprise his role as Cy and Daniel Wu returns as King Pen. Additional voice talent in Season 2 includes Susan Sarandon, Parker Posey, James Hetfield, Catherine O’Hara, Bobcat Goldthwait, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jonny Rees, Harland Williams and Richard Horvitz. The series features the exclusive song “Harmony” (Skylanders Academy Theme) produced by GRAMMY® Award winner Timbaland and performed by Timbaland fet. Dalton Diehl.

“Response to the show has been incredibly enthusiastic, and we’ve taken a lot of creative inspiration from fans’ excitement,” said studio Co-President Stacey Sher, “We have a lot of fun in store for season three and are thrilled to give audiences even more of the characters they love.”

Based on Activision Blizzard’s record-breaking $3.5 billion Skylanders® game franchise1, “Skylanders Academy” is high quality entertainment for the whole family. This Netflix original series follows the heroic adventures of Spyro, Eruptor, Stealth Elf, Jet-Vac and Pop Fizz as they travel the vast Skylands universe, protecting it from evil-doers. The award-winning Skylanders franchise, created by Toys for Bob, has sold through more than 300 million toys since pioneering the toys-to-life category in 2011(1), and late last year Activision launched Skylanders® Imaginators, the latest innovation in the franchise.

Activision Blizzard Studios launched last year to create original content based on the company’s extensive library of iconic and globally-recognized intellectual properties, which includes some of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world. “Skylanders Academy” is the first production by Sher and van Dyk, who are joined by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick as the series’ executive producers.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls 20th Anniversary Patch Released

January 4, 2017 – Diablo III patch 2.4.3 is now live in the Americas for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One! Check out the full PC patch notes below to learn all about the latest changes. To view our console patch notes, click here.

Important: Please note that you will not be prompted to download patch 2.4.3 until the patch is live in your home region. If you are logging in from a European or Asian client, you will need to wait for this patch to release in that region before it can be installed. Additionally, if your home region is in the Americas, you will be unable to log into Europe or Asia using Global Play after patch 2.4.3 is live until those regions have also patched.

Activision Blizzard Launches New Content for MLG ESport Streaming Platform

NEW YORK, NY. – May 12, 2016 – Today at the 2016 IAB Digital Content NewFronts, Activision Blizzard Media Networks (ABMN), a division of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced the launch of new content, broadcast experiences and distribution partnerships for its MLG.tv streaming platform.

MLG.tv debuted its Enhanced Viewing Experience (EVE) at the event, a High-Definition video stream with a built-in algorithmic system that provides viewers with match statistics, up-to-the-minute leaderboards, and situational insights based on the competition they are watching.

Steve Bornstein, Chairman of Activision Blizzard Media Networks and Former CEO of ESPN took the stage to introduce the network’s host, veteran broadcaster and retired professional gamer Chris Puckett. As host of MLG.tv’s daily ESR broadcast, Puckett will be producing up-to-the-minute premium highlights, interviews and news segments for a new generation of sports fan.

“We’re building a network dedicated to the thrill of competition and the passion of the fans,” said Steve Bornstein, Chairman Activision Blizzard Media Networks, “MLG.tv will play a defining role in realizing the full potential of this audience by creating meaningful, memorable and shareable content.”

“Esports is a cultural phenomenon at its tipping point, and we’re excited to work with the IAB to bring this message directly to advertisers as part of the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts,” said Mike Sepso, SVP Activision Blizzard Media Networks “The size of our digital network, coupled with our insights into this audience’s viewing habits, put us in a unique position to educate the advertising industry on how to safely target these viewers and reach them on their platform of choice.”

ABMN will launch this content and more during the MLG Anaheim Open, a two-day Call of Duty®: Black Ops III tournament set to kick off on June 10, 2016. The MLG Anaheim Open will also be the inaugural event as part of a deeper collaboration with Facebook. The collaboration will allow MLG.tv to broadcast live competitions and deliver ESR content to the 1.6 billion people on Facebook.

