Activision Blizzard Launches Studio Division In Bid To Deploy Intellectual …

8 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Activision Blizzard Goes Hollywood.

SAN FRANCISCO, United States—US video game giant Activision Blizzard on Friday announced the creation of its own television and film studio to bring titles such as “Skylanders” and “Call of Duty” to the big and small screens. The new Skylanders series is currently in production, and will feature the voices of Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks from Breaking Bad as Eruptor, and Saturday Night Live’s Norm Macdonald as Glumshanks. Last month the company said it was setting up an eSports division and on Monday, announced it is buying the maker of the addictive “Candy Crush Saga,” King Digital Entertainment, for $5.9 billion, tapping into a market of half a billion mobile gamers. “Activision Blizzard is home to some of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, across any medium,” chief executive Bobby Kotick said in a statement.

Production is already underway for the first TV series, Skylanders Academy, which is based on the $3 billion toys-to-life video game franchise that has sold over 250 million action figures since 2011. Activision said the eSports division will be working on “all-new ways to deliver the best-in-class fan experience across games, platforms, and geographies” but didn’t elaborate on its plans. The current structure has three separate game studios working on three unique sub-brands under Call of Duty, which opens up a lot of material to explore through linear entertainment.

That’s why we’re pretty excited to address this demand.” Van Dyk serves as co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios with a second co-president to be named later. Van Dyk spent nine years at Disney where, as senior vice president of corporate strategy, he helped drive Disney’s focus on franchise intellectual property and played a significant role in the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. “The amount of time invested in our games is a different medium than a comic book,” van Dyk says. “People in this space are playing over a thousand hours a year of video games relative to the two hours they spend on a Spider-Man comic book. It will diversify Activision’s product mix, provide additional revenue, and mitigate risk.” Michael Pachter, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, believes there are plenty of opportunity for TV and movie tie-ins, as well as complementary opportunities for eSports and for King. With the launch of Ubisoft Films in 2011, an internal division of Ubisoft overseeing the Rabbids animated TV series and an Assassin’s Creed feature film starring Michael Fassbender; analysts believe this Activision transition is part of a bigger evolution going on within the video game industry.

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