|Founded||July 10, 2008|
|Revenue||US$8.09 billion (2020)|
|US$2.73 billion (2020)|
|US$2.2 billion (2020)|
|Total assets||US$23.11 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$15.04 billion (2020)|
Number of employees
Activision Blizzard, Inc. is an American video game holding company based in Santa Monica, California.The company was founded in July 2008 through the merger of Activision, Inc. (the publicly traded parent company of Activision Publishing) and Vivendi Games. The company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol ATVI, and since 2015 has been one of the stocks that make up the S&P 500. Activision Blizzard currently includes five business units: Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, King, Major League Gaming, and Activision Blizzard Studios.
The company owns and operates additional studios under an independent studios model under Activision Publishing, including Treyarch, Infinity Ward, High Moon Studios, and Toys for Bob.Among major intellectual properties produced by Activision Blizzard are Call of Duty , Crash Bandicoot , Guitar Hero , Tony Hawk's , Spyro / Skylanders , World of Warcraft , StarCraft , Diablo , Hearthstone , Heroes of the Storm , Overwatch, and Candy Crush Saga .
Activision Blizzard's titles have broken a number of release records. As of March 2018 [update] , it is the largest game company in the Americas and Europe in terms of revenue and market capitalization.
In 1991, Bobby Kotick and a group of investors had acquired the failing Mediagenic, the company that Activision had become from former leadership. Kotick instituted a large restructuring to pull the company out of debt, including renaming the company as Activision and moving it to Santa Monica, California. After bringing the company back to profitability by 1997, Kotick spent the next decade expanding Activision's products through acquisitions of an estimated 25 studios, which resulted in several successful series of games, including Tony Hawk's , Call of Duty , and Guitar Hero . However, by around 2006, the popularity of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games started to grow. Such games provide a constant revenue stream to their publishers, rather than only a single purchase, making them a more valuable proposition. None of Activision's subsidiaries had an MMO or the capability to make one quickly. Furthering this, Activision was facing tougher competition from companies like Electronic Arts, as well as slowdowns in sales of their key game series.
Around 2006, Kotick reached out to Jean-Bernard Lévy, the CEO of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. Vivendi at that time had a small games division, Vivendi Games, a holding company principally for Sierra Entertainment and Blizzard Entertainment. Kotick wanted to get access to Blizzard's World of Warcraft , a successful MMO and suggested a means to acquire this to Lévy. Lévy instead offered that he would be willing to merge Vivendi Games with Activision, but only if Vivendi kept majority control of the merged company. According to those close to Kotick, Kotick was concerned about this offer as it would force him to cede control of Activision. However, after talking to Blizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime, Kotick recognized that Vivendi would be able to give them inroads into the growing video game market in China.
Kotick proposed the merger to Activision's board, which agreed to it in December 2007. The new company was to be named Activision Blizzard and would retain its central headquarters in California. Bobby Kotick of Activision was announced as the new president and CEO, while René Penisson of Vivendi was appointed chairman.The European Commission permitted the merger to take place in April 2008, approving that there weren't any EU antitrust issues in the merger deal. On July 8, 2008, Activision announced that stockholders had agreed to merge, and the deal closed the next day for an estimated transaction amount of US$18.9 billion.
Vivendi was the majority shareholder, with a 52% stake in the company. : ATVID, and subsequently as Nasdaq : ATVI (Activision's stock ticker). At this point, Lévy replaced René Penisson as chairman of Activision Blizzard. While Blizzard retained its autonomy and corporate leadership in the merger, other Vivendi Games divisions such as Sierra ceased operation. With the merger, Kotick was quoted stating if a Sierra product did not meet Activision's requirements, they "won't likely be retained." Some of these games ultimately were published by other studios, including Ghostbusters: The Video Game , Brütal Legend , The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena , and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand . However, a number of Sierra's games such as Crash Bandicoot , Spyro the Dragon, and Prototype were retained and are now published by Activision.The rest of the shares were held by institutional and private investors, and were to be left open for trading on the NASDAQ stock market for a time under Nasdaq
Activision Blizzard does not publish games under its central name and instead uses the Activision Publishing subsidiary and its studios to publish games. [ failed verification ] In early 2010, the independent studio Bungie entered into a 10-year publishing agreement with Activision Blizzard. By the end of 2010, Activision Blizzard was the largest video games publisher in the world. The 2011 release of Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 grossed $400 million in the US and UK alone in its first 24 hours, making it the biggest entertainment launch of all time. It was also the third consecutive year the Call of Duty series broke the biggest launch record; 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops grossed $360 million on day one; and 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 brought in $310 million. Call of Duty: Black Ops III grossed $550 million in worldwide sales during its opening weekend in 2015, making it the biggest entertainment launch of the year.