“Esports is an exciting space and continues to be a growing priority for us,” said Dan Reed, Head of Global Sports Partnerships for Facebook. “With over 1.6 billion people on the platform and a growing suite of VOD and live streaming products that partners can use to increase engagement, Facebook is uniquely positioned to help esports fans connect around exciting moments and great esports content. We’re thrilled to be working with Activision Blizzard Media Networks, a leader in esports, to help fans enjoy and share a variety of exciting new formats and programming on our platform.”

ABMN’s NewFronts presentation opened with a video showcasing the division’s record-breaking live championship held last month at Nationwide Arena. Sepso and Puckett were joined by Josh Cella, ABMN’s Head of Sales, to present the new content and advertising opportunities to a packed house at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square.

Stacey Sher Named Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – January 13, 2016 – Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that acclaimed producer Stacey Sher has been named co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios, which is devoted to creating television and films based on the company’s library of iconic and globally-recognized intellectual properties, including Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty® and Skylanders®, and Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo® and StarCraft®. Sher, who has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures, including Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film, The Hateful Eight, as well as nearly a dozen TV series and TV movies will partner with former Disney executive Nick van Dyk to co-lead Hollywood’s newest studio.

“Stacey is a rare talent behind two decades of award-winning television series and films. Her ability to collaborate with the most inspired, talented people in entertainment and her unyielding commitment to creativity make her perfectly suited to Activision Blizzard Studios,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “As custodians of some of the world’s most successful entertainment franchises, we are thoughtfully and creatively expanding our franchises through television and films in a way that will honor the commitment our audiences make to our games.”

“Stacey’s immense talent is a great fit for Activision Blizzard Studios, and together we’ll bring Activision Blizzard’s hugely popular intellectual property to both existing fans and new audiences,” said Nick van Dyk, co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios. “Our model is unique: we have a rich library of franchises created over three decades with tens of millions of fans, direct relationships with our audiences and Activision Blizzard’s business capabilities, which enable us to operate with incredible efficiency in content creation, marketing and distribution as compared to the traditional studios. Our focused and disciplined strategy will drive tremendous franchise value for Activision Blizzard as we bring audiences new ways to engage with the intellectual property they love. I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Stacey in building this business.”

“As its large and loyal fanbase can attest, Activision Blizzard has created franchises that mean so much to audiences over the course of 35 years. I’m excited about our mandate to create filmed entertainment based on Activision Blizzard games that is as great as the games themselves,” said Stacey Sher, co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios. “I look forward to joining Nick, Bobby, and the insanely talented and forward-thinking team at Activision Blizzard to develop an even greater voice for these franchises by bringing them into the world of television and film.”

Sher is a two-time Academy Award-nominee, most recently for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington. She was previously nominated for Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney.

Sher’s film credits also include Academy Award Best Picture nominee Pulp Fiction, the 2005 Independent Spirit Award-winning Garden State, and three films with director Steven Soderbergh: Contagion, Erin Brockovich, and Out of Sight. Additional credits include Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center; Matilda; Along Came Polly; Reality Bites; Get Shorty and its sequel, Be Cool; Gattaca; Man on the Moon; Skeleton Key; Freedom Writers; Burnt; A Walk Among the Tombstones; Freeheld; Wish I Was Here; Living Out Loud; Camp; How High; AMC’s hit television series “Into the Badlands”; and Comedy Central’s “Reno 911,” for which Sher served as an executive producer for all six seasons.

Activision Blizzard Acquires King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 Billion


Santa Monica, CA and London, UK – 2 November 2015 – Activision Blizzard, Inc. (“Activision Blizzard”) (Nasdaq: ATVI) and King Digital Entertainment plc (“King”) (NYSE: KING) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which ABS Partners C.V. (“ABS Partners”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, will acquire all of the outstanding shares of King for $18.00 in cash per share, for a total equity value of $5.9 billion (the “Acquisition”). The $18.00 per share purchase price implies a 20% premium over King’s 30 October 2015 closing price, a 26% premium over King’s 30 October 2015 enterprise value (which excludes net cash), a 23% premium over King’s one month volume weighted average price per share and a 27% premium over King’s three month volume weighted average price per share. The boards of directors of both Activision Blizzard and King unanimously approved the Acquisition, which is being implemented by means of a scheme of arrangement under Irish law. The Acquisition is subject to approval by King’s shareholders and the Irish High Court, clearances by the relevant antitrust authorities and other customary closing conditions, and it is currently expected that the Acquisition will be completed by Spring 2016.
Activision Blizzard believes that the addition of King’s highly-complementary business will position Activision Blizzard as a global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms, and positions the company for future growth.


