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Team Kaliber Crowned Call of Duty World League Dallas Open Champions

Earns Winner’s Share of Event Prize Pool and Becomes Early Favorite in New CWL Season Featuring $4.2 Million in Overall Prizing – the Largest in Call of Duty Esports History

Next Up CWL New Orleans Open, Jan. 12 – 14

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The CWL Dallas Open culminated with Team Kaliber claiming the top-place finish during a fiercely competitive tournament in Call of Duty®: WWII. Teams Splyce, OpTic Gaming and FaZe Clan rounded out the top four spots to conclude the three-day competition at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171211005841/en/

Team Kaliber (left to right; Dylan "Theory" McGee, Lamar "Accuracy" Abedi, Kenny "Kenny" Kuavo and M ...

Team Kaliber (left to right; Dylan “Theory” McGee, Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi, Kenny “Kenny” Kuavo and Martin “Chino” Chino) wins the CWL Dallas Open (Photo: Business Wire)

CWL Dallas Open Champs 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.

“Team Kaliber winning CWL Dallas means everything to me. We’ve all been putting a lot of hard work in the last few years and I’ve had a chance to watch all my friends succeed in that time. I relive this moment through their eyes and now I’ve had my chance to win,” said Team Kaliber’s Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi after being named CWL Dallas Open MVP. “Thanks for all the fans in the crowd and watching online. This has been unbelievable.”

The enormous open bracket of more than 200 teams proved to be the largest CWL open event competition ever, where they faced-off over the weekend in front of live fans and online at MLG.com/CallofDuty.

Here are the final rankings for the CWL Dallas Open:

  • 1st – Team Kaliber
  • 2nd – Splyce
  • 3rd – OpTic Gaming
  • 4th – FaZe Clan
  • 5th/6th – Echo Fox / eUnited
  • 7th/8th – Luminosity / Team EnVyUs

Team Kaliber established themselves as the early team to beat in the new Call of Duty World League season. The focus now shifts to New Orleans, the site of the season’s second open event. CWL New Orleans Open will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on January 12-14, 2018.

CWL New Orleans 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/CWLNOLA.

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 New Orleans 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.

© 2017 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
xav.dematos@activision.com

Source: Activision Publishing, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

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Call of Duty World League (CWL) Competition Begins in Dallas Today

Debut Event of Season Brings in Record Number of Teams to a CWL Event;
CWL Season Prize Pool Tops $4.2 Million

First Live Open Tournament of new CWL Season Features Over 200 Teams from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region to Compete for $200,000 Prize Pool

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The first open tournament of what could be the most exciting season yet of the Call of Duty® World League (CWL) gets underway today through Sunday (December 8 -10) at the CWL Dallas Open. Call of Duty Esports teams from around the world, including North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) will descend on the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas to go head-to-head for the first bragging rights of the new CWL season featuring Call of Duty®: WWII and the initial steps toward the biggest yearly prize pool in CWL history topping $4.2 million.

This weekend’s event will feature more than 200 teams, the most at an open event in CWL history. The top four teams from the open winners’ bracket will join pool play tomorrow for the next round of competition. Those winning teams will then compete on Sunday in the championship bracket, for a $200,000 event prize pool and the title of the CWL Dallas Open Champion.

“The CWL Dallas field is set. This is going to be an amazing competition and a great start to the CWL tournament season,” said executive vice president and general manager of Call of Duty, Rob Kostich. “The team at Sledgehammer Games has delivered an incredible experience with Call of Duty: WWII. Our team passes for the event sold out in minutes. We cannot wait to see who emerges from the pack starting in Dallas this weekend.”

“Call of Duty World League player participation saw tremendous growth last season, with teams vying for a piece of the largest prize pool in Call of Duty Esports history,” said Call of Duty Esports Director, Kevin Flynn. “This season, the prize pool has increased to $4.2 million and a record number of players at a Call of Duty World League open event will compete in Dallas.”

2017 CWL Dallas Open Champion OpTic Gaming will have to defend their title against fierce competition at this year’s event.

CWL Dallas Open tickets are available 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/CWLDallas.

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 dates and features of the CWL Dallas Open and the features of the Call of Duty World League, 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.

© 2017 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
xav.dematos@activision.com

Source: Activision Publishing, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

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Kobolds & Catacombs™ Now Open to All Hearthstone® Treasure Seekers

Unearth 135 new cards from Azeroth’s deepest dungeons in the latest expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed digital card game

Brave adventurers can now embark on single-player Dungeon Runs for an endlessly replayable, escalating challenge that’s completely free to all players—no prebuilt decks required

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Eager adventurers can now set out in search of Legendary Weapons, mysterious treasures, and 135 alluring new cards hidden deep underground in Kobolds & Catacombs—the latest expansion for Hearthstone®, Blizzard Entertainment’s smash-hit digital card game.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171207006016/en/

Kobolds & Catacombs takes Hearthstone players into the bowels of Azeroth, where the dastardly kobolds have been boring tunnels for thousands of years and hiding away scores of ancient treasures. Hearthstone players will discover powerful new cards among these riches, including a Legendary Weapon for each class—one of which everyone who logs in to Hearthstone starting today will receive free. Rumors also speak of mighty Spellstones, magical jewels for each class whose effects grow in power throughout a match. Ever-wary of greedy adventurers’ plots to liberate their hoards, the kobolds have lured terrible monsters and laid deadly traps to help protect them. Luckily, adventurers don’t have to go it alone. By playing cards with the new Recruit keyword, players can summon random minions directly from their decks, opening the door for entirely new approaches to deckbuilding.

