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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) intends to release its second quarter 2017 results after the close of the market on Thursday, August 3, 2017. In conjunction with this release, Activision Blizzard will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the internet. To listen to the call, please log onto: A presentation corresponding with the conference call will be available in Adobe Acrobat format at http://investor.activision.com/events.cfm. A replay of the call will also be available approximately three hours after the call's conclusion and archived for one year in the Investor Relations section at www.activisionblizzard.com. Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the 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. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Blizzard's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Blizzard'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 Blizzard as of the date of this release, and Activision Blizzard does not assume 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 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.


SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) today announced that it has extended until June 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m., New York City time the expiration date of its offer to exchange: The exchange offer had been scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 1, 2017. The extension of the exchange offer has been made to allow holders of outstanding Old Notes who have not yet tendered their Old Notes for exchange additional time to do so. All other terms, provisions and conditions of the exchange offer will remain in full force and effect. As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 1, 2017, approximately (i) $649,000,000 in aggregate principal amount of the Old 2021 Notes and (ii) $849,000,000 in aggregate principal amount of the Old 2026 Notes had been tendered and not withdrawn. Activision Blizzard will not receive any proceeds from the exchange offer. The terms, provisions and conditions of the exchange offer and other information relating to Activision Blizzard are set forth in the prospectus dated May 1, 2017. Copies of the prospectus and the related letter of transmittal may be obtained from Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, which is serving as the exchange agent for the exchange offer. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association's address, and telephone number are as follows: This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of an appropriate prospectus. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world, and its games are played in 196 countries. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Activision Blizzard’s ability to consummate the offering described in this press release. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risk, reflect management's current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. The company cautions that a number of important factors could cause Activision Blizzard's actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, Activision Blizzard's ability to consummate the exchange offer and the other factors identified in "Risk Factors" included in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to the company at this time and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements are believed to be true when made, they may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.


SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) today announced that it has extended until June 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, the expiration date of its offer to exchange (collectively, the “Old Notes”): The exchange offer had been scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 30, 2017. The extension of the exchange offer has been made to allow holders of outstanding Old Notes who have not yet tendered their Old Notes for exchange additional time to do so. All other terms, provisions and conditions of the exchange offer will remain in full force and effect. As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 30, 2017, approximately (i) $649,000,000 in aggregate principal amount of the Old 2021 Notes and (ii) $849,000,000 in aggregate principal amount of the Old 2026 Notes had been tendered and not withdrawn. Activision Blizzard will not receive any proceeds from the exchange offer. The terms, provisions and conditions of the exchange offer and other information relating to Activision Blizzard are set forth in the prospectus dated May 1, 2017. Copies of the prospectus and the related letter of transmittal may be obtained from Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, which is serving as the exchange agent for the exchange offer. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association’s address, and telephone number are as follows: This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of an appropriate prospectus. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world, and its games are played in 196 countries. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Activision Blizzard’s ability to consummate the offering described in this press release. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risk, reflect management’s current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. The company cautions that a number of important factors could cause Activision Blizzard’s actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, Activision Blizzard’s ability to consummate the exchange offer and the other factors identified in “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to the company at this time and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements are believed to be true when made, they may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.


LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard unleashes its franchises of the future at Licensing Expo 2017 – showcasing a slate of 360-degree entertainment properties that will drive its global licensing and retail business in 2017 and beyond. The newly formed Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group makes its debut at the Expo to leverage the iconic, blockbuster franchises from across the company, including: Call of Duty®, Skylanders® and Bungie’s Destiny from Activision; Overwatch®, Hearthstone® and World of Warcraft® from Blizzard Entertainment; and Candy Crush™ from King. With a massive audience reach, the company’s tentpole properties offer opportunities across gameplay, linear storytelling, esports and consumer products. “Activision Blizzard has evolved from launching videogames to building long-lasting, trans-media entertainment franchises that drive engagement. The recently formed Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group is poised to leverage our powerhouses such as Blizzard’s Overwatch and Activision’s Call of Duty in new ways, especially as our esports business continues to grow,” said Tim Kilpin, CEO and president, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. “We’re looking to give our fans new ways to play, display, wear and live the brands they love.” Building on the success of existing consumer products businesses, the new Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group will provide more strength at retail and generate more engagement opportunities for the company’s community of 430 million players in 196 countries who spent 40 billion hours playing its games last year. The division is passionate about working with best-in-class partners to create high quality and deeply relevant merchandise for their global gaming audience based on its beloved franchises. Details of Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group’s line-up of marquee entertainment properties follows: A leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment, Activision is home to a powerful portfolio of properties, including Call of Duty, Bungie’s Destiny, Skylanders and the retro ‘90s Crash Bandicoot™. With more than $15 billion in franchise revenue since inception1, the pop culture phenomenon Call of Duty is one of the biggest videogame franchises of all time. Activision recently revealed Call of Duty®: WWII, scheduled for release on November 3, a game that defines World War 2 for a new gaming generation. Further, players will compete for a $4 million total prize pool during this season’s Call of Duty World League, a premier esports series. Additionally, a Call of Duty film franchise is in development. Supported by a merchandising program that lives beyond annual game title releases 365 days a year, Call of Duty partners include: Bioworld (Apparel, Accessories), Insight Editions (Field Manual), DGL Group (Drones), Astro Gaming (Headsets), Mattel (Collectible Construction Sets) and Otterbox (Mobile and iPad cases), among many others. Bungie’s Destiny is supported by a global community of passionate fans who have played more than 3 billion hours, life-to-date. Destiny continues to be one of the most engaging videogames and has become the #1 most-watched console-only game on Twitch by minutes watched for the second year in a row. And now, for the first time ever, Destiny 2 will be available on PC at retail and as the first third-party game to be offered digitally via Battle.net®, Blizzard Entertainment's online gaming service. In celebration of the Destiny 2 launch on September 8, Bungie, in collaboration with Activision, aims to expand the adventure through new and existing licensees, including: Bioworld (Apparel and Accessories), McFarlane Toys (Action Figures), Mattel (Construction Sets), Funko (Vinyl Figures), Razer (Gaming Accessories), RockLove (Jewelry), Concept One (Headwear and Accessories), Insight Editions (Art Book, Journals), USAopoly (Puzzles and Playing Cards) and KontrolFreek (Gaming Controller Accessories). Rounding out Activision’s portfolio is the award-winning, $3.5 billion Skylanders franchise. Based on the debut success of the “Skylanders™ Academy” animated television show, Netflix has ordered a third season for 2018, with the second season planned for later in 2017. Skylanders continues to be supported by a roster of best-in-class partners. Additionally, everyone’s favorite marsupial Crash Bandicoot is back, enhanced and ready to dance in the Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy coming in June. The game is supported by a merchandising program appealing to fans of the nostalgic ‘90s game, including: Changes (Apparel), Concept One (Accessories), Rubber Road (Apparel, Accessories, Mugs, Home Décor) and Venture Classics (Collectible Figures). Blizzard Entertainment, a premier award-winning game developer and publisher, is home to some of the world’s most passionate fans who are deeply engaged with blockbuster games like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo® III, StarCraft® II, Heroes of the Storm® and Overwatch, Blizzard’s internationally acclaimed team-based shooter. Celebrating its first anniversary on May 23, Overwatch has won more than 100 Game of the Year awards and reached more than 30 million players globally. Overwatch’s wide appeal stems from the game’s vibrant and optimistic vision of a near-future Earth, its diverse cast of heroes and its exciting objective-and-team-based action. In addition, Overwatch represents a next-generation esports experience, with an upcoming competitive league that will feature professional franchises tied to major cities. In an effort to provide Overwatch players with even more opportunities to showcase their passion for the game and its community, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group is looking to expand the merchandising program to create additional touchpoints. The iconic massively multiplayer online role playing game World of Warcraft has engaged more than 100 million passionate players in a rich, ever-evolving online adventure that has spanned more than a decade. Its latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion™, is one of the fastest-selling PC games of all time. World of Warcraft players around the world share a passion for the characters and stories of the Warcraft universe, which