The combined company will have a world-class interactive entertainment portfolio of top-performing franchises, including two of the top five highest-grossing mobile games in the U.S. (Candy Crush Saga®, Candy Crush Soda Saga™), the world’s most successful console game franchise (Call of Duty®), and the world’s most successful personal computing franchise (World of Warcraft®), as well as such well known franchises as Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™, StarCraft®, and Diablo® and Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero®, Skylanders® and Destiny, along with over 1,000 game titles in its library. Activision Blizzard expects that this leading content, together with expertise across subscription, upfront purchase, free-to-play and micro-transaction business models will enhance Activision Blizzard’s position as one of the world’s most successful interactive entertainment companies. During the last twelve months ended 30 September 2015, Activision Blizzard had non-GAAP revenues of $4.7 billion and King had adjusted revenues of $2.1 billion. During the same period Activision Blizzard had adjusted EBITDA of $1.6B and King had adjusted EBITDA of $0.9 billion. During the last twelve months ended 30 September 2015, Activision Blizzard had GAAP revenues of $4.9 billion and King had IFRS revenues of $2.1 billion. During the same period, Activision Blizzard had GAAP net income of $1.1 billion, and King had IFRS profit of $0.6 billion.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment. With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before.”


Kotick, added: “Riccardo, Sebastian, and Stephane are some of the best minds in the business, and we have long-admired King for consistently creating incredibly fun, deeply engaging free-to-play games that capture the imaginations of players across ages and demographics. Activision Blizzard will provide King with experience, support and investment to continue to build on their tremendous legacy and reach new potential. We share an unwavering commitment to attracting and developing the best talent in the business, and we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish together.”

Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Executive Officer of King, said, “We are excited to be entering into this Acquisition with Activision Blizzard. Since 2003, we have built one of the largest player networks on mobile and Facebook, with 474 million monthly active users in the third quarter 2015, and our talented team has created some of the most successful mobile game franchises. We believe that the Acquisition will position us very well for the next phase of our company’s evolution and will bring clear benefits to our players and employees. We will combine our expertise in mobile and free-to-play with Activision Blizzard’s world-class brands and proven track record of building and sustaining the most successful franchises, to bring the best games in the world to millions of players worldwide. We are very much looking forward to working with Activision Blizzard. We have two teams that, together, will have an amazing footprint, innovative technology, and leadership across platforms, and unique, established IPs to delight one of the largest networks of players in the world.”

Gerhard Florin, Chairman of King’s board of directors, said, “The Acquisition provides a return to King shareholders through the premium that it provides to King’s share price and the immediate liquidity that the Acquisition will provide to all of our shareholders upon completion. The King board of directors believes that Activision Blizzard’s cash offer is attractive given the balance of future opportunities, risks and competitive forces confronting King’s business.”

Activision Blizzard Strategic Rationale

Activision Blizzard believes that the following points will accelerate Activision Blizzard’s strategic growth plan:

One of the Largest Global Entertainment Networks. This Acquisition will create one of the largest global entertainment networks with over half a billion combined monthly active users in 196 countries. This global audience will reach across casual and core gamers, female and male players, and developed and emerging markets throughout the world. Direct relationships with this large and diverse audience will extend Activision Blizzard’s reach, creating opportunities to cross-promote content and engage new players with Activision Blizzard’s franchises.

A New Global Leader in Mobile Gaming. Through this Acquisition, Activision Blizzard will become a global leader in mobile gaming-the largest and fastest-growing area of interactive entertainment, that is expected to generate over $36 billion of revenue by the end of 2015 and grow cumulatively by over 50% from 2015 to 2019.
Diverse Franchise Portfolio with Leadership Across Key Platforms and Genres. The combined company will have a portfolio encompassing 10 of the world’s most iconic interactive entertainment franchises with leading titles including two of the top five highest-grossing mobile games in the U.S. (Candy Crush Saga®, Candy Crush Soda Saga™), the world’s most successful console game franchise (Call of Duty®), and the world’s most successful personal computing franchise (World of Warcraft®), among others. This world-class collection of games spans genres and platforms, drives deep, year-round engagement, and is well-positioned for continued growth.