The deadliest hazards of all await players in Kobolds & Catacombs’ new and completely free single-player mode: Dungeon Runs. These high-stakes subterranean adventures are inspired by the iconic fantasy dungeon crawl, and they’re never the same experience twice. Those brave enough to embark on these challenges can earn three free Kobolds & Catacombs card packs by completing a series of introductory quests. Players who complete a full Dungeon Run with all nine classes will also earn the “Candle King” card back—indisputable proof that they’ve mastered one of Hearthstone’s most daunting challenges yet.

Kobolds & Catacombs harkens back to the type of old-school fantasy-gaming experience that many of us at Blizzard and in the community grew up on,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We think players are going to love the new cards and testing their mettle in Dungeon Runs, and we can’t wait to see how deck strategies evolve with the new mechanics we’ve added with this set.”

Kobolds & Catacombs is available now for Windows® and Mac® PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android™ tablets; and iOS and Android phones. Card packs can be purchased individually or in discounted bundles from the in-game Shop for gold or real-world currency at the same price as all other Hearthstone card packs. Players now have the chance to win Kobolds & Catacombs card packs as quest rewards or prizes in the Arena, and can also craft cards from the expansion by using Arcane Dust collected from disenchanting unwanted cards.

For a limited time, players who log in to Hearthstone will receive three free Kobolds & Catacombs card packs to celebrate the launch of the expansion—in addition to the ones earned from the introductory Dungeon Run quests.

Visit www.koboldsandcatacombs.com to learn more about the expansion and prepare yourself for the hazards and horrors that await you in the depths below Azeroth.

Assets available at: https://blizzard.gamespress.com/Hearthstone

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 gamesand 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.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Che’von Slaughter
Senior Manager, Public Relations
949.955.1380 x14338
cslaughter@blizzard.com
or
Lyndsi Achucarro
PR Manager, Global
949.955.1380 x12650
lachucarro@blizzard.com
or
Christine Yeo
PR Manager, North America
949.955.1380 x61002
cyeo@blizzard.com

Source: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

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Winter Siege Community Event Kicks-off Seasonal Free Celebration for Call of Duty®: WWII

Exclusive Winter-Themed Carentan Multiplayer Map, Gun Game Mode, Double XP Playlists and Winter Siege Supply Drops Available to all Players During Limited Time Celebration

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The first seasonal community event for Call of Duty®: WWII is here. Running Friday, December 8, 2017, through Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Winter Siege delivers an array of activities and content for free to all Call of Duty: WWII players for a limited time. The Winter Siege features a new, frost-covered Winter Carentan multiplayer map, the return of the Gun Game party mode, Double XP Playlists, a winterized Headquarters with new visiting Quartermaster as well as new Winter Siege Supply Drops delivering new, limited edition winter gear and content to players. Winter Siege is packed to the brim for the Call of Duty: WWII community this holiday season.

“The Winter Siege is all about celebrating with the Call of Duty® community,” said Aaron Halon, Senior Product Developer, Multiplayer, Sledgehammer Games. “There’s a ton of content for everyone to play during this time from a reimagined Winter Carentan multiplayer map that’s now packed with snow to Gun Game to Supply Drops full of winter-themed gear and content all available throughout the Winter Siege.”

Winter Siege Features:

The Call of Duty: WWII Winter Siege event brings the seasonal change to Multiplayer like never before. During the Winter Siege event, all players will have access to Winter Carentan, a snow-covered, winter-themed version of the fan-favorite Carentan map, previously only available as reimagined Carentan to Season Pass owners.

The Winter Siege event also marks the limited-time return of Gun Game. This beloved mode makes its Call of Duty: WWII debut during the second week of the event as part of a non-stop schedule of special 2XP playlists, delivering a perfect way for players to take a variety of weapons out for a spin and keep their opponents guessing.

The Winter Siege event also winterizes Headquarters, with the beach encampment taking on a seasonally appropriate appearance for the span of the event, and welcoming an all-new Quartermaster, Captain Butcher. Captain Butcher visits Headquarters bearing Winter Siege Division uniforms, cosmetic items and weapon variants. Players can earn a variant of each new weapon for free via Special Orders from Major Howard (Orders will be rotated daily to allow players to unlock a variant of each new weapon for free). Other rarity variants of these weapons are available through Collection Bounties, or in Winter Siege Supply Drops. Winter Siege Supply Drops can be earned for free simply by playing Call of Duty: WWII during the event. Players will also receive a free Winter Siege Supply Drop for logging in to play each week of the Winter Siege event. Players can also purchase Winter Siege Supply Drops using Call of Duty Points in-game currency.