In 2011, Activision Blizzard debuted its Skylanders franchise,which led to the press crediting the company with inventing and popularizing a new toys-to-life category. The first release Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was nominated for two Toy Industry Association awards in 2011: "Game of the Year" and "Innovative Toy of the Year". Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and its sequels were released for major consoles and PC, and many were released on mobile devices as well.
On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced the purchase of 429 million shares from owner Vivendi for $5.83 billion, dropping the shareholder from a 63% stake to 11.8% by the end of the deal in September.At the conclusion of the deal, Vivendi was no longer Activision Blizzard's parent company, and Activision Blizzard became an independent company as a majority of the shares became owned by the public. Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly retained a 24.4% stake in the company overall. In addition, Kotick remained the president and CEO, with Brian Kelly taking over as chairman. On October 12, 2013, shortly after approval from the Delaware Supreme Court, the company completed the buyback, along the lines of the original plan. Vivendi sold half its remaining stake on May 22, 2014, reducing its ownership to 5.8%. and completely exited two years later.
Activision Blizzard released a new title, Destiny , on September 9, 2014. The game made over $500 million in retail sales on the first day of release, setting a record for the biggest first day launch of a new gaming franchise.On November 5, 2013, the company released Call of Duty: Ghosts , which was written by screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. On its first release day the game sold $1 billion into retail. In 2014, Activision Blizzard was the fifth largest gaming company by revenue worldwide, with total assets of US$14.746 billion and total equity estimated at US$7.513 billion.
Activision Blizzard joined the S&P 500 stock index on August 28, 2015, becoming one of only two companies on the list related to gaming, alongside Electronic Arts.The company released the next iteration of the Skylanders franchise in September 2015, which added vehicles to the "toys to life" category. On September 15, 2015, Activision and Bungie released Destiny: The Taken King , the follow up to the Destiny saga. Two days later, Sony announced that the game broke the record for the most downloaded day-one game in PlayStation history, in terms of both total players and peak online concurrency.
Activision Blizzard acquired social gaming company King, creator of casual game Candy Crush Saga , for $5.9 billion in November 2015.
In November 2015, Activision Blizzard announced the formation of Activision Blizzard Studios, a film production arm that would produce films and television series based on Activision Blizzard's franchises.The outfit is co-headed by producer Stacey Sher and former The Walt Disney Company executive Nick van Dyk.
In June 2017, Activision Blizzard joined the Fortune 500 becoming the third gaming company in history to make the list after Atari and Electronic Arts.
In its 2018 fiscal year earnings call to shareholders in February 2019, Kotick stated that while the company had seen a record year in revenue, they would be laying off around 775 people or around 8% of their workforce in non-management divisions, "de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business", according to Kotick. US$164 million as part of its 2018 fiscal year filings.Kotick stated that they plan to put more resources towards their development teams and focus on esports, Battle.net services, and the publisher's core games which include Candy Crush, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Warcraft, Diablo, and Hearthstone. Prior to this, Activision Blizzard and Bungie agreed to terminate their distribution deal with Destiny 2 as it was not bringing in expected revenue for Activision, with Bungie otherwise retaining all rights to Destiny. This transaction allowed Activision Blizzard to report
The company announced that Daniel Alegre will replace Coddy Johnson as president of Activision Blizzard effective April 7, 2020, with Johnson transitioning to special advisory role.
During the second quarter of 2020, the company's net revenues from digital channels reached $1.44bn due to the growing demand for online games driven by COVID-19 lockdowns. $72 billion based on its stock trading price due to the ongoing demand for video games from the COVID-19 pandemic.By January 2021, the company's net value was estimated to be
The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia acquired 14.9 million shares of Activision Blizzard, valued at $1.4 billion, in February 2021.