Potential Cross-Network Growth Opportunities. Combining one of the largest mobile gaming communities with Activision Blizzard’s leading franchises creates potential opportunities to grow and cross-promote content to a diverse audience, while providing players more opportunities to engage with its content.
Enhanced Capabilities Across Business Models. The combined company’s capabilities across subscription, upfront purchase, free-to-play and micro-transaction business models will accelerate diversification of Activision Blizzard’s revenue streams. This expertise across diverse monetization methods will lead to new opportunities to delight players and provide Activision Blizzard with key capabilities to meet evolving player preferences and reach new untapped audiences. The combined company will benefit from King’s leading mobile capabilities that can be applied across the portfolio from micro-transactions, game analytics and mobile marketing to increase digital revenues.

The Most Profitable, Successful Standalone Interactive Entertainment Company in the World. During the last twelve months Activision Blizzard had non-GAAP revenues of $4.7 billion and King had adjusted revenues of $2.1 billion, and for the same period, adjusted EBITDA of $1.6 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively. The combined company will have further diversified and recurring revenues, cash flow generation, and long-term growth opportunities to propel future value creation for shareholders. Activision Blizzard believes the Acquisition will be accretive to 2016 estimated non-GAAP revenues and earnings per share by approximately 30% and significantly accretive to 2016 estimated free cash flow per share. Activision Blizzard expects the combined company to maintain a disciplined capital allocation policy and strong balance sheet.

Experienced Management Team. King will continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Creative Officer Sebastian Knutsson, and Chief Operating Officer Stephane Kurgan, all of whom have strong expertise and proven track records in mobile gaming and have entered into long-term employment contracts. It is Activision Blizzard’s intention that King will operate as an independent operating unit, with enhanced resources to support its industry-leading franchises. Activision Blizzard has a strong integration track record, and implementing the Acquisition as structured will minimize disruption and integration risk while maintaining the spirit of creative independence. The combination unites Activision Blizzard’s and King’s highly-complementary cultures, with aligned commitment to innovation, deep respect for the creative process, franchise focus, and emphasis on talent development.

Terms of the Acquisition

Under the terms of the Acquisition, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, King’s shareholders will receive $18.00 in cash per share comprising a total equity value of $5.9 billion and an enterprise value of $5.0 billion. The purchase price represents a 20% premium over King’s closing price on 30 October 2015, a 23% premium over King’s one month volume weighted average price per share, and a 27% premium over King’s three month volume weighted average price per share and implies a multiple of 6.4x King’s estimated 2015 adjusted EBITDA.

The cash consideration payable by Activision Blizzard under the terms of the Acquisition will be funded from approximately US$3.6 billion of offshore cash on the balance sheet of the Activision Blizzard Group and by an incremental term loan committed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Bank USA, as incremental lenders, under Activision Blizzard’s existing credit agreement in the amount of US$2.3 billion.

The King board of directors, who have been so advised by J.P. Morgan as to the financial terms of the Acquisition, consider the terms of the Acquisition to be fair and reasonable. In providing its advice to the King Directors, J.P. Morgan has taken into account the commercial assessments of the King Directors.
Accordingly, the King Directors unanimously recommended that King’s shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions relating to the Acquisition at the relevant shareholder and scheme meetings.

It is intended that the Acquisition will be implemented by means of a scheme of arrangement under Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the Irish Companies Act 2014 (the “Scheme”). It is intended that the scheme document, (the “Scheme Document”) containing the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition (including notices of the shareholder and scheme meetings), will be issued to King’s shareholders, and, for information only, to holders of King’s options and share awards, within 28 days of this Announcement, unless otherwise agreed with the Irish Takeover Panel. The Scheme Document will be made available by Activision Blizzard at activisionblizzard.acquisitionoffer.com and by King at http://investor.king.com/acquisition.