serves as the foundation for multiple games and other trans-media products. Last summer they saw some of their favorite heroes and villains brought to life on the big screen in the Warcraft movie, which became the highest-grossing videogame film adaptation of all time. Blizzard games are supported by a tailored merchandising program designed to extend fans’ experiences far beyond the games themselves. Licensees include Good Smile (Figures), J!nx (Apparel), Dark Horse (Publishing), Insight Editions (Cookbook) and Tokidoki (Apparel, Accessories). Blizzard developers, including artists and designers, work closely with licensees as part of Blizzard’s commitment to creating high-quality products that fans will love. King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, supports an active community of hundreds of millions of players with Candy Crush Saga, one of the world’s most popular mobile games, along with its sister titles, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Candy Crush Jelly Saga. Designed for adults, the Candy Crush brand and its merchandising program brings to life a fun, magical world in which players must match colorful candies in combinations of three or more to win points, defeat obstacles and progress through more than 2,000 levels. With candies at the center of the licensing program, the food-related category – including Confectionary, Chocolate and Ice Cream – is one of the most successful categories for Candy Crush licensing. Another leading category is Publishing, having launched a Candy Crush Tips and Tricks book, two adult-only coloring books and a Candy Crush Cakes & Bakes book. This summer, fans will enjoy seeing the live-action television game show hosted by Mario Lopez on CBS prime-time. The award-winning Candy Crush property is supported by partners including: Amber House (Health & Beauty), Ascania (Soda Drinks), BakedIn (Bake at home kits), InPhase (Air Fresheners), Rossi (Ice Cream), Tubz (Candy), Little Brown (Publishing) and Winning Moves (Board Games). King is dedicated to supporting its licensees through far-reaching, integrated marketing initiatives, including event-based activities, partnerships, public relations and social campaigns. This includes leveraging the massive Candy Crush franchise social media following of more than 80 million fans on Facebook. Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group can be found at the Licensing Expo in Booth U-202, where some of the company’s newest games will be available to play. The focus for the show includes seeking new partners across multiple categories for Overwatch; expanding the lifestyle merchandising program for Call of Duty; and in partnership with Bungie, leveraging the intense excitement for this year’s Destiny 2 launch. Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the 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, Calif., 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. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Blizzard's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the company's Consumer Products division, including with respect to the Licensing Expo and the Overwatch, Call of Duty and Destiny franchises; the release dates and gameplay of Call of Duty®: WWII; the features of the Call of Duty World League; the development of a Call of Duty film franchise; the features, release dates and licensees of Destiny 2; the features and release dates of Skylanders Academy; the release dates of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy; and the release dates of the Candy Crush live-action television game show, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Blizzard'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 Blizzard as of the date of this release, and the company does not assume 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 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, Call of Duty: WWII, Skylanders and Crash Bandicoot are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. © 2017 Activision Blizzard Studios, LLC. “Skylanders Academy” is a trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. © 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. All other trademarks or trade names are the properties of their respective owners.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.latimes.com

With threats of strikes and retaliatory layoffs, and no shortage of sniping on social media, a battle last winter had the stamps of a modern-day union war. Thing is, the workers weren’t even unionized. Frustrated with their team owner, professional video game players successfully leveraged the prospect of a strike to get out of his grip. And they left the owner sulking in disappointment, suddenly without the high-priced, high-skilled team that was core to his rebuilding plan. Such demonstrations of player activism in the last few years have e-sports management not sweating through the typical corporate nightmares about unionization, but instead dreaming about a future with players’ associations. If professional video game players banded together, they would be locked into regulations and dispute resolution processes that would bring stability to this burgeoning but mercurial corner of sports, managers say. Sponsors and business partners prefer to invest in a business with long-term labor peace than a loose gaggle that could quickly fall apart. Though e-sports championship matches sell out basketball arenas, attract millions of online viewers and reward winners with multimillion-dollar prizes, it remains an industry still trying to find its footing. In North America alone, a mix of game developers, team-owners’ groups and event promoters run upwards of 10 major tournaments encompassing at least hundreds of players. Owners and the world’s top game publishers see an opportunity to become more inviting to fans and sponsors by adopting hallmarks of traditional sports — leagues, unions, drafts — and create a financial machine rivaling long-established professional sports organizations. To secure the prospect of a profitable future, owners say they are willing to work with a union and dole out more compensation and protections to workers. “Standards need to be created, and a lot have been created for video game publishers and teams,” said Mike Rufail, managing director of Team EnVyUs. “But it would be