Call of Duty: WWII is rated M for Mature and is now available for PlayStation®4, Xbox One X and Xbox One. For PC fans, the game is also now available on Steam. Call of Duty: WWII comes in the following editions:

  • Base Edition and Digital Base Edition – Suggested Retail Price (SRP) $59.99.
  • Digital Deluxe Edition – Season Pass** and more, SRP $99.99.
  • Pro Edition – Season Pass**, collectible Steelbook™ and more, SRP $99.99

Check local retailers for availability of all Call of Duty: WWII Editions. 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.

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 Call of Duty: WWII Winter Siege event, 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.

© 2017 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

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Activision Blizzard Announces Sale of Special Call of Duty®: WWII Bravery Pack to Support Veteran Careers

Beginning December 1stWith All Activision Proceeds Supporting the Call of Duty™ Endowment, a Non-Profit Fighting Veteran Unemployment and Underemployment

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the newest iteration in its award-winning in-game program to support the Call of Duty Endowment’s efforts to help unemployed veterans find high-quality careers in the United States and United Kingdom. The Call of Duty®: WWII – Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Bravery Pack (PS4/XboxOne/PC), developed by Sledgehammer Games, includes a special Call of Duty Endowment in-game helmet, calling card, and emblem.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171201005676/en/

Activision Blizzard Call of Duty® WWII Bravery Pack (Graphic: Business Wire)

Activision Blizzard Call of Duty® WWII Bravery Pack (Graphic: Business Wire)

The pack will be available for a suggested retail price of $4.99 in the in-game store and the Sony and Microsoft online stores. For the first time, a personalization pack benefitting the Call of Duty Endowment will also be available at all GameStop stores across the U.S. as well as online through BestBuy.com and Amazon.com. One hundred percent of the proceeds received by Activision through the Bravery Pack will directly fund the Endowment’s mission to help veterans secure quality careers when they leave military service. More than 4,800 veterans have been placed in high quality jobs through Call of Duty® personalization packs to-date, which is a brigade-sized group of vets.

“Through Activision’s previous calling card and personalization pack programs, we have raised more than $2.8 million towards helping veterans beat unemployment and underemployment as they transition back into civilian life,” said Dan Goldenberg, executive director of the Call of Duty Endowment. “We want to thank the studio team at Sledgehammer Games for their dedication in creating the Bravery Pack, and their continued devotion to the Endowment’s mission of supporting those who served in uniform. We’d also like to thank our partners Activision, Sony, Microsoft, GameStop, Amazon, and Best Buy for their invaluable support of our ongoing mission.”

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit foundation created in 2009 by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. With a mission to identify and fund the most effective and efficient employment-focused veteran-serving organizations, the Endowment was initially established in the U.S. with a goal to place 25,000 veterans in jobs by the end of 2018. That goal was met two years early, and has subsequently and ambitiously been revised to placing 50,000 veterans into high-quality jobs by 2019. To date, the Endowment has funded the job placement of more than 40,000 veterans. The program has also recently announced the expansion of its efforts to help veterans in the United Kingdom.

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 the Call of Duty Endowment

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit foundation founded by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The organization seeks to help veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. The Endowment is the recipient of the 2015 and 2017 “Engage for Good Halo Award,” the 2017 Cynopsis Social Good Award and has achieved GuideStar’s Platinum status for impact and transparency. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.

ACTIVISION and CALL OF DUTY are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Rubenstein Communications
Mirian Arias
marias@rubenstein.com
or
Joy Phillips
Jphillips@rubenstein.com

Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.

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Activision and Bungie Bring Amazon Alexa Skill to Destiny 2, First of Its Kind for Games-Industry

Destiny 2 Ghost Skill for Amazon Alexa is First-of-its-Kind for Video Games, Lets Players Ask Alexa and Ghost to Perform In-Game Tasks

Destiny 2 Ghost Skill for Alexa Available for Free to All Alexa Device Owners

Special Limited-Edition Destiny 2 Ghost Compatible with All Alexa Devices

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Bungie and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), announced the introduction of the Destiny 2 Ghost Skill for Alexa, giving players of one of the best-selling video games of 2017 to date* the first-ever Alexa voice integration in a live game experience**. Revealed on stage by Tom Taylor, senior vice president, Amazon Alexa and Byron Beede, Activision’s senior vice president of Product Management for Destiny at the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Destiny 2 Ghost Skill, voiced by the in-game Ghost’s voice actor Nolan North, is available now for Alexa customers to enable, free of charge, through the Alexa app.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171130005396/en/

(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

The Destiny 2 Ghost Skill serves as a premier companion for Destiny 2 players, creating brand-new ways to interact with the game, players can say, “Alexa, ask Ghost to…” with a variety of utterances — from “…tell me which friends are online,” to asking “…what should I do next?” giving recommendations for what to play next based on players’ real-time current progress, to “…call for back up,” which offers an easy way to interact with friends in their clan to enhance the social experience of Destiny 2, to “… equip my Raid loadout,” equipping players’ favorite weapons and armor for a number of different gameplay activities, to learning more about the world and characters of Destiny 2 with a request like, “…tell me who are the Red Legion?”