The Acquisition will be put to King’s shareholders at both a scheme meeting and a shareholder meeting. In order to become effective, the Scheme must be approved by a majority in number of the King’s shareholders voting at the scheme meeting, either in person or by proxy, representing at least 75% in value of the King shares voted in each relevant share class. In addition, a special resolution implementing the Scheme and approving the related reduction of share capital must be approved by the King shareholders representing at least 75% of votes cast at the shareholder meeting.

The Acquisition, by means of a Scheme, is conditional, among other things, on the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions set out in Appendix I. The Scheme will also require the sanction of the Irish High Court. Subject to the satisfaction, or where relevant waiver, of all relevant conditions and the sanction of the Irish High Court, it is currently expected that the Scheme will become effective and the Acquisition will be completed by Spring 2016. An expected timetable of principal events will be included in the Scheme Document.

If the Scheme becomes effective, it will be binding on all King shareholders, irrespective of whether or not they attended and/or voted at the court or shareholder meetings (and if they attended and voted, whether or not they voted in favour).

Activision Blizzard and ABS Partners have received irrevocable undertakings from Messrs. Riccardo Zacconi, Stephane Kurgan, Sebastian Knutsson, being members of the King Board, that they will vote in favour of the matters and resolutions to be considered at the court and shareholder meetings in their capacity as shareholders (or, in the event that the Acquisition is implemented by way of a takeover offer on terms and conditions at least as favourable, in aggregate, as the Scheme, to accept the offer or procure acceptance of the offer) in respect of their entire beneficial holdings of King shares amounting to, in aggregate, 49,408,045 King shares, representing approximately 16% of the issued share capital of King on 30 October 2015 (being the last practicable date prior to the publication of this Announcement).

In addition, Activision Blizzard and ABS Partners have received irrevocable undertakings from certain other King Shareholders, namely Bellaria Holding S.à r.l. and Mr. Thomas Hartwig, King’s Chief Technology Officer, that they will vote in favour of the matters and resolutions to be considered at the court and shareholder meetings (or, in the event that the Acquisition is implemented by way of a takeover offer on terms and conditions at least as favourable, in aggregate, as the Scheme, to accept the offer or procure acceptance of the offer) in respect of their entire beneficial holdings of King shares amounting to, in aggregate, 147,107,666 King shares, representing approximately 47% of the issued share capital of King on 30 October 2015 (being the last practicable date prior to the publication of this Announcement).

In addition, Activision Blizzard and ABS Partners have received irrevocable undertakings from Messrs. Robert Miller, Marcus Jacobs, Tjodolf Sommestad and Nicholas Pointon and Ms. Frances Williams and Jill Kyne, being holders of linked shares, that in their capacity as holders of linked shares they will vote in favour of the matters and resolutions to be considered at the relevant class meetings relating to approval of the Scheme (or, in the event that the Acquisition is implemented by way of a takeover offer on terms and conditions at least as favourable, in aggregate, as the Scheme, to accept the offer or procure acceptance of the offer) in respect of their entire beneficial holdings of linked shares (as applicable) amounting to, in aggregate, 190,790 linked shares which, together with the commitments from Messrs. Zacconi and Kurgan referred to above (which amount to 2,077,080 linked shares in aggregate), represents approximately 92% of the issued linked share capital on 30 October 2015 (being the last practicable date prior to the publication of this Announcement).

This summary should be read in conjunction with, and is subject to, the full text of the attached Announcement (including its appendices). The Acquisition is subject to the conditions set out in Appendix I to this Announcement and the further terms to be set out in the Scheme Document. The sources and bases of information contained in this Announcement are set out in Appendix II and Appendix V. Additional information is provided in Appendix III. Certain definitions and expressions used in this Announcement are set out in Appendix IV.

