post

Activision Blizzard Recognized on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®” List for Fourth Consecutive Year

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), the world’s leading interactive entertainment company, was recognized today on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list for the fourth consecutive year.

“To connect the world through epic entertainment, we recruit and develop the world’s best talent,” said CEO Bobby Kotick. “We’re proud to be recognized for so many years as one of the best companies to work for. We remain committed to constant improvement so we are always one of the very best places to work.”

As part of the Great Place to Work® Trust Index,™ employees were asked for detailed feedback on their experiences working at Activision Blizzard. 91 percent of employees said they feel they can be themselves at Activision Blizzard. 91 percent also said that it’s a fun place to work. And 96 percent of employees reported that they are proud to tell other people they work for Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard, comprising over 10,000 employees at Activision, Blizzard Entertainment and King, has more than 385 million players in 196 countries. The company’s portfolio of iconic franchises includes Call of Duty®, Overwatch®, World of Warcraft® and Candy Crush®. In 2017, Activision Blizzard was also recognized as a member of the Fortune 500, as one of the world’s most innovative companies, and one of the most admired.

In 2017, Activision Blizzard continued to build on its reputation as the leading interactive entertainment company, releasing acclaimed gaming titles Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII, celebrating the fifth anniversary of Candy Crush Saga, the top grossing iOS and Android game in the United States, and preparing for the launch in January 2018 of the Overwatch League™, the first major global pro esports league featuring city-based competition.

Activision Blizzard is hiring! What’s life like at the company? Click here for an immersive 360-degree video experience of what it’s like to work at Activision Blizzard or visit www.activisionblizzard.com/careers.

Methodology

To identify the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, each year Fortune partners with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. The ranking is based on feedback from more than 232,000 employees at Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies with more than 1,000 employees. Winning a spot on this list indicates the company has distinguished itself from peers by creating a great place to work for employees – measured and ranked through our analysis of the results of our Trust Index© survey and Culture Audit© questionnaire. Through the Trust Index©, employees anonymously assess their workplace, including the honesty and quality of communication by managers, degree of support for employees’ personal and professional lives and the authenticity of relationships with colleagues. Results from the survey are highly reliable, having a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of 5% or less. Companies’ results on the Trust Index© survey are compared to peer organizations of like size and complexity. The Culture Audit© includes detailed questions about benefits, programs and practices. To be considered for our Best Workplaces lists, companies must become Great Place to Work-Certified™. Details are available at https://www.greatplacetowork.com/certification.

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.

About Fortune

Fortune is a global leader in business journalism known for its unrivaled access to industry leaders and decision makers. Founded in 1930, Fortune has transformed into a digital-first operation with nearly 17 million monthly unique visitors on Fortune.com as well as 3.4 million global readers in print. Fortune is home to some of the strongest business franchises, including: Fortune 500, Best Companies to Work For, World’s Most Admired Companies, Fastest Growing Companies and Most Powerful Women. The Fortune Conference Division extends the brand’s mission into live settings, hosting a wide range of annual conferences for top-level executives, including the FORTUNE Global Forum and the Most Powerful Women Summit.

Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Investors and Analysts:
ir@activisionblizzard.com
or
Press:
pr@activisionblizzard.com

Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Activision Blizzard Announces Fourth-Quarter and 2017 Financial Results

Record Quarterly and Full-Year Revenues

Record Full-Year Digital, Mobile and In-Game Revenues

Record Full-Year Operating Cash Flow of $2.2 Billion

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced fourth-quarter and 2017 results.

“This was a record quarter to cap off a record year for Activision Blizzard,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “In 2017, our community reached new milestones for engagement, our business delivered record revenues and cash flows, and we made important progress in building future growth opportunities such as the Overwatch League™. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities ahead in 2018 to continue serving our players and fans.”

Financial Metrics:

  Fourth Quarter     Calendar Year
    Prior        
(in millions, except EPS)     2017   Outlook*     2016       2017       2016  
GAAP Net Revenues $ 2,043   $ 1,700   $ 2,014 $ 7,017 $ 6,608
Impact of GAAP deferralsA $ 597 $ 635 $ 438 $ 139 $ (9 )
 
GAAP EPS $ (0.77)** $ 0.10 $ 0.33 $ 0.36** $ 1.28
Non-GAAP EPS $ 0.49 $ 0.36 $ 0.65 $ 2.21 $ 2.18
Impact of GAAP deferralsA   $ 0.45     $ 0.46     $ 0.27     $ 0.07     $ 0.02  

* Prior outlook was provided by the company on November 2, 2017 in its earnings release.
** GAAP EPS includes incremental expense ($1.03 for the fourth quarter and $1.04 for the full year 2017) due to the impact of significant discrete tax-related items, including amounts related to changes in tax laws (including a reasonable estimate of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017, as provided for in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission guidance), and amounts related to the potential or final resolution of tax positions, and other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities. Activision Blizzard will provide additional information relating to these items in our Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2017.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were a record $7.02 billion, as compared with $6.61 billion for 2016. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were a record $5.48 billion. GAAP operating margin was 19%. For the year ended December 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard recognized approximately $1.04 per share in incremental GAAP expense due to the impact of significant discrete tax-related items, primarily related to the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.36, which would have been a record $1.39 when adjusted to exclude significant discrete tax-related items, as compared with $1.28 for 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 33% and earnings per diluted share were a record $2.21, as compared with $2.18 for 2016.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were an all-quarter record $2.04 billion, as compared with $2.01 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.43 billion. GAAP operating margin was 11%. For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard recognized approximately $1.03 per share in incremental GAAP expense due to the impact of significant discrete tax-related items, primarily related to the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017. GAAP loss per share was $0.77, or earnings per diluted share of $0.27 when adjusted to exclude significant discrete tax-related items, as compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.33 for the fourth quarter of 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 25% and earnings per diluted share were $0.49, as compared with $0.65 for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Activision Blizzard generated a record $2.21 billion in operating cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $2.16 billion for 2016. For the quarter, operating cash flows were $1.16 billion.

Please refer to the tables at the back of this press release for a reconciliation of the company’s GAAP and non-GAAP results.

Operating Metric:

Net bookings is an operating metric that is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period, and includes license fees, merchandise, and publisher incentives, among others.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were a record $7.16 billion, as compared with $6.60 billion for 2016. Net bookingsB from digital channels were a record $5.43 billion, as compared with $5.22 billion for 2016.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were an all-quarter record $2.64 billion, as compared with $2.45 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016. Net bookingsB from digital channels were an all-quarter record $1.62 billion, as compared with $1.52 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Selected Business Highlights:

Activision Blizzard’s success in 2017 shows the enduring nature of our franchises, and that our communities value innovation and new experiences from our inspired teams.

Audience Reach

  • Activision Blizzard had 385 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)C in the quarter, up from 384 million last quarter.
  • King had 290 million MAUsC, down 1% quarter-over-quarter, while time spent per player reached a record of 37 minutes per day. MAUsC for the Candy CrushTM franchise grew slightly quarter-over-quarter while also driving increased time spent per player.
  • Activision had 55 million MAUsC for the quarter, up 12% quarter-over-quarter and matching its prior quarterly record, driven by the successful launches of Call of Duty®: WWII and Destiny 2. For the year, Activision had the top two-grossing console game releases in North America and two of the top-five grossing console game releases worldwide.1
  • Activision’s Call of Duty: WWII was the top-grossing console game of the year globally1, with the franchise’s biggest launch quarter sell-through on current-generation consoles. The game set a Sony PlayStation milestone as the biggest day 1 digital release ever.2Call of Duty has been the number one franchise globally for 8 of the last 9 years.1
  • Activision and Bungie’s Destiny 2 was the second-highest-grossing console game in North America for the year1, had the largest PC launch in Activision history based on units, and had a higher attach rate on its first expansion than Destiny 1.
  • Activision’s Crash BandicootTMN. Sane Trilogy was the number one-selling remastered collection in PS4 history.1
  • Blizzard had 40 million MAUsC for the quarter. While down sequentially, this is the 6th quarter in a row with 40 million or more MAUsC, primarily driven by Overwatch® and Hearthstone®.

Deep Engagement

  • For the second quarter in a row, players spent over 50 minutes per day in Activision, Blizzard, and King games, in line with some of the most engaging online connected platforms in the world.
  • The inaugural season of the Overwatch League started on January 10 with 12 world-class team owners from across the globe, multiple league and team-level sponsors, a premium viewing experience and a robust distribution strategy. In its first week, the Overwatch League reached more than 10 million unique viewers across the world with an average audience of more than 280,000 on a per minute basis.
  • The Call of Duty World League, which kicked off in December, has sold out each of its World League Global Open events. The launch event in Dallas had more than double the viewership hours of last year’s launch event.

Player Investment

  • Activision Blizzard delivered a fourth-quarter record of over $1 billion of in-game net bookingsB, and an annual record of over $4 billion of in-game net bookingsB.
  • King grew segment revenues and operating income year-over-year, delivered record mobile net bookingsB in 2017, and increased its average net bookingsB per paying user by a double-digit percentage year-over-year. This quarter, King had two of the top-10 highest-grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for the seventeenth quarter in a row, with Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda SagaTM at #1 and #2, respectively.3 The Candy Crush franchise grew consumer spend sequentially for the fourth quarter in a row.
  • Activision delivered record segment operating income of over $1 billion with record operating margin of 38%. Activision offered compelling downloadable content offerings, including Zombies Chronicles for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Destiny 2‘s expansion pass, Call of Duty: WWII‘s season pass, and additional live features, services and content.
  • Blizzard delivered record segment revenues and operating income for a year with no major game release, as they continued to deliver continuous content across franchises including Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft®.