“The Ghost serves as your guide and companion in Destiny 2 the game, and now players will be able to bring that experience into the real world with them through Alexa,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision. “The Destiny 2 Ghost skill is the first of its kind and the most innovative and immersive gaming experience to date on Alexa. We’re excited to give our community of players, who are among the most-dedicated fans in the world, new ways to play Destiny 2 with the Ghost skill and Limited-Edition Destiny 2 Ghost. The lines between in-game and out-of-game have been blurred in an incredible new way.”

“Alexa is now part of the Destiny 2 experience, and we’re excited for what that means for Destiny 2 players and the future of games and voice technology,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Gaming is an example of where voice can create a more engaging experience in a natural and delightful way for customers. Rather than interrupting gameplay to navigate menus, players can just ask Ghost through Alexa to help with certain tasks. Players love the Destiny 2 experience, and now Alexa can make it even more immersive and fun.”

Destiny 2 players being able to interact with a physical Ghost paired with an Amazon Alexa is just a really fun and unique idea,” said Pete Parsons, CEO of Bungie. He added, “With our partners at Activision, it’s been exciting to develop this project into a rich, useful skill worthy of Amazon’s Alexa.”

Also announced is the Limited-Edition Destiny 2 Ghost, a WiFi enabled Ghost speaker which is compatible with Alexa devices to bring the look and sound of the Ghost from inside the game into the real world. The Limited-Edition Destiny 2 Ghost is available for pre-order now at an SRP of $89.99, and can be purchased separately as a companion to Alexa devices. The physical Ghost is not needed to use the free Destiny 2 Ghost skill, but the game and an Alexa device are required. The Limited-Edition Destiny 2 Ghost will be available on December 19, 2017.

Destiny 2 is rated T for Teen by the ESRB and is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC at a suggested retail price of $59.99. The product line-up also features the Destiny 2 – Game + Expansion Pass Bundle at $89.99 SRP, the Destiny 2 – Digital Deluxe Edition featuring premium digital content at $99.99 SRP, the Limited Edition at $99.99 SRP, and the Collector’s Edition, featuring a fully-wearable Destiny 2 – Frontier Bag, Expansion Pass, premium digital content and a Cabal-themed Collector’s Box for $249.99 SRP. The Destiny 2 Ghost skill for Alexa was developed by Activision and Bungie, with support from AKQA.

For more game information, visit www.DestinyTheGame.com and follow the official Destiny social channels on Facebook and @DestinyTheGame on Instagram and Twitter. The community can interact directly with the developers at www.Bungie.net, Facebook, @Bungie on Twitter, Instagram and www.Twitch.tv/Bungie on Twitch.

About Bungie

Bungie is an independent, employee-owned game development studio dedicated to creating hopeful worlds that inspire passionate player communities. For more than two-and-a-half decades that purpose has led to the creation of some of the industry’s most celebrated gaming franchises, including Marathon, Myth, Halo, and Destiny. Today, Bungie is focused on creating new experiences and adventures for the Destiny 2 community to share.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment, including Call of Duty®, Destiny, Skylanders™ and Crash Bandicoot™ some of the world’s most successful interactive entertainment franchises. 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 expected release dates, features and functionality of the Limited Edition Destiny 2 Ghost, 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.

© 2017 Bungie, Inc. All rights reserved. Destiny, the Destiny Logo, Bungie and the Bungie Logo are among the trademarks of Bungie, Inc. Published and distributed by Activision. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks or trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

* Based on NPD 2017 U.S. sales data through October 2017
** Requires Destiny 2 Ghost skill for Amazon Alexa, Destiny 2 game, Alexa app, internet connection, Alexa device, and Bungie.net account

Activision Publishing, Inc.
Genevieve Waldman, 425-440-6854
gwaldman@activision.com

Source: Activision Publishing, Inc.

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N. Sane Offerings This Holiday for the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Top-Ranked Remastered Collection for PlayStation 4 to Delight Fans of all Ages on Black Friday

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Crash™ fans will have more to be thankful for this holiday season, as Activision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), shared today some of the hottest offerings of the season for Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy. On November 24, participating retailers nationwide are getting into the Crash craze with awesome deals, including GameStop and Walmart in the U.S. which will have special Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday bundles sure to make any gift giver or recipient happy. Additionally, there’s plenty of officially-licensed Crash loot now available to stock up on before the holiday rush.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171115006136/en/

GameStop revealed that its Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle will include the gam ...

GameStop revealed that its Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle will include the game — and a never-before-released pair of collector’s edition Crash Bandicoot socks! (Photo: Business Wire)

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy reached critical acclaim as the top-selling¹ remastered PlayStation® 4 collection to date in 2017. IGN called the game “N. Credible fun,” while Common Sense Media rated the game “5 out of 5 stars.” Game Informer said, “Vicarious Visions made it fun again, without altering its DNA – a feat that deserves recognition.” Biogamer Girl called it “an insanely addictive throwback.”