Conference Call, Webcast, Investor Presentation and Copy of Announcement

Activision Blizzard and King will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m. ET/New York time tomorrow, 3 November 2015, to review the Acquisition and host a question and answer session. To access the conference call, interested parties may dial 888-596-2572 (domestic callers) or 913-312-0653 (international callers). The Conference ID Number is 9960349. Participants can also listen to a live webcast of the call through the Investor Relations page of Activision Blizzard’s website at investor.activision.com. During the conference call and webcast, management will review a presentation summarizing the Acquisition, which can be accessed at investor.activision.com or at activisionblizzard.acquisitionoffer.com. A webcast replay will be available for the duration of the offer period at activisionblizzard.acquisitionoffer.com. Please call five minutes in advance to ensure that you are connected. Questions and answers will be taken only from participants on the conference call. For the webcast, please allow 15 minutes to register, download and install any necessary software.

Simultaneous with this Announcement, Activision Blizzard issued its third quarter 2015 results in a separate release. Activision Blizzard plans to address questions regarding its quarterly financial results during a separate portion of the conference call scheduled at 8:00 a.m. ET/New York time tomorrow, 3 November 2015. Activision Blizzard previously planned to issue its earnings following the close of the market tomorrow. The previously scheduled call following the markets close tomorrow has been cancelled.

King will announce third quarter 2015 results and hold its conference call for analysts and investors on 4 November 2015 as regularly scheduled.
A copy of the Announcement and the documents required to be published pursuant to the Irish Takeover Rules by Activision Blizzard will be made available by Activision Blizzard free of charge, subject to certain restrictions relating to persons in restricted jurisdictions, on activisionblizzard.acquisitionoffer.com by no later than 12 noon ET/New York time on 3 November 2015. King will also make the Announcement and the documents required to be published pursuant to the Irish Takeover Rules by King available on its website free of charge, subject to certain restrictions relating to persons in restricted jurisdictions, on http://investor.king.com/acquisition by no later than 12 noon ET/New York time on 3 November 2015

Activision Blizzard Brings Sierra Brand Back


Köln, Germany – August 12, 2014 – With a renowned history that’s served as the origin for many nostalgic video game characters, worlds and experiences, Sierra™ continues on today in a return to form that fans of great games will love. A part of Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), Sierra’s focus is on indie studios developing innovative, edgy and graphically unique games, including new IPs and contemporary reimaginings of beloved Sierra classics. Headlining Sierra’s slate of indie games is an all-new King’s Quest™ experience in 2015, and a new Geometry Wars™ game planned to launch this holiday season. Additionally, the Sierra team is well underway exploring other indie projects to potentially launch later this year, and in 2015 and beyond.

In development by the beloved and quirky studio The Odd Gentlemen (The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom), King’s Quest is a fully reimagined version of the fan-favorite Sierra game fit for both the old and new generation of King’s Quest players. Huge fans of the original King’s Quest series, The Odd Gentlemen are crafting a charming new adventure with an awe-inspiring art style, engaging puzzles, and a wondrous interactive narrative brimming with humor. In the new story, King Graham – revered as the greatest adventurer to ever live – shares his life’s adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather. King’s Quest is expected to make its heralded return in 2015.

Today’s news about the future of Sierra was met with excitement from its original founder, Ken Williams. “We’re very proud of what we created all those years ago with Sierra Online, and today’s news about carrying Sierra forward as an indie-specific brand is very encouraging,” said Williams. “We look forward to seeing Sierra’s independent spirit live on, and are especially excited to see what The Odd Gentlemen will do with King’s Quest.”

Sierra began in 1979 with a single 8-bit Apple II microcomputer, and founders Roberta and Ken Williams’ love for storytelling and new technology that drove a revolution in the adventure game genre, and forever changed the industry. Today, a new wave of independent artists and entrepreneurs are using the same inventive attitude and latest tech to create amazing gaming experiences, and that’s where Sierra comes into play. With the popularity of digital platforms like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam, the new Sierra will cater to the unique needs of each indie studio, ranging from aiding in game development and first party relations, to PR, marketing and digital/retail distribution. Sierra will help foster today’s talent to create amazing video games as it has so many times before.

“Sierra’s goal is to find and work with talented indie developers working on their own amazing projects, or passionate about working on great Sierra IP, and leverage our expertise to aid them in bring these fun and exciting experiences to gamers with the level of visibility and awareness they deserve,” said Bob Loya, Sr. Director of External Development. “In addition to Lucid Games and The Odd Gentlemen, we’re in talks with a large number of other indie devs, and can’t wait to share more details with fans in the near future.”