The company announced in April 2021 that Kotick will remain CEO through April 2023, through Kotick agreed to take a 50% cut of his pay, equal to $875,000. Kotick will remain eligible to receive annual bonuses, and while he agreed to reduce his target bonus by 50% as well, he potentially can earn up to 200% of his base pay based on the company's performance.
As of February 2018, Activision Blizzard is divided into three key business segments:
There are also two non-reporting segments within Activision Blizzard. Activision Blizzard Studios oversees the production of film and television entertainment based on the company's properties. Activision Blizzard Distribution provides logistical support for Activision Blizzard's distribution within Europe.
Activision Blizzard owns the Call of Duty and StarCraft franchises, both of which have been popular as esports.On October 21, 2015, Activision Blizzard announced the upcoming establishment of a new e-sports division. Named Activision Blizzard Media Networks, the division is led by sports executive Steve Bornstein and Major League Gaming (MLG) co-founder Mike Sepso, with assets from the acquisition of the now defunct IGN Pro League. Bornstein was appointed the new division's chairman. On December 31, 2015, it was reported that "substantially all" of Major League Gaming's assets would be acquired by Activision Blizzard. The New York Times reported that the acquisition was intended to bolster Activision Blizzard's push into e-sports, as well as its plan to develop an e-sports cable channel. Reports indicated that MLG would be shuttered and that the majority of the purchase price would go towards paying off the company's debt. Activision Blizzard acquired MLG on January 4, 2016 for $46 million.
In November 2016, Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, announced the launch of Overwatch League,a professional video gaming league. The league's first season began during the second half of 2017 with 12 teams. The league's structure is based on traditional sports structures, including recruiting traditional sports executives as team owners, such as Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets.
The inaugural Overwatch Grand Finals was played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in July 2018 and attracted 10.8 million viewers worldwide.The league hopes to have 18 teams competing during the second season in 2019, with the ultimate goal of 28 teams across the world.
In 2018, Activision Blizzard signed a multi-year deal with Walt Disney to stream Overwatch League games on both ESPN and Disney XD cable channels. US$160 million, double what it had with Twitch.The company also secured an exclusive multi-year deal with Google to stream all subsequent Activision Blizzard esports events, including Call of Duty and Overwatch events, through YouTube, and to use Google's cloud services for its game hosting infrastructure; this came after a prior two-year deal with Twitch for the Overwatch League had concluded. The deal with YouTube was estimated to be valued at
Since 2009, when CEO Kotick launched Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), over 50,000 veterans have been placed in high-quality jobs.In 2013 CODE started the "Seal of Distinction" program, which recognizes non-profit organizations that are successful in placing veterans in good jobs. Winners receive a $30,000 grant to use in their veteran job placement activities. The goal of CODE is to help 100,000 US and UK veterans find high-quality jobs by 2024. The endowment helps soldiers transition to civilian careers after their military service by funding nonprofit organizations and raising awareness of the value veterans bring to the workplace.
Worlds, Inc. was issued several United States patents around 2009 related to "System and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space", which generally described a method of server/client communications for multiplayer video games, where players would communicate through avatars. In early 2009, Worlds, Inc. stated its intent to challenge publishers and developers of MMOs, naming Activision as one of its intended targets.Worlds, Inc. had already challenged NCSoft for its MMOs in 2008. The companies ultimately settled out of court by 2010.
Worlds, Inc. launched its formal lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, including both Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Publishing, in March 2012, stating that Call of Duty and World of Warcraft infringed on their patents.Activision Publishing filed a separate patent infringement lawsuit in October 2013, asserting that Worlds, Inc. was using two Activision-owned patents in its Worlds Player software, but this suit was dismissed with prejudice by June 2014.
In Worlds, Inc. case against Activision, the judge issued a summary judgement in Activision's favor, as they had demonstrated that Worlds, Inc. had demonstrated the technologies of their patents in their client programs AlphaWorld and World Chat, released before the 1995 priority date, though this was related to filing irregularities that were subsequently corrected by the Patent Office.Activision did not challenge the updated patents through an inter partes review (IPR), and subsequently after a statutory one-year waiting period, Worlds, Inc. filed a subsequently lawsuit against Activision, asserting Call of Duty: Ghosts violated their resolved patents. Later, Worlds, Inc. stated the intent to add Bungie to the lawsuit contending that Destiny also fell afoul of their patents. Bungie subsequently filed three IPRs with the Patent Office for each of the three Worlds, Inc. patents at the core of the lawsuit.