Those who don’t own Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy yet have the perfect opportunity to get in on the fun with two special Black Friday bundle deals:

  • GameStop has revealed that its Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle² will include the game — and a never-before-released pair of collector’s edition Crash Bandicoot socks! Hitting fans with the nostalgically-designed socks, this GameStop Black Friday exclusive is bringing back the ‘90s. These premium socks feature an iconic in-game image of Crash’s face with his tongue sticking out, perfect for fans who want to spin, jump and wump just like Crash!
  • Walmart also has announced that its Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle² will include the game, as well as the Stormy Ascent level. Those who purchase the Walmart bundle will get their hands on this notorious and insanely challenging level chock-full of vial-throwing lab assistants, flying birds, retracting steps iron spikes, and much more!

Shoppers with Crash fans on their lists will have plenty of options to choose from this holiday season. Fans will be delighted by a nine-inch vinyl, collectible Crash Bandicoot statue by First4Figures, available now. Crash enthusiasts who wish to adorn themselves or their homes with Crash gear have plenty of officially-licensed options by Numskull, including special Holiday sweaters, T- shirts, candles, mugs and more. Fans can also check out Changes for Crash apparel at great stores including Walmart, Amazon, Spencer’s and Urban Outfitters. Those who want to round out their Funko! POP vinyl figure collection can preorder Crash Bandicoot or Neo Cortex figures now.

Crash Bandicoot, one of the most famous game characters in history, takes center stage this holiday in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Featuring beautiful remastered HD graphics, fans can play as Crash or his sister Coco in the three games that started it all: Crash Bandicoot™, Crash Bandicoot™ 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot™ 3: Warped. With more than 100 levels to explore, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy takes advantage of PlayStation® 4 features and offers brand-new lighting, animations, textures, models and recreated cinematics—all in dazzling “N. Hanced Fur-K” and PS4™ Pro HD.

For the first time, fans can enjoy seeing how they stack up against their friends and other players around the world via online leaderboards. Full analog stick support and a unified save system and checkpoint system will make it easier for new fans to enjoy the classic adventures, while improved bonus levels and time trials in this epic trilogy will challenge the hardest of the ‘Coot core!

Activision and Vicarious Visions are honoring the heritage of Crash throughout the trilogy in a variety of ways, including a fully remastered game soundtrack packed with all the didgeridoos, xylophones and thumpin’ bass lines you can handle, as well as newly recorded dialogue from some of the familiar voice actors who appear in the original Crash Bandicoot games, including Jess Harnell, Lex Lang and Debi Derryberry, among others.

Developed by Vicarious Visions, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is available now on PS4™ and PS4™ Pro. For more information about Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, please visit www.crashbandicoot.com or follow @CrashBandicoot on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Activision

Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Activision 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 with respect to the expected Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday deals, including the dates, features and price of the Walmart Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle and GameStop Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Black Friday Bundle, 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.

© 2017 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CRASH and CRASH BANDICOOT are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

¹ Based on 2017 unit sales in North American and the European Union, through September 2017, according to the NPD Group, GfK, GSD and Activision Blizzard internal estimates.
² All pricing and offer availability are determined by retailers and are subject to change in their sole discretion.

Activision
Kerstine Johnson
Kerstine.Johnson@activision.com
or
Step 3
Wiebke Vallentin
Wiebke@step-3.com

Source: Activision Blizzard

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ZipRecruiter and the Call of Duty Endowment Release National Report on State of Veteran Employment Activity

Report Finds Nearly One-Third of Veteran Job Seekers are Underemployed

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– ZipRecruiter, the fastest-growing online employment marketplace, and the Call of Duty™ Endowment (“the Endowment”), a nonprofit foundation that has helped more than 40,000 veterans find high-quality employment, today announced the release of a national report examining the current state of U.S. veteran employment activity. Pulling from the tens of millions of active jobseekers on the ZipRecruiter platform, co-authors Cathy Barrera (ZipRecruiter chief economist) and Phillip Carter (Endowment adviser and veterans policy expert) analyzed the resume data of more than six million job seekers (547,941 of whom were veterans), and found that veteran job seekers are still struggling to find meaningful employment after service – with nearly one-third experiencing what they defined as “underemployment,” or employment below their objective skill level. This is despite the fact that the most commonly referenced economic indicator – namely, the unemployment rate released each month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – shows veterans as doing better than non-veterans in the job market.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171109005412/en/

“Existing public data on veteran employment lacks the granular information stakeholders and policy makers need to effectively help veterans transition to the civilian workforce,” said Cathy Barrera, labor economist and former Cornell professor. “With this study, we wanted to provide a deeper and more nuanced look at the actual, on-the-ground experience of today’s veteran job seekers, in an effort to help better inform and direct veteran programs and investment decisions.”