Company Outlook:

           

(in millions, except EPS)

     

GAAP Outlook

     

Non-GAAP Outlook

     

Impact of GAAP deferralsA

CY 2018

Net Revenues $ 7,350 $ 7,350 $ 100
EPS $ 1.78 $ 2.45 $ 0.05
Fully Diluted Shares 776 776

Q1 2018

Net Revenues $ 1,820 $ 1,820 $ (540 )
EPS $ 0.47 $ 0.65 $ (0.34 )
Fully Diluted Shares       771       771        

Net bookingsB(operating metric) is expected to be $7.45 billion for 2018 and $1.28 billion for the first quarter of 2018.

Currency Assumptions for 2018 Outlook:

  • $1.20 USD/Euro for current outlook (vs. average of $1.12 for 2017 and $1.11 for 2016); and
  • $1.37 USD/British Pound Sterling for current outlook (vs. average of $1.30 for 2017 and $1.36 for 2016).
  • Note: Our financial guidance includes the forecasted impact of our FX cash flow hedging program.

Capital Allocation:

The Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.34 per common share, payable on May 9, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 30, 2018, which represents a 13% increase from 2017. Additionally, the Board of Directors authorized over $1 billion of further debt paydown during 2018.

Conference Call:

Today at 4:30 p.m. EST, Activision Blizzard’s management will host a conference call and Webcast to discuss the company’s results for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 and management’s outlook for the remainder of the calendar year. The company welcomes all members of the financial and media communities and other interested parties to visit the “Investor Relations” area of www.activisionblizzard.com to listen to the conference call via live Webcast or to listen to the call live by dialing into 888-515-2235 in the U.S. with passcode 1423198.

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™, 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.

Please see the “Investor Relations” area of www.activisionblizzard.com for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the upcoming adoption in the first quarter of 2018 of ASC 606, a new accounting standard related to GAAP revenue recognition.

1 Based on data from the NPD Group, GfK, GSD and internal estimates.
2 Based on blog.us.playstation.com.
3 U.S. ranking for Apple App Store and Google Play Store combined, per App Annie Intelligence for fourth quarter 2017.

A Net effect of accounting treatment from revenue deferrals on certain of our online enabled products. Some of our games’ online functionality represents an essential component of gameplay and, as a result, a more-than-inconsequential separate deliverable. As a result, we recognize revenues attributed to these game titles over their estimated service periods, which is generally less than a year. The related cost of revenues is deferred and recognized as an expense as the related revenues are recognized. Impact from changes in deferrals refers to the net effect from revenue deferrals accounting treatment for the purposes of revenues, along with, for the purposes of EPS, the related cost of revenues deferrals treatment and the related tax impacts. Internally, management excludes the impact of this change in deferred revenues and related cost of revenues when evaluating the company’s operating performance, when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods, and when assessing the performance of its management team. Management believes this is appropriate because doing so enables an analysis of performance based on the timing of actual transactions with our customers. In addition, management believes excluding the change in deferred revenues and the related cost of revenues provides a much more timely indication of trends in our operating results.

BNet bookings is an operating metric that is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period, and includes license fees, merchandise, and publisher incentives, among others.

CMonthly Active User (“MAU”) Definition: We monitor MAUs as a key measure of the overall size of our user base. MAUs are the number of individuals who accessed 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 accesses two of our games would be counted as two users. In addition, due to technical limitations, for Activision and King, an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would be counted as two users. For Blizzard, an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would generally be counted as a single user.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures: As a supplement to our financial measures presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), Activision Blizzard presents certain non-GAAP measures of financial performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be considered in isolation from, as a substitute for, or as more important than, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. In addition, these non-GAAP measures have limitations in that they do not reflect all of the items associated with the company’s results of operations as determined in accordance with GAAP.

Activision Blizzard provides net income (loss), earnings (loss) per share, and operating margin data and guidance both including (in accordance with GAAP) and excluding (non-GAAP) certain items. When relevant, the company also provides constant FX information to provide a framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations. In addition, Activision Blizzard provides EBITDA (defined as GAAP net income (loss) before interest (income) expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization) and adjusted EBITDA (defined as non-GAAP operating margin (see non-GAAP financial measure below) before depreciation). The non-GAAP financial measures exclude the following items, as applicable in any given reporting period and our outlook:

  • expenses related to stock-based compensation;
  • the amortization of intangibles from purchase price accounting;
  • fees and other expenses related to the King acquisition, inclusive of related debt financings, and refinancing of long-term debt, including penalties and the write off of unamortized discount and deferred financing costs;
  • restructuring charges;
  • other non-cash charges from reclassification of certain cumulative translation adjustments into earnings as required by GAAP;
  • the income tax adjustments associated with any of the above items (tax impact on non-GAAP pre-tax income is calculated under the same accounting principles applied to the GAAP pre-tax income under ASC 740, which employs an annual effective tax rate method to the results); and
  • significant discrete tax-related items, including amounts related to changes in tax laws (including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017), amounts related to the potential or final resolution of tax positions, and other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities.

In the future, Activision Blizzard may also consider whether other items should also be excluded in calculating the non-GAAP financial measures used by the company. Management believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures provides investors with additional useful information to measure Activision Blizzard’s financial and operating performance. In particular, the measures facilitate comparison of operating performance between periods and help investors to better understand the operating results of Activision Blizzard by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of the company’s core business, operating results, or future outlook. Additionally, we consider quantitative and qualitative factors in assessing whether to adjust for the impact of items that may be significant or that could affect an understanding of our ongoing financial and business performance or trends. Internally, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures, along with others, in assessing the company’s operating results, and measuring compliance with the requirements of the company’s debt financing agreements, as well as in planning and forecasting.

Activision Blizzard’s non-GAAP financial measures are not based on a comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles, and the terms non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP earnings per share, non-GAAP operating margin, and non-GAAP or adjusted EBITDA do not have a standardized meaning. Therefore, other companies may use the same or similarly named measures, but exclude different items, which may not provide investors a comparable view of Activision Blizzard’s performance in relation to other companies.

Management compensates for the limitations resulting from the exclusion of these items by considering the impact of the items separately and by considering Activision Blizzard’s GAAP, as well as non-GAAP, results and outlook, and by presenting the most comparable GAAP measures directly ahead of non-GAAP measures, and by providing a reconciliation that indicates and describes the adjustments made.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: The statements contained herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about: (1) projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, cash flow or other financial items; (2) statements of our plans and objectives, including those related to releases of products and services; (3) statements of future financial or operating performance, including the impact of tax items thereon; and (4) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. The company generally uses words such as “outlook,” “forecast,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “to be,” “plan,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “might,” “expects,” “intends,” “intends as,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming,” and other similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risks, reflect management’s current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict.

The company cautions that a number of important factors could cause Activision Blizzard’s actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: sales levels of Activision Blizzard’s titles, products and services; concentration of revenue among a small number of titles; Activision Blizzard’s ability to predict consumer preferences, including interest in specific genres, and preferences among platforms; the diversion of management time and attention to issues relating to the operations of our acquired or newly started businesses; the amount of our debt and the limitations imposed by the covenants in the agreements governing our debt; the adoption rate and availability of new hardware (including peripherals) and related software; counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers; maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, financing providers, licensees, licensors, manufacturers, vendors, and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers that can create high-quality titles, products and services; risks relating to the expansion into new businesses, including the potential impact on our existing businesses; changing business models within the video game industry, including digital delivery of content and the increased prevalence of free-to-play games; product delays or defects; competition, including from other forms of entertainment; rapid changes in technology and industry standards; possible declines in software pricing; product returns and price protection; the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities and potential challenges associated with geographic expansion; the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive entertainment market; the outcome of current or future tax disputes; litigation risks and associated costs; protection of proprietary rights; shifts in consumer spending trends; capital market risks; the impact of applicable regulations; domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies; tax rates and foreign exchange rates; the impact of the current macroeconomic environment; and the other factors identified in “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to the company at this time and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements are believed to be true when made, they may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(Unaudited)

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
      Three Months Ended December 31,   Year Ended December 31,
2017   2016 2017   2016
 
Net revenues
Product sales $ 737 $ 696 $ 2,110 $ 2,196
Subscription, licensing, and other revenues1 1,306   1,318   4,907   4,412
Total net revenues 2,043 2,014 7,017 6,608
 
Costs and expenses
Cost of revenues—product sales:
Product costs 310 313 733 741
Software royalties, amortization, and intellectual property licenses 101 80 300 331
Cost of revenues—subscription, licensing, and other:
Game operations and distribution costs 268 230 984 851
Software royalties, amortization, and intellectual property licenses 124 153 484 471
Product development 318 285 1,069 958
Sales and marketing 479 380 1,378 1,210
General and administrative 222   148   760   634
Total costs and expenses 1,822   1,589   5,708   5,196
Operating income 221 425 1,309 1,412
 
Interest and other expense (income), net 36 43 146 214
Loss on extinguishment of debt 82 12 92
       
Income before income tax expense 185 300 1,151 1,106
 
Income tax expense 769 46 878 140
       
Net income (loss) $ (584 ) $ 254   $ 273   $ 966
 
Basic earnings (loss) per common share $ (0.77 ) $ 0.34 $ 0.36 $ 1.30
Weighted average common shares outstanding 757 744 754 740
 
Diluted earnings (loss) per common share $ (0.77 ) $ 0.33 $ 0.36 $ 1.28
Weighted average common shares outstanding assuming dilution 757 757 766 754
1     Subscription, licensing, and other revenues represent revenues from World of Warcraft subscriptions, licensing royalties from our products and franchises, value-added services, downloadable content, microtransactions, and other miscellaneous revenues.
 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Unaudited)

(Amounts in millions)

 
      December 31,
2017
  December 31,
2016
Assets
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents $ 4,713 $ 3,245
Accounts receivable, net 918 732
Inventories, net 46 49
Software development 367 412
Other current assets 476   392  
Total current assets 6,520 4,830
Software development 86 54
Property and equipment, net 294 258
Deferred income taxes, net 459 283
Other assets 489 401
Intangible assets, net 1,106 1,858
Goodwill 9,763   9,768  
Total assets $ 18,717   $ 17,452  
 
