Tag Archives: Activision Blizzard

StarCraft War Chest Supports StarCraft II eSports



Blizzard is starting a limited-time offer that is designed to generate interest in StarCraft – and to financially support StarCraft II eSports. StarCraft War Chest has three phases that will unlock on separate dates.

Phase I unlocks on July 19, 2017. Phase II unlocks on August 16, 2017. Phase III unlocks on September 23, 2017. Starting on October 4, 2017, there will be a Double XP bonus. The purpose of the extra XP is to help players to complete their War Chest. That same date is the purchase deadline for StarCraft War Chests. The War Chest offer closes on November 4, 2017.

War Chest: BlizzCon 2017 introduces more than 70 new items (spread across three phases), including sprays, emoticons, exclusive portraits, and StarCraft II’s first army-wide skins, all for a steeply discounted price.

On July 19, players can choose to purchase a War Chest for an individual StarCraft race (Protoss, Terran, or Zerg) for $9.99. Or, players can buy the entire collection for $24.99. The first War Chest you purchase unlocks some loot for other Blizzard Games: A Tal’darim pet for Diablo III, a Heroes of the Storm Loot Chest, and a free Hearthstone card pack.

Each War Chest begins with a single unit skin and an exclusive portrait. Additional skins are divided into three phases, and each can be unlocked by playing Multiplayer or Co-op matches during or after the corresponding phase, until by the end of the challenge you have a full set.

Progress is applied retroactively to newly purchased War Chests. If you have unlocked 5 rewards from the Zerg War Chest, and you purchase a Protoss War Chest, you will immediately unlock 5 Protoss rewards. Progress is shared across War Chests, so if you purchase more than one, you can work on them all simultaneously.

Blizzard states that 25% of all War Chest purchases go directly to StarCraft II eSports. The first $200K will be added to the $500K BlizzCon 2017 prize pool, with any surplus contributing to StarCraft II event production.


Activision Blizzard Announced Sale of Overwatch League Teams



Activision Blizzard has announced the sale of the first Overwatch League teams for major global cities to seven entrepreneurs and leaders from traditional sports and esports. The Overwatch League is the first major global esports league with city-based teams.

The new team owners include:

  • Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
  • Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling.VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
  • Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
  • Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
  • Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
  • NetEase (Shanghai)
  • Kevin Chou, Co-Founder of Kabam (Seoul)

Overwatch is a video game created by Blizzard Entertainment. Among Blizzard’s stable of twenty #1 games over the past two decades, Overwatch is the fastest to reach more than 30 million players. Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and a fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences.

The Overwatch League, slated to begin later this year, is a unique opportunity for owners and players. As the first major esports league to feature a city-based structure, the league will drive the development of local fan bases.

For the first season of the league, regular-season matches will be played at an esports arena in the Los Angeles area, as teams develop their local venues for formal home and away play in future seasons. Matches will be played each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A full schedule and information about ticket sales will be announced closer to launch.

The league will create value for team owners through advertising, ticketing and broadcast rights revenues, with teams receiving an equal share of all league-wide net revenues. Teams will also keep all local revenues generated through their home territory and venue up to a set amount each year, unprecedented in esports; above the set amount, a percentage is sent to the league’s shared revenue pool.

In addition, teams will have a license to operate and monetize up to five amateur events in their home territory each year, and to benefit from the sale of league-affiliated fan items in Overwatch, with 50% of the revenues going into the net shared revenue pool for all teams.


Activision Blizzard Launches Activision Blizzard Studios



Skylanders logoActivision Blizzard has announced the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios. It is a new film and television studio that is devoted to creating original content based on some of the company’s extensive library of iconic and globally-recognized intellectual properties.

Some of the intellectual properties mentioned in the press release include Call of Duty, Skylanders, Diablo, Hearthstone, and Starcraft. The very first production from Activision Blizzard’s owned content will be “Skylanders Academy”. It is going to be an animated TV series based on the Skylanders game.

In addition, Activision Blizzard Studios is developing a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise of games. The Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video game remains the number one selling title on next-generation consoles. The press release, which was posted November 6, 2015, says that today marks the launch of the new Call of Duty: Black Ops III game. Activision Blizzard Studios also envisions a series of Call of Duty feature films, and is considering television adaptations of those films.

Personally, I would love to see an animated series based on some of the lore in the Diablo video games. In 2012, Blizzard released a video on YouTube called “Wrath”. It featured some of the characters from the Diablo series of games, and included fantastic artwork and voice work.

If I was going to speculate, I’d wager that Blizzard could one day put together an animated series based on their Overwatch game. The game has only recently been released in a closed beta, but has generated a whole lot of interest anyway. The style of the art in the game would easily lend itself to an animated series.


Activision Blizzard to Acquire King Digital Entertainment



King logoThe big news everyone was talking about on my Twitter feed today had to do with Activision Blizzard and the announcement that they have agreed to acquire King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion. There is much speculation about what will happen as a result of this acquisition.

Blizzard Entertainment is the creator of World of Warcraft. They merged with Activision, maker of the Call of Duty games, in 2008. Together, they are Activision Blizzard. If you visit the website of the merged companies, you can find out about career openings in Activision, or in Blizzard Entertainment. The two companies are merged, but appear to have some independence.

King Digital Entertainment is a company that makes mobile games. The games themselves can be played for free. However, each game allows for in-game purchases. There has been much discussion about whether or not that mechanism means that the game is truly free to play (or if one must spend some real world currency in order to advance in the game.) To be fair, King is not the only mobile gaming company that uses in-game purchases. It’s fairly common.

You might know King from the Candy Crush Saga game, which is a match-three game that gained some popularity. Which brings me to some of the litigious history surrounding some of King’s games. There was a time when King had a trademark related lawsuit with Albert Ransom, the developer of CandySwipe. In 2014, the two parties each withdrew their lawsuit against the other one.

In addition, King was involved in a lawsuit with Stoic Studio. This was another trademark related lawsuit regarding Stoic Studio’s game The Banner Saga. The two companies came to an agreement that protected their respective trademarks in 2014.

Activision has some mobile games that can be played on iPhone or iPad, and a few that are available on Android. Blizzard Entertainment, however, has just begun entering the mobile gaming arena with Hearthstone. It is a virtual card game that started out as available on PC and Mac, and later became playable on iOS and Android.

It appears that the acquisition of King could be for the purpose of helping Blizzard Entertainment to create more mobile games. There are a lot of people who play Hearthstone on a mobile device. It will be interesting to see what mobile games appear in the future that have something to do with Blizzard Entertainment’s games, characters, and existing content.