As veterans comprise 8.3 percent of the U.S. adult population and 6.4 percent of the civilian labor force, the organizations wanted to quantitatively assess anecdotal evidence that many veterans are struggling to find employment and/or face underemployment challenges following their service. By leveraging the aforementioned resume data, Barrera and Carter set out to identify areas where veterans were significantly different from non-veterans with respect to their education, employment, geography, and job search activity. Key findings include:

  • Underemployment affects more veteran job seekers than non-veteran job seekers. Nearly one-third of veteran job seekers are underemployed – a rate 15.6 percent higher than non-veteran job seekers.
  • Veterans tend to leave their first jobs after military service faster than non-veterans leave their first jobs, but veteran turnover is lower throughout the arc of a veteran’s career. This may indicate that immediately following military service, veterans take the first job available, rather than finding a “best fit” role. However, across their entire careers, veterans stay longer at their jobs – with 57 percent of veteran job seekers staying at their jobs longer than 2.5 years, compared to 42.5 percent of non-veterans.
  • Veterans searching for jobs are more likely to be employed during their search than non-veterans, and are more likely to change jobs in the next 6 months than non-veterans. More than half of veteran job seekers (54.2 percent) said they were either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to change jobs in the next 6 months, compared to 43.9 percent of non-veterans.

“Underemployment appears to disproportionately affect veterans, impeding their economic success after military service,” said Carter, a former U.S. Army officer who now directs the Military, Veterans and Society program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), teaches law at Georgetown University, and is an adviser to the Endowment. “However, current government statistics barely notice the underemployment phenomenon, and do not begin to constructively address it through improved training, job search and network programs, among other approaches.”

For additional insight on how veterans serve as assets to the U.S. workforce, the two teams also surveyed 54,000 job seekers within the ZipRecruiter platform (5,410 of whom were veterans) regarding their sentiments towards employment and their job search, as well as 2,225 employers (247 of whom were veterans) regarding their perceptions of veteran employees. Key findings include:

  • A majority of employers report that veterans perform “better than” or “much better than” non-veterans. Employers are more likely to view veterans as a positive asset to their companies compared to their non-veteran peers. 59.1 percent of employers reported that veterans perform “better than” or “much better than” their non-veteran peers, with 37.5 percent saying they performed “about the same” as their non-veteran peers. Additionally, a slightly higher rate of satisfaction with veteran job performance was reported by employers with a formal veterans hiring program – with 66.9 percent saying their vets performed “better than” or “much better than” non-vets, compared to 55.9 percent of employers without a formal vets program.
  • Among respondents surveyed in the employer category, those who were veterans were significantly more likely to report the presence of a “vets program” at their firm than non-veterans. 46 percent of veterans questioned under the employer survey said their firms had a vets program, compared to just 17 percent of non-veterans.
  • Experience, perseverance, leadership and directly-relevant skills top the list of desirable qualities that employers find attractive in veterans. Roughly one-fifth of employers ranked “experience” as one of their top factors for the attractiveness of veteran hires, followed closely by “perseverance and/or work ethic.” Approximately one-sixth of employers ranked leadership or relevant skills as one of their top three factors for new hires.

As two organizations both dedicated to helping Americans and veterans find meaningful work, ZipRecruiter and the Endowment partnered to conduct this report with the goal of generating awareness around the unique challenges faced by today’s veteran job seekers, in addition to the value they bring to the U.S. workforce.

“Unfortunately, government employment numbers don’t account for veterans who are underemployed or those who have stopped looking for work altogether,” said Dan Goldenberg, the Endowment’s Executive Director. “The government statistics make determinations about individuals’ employment status by relying on data from one question the Census asks each month: ‘Did you do any work for pay last week?‘ Under that standard, mowing your neighbor’s lawn for $20 gets you counted as employed. We need more relevant and better quality data on the economic health of our veterans. This new study—thanks to ZipRecruiter’s partnership—is one of the largest of its kind and a great first step on that path.”

The full report – Challenges On the Home Front: Underemployment Hits Veterans Hard – which includes additional findings, graphics and the methodology, can be found at: http://www.callofdutyendowment.org/vetdata

About ZipRecruiter:

ZipRecruiter is the fastest growing employment marketplace. We have helped over 1 million businesses and 100 million job seekers find their next perfect match through partnerships with the best job boards on the web, curated email alerts, award-winning mobile apps, and one of the most sophisticated job search algorithms in the space.

About the Call of Duty Endowment:

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit, private foundation co-founded by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The Endowment helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org. ACTIVISION and CALL OF DUTY are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

About Cathy Barrera (Co-Author): Cathy Barrera is the chief economist at the jobs site ZipRecruiter, where she serves as the team’s lead authority on U.S. unemployment, labor and job market issues – especially as they pertain to ZipRecruiter’s core customer base of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). An accomplished labor economist, Barrera’s passion lies in exploring how developments in technology are reshaping the economy and the way we work. Her background also includes her role as Assistant Professor of Economics at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, where she researched the impact of technology on the labor market. Barrera received her PhD in business economics from Harvard University, and an MSc in applicable mathematics from the London School of Economics.

Phillip Carter (Co-Author): Phillip Carter is Senior Fellow and Counsel at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he directs the CNAS research program on the Military, Veterans & Society. His research focuses on issues facing veterans and military personnel, force structure and readiness issues, and civil-military relations. Carter also currently teaches as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. Prior to joining CNAS, he managed Caerus Associates as the firm’s chief operating officer, served in the Pentagon as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and practiced government contracts and national security law. Previously, Carter served nine years in the Army in military police, civil affairs and infantry units, including duty in the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and in the United States. He writes extensively on veterans and military issues, and serves on various boards and advisory councils in the veterans and military community.