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity
Current liabilities
Accounts payable $ 323 $ 222
Deferred revenues 1,929 1,628
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 1,411   806  
Total current liabilities 3,663 2,656
Long-term debt, net 4,390 4,887
Deferred income taxes, net 21 44
Other liabilities 1,181   746  
Total liabilities 9,255   8,333  
 
Shareholders’ equity
Common stock
Additional paid-in capital 10,747 10,442
Treasury stock (5,563 ) (5,563 )
Retained earnings 4,916 4,869
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (638 ) (629 )
Total shareholders’ equity 9,462   9,119  
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 18,717   $ 17,452  
 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(Unaudited)

(Amounts in millions)

 
      Year Ended December 31,
2017   2016
Cash flows from operating activities:
Net income $ 273 $ 966
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Deferred income taxes (181 ) (9 )
Provision for inventories 33 42
Depreciation and amortization 888 829
Amortization of capitalized software development costs and intellectual property licenses1 311 321
Premium payment for early redemption of note 63
Amortization of debt discount, financing costs, and non-cash write-off due to extinguishment of debt 24 50
Share-based compensation expense2 176 147
Other 28 4
Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of effect from business acquisitions:
Accounts receivable, net (165 ) 84
Inventories (26 ) 32
Software development and intellectual property licenses (301 ) (362 )
Other assets (146 ) (10 )
Deferred revenues 220 (35 )
Accounts payable 85 (50 )
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 994   83  
Net cash provided by operating activities 2,213   2,155  
 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Proceeds from maturities of available-for-sale investments 80
Purchases of available-for-sale investments (135 )
Acquisition of King, net of cash acquired (4,588 )
Release of cash in escrow 3,561
Capital expenditures (155 ) (136 )
Other investing activities 13   (14 )
Net cash used in investing activities (197 ) (1,177 )
 
Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from issuance of common stock to employees 178 106
Tax payment related to net share settlements on restricted stock units (56 ) (115 )
Dividends paid (226 ) (195 )
Proceeds from debt issuances, net of discounts 3,741 6,878
Repayment of long-term debt (4,251 ) (6,104 )
Premium payment for early redemption of note (63 )
Other financing activities (10 ) (7 )

Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities

(624 ) 500  
 
Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents 76   (56 )
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 1,468   1,422  
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 3,245   1,823  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 4,713   $ 3,245  
1     Excludes deferral and amortization of share-based compensation expense.
2 Includes the net effects of capitalization, deferral, and amortization of share-based compensation expense.
 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION

 

(Amounts in millions)

 
      Three Months Ended   Year over Year   Three Months Ended   Year over Year
December 31,   March 31,   June 30,   September 30,   December 31, % Increase March 31,   June 30,   September 30,   December 31, % Increase
2015 2016 2016 2016 2016 (Decrease) 2017 2017 2017 2017 (Decrease)
Cash Flow Data
Operating Cash Flow $ 1,063 $ 337 $ 503 $ 456 $ 859 (19 )% $ 411 $ 265 $ 379 $ 1,158 35 %
Capital Expenditures 16   27   44   28   37   131 21   31   34   69   86
Non-GAAP Free Cash Flow1 1,047 310 459 428 822 (21 ) 390 234 345 1,089 32
 
Operating Cash Flow – TTM2 1,259 1,373 1,732 2,359 2,155 71 2,229 1,991 1,914 2,213 3
Capital Expenditures – TTM2 111   117   133   115   136   23 130   117   123   155   14
Non-GAAP Free Cash Flow – TTM2 $ 1,148 $ 1,256 $ 1,599 $ 2,244 $ 2,019 76 % $ 2,099 $ 1,874 $ 1,791 $ 2,058 2 %
1     Non-GAAP free cash flow represents operating cash flow minus capital expenditures.
2 TTM represents trailing twelve months. Operating Cash Flow for the three months ended March 31, 2015, three months ended June 30, 2015, and three months ended September 30, 2015 was $223 million, $144 million, and $(171) million, respectively. Capital Expenditures for the three months ended March 31, 2015, three months ended June 30, 2015, and three months ended September 30, 2015, was $21 million, $28 million, and $46 million, respectively.
 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP NET INCOME TO NON-GAAP MEASURES

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
Three Months Ended December 31, 2017       Net Revenues  

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Product Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Game Operations
and Distribution
Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Product
Development

 

Sales and
Marketing

 

General and
Administrative

 

Total Costs and
Expenses

GAAP Measurement       $ 2,043   $ 310   $ 101   $ 268   $ 124   $ 318   $ 479   $ 222   $ 1,822
Share-based compensation1 (2 ) (2 ) (16 ) (4 ) (34 ) (58 )
Amortization of intangible assets2 (3 ) (104 ) (76 ) (2 ) (185 )
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 (3 ) (3 )
Restructuring costs4 (5 ) (5 )
Discrete tax-related items5             (10 )       (6 )   (16 )   (7 )   (39 )
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 2,043     $ 310     $ 96     $ 258     $ 18     $ 296     $ 383     $ 171     $ 1,532  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues6 $ 597 $ 95 $ 52 $ $ 9 $ $ $ $ 156
             
Operating Income   Net Income (Loss)   Basic Earnings (Loss) per Share   Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share
GAAP Measurement $ 221 $ (584 ) $ (0.77 ) $ (0.77 )
Share-based compensation1 58 58 0.08 0.08
Amortization of intangible assets2 185 185 0.24 0.24
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 3 3
Restructuring costs4 5 5 0.01 0.01
Income tax impacts from items above7 (86 ) (0.11 ) (0.11 )
Discrete tax-related items5 39     794     1.05     1.03  
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 511     $ 375     $ 0.50     $ 0.49  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues6 $ 441 $ 347 $ 0.45 $ 0.45
1     Includes expenses related to share-based compensation.
2 Reflects amortization of intangible assets from purchase price accounting.
3 Reflects fees and other expenses related to the acquisition of King Digital Entertainment (“King Acquisition”), inclusive of related debt financings and integration costs.
4 Reflects restructuring charges, primarily severance costs.
5

Reflects the impact of significant discrete tax-related items, including amounts related to changes in tax laws (including a reasonable estimate of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017, as provided for in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission guidance), amounts related to the potential or final resolution of tax positions, and/or other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities. Activision Blizzard will provide additional information in our forthcoming Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2017.

6 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products, including the effects of taxes.
7 Reflects the income tax impact associated with the above items. Tax impact on non-GAAP pre-tax income is calculated under the same accounting principles applied to the GAAP pre-tax income under ASC 740, which employs an annual effective tax rate method to the results.

The GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share information is presented as calculated. The sum of these measures, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP NET INCOME TO NON-GAAP MEASURES

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
Year Ended December 31, 2017       Net Revenues  

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Product Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Game Operations
and Distribution
Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Product
Development

 

Sales and
Marketing

 

General and
Administrative

 

Total Costs and
Expenses

GAAP Measurement       $ 7,017   $ 733   $ 300  

$

984   $ 484   $ 1,069   $ 1,378   $ 760   $ 5,708
Share-based compensation1 (10 ) (1 ) (3 ) (57 ) (15 ) (92 ) (178 )
Amortization of intangible assets2 (3 ) (438 ) (308 ) (8 ) (757 )
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 (15 ) (15 )
Restructuring costs4 (15 ) (15 )
Other non-cash charges5 (14 ) (14 )
Discrete tax-related items6             (10 )       (6 )   (16 )   (7 )   (39 )
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 7,017     $ 733     $ 287     $ 973     $ 43     $ 1,006     $ 1,039     $ 609     $ 4,690  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues7 $ 139 $ 25 $ 35 $ 1 $ 7 $ $ $ $ 68
             
Operating Income   Net Income   Basic Earnings per Share   Diluted Earnings per Share
GAAP Measurement $ 1,309 $ 273 $ 0.36 $ 0.36
Share-based compensation1 178 178 0.24 0.23
Amortization of intangible assets2 757 757 1.00 0.99
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 15 22 0.03 0.03
Restructuring costs4 15 15 0.02 0.02
Other non-cash charges5 14 14 0.02 0.02
Loss on extinguishment of debt8 12 0.02 0.02
Income tax impacts from items above9 (368 ) (0.49 ) (0.48 )
Discrete tax-related items6 39     794     1.05     1.04  
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 2,327     $ 1,697     $ 2.25     $ 2.21  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues7 $ 71 $ 52 $ 0.07 $ 0.07
1     Includes expenses related to share-based compensation.
2 Reflects amortization of intangible assets from purchase price accounting.
3 Reflects fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition, inclusive of related debt financings and integration costs.
4 Reflects restructuring charges, primarily severance costs.
5 Reflects a non-cash accounting charge to reclassify certain cumulative translation (gains) losses into earnings due to the substantial liquidation of certain of our foreign entities.
6

Reflects the impact of significant discrete tax-related items, including amounts related to changes in tax laws (including a reasonable estimate of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017, as provided for in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission guidance), amounts related to the potential or final resolution of tax positions, and/or other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities. Activision Blizzard will provide additional information in our forthcoming Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2017.

7 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products, including the effects of taxes.
8 Reflects the loss on extinguishment of debt from refinancing activities.
9 Reflects the income tax impact associated with the above items. Tax impact on non-GAAP pre-tax income is calculated under the same accounting principles applied to the GAAP pre-tax income under ASC 740, which employs an annual effective tax rate method to the results.

The GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share information is presented as calculated. The sum of these measures, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP NET INCOME TO NON-GAAP MEASURES

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
Three Months Ended December 31, 2016       Net Revenues  

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Product Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Game Operations
and Distribution
Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Product
Development

 

Sales and
Marketing

 

General and
Administrative

 

Total Costs and
Expenses

GAAP Measurement       $ 2,014   $ 313   $ 80   $ 230   $ 153   $ 285   $ 380   $ 148   $ 1,589
Share-based compensation1 (4 ) (2 ) (13 ) (3 ) (18 ) (40 )
Amortization of intangible assets2 (5 ) (127 ) (78 ) (2 ) (212 )
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3                             (4 )   (4 )
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 2,014     $ 313     $ 71     $ 230     $ 24     $ 272     $ 299     $ 124     $ 1,333  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues4 $ 438 $ 102 $ 99 $ 5 $ (6 ) $ $ $ $ 200
             
Operating Income   Net Income   Basic Earnings per Share   Diluted Earnings per Share
GAAP Measurement $ 425 $ 254 $ 0.34 $ 0.33
Share-based compensation1 40 40 0.05 0.05
Amortization of intangible assets2 212 212 0.28 0.28
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 4 6 0.01 0.01
Loss on extinguishment of debt5 82 0.11 0.11
Income tax impacts from items above6     (98 )   (0.13 )   (0.13 )
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 681     $ 496     $ 0.66     $ 0.65  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues4 $ 238 $ 200 $ 0.27 $ 0.27
1     Includes expenses related to share-based compensation.
2 Reflects amortization of intangible assets from purchase price accounting.
3 Reflects fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition, inclusive of related debt financings and integration costs.
4 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products, including the effects of taxes.
5 Reflects the loss on extinguishment of debt from refinancing activities.
6 Reflects the income tax impact associated with the above items. Tax impact on non-GAAP pre-tax income is calculated under the same accounting principles applied to the GAAP pre-tax income under ASC 740, which employs an annual effective tax rate method to the results.

The GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share information is presented as calculated. The sum of these measures, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP NET INCOME TO NON-GAAP MEASURES

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
Year Ended December 31, 2016       Net Revenues  

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Product Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Product Sales:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Game Operations
and Distribution
Costs

 

Cost of
Revenues—
Subs/Lic/Other:
Software
Royalties and
Amortization

 

Product
Development

 

Sales and
Marketing

 

General and
Administrative

 

Total Costs and
Expenses

GAAP Measurement       $ 6,608   $ 741   $ 331   $ 851   $ 471   $ 958   $ 1,210   $ 634   $ 5,196
Share-based compensation1 (20 ) (2 ) (2 ) (47 ) (15 ) (73 ) (159 )
Amortization of intangible assets2 (8 ) (424 ) (266 ) (8 ) (706 )
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3                             (47 )   (47 )
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 6,608     $ 741     $ 303     $ 849     $ 45     $ 911     $ 929     $ 506     $ 4,284  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues4 $ (9 ) $ (39 ) $ 3 $ 12 $ 5 $ $ $ $ (19 )
             
Operating Income   Net Income   Basic Earnings per Share   Diluted Earnings per Share
GAAP Measurement $ 1,412 $ 966 $ 1.30 $ 1.28
Share-based compensation1 159 159 0.21 0.21
Amortization of intangible assets2 706 706 0.95 0.93
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 47 54 0.07 0.07
Loss on extinguishment of debt5 92 0.12 0.12
Income tax impacts from items above6     (327 )   (0.44 )   (0.43 )
Non-GAAP Measurement $ 2,324     $ 1,650     $ 2.22     $ 2.18  
 
Net effect of deferred revenues and related cost of revenues4 $ 10 $ 20 $ 0.03 $ 0.02
1     Includes expenses related to share-based compensation.
2 Reflects amortization of intangible assets from purchase price accounting.
3 Reflects fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition, inclusive of related debt financings and integration costs.
4 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products, including the effects of taxes.
5 Reflects the loss on extinguishment of debt from refinancing activities.
6 Reflects the income tax impact associated with the above items. Tax impact on non-GAAP pre-tax income is calculated under the same accounting principles applied to the GAAP pre-tax income under ASC 740, which employs an annual effective tax rate method to the results.

The GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share information is presented as calculated. The sum of these measures, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

NET REVENUES BY DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL

For the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

(Amounts in millions)

 
      Three Months Ended
December 31, 2017   December 31, 2016  

$ Increase
(Decrease)

 

% Increase
(Decrease)

Amount   % of Total1 Amount   % of Total1
Net Revenues by Distribution Channel    
Digital online channels2 $ 1,431 70 % $ 1,454 72 % $ (23 ) (2 )%
Retail channels 335 16 372 18 (37 ) (10 )
Other3 277   14   188   9   89   47
Total consolidated net revenues $ 2,043   100 % $ 2,014   100 % $ 29   1
 
Change in deferred revenues4
Digital online channels2 $ 184 $ 61
Retail channels 417 369
Other3 (4 ) 8  
Total changes in deferred revenues $ 597   $ 438  
 
Year Ended
December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016

$ Increase
(Decrease)

% Increase
(Decrease)

Amount % of Total1 Amount % of Total1
Net Revenues by Distribution Channel
Digital online channels2 $ 5,479 78 % $ 4,865 74 % $ 614 13 %
Retail channels 1,033 15 1,386 21 (353 ) (25 )
Other3 505   7   357   5   148   41
Total consolidated net revenues $ 7,017   100 % $ 6,608   100 % $ 409   6
 
Change in deferred revenues4
Digital online channels2 $ (53 ) $ 351
Retail channels 210 (368 )
Other3 (18 ) 8  
Total changes in deferred revenues $ 139   $ (9 )
1     The percentages of total are presented as calculated. Therefore, the sum of these percentages, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.
2 Net revenues from Digital online channels represent revenues from digitally-distributed subscriptions, licensing royalties, value-added services, downloadable content, microtransactions, and products.
3

Net revenues from Other include revenues from our studios and distribution businesses, as well as revenues from Major League Gaming and the Overwatch League.

4

Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues on certain of our online enabled products.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

NET REVENUES BY PLATFORM

For the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

(Amounts in millions)

 
      Three Months Ended
December 31, 2017   December 31, 2016  

$ Increase
(Decrease)

 

% Increase
(Decrease)

Amount   % of Total1 Amount   % of Total1
Net Revenues by Platform    
Console $ 679 33 % $ 586 29 % $ 93 16 %
PC 508 25 704 35 (196 ) (28 )
Mobile and ancillary2 579 28 536 27 43 8
Other3 277   14   188   9   89   47
Total consolidated net revenues $ 2,043   100 % $ 2,014   100 % $ 29   1
 
Change in deferred revenues4
Console $ 520 $ 499
PC 86 (68 )
Mobile and ancillary2 (5 ) (1 )
Other3 (4 ) 8  
Total changes in deferred revenues $ 597   $ 438  
 
Year Ended
December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016

$ Increase
(Decrease)

% Increase
(Decrease)

Amount % of Total1 Amount % of Total1
Net Revenues by Platform
Console $ 2,389 34 % $ 2,453 37 % $ (64 ) (3 )%
PC 2,042 29 2,124 32 (82 ) (4 )
Mobile and ancillary2 2,081 30 1,674 25 407 24
Other3 505   7   357   5   148   41
Total consolidated net revenues $ 7,017   100 % $ 6,608   100 % $ 409   6
 
Change in deferred revenues4
Console $ 210 $ (184 )
PC (67 ) 135
Mobile and ancillary2 14 32
Other3 (18 ) 8  
Total changes in deferred revenues $ 139   $ (9 )
1     The percentages of total are presented as calculated. Therefore, the sum of these percentages, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.
2 Net revenues from Mobile and ancillary include revenues from mobile devices, as well as non-platform specific game related revenues such as standalone sales of toys and accessories from the Skylanders franchise and other physical merchandise and accessories.

3

Net revenues from Other include revenues from our studios and distribution businesses, as well as revenues from Major League Gaming and the Overwatch League.

4

Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues on certain of our online enabled products.
 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

NET REVENUES BY GEOGRAPHIC REGION

For the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

(Amounts in millions)

 
      Three Months Ended
December 31, 2017   December 31, 2016  

$ Increase
(Decrease)

 

% Increase
(Decrease)

Amount   % of Total1 Amount   % of Total1
Net Revenues by Geographic Region    
Americas $ 1,021 50 % $ 1,012 50 % $ 9 1 %
EMEA2 780 38 693 34 87 13
Asia Pacific 242   12   309   15   (67 ) (22 )
Total consolidated net revenues $ 2,043   100 % $ 2,014   100 % $ 29   1
 
Change in deferred revenues3
Americas $ 333 $ 275
EMEA2 247 163
Asia Pacific 17    
Total changes in deferred revenues $ 597   $ 438  
 
Year Ended
December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016

$ Increase
(Decrease)

% Increase
(Decrease)

Amount % of Total1 Amount % of Total1
Net Revenues by Geographic Region
Americas $ 3,607 51 % $ 3,423 52 % $ 184 5 %
EMEA2 2,464 35 2,221 34 243 11
Asia Pacific 946   13   964   15   (18 ) (2 )
Total consolidated net revenues $ 7,017   100 % $ 6,608   100 % $ 409   6
 
Change in deferred revenues3
Americas $ 75 $ (32 )
EMEA2 88 (13 )
Asia Pacific (24 ) 36  
Total changes in deferred revenues $ 139   $ (9 )
1     The percentages of total are presented as calculated. Therefore, the sum of these percentages, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.
2 Consists of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa geographic regions.
3 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues on certain of our online enabled products.
 