The new Worlds, Inc. case against Activision Blizzard was heard on October 3, 2014. With Bungie's IPRs pending at the Patent Office, the judge put the trial on hold pending the outcome of the IPRs. Worlds, Inc. challenged the IPRs at the Patent Office, as they did not include Activision as an interested party, a requirement that would have been necessary given the publisher/developer relationship between Activision and Bungie. The Patent Office did not accept this argument, and subsequently agreed with the Bungie IPRs that portions of Worlds, Inc. patents were invalid. Worlds, Inc. appealed to the Federal Circuit Appeals Court, challenging the validity of the IPRs due to the lack of Activision's involvement. The Federal Circuit court ruled in favor of Worlds, Inc. in September 2018, invalidating the Patent Office's decision.Worlds, Inc.'s case presently remains at the Patent Office stage, which is re-reviewing the IPRs in consideration of the Federal Circuit's ruling.
In early 2010, Activision fired Vince Zampella and Jason West, two of the founders of its studio Infinity Ward, on the basis of "breaches of contract and insubordination"; the move caused several other Infinity Ward staff to resign. Zampella and West created a new studio, Respawn Entertainment, with help from Electronic Arts' partner program, hiring several of those that departed Infinity Ward in their wake.
Zampella and West filed a lawsuit in April 2010 against Activision, claiming unpaid royalties on the studio's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 . Activision filed a countersuit against the two, accusing the pair of being "self-serving schemers".Activision later sought to add Electronic Arts to their suit, discovering that Zampella and West had been in discussions with them while still working for Activision, and further added claims against Zampella and West that the two had not returned all material related to Call of Duty while they were working at Respawn. A separate lawsuit was filed against Activision in April 2010 by several current and former members of Infinity Ward on the same basis of lack of unpaid royalties.
All parties came to an undisclosed settlement to end all suits by May 2012. Electronic Arts and Activision had settled separately on Activision's charges of poaching employees, while the suits between Activision, Zampella, West, and the Infinity Ward employee group were settled by the end of May 2012. All settlements were made for undisclosed amounts.
As a result of a two-year investigation, on July 20, 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a suit alleging sexual harassment, employment discrimination and retaliation on the part of Activision Blizzard. The details of the allegations involve accusations of inappropriate behavior towards women and fostering a "frat boy" culture.The company's management initially tried to pass off the allegations as false, which led to employees sharply criticizing the management's lack of seriousness in the matter. Even after CEO's Bobby Kotick's open letter to employees that said their initial response was improper and that they would be internally reviewing matters, employees still staged a walk-off to protest the lack of action the company had taken in regards to the lawsuit. The lawsuit has become a debated matter in the industry as it touches on the Me Too movement and lack of unionization for video game developers to protect them from such mistreatment.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California. A subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1993, the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., and eventually Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates. Shortly thereafter, Blizzard released Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It currently serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.
Valve Corporation, also known as Valve Software, is an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It is the developer of the software distribution platform Steam and the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Dota series.
Robert Frederick Ford is an American video game programmer. He is the son of mathematician L. R. Ford Jr..
Infinity Ward, Inc. is an American video game developer. They developed the video game Call of Duty, along with seven other installments in the Call of Duty series. Vince Zampella, Grant Collier, and Jason West established Infinity Ward in 2002 after working at 2015, Inc. previously. All of the 22 original team members of Infinity Ward came from the team that had worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault while at 2015, Inc. Activision helped fund Infinity Ward in its early days, buying up 30 percent of the company. The studio's first game, World War II shooter Call of Duty, was released on the PC in 2003. The day after the game was released, Activision bought the rest of Infinity Ward, signing employees to long-term contracts. Infinity Ward went on to make Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and the Modern Warfare reboot.
Toys for Bob Inc. is an American video game developer based in Novato, California. As the creators of the award-winning Star Control and Skylanders series, the studio was founded by Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford, and Terry Falls in 1989. The name of the company was created by Laurie Lessen-Reiche to stimulate curiosity, without referring to a specific person.