For ZIP Recruiter:
Beck Media
ziprecruiter@beckmedia.com
or
For Call of Duty Endowment:
Joy Phillips
jphillips@rubenstein.com

Source: Call of Duty Endowment

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Call of Duty: WWII Scores Over Half a Billion Dollar Opening Weekend

Three-Day Opening Weekend Over $500 Million in Worldwide Sales

Activision’s World War II Epic Sells Twice as Many Units at Launch as Last Year

Call of Duty’s Highest Total Connected Users on Current Generation Consoles and PC

Sets PlayStation 4 Day One Record for Digital Full Game Sales

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision’s Call of Duty®: WWII has surpassed more than $500 million in sell-through worldwide in its first three days of release, topping popular theatrical box office openings Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman combined, according to company estimates.

On PlayStation®4, Call of Duty: WWII set a record as the best-selling digital full game by units sold on its first day of availability. Overall unit sales at launch doubled year-over-year globally.

The gripping, personal narrative, boots-on-the-ground multiplayer and terrifying Nazi Zombies mode attracted players worldwide resulting in the highest total connected users on current generation consoles and PC in Call of Duty® history.

“We challenged our players to get their squads back together and they answered the call, with the highest number of players we’ve ever seen on current gen consoles and PC,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision. “Call of Duty: WWII returns the franchise to its roots and the results are incredible, selling twice as many units in its opening weekend as last year, and setting the day one record for full-game downloads on PlayStation 4. Our $500 million opening weekend was not only bigger than Thor: Ragnarok‘s, it was bigger than the opening weekends of both Thor and Wonder Woman combined. And we’re committed to supporting the community with continuous improvements and new content.”

Figures include Call of Duty: WWII retail and digital sell-through, and reported movie sales, each for the opening three days following initial launch, according to publicly available data, retail customer sell-through information and internal Activision estimates. Digital downloads of Call of Duty: WWII is based on unit sell-through on first day of availability.

Call of Duty: WWII is rated M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language) and is now available for PlayStation®4, Xbox One X and Xbox One. For PC fans, the game is also now available on 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. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com or by following @Activision.

© 2017 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, and CALL OF DUTY WWII are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.

Activision Publishing, Inc.
Kyle Walker, 424-744-5677
PR Director
Call of Duty
kyle.walker@activision.com

Source: Activision Publishing, Inc.

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Legendary Game Universes and Esports Superstars Take Center Stage at BlizzCon® 2017

Blizzard Entertainment’s annual community celebration showcases new content for the company’s blockbuster games

Dominating runs by world-class competitors in Overwatch®, StarCraft®II, Hearthstone ®, Heroes of the Storm®, and World of Warcraft®esports thrilled live attendees and viewers around the globe

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– At BlizzCon® 2017, more than 30,000 players gathered to experience the latest updates to their favorite Blizzard games and cheer on top esports competitors, with millions more joining online. Over two days packed with developer panels, friendly competition, and live entertainment, the Blizzard community learned about and went hands-on with new heroes, new gameplay updates, and new expansions coming to the company’s blockbuster franchises.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171104005085/en/

BlizzCon 2017 is Blizzard Entertainment's epic annual community celebration. (Photo: Business Wire)

BlizzCon 2017 is Blizzard Entertainment’s epic annual community celebration. (Photo: Business Wire)

Attendees and viewers also witnessed the dramatic conclusions to three esports championships and three exhibition-style competitions:

StarCraft®II World Championship Series Global Finals

Winner: Rogue

With two championship titles already under his belt in 2017, Rogue arrived on the global stage at BlizzCon as a favorite to win the whole tournament. Once he got warmed up in the grand final against soO, he showed the world he definitely deserves the title of WCS Global Champion with a 4-2 series win.

Heroes of the Storm®Global Championship Finals

Winning team: MVP Black

MVP Black and Fnatic met in the final match of the HGC Finals after both teams moved past the semis with 3-0 wins. When the dust settled, it was MVP Black standing tall over the Swedish powerhouse with a 3-1 victory after a barnburner of a finale. MVP Black’s unwavering determination and dedication to their craft was enough to secure them their first trophy at BlizzCon.

World of Warcraft®Arena World Championship

Winning team: ABC

The European streak continues as ABC sweeps Panda Global in the most decisive championship match in the history of the tournament. Working against a hostile crowd, ABC triumphed behind the Arcane Mage play of Alex ‘Alec’ Sheldrick to bring the WoW Arena trophy to Europe for the fourth straight year.

Overwatch®World Cup

Winning nation: South Korea

South Korea was always expected to be the “final boss” at BlizzCon—and runner-up Canada fought valiantly in taking a single map—but in the end the story finished as expected. Ryujehong and company’s sudden vulnerability didn’t make a difference as South Korea goes two-for-two in Overwatch World Cup Championships.