OPERATING SEGMENTS INFORMATION

For the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

(Amounts in millions)

 
Three Months Ended:   December 31, 2017   December 31, 2016   $ Increase / (Decrease)   % Increase / (Decrease)
Activision   Blizzard   King   Total Activision   Blizzard   King   Total Activision   Blizzard   King   Total Activision   Blizzard   King   Total
Segment Revenues
Net revenues from external customers $ 1,337 $ 580 $ 516 $ 2,433 $ 1,151 $ 672 $ 436 $ 2,259 $ 186 $ (92 ) $ 80 $ 174 16 % (14 )% 18 % 8 %
Intersegment net revenues1   19     19             19     19  
Segment net revenues $ 1,337   $ 599   $ 516   $ 2,452   $ 1,151   $ 672   $ 436   $ 2,259   $ 186   $ (73 ) $ 80   $ 193   16 (11

)

18 9
 
Segment operating income $ 634 $ 160 $ 162 $ 956 $ 479 $ 265 $ 156 $ 900 $ 155 $ (105 ) $ 6 $ 56 32 % (40 )% 4 % 6 %
 
Operating Margin from Total Reportable Segments 39.0 % 39.8 %
 
Year Ended: December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016 $ Increase / (Decrease) % Increase / (Decrease)
Activision Blizzard King Total Activision Blizzard King Total Activision Blizzard King Total Activision Blizzard King Total
Segment Revenues
Net revenues from external customers $ 2,628 $ 2,120 $ 1,998 $ 6,746 $ 2,220 $ 2,439 $ 1,586 $ 6,245 $ 408 $ (319 ) $ 412 $ 501 18 % (13 )% 26 % 8 %
Intersegment net revenues1   19     19             19     19  
Segment net revenues $ 2,628   $ 2,139   $ 1,998   $ 6,765   $ 2,220   $ 2,439   $ 1,586   $ 6,245   $ 408   $ (300 ) $ 412   $ 520   18 (12

)

26

8
 
Segment operating income $ 1,005 $ 712 $ 700 $ 2,417 $ 788 $ 995 $ 537 $ 2,320 $ 217 $ (283 ) $ 163 $ 97 28 % (28 )% 30 % 4 %
 
Operating Margin from Total Reportable Segments 35.7 % 37.1 %
1     Intersegment revenues reflect licensing and service fees charged between segments.

Our operating segments are consistent with the manner in which our operations are reviewed and managed by our Chief Executive Officer, who is our chief operating decision maker (“CODM”). The CODM reviews segment performance exclusive of: the impact of the change in deferred revenues and related cost of revenues with respect to certain of our online-enabled games; share-based compensation expense; amortization of intangible assets as a result of purchase price accounting; fees and other expenses (including legal fees, costs, expenses and accruals) related to acquisitions, associated integration activities, and financings; certain restructuring costs; and other non-cash charges. See the following page for the reconciliation tables of segment revenues and operating income to consolidated net revenues and consolidated operating income.

Our operating segments are also consistent with our internal organization structure, the way we assess operating performance and allocate resources, and the availability of separate financial information. Due to change in our internal organization and reporting structure and how we manage the business, commencing with the second quarter of 2017, our Major League Gaming business, which was previously included in Other segments, is now included in the Blizzard segment. We have also revised prior periods to reflect this change. We do not aggregate operating segments.

 

OPERATING SEGMENTS INFORMATION

For the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

(Amounts in millions)

 
      Three Months Ended December 31,   Year Ended December 31,
2017   2016 2017   2016
Reconciliation to consolidated net revenues:
Segment net revenues $ 2,452 $ 2,259 $ 6,765 $ 6,245
Other segments1 207 193 410 354
Net effect from recognition (deferral) of deferred net revenues2 (597 ) (438 ) (139 ) 9
Elimination of intersegment revenues3 (19 )   (19 )  
Consolidated net revenues $ 2,043   $ 2,014   $ 7,017   $ 6,608  
 
Reconciliation to consolidated income before income tax expense:
Segment operating income $ 956 $ 900 $ 2,417 $ 2,320
Other segments1 (4 ) 19 (19 ) 14
Net effect from recognition (deferral) of deferred net revenues and related cost of revenues2 (441 ) (238 ) (71 ) (10 )
Share-based compensation expense (58 ) (40 ) (178 ) (159 )
Amortization of intangible assets (185 ) (212 ) (757 ) (706 )
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition4 (3 ) (4 ) (15 ) (47 )
Restructuring costs5 (5 ) (15 )
Other non-cash charges6 (14 )
Discrete tax-related items7 (39 )   (39 )  
Consolidated operating income 221 425 1,309 1,412
Interest and other expense (income), net 36 43 146 214
Loss on extinguishment of debt   82   12   92  
Consolidated income before income tax expense $ 185   $ 300   $ 1,151   $ 1,106  
1     Includes other income and expenses from operating segments managed outside the reportable segments, including our studios and distribution businesses. Also includes unallocated corporate income and expenses.
2 Reflects the net effect from (deferral) of revenues and recognition of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products.
3 Intersegment revenues reflect licensing and service fees charged between segments.
4 Reflects fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition, inclusive of related debt financings and integration costs.
5 Reflects restructuring charges, primarily severance costs.
6 Reflects a non-cash accounting charge to reclassify certain cumulative translation gains (losses) into earnings due to the substantial liquidation of certain of our foreign entities.
7 Reflects the impact of other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities.
 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

EBITDA AND ADJUSTED EBITDA

For the Trailing Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2017

(Amounts in millions)

 
             

Trailing Twelve
Months Ended

March 31,
2017

June 30,
2017

September 30,
2017

December 31,
2017

December 31,
2017

 
GAAP Net Income (Loss)1 $ 426 $ 243 $ 188 $ (584 ) $ 273
Interest and other expense (income), net 40 34 37 36 146
Loss on extinguishment of debt 12 12
Provision for income taxes1 27 50 32 769 878
Depreciation and amortization 224   226   220   219   888
EBITDA 717 565 477 440 2,197
 
Share-based compensation expense2 33 39 47 58 178
Fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition3 4 5 3 3 15
Restructuring costs4 11 5 15
Other non-cash charges5 16 (1 ) (1 ) 14
Discrete tax-related items6       39   39
Adjusted EBITDA $ 781   $ 608   $ 526   $ 545   $ 2,458
 
Change in deferred net revenues and related cost of revenues7 $ (396 ) $ (105 ) $ 132 $ 441 $ 71
1    

We recognized $69 million, $13 million, $15 million, and $15 million of excess tax benefits from share-based payments as an income tax benefit in the provision for income taxes for the three months ended March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, 2017, respectively. Provision for income taxes for the three months ended December 31, 2017 also includes an impact from significant discrete tax-related items, including amounts related to changes in tax laws (including a reasonable estimate of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017, as provided for in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission guidance), amounts related to the potential or final resolution of tax positions, and/or other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities.

2 Includes expenses related to share-based compensation.
3 Reflects fees and other expenses related to the King Acquisition, inclusive of related debt financings and integration costs.
4 Reflects restructuring charges, primarily severance costs.
5 Reflects a non-cash accounting charge to reclassify certain cumulative translation (gains) losses into earnings due to the substantial liquidation of certain of our foreign entities.
6 Reflects the impact of other unusual or unique tax-related items and activities.
7 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products.

Trailing twelve months amounts are presented as calculated. Therefore, the sum of the four quarters, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.

 

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

Outlook for the Three Months Ending March 31, 2018 and Year Ending December 31, 2018

GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
      Outlook for the   Outlook for the
Three Months Ending Year Ending
March 31, 2018 December 31, 2018
 
Net Revenues1 $ 1,820 $ 7,350
Change in deferred revenues2 $ (540 ) $ 100
 
 
Earnings Per Diluted Share (GAAP) $ 0.47 $ 1.78
Excluding the impact of:
Share-based compensation3 0.07 0.32
Amortization of intangible assets4 0.15 0.47
Loss on extinguishment of debt5 0.05
Income tax impacts from items above6 (0.05 ) (0.17 )
Earnings Per Diluted Share (Non-GAAP) $ 0.65   $ 2.45  
 
 
Net effect of deferred net revenues and related cost of revenues on Earnings Per Diluted Share7 $ (0.34 ) $ 0.05
1     Net Revenues represents the revenue outlook for both GAAP and Non-GAAP as they are measured the same.
2 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues on certain of our online enabled products.
3 Reflects expenses related to share-based compensation.
4 Reflects amortization of intangible assets from purchase price accounting, including intangible assets from the King Acquisition.
5 Reflects losses to be recognized from early extinguishments of debt.
6 Reflects the income tax impacts associated with the above items. Due to the inherent uncertainties in share price and option exercise behavior, we do not generally forecast excess tax benefits or tax shortfalls.
7 Reflects the net effect from deferral of revenues and (recognition) of deferred revenues, along with related cost of revenues, on certain of our online enabled products, including the effect of taxes.

The per share adjustments and the GAAP and Non-GAAP earnings per share information are presented as calculated. Therefore the sum of these measures, as presented, may differ due to the impact of rounding.

Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Investors and Analysts:
ir@activisionblizzard.com
or
Press:
pr@activisionblizzard.com

Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

The Battle for Azeroth™ Begins in World of Warcraft® This Summer†—Pre-Purchase Now and Prepare for War

Recruit four of the playable Allied Racesjoining the fight in the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game

Instantly boost one Horde or Alliance character to level 110 today

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A new great war between the Alliance and the Horde will erupt this summer—and starting today, World of Warcraft® players around the globe can seek out new champions to fight for their faction’s cause. Blizzard Entertainment today announced that Battle for Azeroth, the next expansion to the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now available for pre-purchase at www.worldofwarcraft.com.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180130006266/en/

The Horde and the Alliance face off in Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft: Battle for Azerot ...

The Horde and the Alliance face off in Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Players who pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth today can begin their journey to recruit four of the expansion’s new Allied Races, each representing comrades they’ve fought alongside on the Broken Isles and Argus in the game’s most recent expansion, Legion. Upon winning the respect of an Allied Race by completing quests and earning reputation, players will unlock the ability to create characters of that race and set out on a new adventure across Azeroth. Alliance players can add the shadow-touched Void elves and valiant Lightforged draenei to their ranks, while members of the Horde will be able to bring the ancient Nightborne and noble Highmountain tauren into their faction’s fold—with additional Allied Races to come in the future.

Pre-purchasing Battle for Azeroth also grants the included level-110 character boost immediately, so players can enter the expansion ready to fight on the front lines of the coming war. Upon Battle for Azeroth‘s launch, heroes will be called upon to seek reinforcements in the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras and troll empire of Zandalar; battle for strategic control of Stromgarde, a new 20-player cooperative Warfront; and embark on Island Expeditions, where bands from rival factions race to claim resources on treacherous uncharted terrain.