great to have more standards from the players.” The problem is players — sometimes employees, sometimes independent contractors — have given little thought to organizing. And save for exceptions such as last year’s tussle, they recoil at the idea of collective bargaining. "I've been so focused on performing well in-game that I haven't had the chance to really examine it well enough to form an educated opinion yet,” said Jake Puchero, who competes for Immortals in the team battle game “League of Legends.” Management leading a unionization push would invite legal scrutiny. That leaves it up to either players to galvanize, which experts say could be a ways off, or video game makers such as Riot Games and Activision Blizzard to rope players into associations that lack the legal protections of unions and raise conflicts of interest. “The industry is being shaped around them for a long time to come, and most players aren’t doing anything intelligent to protect themselves,” said Ryan Morrison, an attorney who represents about 50 top e-sports players. Owners’ biggest gripes stem from players barely reading contracts before signing. They have the evidence too, with online signature software showing how little time players spend perusing. Those who do take care in reviewing details sometimes succumb to peer pressure, dropping concerns to keep in line with teammates. But disagreements arise. For example, owners point to contractual provisions requiring players to attend promotional events. Players bark back that they hadn’t realized the commitments. They organize with colleagues on chat apps and then take to Twitter with name-calling and finger-pointing. They use the supportive rancor of their fans to pressure management into acquiescing. That’s what happened in December in what attorneys for players described as a watershed moment for e-sports activism. Months earlier, seven owners of “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” teams formed a league with plans to launch matches in early 2017. Owners, including Team SoloMid’s Andy Dinh, touted the league as enabling players to stand shoulder to shoulder with management. But players grew disenchanted on at least six teams that compete for multimillion-dollar prizes. Owners planned to pull their teams from an outside tournament, saying it wasn’t financially prudent to do both. Players despised the move, but their contracts allowed it and management could outvote them on the board. So they wrote a public letter expressing shock that owners could unilaterally decide where they compete. They called on owners “to resolve this situation in a way that allows us to again trust them.” Dinh, just four years removed from his own playing days, took offense. In messages to his players that he posted online, Dinh expressed unease with the brand damage Team SoloMid suffered because of the bashing. One player readily admitted to Dinh that he signed the letter simply because his teammates had. “I never educated myself with what was going on in the first place," Hunter Mims wrote. Dinh ended up severing ties with Team SoloMid player Sean Gares for his alleged role in rabble-rousing the squad. Gares went on to write on social media that players “should be able to stand up for ourselves and each other — and tell the truth — without being afraid that our team owners will accuse us of damaging them.” TeamSoloMid’s remaining players refused to go on without Gares, forcing Dinh into a quandary. He ultimately relinquished the remaining team, which later regrouped under rival Team Misfits. The future of its players was “top priority,” Team SoloMid management wrote in a mid-January statement, and the decision to separate was what “players themselves most desired.” Owners suspended their new league and dismissed its commissioner. “People were sick to their stomachs,” CompLexity owner Jason Lake told the media publication Slingshot in early May. “This is not what we wanted. We wanted to do something better. We wanted to raise the bar. We wanted to work hand in hand with the players.” Owners say they’re willing to meet players halfway, but few have done so, player representatives say. Players see major gains only after pressure from the public, game developers or players’ agents. “League of Legends” developer Riot Games, which declined to comment, imposed restrictions on contract lengths, set minimum salaries and paved the way for players to move between teams. The Los Angeles company has said that if players form a union, it expects to be “heavily involved” in the creation. Players appreciate the efforts, which knocked out bad owners from Riot’s league, said Matt Akaadian, who plays on former Lakers forward Rick Fox’s Echo Fox team. Former players fear that the current generation’s reliance on Riot and other stakeholders to advocate for them is producing slow and narrow change. Their sometimes six-digit incomes may lull video game stars into a sense of comfort, say former players who toiled in the industry before a recent investment boom. But now that owners’ business plans forecast hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising and licensing revenue within a decade, players have to think about their successors. As former Lakers star Kobe Bryant said last week at a gathering of UFC fighters, another fast-growing field considering unionization, athletes unifying “will 100% fortify the sport and make the sport better, not just for the present but for future generations.” Scott Smith, a onetime “Counter-Strike” professional who acted as a spokesperson and advisor to players in last year’s dispute, said he’s begun educating himself and players on options. “They can hate each other on the servers,” he said, referring to in-game virtual chatrooms. “But at the end of the day, their jobs are the same and there should be unification. Getting them to stay organized and active as we figure out how it works is the primary challenge.” Player agents describe an uphill battle. Morrison, who says he’s negotiated more e-sports contracts than anyone else, mostly gets rejected when he offers to help. Echoing a long-standing stereotype of gamers, the attorney described them as “socially awkward” and “uncomfortable to ask for things.” He says his advocacy led several teams to drop clauses allowing them to issue unlimited fines for any reason, which bullied