Hearthstone®Inn-vitational

Winning team: Grimestreet Grifters

After two days of frenetic and varied play among the 12 community personalities, the Grimestreet Grifters—comprised of Andrey ‘Reynad’ Yanyuk, Hakjun ‘Kranich’ Baek, and Pathra Cadness—emerged victorious. The best-of-11 finals saw the format of each game drawn from a sealed envelope, and players were individually eliminated from the stage until the Grifters claimed the trophy 6-5 over the Chillblade Crusaders.

StarCraft: Remastered Ultimate Title Fight

Winner: Bisu

Although Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong and Kim “Bisu” Taek Yong’s lengthy careers largely overlapped, they hardly ever played each other outside of team leagues. That changed when the two StarCraft legends met in the Ultimate Title Fight, a best-of-five showmatch with $25,000 on the line. In the fifth and final game, Bisu seemed to get a read on Jaedong’s aggressive strategy, and managed to hold him off to take the series 3-2.

In addition to all the epic esports action, Blizzard made several major announcements for its games at the show, including:

World of Warcraft

  • Battle for Azeroth™—In the seventh expansion to World of Warcraft, the war between the Horde and the Alliance reignites as players embark on a journey to recruit new allies, race to claim the world’s mightiest resources, and fight on several fronts to determine which faction will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future.
  • WoW®Classic—In addition to a new expansion, Blizzard also announced early plans to develop a gameplay experience that recaptures players’ first journeys into the original World of Warcraft.

Hearthstone

  • Kobolds & Catacombs—A new Hearthstone expansion, coming in December, will bring players down into the dungeons beneath Azeroth—and equip them with 135 new cards.
  • Dungeon Runs—Kobolds & Catacombs brings with it a brand-new, highly replayable single-player game mode for Hearthstone featuring challenging, high-stakes subterranean journeys inspired by the classic fantasy dungeon crawl. Dungeon Runs are free for all players; no pre-built decks are required for entry.
  • New Legendary Weapons—For the first time in Hearthstone, Legendary weapons are coming – and every class will get one!
  • Free Legendary Cards—To celebrate the new expansion, all players will receive a free legendary minion, Marin the Fox, on November 6, as well as a free random legendary weapon for logging in when Kobolds & Catacombs launches in December.
  • Eager treasure seekers can pre-purchase the new expansion card packs in a special 50-pack bundle for $49.99 and receive the jewel-encrusted “For the Hoard!” card back for free!

StarCraft II

  • StarCraft II going free-to-playStarting November 14, players will get free access to the acclaimed Wings of Liberty® campaign, ranked ladder play, and all Co-Op Commanders up to level five.
  • Mira Han and Matt Horner—the newest Co-op Commander for StarCraft II’s popular Co-Op mode is actually two commanders in one: command a devastating mixture of high-powered Dominion air units as Matt Horner and fast-moving ground units as Mira Han.
  • War Chest Season 2—Following the success of this year’s War Chest, StarCraft II will once again offer a fresh batch of seasonal content for players in support of StarCraft II esports.

Heroes of the Storm

  • Hanzo and Alexstrasza—Two new heroes, both dragons in their own right, will bring new and dramatically different styles of play to the Nexus in Blizzard’s fast-paced MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, later this year.
  • 2018 Gameplay Update—Several in-game changes are coming to Heroes of the Storm in the near future, including a wider field-of-view camera, new Mercenary mechanics, and other core gameplay updates.
  • Voice Chat—Players in a party will automatically use Blizzard Voice Chat (unless they opt-out) and teams will have the choice to opt-in.
  • Performance-Based Matchmaking—Lets the player’s personal performance in matches directly influence their matchmaking rating whether they win or lose.

Overwatch

  • Moira—A new support hero, the life-draining geneticist named Moira, will soon be joining the roster of Overwatch, Blizzard’s acclaimed team-based shooter.
  • Blizzard World—An amusement park celebrating the worlds of Diablo®, StarCraft, and Warcraft® serves as the location for Overwatch‘s newest map.
  • “Honor and Glory”—The latest in the acclaimed series of animated shorts released for Overwatch takes viewers into Reinhardt’s past as he wrestles with a decision of whether to answer Winston’s call to join the newly reforming Overwatch.
  • Overwatch League—The inaugural season’s 12 city-based teams will sport in-game home and away uniforms and face off in the league’s Atlantic and Pacific divisions. League matches will be played over four days each week of the regular season, which starts January 10, 2018. Watch on Overwatchleague.com and on the forthcoming Overwatch League companion app.

For more information on the celebration of games, players, and esports excellence at BlizzCon 2017, or to watch VODs of the action with the BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Ticket, visit www.blizzcon.com.

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.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding content for the company’s games and esports programs 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.
Rob Hilburger, 949-242-8404
VP, Global Communications
rhilburger@blizzard.com
or
Andrew Reynolds, 949-955-1380 x14301
PR Director
areynolds@blizzard.com
or
David Gordon, 949-955-1380 x13506
PR Manager
dgordon@blizzard.com

Source: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

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