Battle for Azeroth brings a whole new dimension to the Horde-vs.-Alliance conflict in World of Warcraft, with a new continent to explore for each faction and brand-new gameplay features like Allied Races, randomized Island Expeditions, and large-scale Warfronts,” said Mike Morhaime. “No matter which side they fight for, players’ dedication to their faction will be put to the test when the new expansion arrives this summer.”

Players who choose to level up a new Allied Race will also be able to enjoy World of Warcraft‘s recently revamped level 1 to 100 questing experience. Building upon a popular feature introduced on the Broken Isles in Legion, zones across Azeroth, Outland, and Draenor now scale to a wide range of character levels, making it so players can enjoy the quests, stories, and other content at their own pace. Those who complete the full level 20-110 experience as an Allied Race character will also earn that race’s distinctive Heritage Armor—a set of cosmetic gear that represents their dedication to finding their people’s place in Azeroth.

Standard and Digital Deluxe Editions

Battle for Azeroth is available for pre-purchase digitally in a standard edition ($49.99 SRP) and Digital Deluxe ($69.99) edition. In addition to the expansion, the Digital Deluxe edition also includes a cache of in-game bonuses that allow you to proudly proclaim your allegiance to the Horde or the Alliance in a variety of Blizzard games, including:

  • World of Warcraft: Charge into battle astride the Seabraid Stallion (Alliance) and Gilded Ravasaur (Horde) mounts, and explore new frontiers with Tottle, the baby Tortollan pet, at your side.
  • Hearthstone®: After a rough day on the front, rest up at the tavern and play a few hands of Hearthstone with your hot new Azeroth Is Burning card back.
  • StarCraft®II: Make your mark on distant worlds with Horde- and Alliance-themed sprays.
  • Heroes of the Storm®: Roar onto the Battlegrounds of the Nexus riding your Primal Flamesaber, a fiery new mount with three variants.
  • Overwatch®: Champion your faction on the battlefields of tomorrow with Horde and Alliance voice lines for Torbjörn and emotes for Tracer; sprays featuring Anduin, Sylvanas, Jaina, and Varok Saurfang; and player icons representing Kul Tiras and Zandalar.

Players who pre-purchase the Digital Deluxe edition will unlock the above bonuses today with the exception of the mount for Heroes of the Storm, which is arriving soon after due to the game’s content update schedule.

Battle for Azeroth will also be available in a boxed Collector’s Edition, which includes an assortment of loot in addition to the above in-game bonuses. More details on the Collector’s Edition, including pricing, contents, and availability, will be announced at later date.

Battle for Azeroth Features

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth includes new features and content that will put heroes’ dedication and fortitude to the test. In this expansion, players will be called upon to:

  • Explore Two Fabled Kingdoms: As a champion of the Horde, travel to the empire of Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.
  • Recruit Allied Races: Take a new form for your adventures as several new playable Allied Races, each with unique racial abilities. Earn the favor of the Highmountain tauren, Void elves, Dark Iron dwarves, and others to create a new character of that race and add their strength to your faction.
  • Plunder the Islands of the Great Sea: Set out on Island Expeditions and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies, environments, and objectives. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect each island’s resources and fuel the war effort.
  • Charge Into a Warfront: Fight on the battlefields of a large-scale, 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location. Capture resources to build your faction’s forces, lead the charge as your troops lay siege to objectives, and fight the enemy commander to claim victory in this new PvE mode inspired by classic Warcraft real-time strategy-game battles.
  • Infuse Your Armor With Titanic Might: Seek out Azerite, an invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Burning Legion’s wake. Imbue the Heart of Azeroth—a legendary neck piece entrusted to each hero by Magni Bronzebeard—with Azerite to customize your armor with new powers and traits.
  • Battle to Level 120: Trace the corruption of the Blood God to the Underrot, unearth the secrets of a lost titan vault, escape from the Drust Realm of the Dead, and more as you quest through 10 new levels—then continue to grow in power through new World Quests, raids, dungeons, and more.

To learn more about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, visit the expansion’s official website at www.worldofwarcraft.com/battleforazeroth.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will launch in summer 2018 (winter 2018 in regions in southern hemisphere; on or before September 21, 2018). Pre-purchasing World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth makes available quest lines that enable players to access the Highmountain tauren, Lightforged draenei, Nightborne, and Void elves. To unlock Allied Races quest lines, players must have a level-110 character and have met specific questing and reputation requirements on the factions each Allied Race is aligned with. To unlock a Heritage Armor set, players must level an Allied Race character from its starting level of 20 to 110 without boosting, faction- or race-changing, or being granted levels via the Recruit-A-Friend program. Players upgrading from World of Warcraft Starter Edition must wait for trial restrictions to be removed (up to 72 hours) before using character boost.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise 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-one #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest online-gaming services in the world, with millions of active players.

*Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the release dates, pricing, gameplay, features, and functionality of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, including statements with respect to the pre-purchase and editions of the game, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’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 Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment 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 Blizzard Entertainment 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.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Andrew Reynolds
Director, Global Public Relations
949.955.1380 x14301
areynolds@blizzard.com
or
Vanessa Vanasin
Public Relations Manager, Global
949.955.1380 x15380
vvanasin@blizzard.com
or
Robert Taylor
Public Relations Manager,
North America
949.955.1380 x61317
rtaylor@blizzard.com

Source: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

First Call of Duty: WWII DLC Pack The Resistance Emerges Today

Epic, Highly-Anticipated First DLC Pack Offers Fans New Multiplayer Maps, War Mode Mission and Nazi Zombies Experience

Global Call of Duty Community Event Featuring New Content, New Gear and Return of Fan-Favorite Game Modes Continues for Fans

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Players can join the Resistance starting today as Call of Duty®: WWII – The Resistance, the first DLC pack for the No. 1 top-selling console video game of 2017 in North America, is out now, available first on PlayStation®4. Packed with new multiplayer content, The Resistance DLC pack delivers three new Multiplayer maps and an all-new War Mode multiplayer mission themed to reflect the spirit of the citizen soldiers who fought for freedom during World War II. The DLC pack also features The Darkest Shore, the terrifying new chapter in the twisted Nazi Zombies saga. In addition, this first DLC pack from Call of Duty: WWII, lands during The Resistance community event (January 23 through February 27), a five-week celebration that features new gear, game modes and Supply Drop content available to all players.

In The Resistance DLC pack, players will fight in iconic World War II locations, from Paris to Prague, all centered around historic uprisings in three new Multiplayer maps and an all-new high-octane War Mode map.

Valkyrie – Located in the Masurian Woods, East Prussia, this map was inspired by The Wolf’s Lair – The Fuhrer’s Eastern-front headquarters during Operation Barbarossa – the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. This is a medium-sized map with multiple overwatch positions and mounted machine guns.

Anthropoid – Based in Prague, Czechoslovakia, this map is inspired by Operation Anthropoid – the famous assassination attempt on a high-ranking German officer during World War II. This map is divided by a river, with long-flanking paths that can be used by snipers for ranged attacks.

Occupation – In this remake of a classic Call of Duty® map, players battle through the streets and shops of German-occupied Paris during WWII. Nearby homes and storefronts lend defensive positions for ambush and recovery.

Operation Intercept – Outside of St Lo, France, the next War Mode experience, developed in partnership with Raven Software, leads you on an urban rescue mission to save Resistance fighters being transported by train. The first objective on the Allied side is freeing the fighters, followed by the destruction of key communication equipment, and ends with stopping a train.

The Resistance DLC pack also features the newest horror-filled chapter in the co-operative Nazi Zombies saga, The Darkest Shore. Only days after the horrific disaster of Mittelburg, the crew has received intel that suggests Doktor Straub is on an island just north of Germany. Blanketed in fog, this island is surrounded by enemy air and sea power – and crawling with the Undead. Marie, Drostan, Olivia and Jefferson will need to battle all this and more to uncover the mysteries hidden within.

As part of The Resistance community event, which kicked off on Jan. 23 and runs through Feb. 27, all Call of Duty: WWII players will have access to the new “Resistance Division.” The new Resistance Division embodies the skills and experience of citizen soldiers from across Europe, and features the new Tactical Knife Skill, a new Division-specific 9mm SAP Pistol, as well as perks that can alter the tide of battle, such as the ability to scramble enemy maps.

The Resistance community event offers players new Supply Drop content and new weapons and uniforms used in Resistance uprisings across war-torn Europe during World War II. Fans can also participate in new game mode events, including the limited-time return of Prop Hunt and Demolition game modes, along with rotating 2XP playlists across Multiplayer, War Mode and Zombies. Resistance Supply Drops can be earned for free simply by playing Call of Duty: WWII during the event. Players can return to Headquarters each week of the event for a free Resistance Supply Drop, as well as receive special Orders and Contracts that grant new weapons, Supply Drops, XP boosts, Armory Credits and more. Players can also purchase Resistance Supply Drops using Call of Duty Points in-game currency. The Resistance community event features all-new, limited-time Resistance-themed Collection Rewards.

Call of Duty: WWII – The Resistance DLC pack is available now, first on PlayStation®4 for a suggested retail price of $14.99. The Resistance DLC Pack is also included in Call of Duty: WWII DLC Season Pass*, featuring all four DLC Packs planned for the year, as part of the discounted bundle offered at a suggested retail price of $49.99 – a discount of $10 off the individual purchase of all four DLC Map Packs. Season Pass content is available first on PlayStation®4.

*Season Pass purchasers receive 2018 Call of Duty: WWII Season Pass content. Season Pass content is not final, is subject to change, and may not include all downloadable content available for the game. Season Pass content may not be available in all countries, and pricing and release dates may vary by platform. Season Pass content should be downloaded from the in-game store only; do not purchase separately, or you will be charged again. Season Pass content may be sold separately.