The first title set to launch under Sierra is Geometry Wars3: Dimensions from the team at Lucid Games. Geometry Wars3: Dimensions is an exciting new evolution of the fast-paced, freneticGeometry Wars gameplay fans love, and will introduce full 3D action and both cooperative and competitive multiplayer for the first time in the franchise.  In addition to a full single-player campaign with 50 unique challenges and over 10 battle modes – five of which are brand new to the series – Geometry Wars3: Dimensions features dynamic and persistent progression, offering players a consistently new experience each time they play. Geometry Wars3: Dimensions is planned to launch later this year.

“Thanks to Sierra, we’re planning to release Geometry Wars3: Dimensions on more platforms than ever before,” said Pete Wallace, Studio Head, Lucid Games. “We’re thrilled to work with the indie team at Sierra to bring the next generation of Geo Wars gameplay to our passionate and loyal fans, and look forward to seeing you all online!”

For the latest information on Sierra, including additional details on King’s Quest and Geometry Wars3: Dimensions, be sure to check out the official Sierra website at www.sierra.com.

Activision Blizzard Separates from Vivendi in $8.2B Dollar Buyout


It looks like Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has led a buyout of the company from its previous controlling shareholder, Vivendi. Activision Blizzard purchased 439 million shares from Vivendi for $5.83 billion while Kotick’s investment group purchased 172 million shares worth $2.34 billion. This investment group includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, Tencent, and Brian Kelly as its co-chair (alongside Kotick). After this transaction is completed, Vivendi will still own about 12% of the company.

“This transaction uniquely benefits the public shareholders,” Kotick said in an interview. “The commitment that we have from Vivendi to continue as a shareholder shows their enthusiasm for the business. My investment shows I’m committed and enthusiastic about the prospects of the business.”

Activision Blizzard and Tencent Join The ESA


Washington, DC – July 8, 2013 – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today that Activision Blizzard, Inc. and Tencent have joined the trade association. They increase ESA’s membership to 37 companies, and bolster its representation of diverse businesses that drive advancements across all game platforms in the evolving marketplace.[quote_box author=”Michael D. Gallagher” profession=”President and CEO of ESA”]“These highly innovative companies offer compelling and influential video games and game content to millions of players across the globe.. Activision Blizzard and Tencent have established worldwide reputations as producers of world-class interactive entertainment. We are eager to work with both companies as they continue to grow their global interactive and entertainment services.”[/quote_box]

Activision Blizzard is an international online, PC, console, handheld, and mobile game developer and publisher with leading market positions across every major category of the interactive entertainment software industry. In addition to offering exclusive content for game consoles and computer games, the company is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world; titles include Activision Publishing’s popular Call of Duty andSkylanders franchises and Blizzard Entertainment’s World of WarcraftStarCraft and Diablo franchises. Founded in 1979, Activision was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for game consoles. Activision Blizzard maintains operations in 17 countries, including the United States.

[quote_box author=”Chris Walther” profession=”Activision Blizzard”]“We are excited to join ESA…[the] ESA has a long track-record of supporting its members and the video game industry, and we look forward to sharing our unique perspective and experience with them.”[/quote_box]

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Hundreds of millions of people communicate, share experiences, consume information, seek entertainment, and shop online daily through its integrated platforms. It serves the largest online game community in China with a diverse online games portfolio including the QQ Game Platform, advanced casual games and massively multiplayer online games. In addition to online games, its services include QQ, Weixin and WeChat for communications; Qzone for social networking; internet service portal QQ.com; and the eCommerce open platform. Founded in 1998, Tencent has steadily grown to become one of the leading providers of comprehensive Internet services.

[quote_box author=”Gordon Bellamy” profession=”Tencent”]“ESA supports and cultivates collaboration among member companies…We are excited to join an association that promotes the development of the U.S. game industry as we are exploring more opportunities in this market.”[/quote_box]

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visitwww.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter: @RichatESA.