Radical Entertainment Inc. was a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia and a subsidiary of Activision. The studio was founded in 1991 by industry veterans Rory Armes and Dave Davis, as well as newcomer Ian Wilkinson. It is best known for developing three games in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and the Prototype series of games.
Vicarious Visions, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Albany, New York. The studio was acquired by and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision in January 2005.
Fred Tatasciore is an American voice actor who has provided various voices in animated films, live-action films, television shows, and video games. Notable characters he currently voices include Yosemite Sam, Gossamer, and the Hulk.
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise published by Activision. Starting out in 2003, it first focused on games set in World War II. Over time, the series has seen games set in the midst of the Cold War, futuristic worlds, and outer space. The games were first developed by Infinity Ward, then also by Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. Several spin-off and handheld games were made by other developers. The most recent title, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, was released on November 13, 2020.
High Moon Studios, Inc. is an American video game developer initially formed in 2001. After nearly a year as an independent studio, the developer was acquired by Vivendi Games in January 2006 and placed under Sierra Entertainment. It is now owned by Activision Blizzard, Vivendi Games' successor and parent company of Activision. It has developed multiple Transformers video games and assisted in the development of select Call of Duty games, as well as Destiny.
Robert A. Kotick is an American businessman who currently serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Activision Blizzard. He was the head of several technology companies early in his career. He purchased a stake in Activision in 1990 and became CEO the next year. Kotick engineered the Activision Blizzard merger, and he became CEO of the combined company in 2008. He is on several company boards. From 2003 until 2008, he was a director at Yahoo!. In February 2012, he became a non-executive director of The Coca-Cola Company. He has also served on the board of the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) since he co-founded the organization in 2009.
Battle.net is an Internet-based online game, social networking service, digital distribution, and digital rights management platform developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The service was launched on December 31, 1996, followed a few days later with the release of Blizzard's action-role-playing video game Diablo on January 3, 1997. Battle.net was officially renamed to "Blizzard Battle.net" in August 2017.
Sledgehammer Games, Inc. is an American video game developer company formed in 2009 by Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey. The pair formerly worked at Visceral Games and are responsible for the creation of Dead Space. The company is an independent, yet wholly owned subsidiary of Activision and is based in Foster City, California. The studio is known for developing or co-developing various video games in the Call of Duty series.
Bungie, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Bellevue, Washington. The company was established in May 1991 by Alex Seropian, who later brought in programmer Jason Jones after publishing Jones' game Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. Originally based in Chicago, Illinois, the company concentrated on Macintosh games during its early years and created two successful video game franchises called Marathon and Myth. An offshoot studio, Bungie West, produced Oni, published in 2001 and owned by Take-Two Interactive, which held a 19.9% ownership stake at the time.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is the first video game in the Skylanders series, originally intended and marketed as the second reboot of the Spyro the Dragon franchise and was supposed to be the first title in a new trilogy of Spyro games. It is a 3D action-adventure platform game that is played along with toy figures that interact with it through a "Portal of Power", that reads their tag through NFC and features the voices of Josh Keaton, Darin De Paul, Dave Wittenberg, Keythe Farley, Audrey Wasilewski, Joey Camen and Kevin Michael Richardson.
Activision Blizzard Studios, LLC is a motion picture production company and a subsidiary of American video game company Activision Blizzard based in Beverly Hills, California. It was created to utilize its parent company's popular game franchises through films and television shows. It is co-headed by Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk, the latter being a former executive of The Walt Disney Company.
The Overwatch League (OWL) is a professional esports league for the video game Overwatch, produced by its developer Blizzard Entertainment. The Overwatch League follows the model of other traditional North American professional sporting leagues by using a set of permanent, city-based teams backed by separate ownership groups. In addition, the league plays in the regular season and playoffs format rather than the use of promotion and relegation used commonly in other esports and non-North American leagues, with players on the roster being assured a minimum annual salary, benefits, and a portion of winnings and revenue-sharing based on team performance. The league was announced in 2016 with its inaugural season taking place in 2018, with a total prize pool of US$3.5 million given to teams that year.
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Activision Blizzard is a current lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against video game developer Activision Blizzard in July 2021. The lawsuit asserts that management of Activision Blizzard allowed and at times encouraged sexual misconduct towards female employees, maintaining a "frat boy" culture within the company, and women were discriminated against in the company's hiring practices.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Activision Blizzard .|