Call of Duty: WWIIis rated M for Mature and is available for PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and Steam. The title is published by Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), and developed by Sledgehammer Games, with additional development support from Raven Software. For the latest intel, check out: www.callofduty.com, www.youtube.com/callofduty or follow @CallofDuty and @SHGames on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Activision maintains operations throughout the world and is a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), an S&P 500 company. 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 dates and features of the Resistance community event, the WWII DLC Season Pass and The Resistance DLC Pack, 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.

© 2018 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, and CALL OF DUTY WWII are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.

Activision Publishing, Inc.
Alan Johnson
Manager, Public Relations
310.255.2757
alan.johnson@activision.com

Source: Activision Publishing, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Overwatch League™ Adds T-Mobile and Sour Patch Kids Brand to Growing Partner Roster

T-Mobile and SOUR PATCH KIDS candy join HP®, Intel®, and Toyota for brand-marketing efforts during the Overwatch League inaugural season

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The first few weeks of regular-season Overwatch League play have been defined by budding rivalries and down-to-the-wire matches between the 12 teams of the first global professional city-based esports league. More than 10 million viewers worldwide tuned in during opening week, and the league announced its debut automotive partner, Toyota. Now, two new partners have signed on to support the Overwatch League in its inaugural season: the wireless provider T-Mobile and SOUR PATCH KIDS candy.

T-Mobile has signed a multi-year agreement to become the official wireless provider of the Overwatch League in the United States. As a part of the agreement, the Un-carrier will be the exclusive title sponsor of the Overwatch League Regular Season MVP and Finals MVP awards. Throughout the season, T-Mobile will give its customers and esports fans alike more of the sport they love, with exclusive perks, an insider’s look at the top MVP candidates, and more.

“The same way T-Mobile re-wrote the rules of wireless, the Overwatch League is doing for esports, so this partnership is a natural fit for us,” said Meredith Starkey, VP of events and sponsorships at T-Mobile. “We’re excited to bring the Un-carrier customer-first experience to esports fans by giving them a voice in voting to select the T-Mobile MVP award winners throughout the season.”

As a part of its sponsorship with the Overwatch League, SOUR PATCH KIDS brand—the country’s #1-selling sour candy—will bring fans content that will air during the Overwatch League season-one livestream. Fans on-site at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles also will be able to enjoy a branded experience, digital-board messaging, branded thundersticks to cheer on their favorite teams, and of course free SOUR PATCH KIDS candy at select matches.

“The SOUR PATCH KIDS brand is always connecting with our fans where they live and play, which is why we’ve been a part of gaming since 2011,” said Katie Williams, senior director of marketing, North America Confections. “Our sponsorship with the Overwatch League gives us an immersive opportunity to support this exciting evolution in esports and highlight gameplay moments for spectators in the arena and those streaming from home.”

“We couldn’t be happier to add iconic consumer brands like T-Mobile and SOUR PATCH KIDS candy to our growing roster of Overwatch League partners,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment’s MLG division. “The exclusive experiences, content, and access that both brands have committed to providing will make the Overwatch League fan and viewer experience that much more rewarding for our global audience.”

The Overwatch League is further supported by Toyota, HP®, and Intel®, with players competing on cutting-edge gaming hardware including HP’s OMEN gaming PCs, powered by the latest Intel® Core™ i7 processors.

About the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-one #1 games,[1] Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

About Mondelēz International, Maker of SOUR PATCH KIDS Candy

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is building the best snacking company in the world, with 2016 net revenues of approximately $26 billion. Creating more moments of joy in approximately 165 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, featuring global Power Brands such as OREO cookies and belVita breakfast biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

SOUR PATCH KIDS candy launched in 1985 and has long been a favorite among teens and young adults. SOUR PATCH KIDS candy is known for its “SOUR THEN SWEET” taste. Today, SOUR PATCH KIDS candy is the #1 selling sour candy brand in the U.S. To learn more about SOUR PATCH KIDS candy, visit @SourPatchKids on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and @SourPatchSnaps on Snapchat.

© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING is a trademark of Major League Gaming Corp.

[1] Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the sponsorship arrangements for Overwatch esports, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’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 Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment 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 Blizzard Entertainment 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.

Source: Overwatch League

Overwatch League
Mark Van Lommel, 949-955-1380 x61147
MVanLommel@overwatchleague.com
or
Hunter PR for SOUR PATCH KIDS brand
Anna Ditchev, 212-679-6600
anna.ditchev@hunterpr.com

Source: Overwatch League

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Heroes of the Dorm™ Leads Tespa’s College Esports Lineup in 2018

Signups now open for college esports tournaments featuring Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Storm®, Hearthstone®, and StarCraft® II

This year’s programs offer more opportunities—and scholarships—for college gamers across U.S. and Canada than ever before

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Student gamers everywhere can now matriculate in a full schedule of college esports programs, as Tespa, Blizzard Entertainment’s college esports network, has revealed its lineup of tournaments and events for this year, including the fourth edition of Heroes of the Dorm™. With programs for Hearthstone® and StarCraft® II in addition to Heroes of the Storm®, Tespa will award more than $1 million in scholarships and prizing by the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180122006267/en/

Now in its fourth year, Heroes of the Dorm is introducing regional play. More than $500,000 in scholarships and prizes are up for grabs in this premier collegiate esports competition. Regional winners and other top teams on the national leaderboard will be seeded into the 64-team National Championship bracket. The battle for the Heroes of the Dorm National Championship—and for the scholarship money each player receives for the remainder of their college careers—will be fierce. Fans can watch all the action on both www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes and www.mlg.com.

In a one-of-a-kind broadcast partnership with Raycom Sports, Heroes of the Dorm will have a dedicated, nationally-syndicated program during a five-week period of competition. Raycom will produce the weekly, one-hour Heroes of the Dorm program, featuring schools competing in the tournament’s Atlantic Coast Region. The original series, which will cover competition as well as spotlight player and team stories, will be broadcast across Raycom Sports’ syndicated network of affiliates in more than 50 markets in the United States.

“With intense student competition and an epic tournament bracket featuring schools across the United States and Canada, Heroes of the Dorm showcases the kind of excitement that can only come from college esports,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to cheering on all of the talented players who will be competing in Heroes of the Storm, as well as Hearthstone and StarCraft II, for their share of Tespa’s biggest scholarship prize pool ever.”

Starting today, eligible college gamers in the United States and Canada can sign up to compete in Heroes of the Dorm at www.heroesofthedorm.com. See the full schedule below:

      Tournament Stage       Date
Registration Opens January 22
Registration Closes February 5
Regional Play Begins February 6
Live Broadcasts Begin February 14
Regional Championships March 11
Bracket Reveal March 19
Round of 64 Begins March 28
Heroic Four/Finals April/May
 

Hearthstone Collegiate Championship

Teams vying for the 2018 Hearthstone Collegiate Championship will have their hands full as they battle for their share of $150,000 in scholarship prizing. Each team of three will have to battle through a seven-week regular season and the regional playoffs to make it to the single-elimination championship bracket. Fans can watch the tournament live on www.twitch.tv/playhearthstone.

Eligible college gamers in the United States and Canada can sign up to compete in the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship at compete.tespa.org starting today. See the full schedule below:

      Tournament Stage       Date
Registration Opens January 22
Registration Closes February 15
Matches Begin February 19
 

Tespa Collegiate Series—StarCraft

The first ever Tespa Collegiate Series—StarCraft will award $35,000 in total scholarship prizing to the top performers in the 16-team league. Teams of three players will battle it out in StarCraft II twice a week during the eight-week regular season, with four teams joining the tournament via the open qualifiers. Matches will be broadcast on www.twitch.tv/starcraft and www.mlg.com. Eligible college gamers in the United States and Canada can sign up for qualifiers at compete.tespa.org starting today. See the full schedule below:

      Tournament Stage       Date
Registration Opens January 22
Qualifier 1 February 10
Qualifier 2 February 11
Matches Begin February 17
 

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise 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-one #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

*Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.

About Tespa

Tespa is the premier college gaming network in North America, dedicated to creating a home for gamers on every campus. Recognized as the leader in college esports, Tespa cultivates student communities that host epic gaming events on campuses in the United States and Canada, and plans to distribute more than $1 million in scholarship prizing in 2018 through intercollegiate leagues. Tespa has had more than 5000 teams from more than 1400 universities compete in its college tournaments and has empowered student leaders to become entrepreneurs in the gaming industry.

About Raycom Sports

Charlotte, N.C.-based Raycom Sports is a leader for compelling storytelling, production, and content distribution across all platforms. With an award-winning production team, Raycom creates original feature programming such as Football Saturdays. Raycom is the syndicated rightsholder of Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball and football since 1982, and manages live television broadcasting, original programming, archival footage, mobile applications, social media, the official ACC website and the ACC Official Corporate Champions program. Raycom also serves as the digital content, marketing, video and broadcast production partner of The Basketball Tournament (TBT). Raycom manages client activations and hospitality at ACC FanFest at the ACC Football Championship and ACC Basketball Tournaments.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, owns and/or provides services for 65 television stations and 2 radio stations located in 20 states covering 16% of U.S. television households.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the dates and features of Heroes of the Dorm 2018, the Tespa Collegiate Series—StarCraft, and the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’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 Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment 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 Blizzard Entertainment 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.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Christy Um
Director, Esports Communications
949.955.1380 x61251
christy.um@blizzard.com
or
David Gordon
Global PR Manager, Esports
949.955.1380 x13506
dgordon@blizzard.com
or
Sara Zaidi
Global PR Manager
949.955.1380 x61091
szaidi@blizzard.com

Source: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Activision Blizzard Recommends Shareholders Reject Mini-Tender Offer by TRC Capital Corporation

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced it has received notice of an unsolicited mini-tender offer by TRC Capital Corporation to purchase up to 2 million shares of Activision Blizzard common stock at a price of $63.25 per share in cash. TRC Capital’s offering price is 4.7 percent below the closing price per share of Activision Blizzard common stock on January 5, 2018, the last trading day prior to the date of the offer to purchase, and 10.1 percent below the closing price of Activision Blizzard common stock on January 17, 2018, the last trading day prior to the date of this news release. The offer is for approximately 0.26 percent of the Activision Blizzard common shares outstanding.

Activision Blizzard does not endorse TRC Capital’s unsolicited mini-tender offer and recommends that stockholders not tender their shares in response to the offer because the offer is at a price below the current market price for Activision Blizzard shares and is subject to many conditions. Activision Blizzard is not associated in any way with TRC Capital, its mini-tender offer or the offer documents.

TRC Capital has made many similar mini-tender offers for shares of other companies. Mini-tender offers seek to acquire not more than 5 percent of a company’s outstanding shares, thereby avoiding many disclosure and procedural requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that apply to offers for more than 5 percent of a company’s outstanding shares. As a result, investors are not provided with the same level of protections in mini-tender offers as are provided for larger tender offers under U.S. securities laws.

The SEC has cautioned investors that some bidders making mini-tender offers at below-market prices are “hoping that they will catch investors off guard if the investors do not compare the offer price to the current market price.” More on the SEC’s guidance to investors on mini-tender offers is available at:
https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsminitendhtm.html

Activision Blizzard urges investors to obtain current market quotations for their shares, review the conditions to the offer, consult with their broker or financial advisor and exercise caution with respect to TRC Capital’s offer. Activision Blizzard recommends that stockholders who have not responded to TRC Capital’s offer take no action. Stockholders who have already tendered their shares may withdraw them at any time prior to the expiration of the offer by following the procedures described in TRC Capital’s offering documents. The offer is currently scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. New York City time on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. TRC Capital may extend the offering period in its discretion.

Activision Blizzard encourages brokers and dealers, as well as other market participants, to review the SEC’s letter regarding broker-dealer mini-tender offer dissemination and disclosure at https://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/minitenders/sia072401.htm.

Activision Blizzard requests that a copy of this press release be included with all distributions of materials relating to TRC Capital’s mini-tender offer related to Activision Blizzard’s shares of common stock.

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.

Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Investors and Analysts:
ir@activisionblizzard.com
or
Press:
pr@activisionblizzard.com

Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Overwatch League™ Welcomes New Partner Toyota

As North American Launch Partner for the Overwatch League, the automaker looks forward to collaborating on behind-the-scenes content for league fans

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Following a thrilling opening week for the Overwatch League that drew more than 10 million viewers worldwide, a major new brand-marketing partner has signed on to support the league during its inaugural season: multinational automotive manufacturer Toyota.

Toyota will be a North American Launch Partner for the Overwatch League, and is looking forward to future collaborations around bringing behind-the-scenes content to fans. The automaker plans to have additional broadcast integrations, as well as a vehicle presence at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles.

“Toyota is excited to be a launch partner of the Overwatch League,” said Steven Curtis, vice president, media & engagement marketing for Toyota Motor North America. “We love the passion of esports fans, and the goal of our partnership is to help take the Overwatch League and the fan experience to the next level.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Toyota to the Overwatch League,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment’s MLG division. “When we were building the league, our desire was to create a premium experience for players and fans, and partners like Toyota are helping us do just that.”

The Overwatch League is further supported by sponsors HP® and Intel®, with players competing on cutting-edge gaming hardware including HP’s OMEN gaming PCs, powered by the latest Intel® Core™ i7 processors.

About the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-one #1 games,[1] Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016—and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING is a trademark of Major League Gaming Corp.

[1] Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the sponsorship arrangements for Overwatch esports, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’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 Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment 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 Blizzard Entertainment 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.

Overwatch League
Mark Van Lommel, 949-955-1380 x61147
MVanLommel@overwatchleague.com
or
Toyota Motor North America
Zachary Reed, 214-316-1128
zachary.reed@toyota.com

Source: Overwatch League

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Overwatch League™ Opening Week Draws More Than 10 Million Viewers

Newly announced Twitch distribution deal drives an average audience per minute of 408,000 for the opening day broadcast

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Overwatch League roared to life last week at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, with four days of intense competition between all 12 teams of the world’s first major global city-based professional esports league.

Buoyed by a newly announced two-year deal with Twitch, the Overwatch League’s exclusive worldwide[1] third-party digital broadcast partner, opening day drew an impressive average audience per minute of 408,000, and 280,000 for the week. More than 10 million viewers tuned in over the four-day period via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV—not to mention the countless additional viewers at watch parties worldwide. On Twitch and MLG alone, the peak concurrent online audience of 437,000 hit during the highly anticipated day-one matchup between Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty. In addition, tickets to Blizzard Arena Los Angeles were sold out for the entirety of opening week.

“We’re thrilled by the overwhelming response to the Overwatch League’s opening week of play,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Major League Gaming (MLG). “But this is only the beginning. With more than 35 million Overwatch® players, the Overwatch League has the potential to become one of the most-watched leagues—of any kind—in the world.”

“Since we announced Overwatch League at BlizzCon 2016, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when the global competitive Overwatch community could come together under one banner,” said Nate Nanzer, Overwatch League commissioner. “Opening week was that coming-out party—for the fans, both in-person at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and tuned in by the millions all over the world, and for the players, whose love for the game came through crystal clear.”

“We had high expectations for the inaugural broadcast of the Overwatch League on Twitch, given our platform’s passionate fanbase for Overwatch,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch. “They really put on an amazing show and fans showed up en masse to support and celebrate Overwatch. Based on the response from the community, Overwatch League is off to a great start and we look forward to watching how the season progresses. This league demonstrates the power and potential of esports, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Blizzard.”

Viewers can tune in to catch all the action on Twitch, www.mlg.com, the MLG app (on iOS and Android), www.overwatchleague.com, and the Overwatch League app, which launched last week for iOS and Android. Blizzard gamers also can get easy access to the Overwatch League via a new Overwatch League tab in the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app.

The first season of the Overwatch League runs until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. For the inaugural season, all regular-season games will take place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank, California, custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment esports events. Fans can purchase tickets to attend matches, which will be played each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A full schedule and information about ticket sales can be found at www.overwatchleague.com.

About the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-one #1 games,[2] Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING is a trademark of Major League Gaming Corp.

[1] Not including China.
[2] Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the dates, events 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 Blizzard Entertainment’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 Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment 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 Blizzard Entertainment 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.

Overwatch League
Mark Van Lommel, 949-955-1380 x61147
MVanLommel@overwatchleague.com

Source: Overwatch League

News Provided by Acquire Media

post

Team Kaliber Crowned Champion of the CWL New Orleans Open

Event Standings Help Determine Sixteen Qualifying Teams to Compete at the CWL Pro League at the MLG Arena, Beginning January 23

Next CWL Open Event Returns to Atlanta, March 9 – 11

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The CWL New Orleans Open, presented by PlayStation®4, concluded with Team Kaliber claiming top prize after a fiercely competitive tournament in Call of Duty®: WWII. Teams Luminosity Gaming, Rise Nation and Red Reserve rounded out the top four spots at the end of the three-day competition taking place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180115005399/en/

CWL New Orleans Open Champions Team Kaliber (Dylan "Theory" McGee, Lamar "Accuracy" Abedi, Kenny "Ke ...

CWL New Orleans Open Champions Team Kaliber (Dylan “Theory” McGee, Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi, Kenny “Kenny” Kuavo and Martin “Chino” Chino) (Photo: Business Wire)

CWL New Orleans Open Champions Team Kaliber claimed the largest piece of the event’s $200,000 prize pool, as part of the new season’s $4.2 million prize pool, the largest in Call of Duty esports history. This was Team Kaliber’s second CWL Global Open championship of the season, previously winning the CWL Dallas Open in December 2017.

“Winning back-to-back events means the world to us. A lot of people doubted us, even after our Championship win at CWL Dallas, and I’m glad we could prove them all wrong,” said CWL New Orleans Open MVP Martin ‘Chino’ Chino. “I’m really proud of us but being as good as we are I feel like we can keep improving. We want to stay at the top and the next challenge is the CWL Pro League and then CWL Atlanta in March.”

Teams from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region competed in the enormous open bracket during the event for a chance at being crowned champion on Sunday. Fans watched the event over the weekend in front of live fans, online at MLG.com/CallofDuty and via the in-game Call of Duty®: WWII Headquarters Theater.

Here are the final rankings for the CWL New Orleans Open:

  • 1st – Team Kaliber
  • 2nd – Luminosity Gaming
  • 3rd – Rise Nation
  • 4th – Red Reserve
  • 5th/6th – Echo Fox / eUnited
  • 7th/8th – Evil Geniuses / FaZe Clan

Based on CWL Pro Points accrued throughout the season and ending with the CWL New Orleans Open, the top 16 teams to enter Stage 1 of the CWL Pro League – a multi-stage tournament series featuring teams from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region – will begin competing at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on January 23.

The season continues with the next open event of the season, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on March 9 – 11, 2018.

CWL Atlanta Open tickets are available now in multiple varieties. General admission passes for the event are available for $59.99 (plus applicable fees and taxes). A Premium Pass for the event is also available for $89.99 (plus applicable fees and taxes) and includes an event t-shirt and one month of MLG GameBattles Premium. A $299.99 (plus applicable fees and taxes) VIP ticket is also available and includes an event t-shirt, event jacket, one-hour early entrance to the venue, access to the VIP Lounge and more. For tickets, visit MLG.com/CWLAtlanta.

Visit CallofDuty.com/esports and follow the Call of Duty World League on Twitter and Instagram for the latest CWL updates. For live broadcasts and Video on Demand, visit MLG.com/CallofDuty.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Activision maintains operations throughout the world and is a division of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), an S&P 500 company. 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 features of the Call of Duty World League and the dates and features of the CWL Pro League and the CWL Atlanta Open, 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.

© 2018 Major League Gaming Corp. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY and CALL OF DUTY: WWII are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING is a trademark of Major League Gaming Corp. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Call of Duty World League
Xav de Matos
Public Relations Manager
xav.dematos@activision.com

Source: Activision Publishing, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media