underperforming players into quitting. Now, teams must write a report justifying fines, which are capped. Teams also have tried to take advantage of the lucrative rights to players’ likenesses. A “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” player’s contract enabled his team to license his image for years — without residuals — regardless of whether he was on the team. Morrison said he renegotiated a deal requiring the team to come back to the bargaining table six months after the player moved. “For every good contract we push through, someone is pushing through a bad one,” Morrison said. “Instead of e-sports getting better, we’ve plateaued: Short careers, extreme burnout and a bad ecosystem.” Nellie Drew, a University of Buffalo adjunct law professor who follows sports issues, suspects a draconian ruling on player liberty could be the tipping point. Her hypothesis could be challenged as early as this year if “Overwatch” creator Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Santa Monica game company Activision Blizzard, holds a player draft for its new league. The structure of the exclusive negotiating window for drafted players — a contentious issue in professional baseball and football — would be heavily scrutinized and could lead to player frustration, Drew said. Blizzard Entertainment declined to comment. Players’ unions in North American sports have led to better pay, a more manageable work-life balance, fair disciplinary practices and well-funded health and retirement benefits, experts say. In exchange, owners win salary caps or strict regulations that provide assurances about expenses and revenue, enabling them to invest with greater confidence. A players union also gives owners leeway to collaborate without facing charges of collusion. Forming a successful union often takes false starts, the right leader and strong funding. For instance, the Major League Baseball Players Assn. finally took off after coalescing under the former lead negotiator for the United Steelworkers in the late 1960s. Even then, significant help came from the evolving judicial and public sentiment as the civil rights movement swept the country, said Anastasios Kaburakis, an associate professor of management at St. Louis University who studies e-sports. Whether the leadership and cash to kick-start unions in e-sports would come from players or from outsiders is to be seen. E-sports businesses have offered to fund a union, but the conflict-of-interest concerns have stymied such proposals. “In the perfect world, I would not like that but that might be what it takes to jump-start players unions,” said Peter Dager, chief executive of e-sports team Evil Geniuses. Since about a dozen NBA owners or players have invested in e-sports teams, a natural supporter of an e-sports bargaining unit could be the National Basketball Players Assn. Michele Roberts, the union’s executive director, told a sports lawyers group last week that e-sports was the top trend on her radar. But a union official said it’s too early for it to start an e-sports group. Standing in the way are the competing business visions held by owners — some seeing players as entertainers and marketers more than competitive athletes. Disagreement could doom a union drive if people fear it would widen financial disparity or grant even more power to game developers. Other questions hang in the air. Would a union represent players across various games or would there be different units for each game in each country? And who would be the adversary: A third-party league operator or the team owners themselves, who are leading the union push? 12:55 p.m.: This article was updated to provide additional context about the e-sports industry. This article was originally published at 6 a.m. An earlier version of this story misidentified the name of the game that Jake Puchero of the Immortals team plays.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) today announced its intention to offer, in a public underwritten transaction, senior unsecured notes in three series. The principal amounts, interest rates and other key terms of the offering will be determined at the time of pricing. Each series of notes will be the general senior obligation of Activision Blizzard and will be effectively subordinated to all of Activision Blizzard’s future secured debt, if any, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such debt. The notes will not be guaranteed by any of Activision Blizzard’s subsidiaries. Activision Blizzard intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to permanently prepay $1.2 billion principal amount outstanding under its term loan “A” facility. The offering is being made pursuant to an effective registration statement filed by Activision Blizzard with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 7, 2016. BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus and related prospectus supplement. Potential purchasers of the Notes can obtain copies of the prospectus and related prospectus supplement from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, at 200 North College Street, NC1-004-03-43, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department, or by calling toll-free (800) 294-1322 or by email at dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, at 383 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10179, Attention: Investment Grade Syndicate Desk, or by calling (212) 834-4533 or by fax at (212) 834-6081; or Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, at 608 2nd Avenue South, Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or by calling toll-free (800) 645-3751 or by email at wfscustomerservice@wellsfargo.com. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities, nor shall there be any sales of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world, and its games are played in 196 countries. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Activision Blizzard’s ability to consummate the offering described in this press release. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risk, reflect management's current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. The company cautions that a number of important factors could cause Activision Blizzard's actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, current market demand for these types of securities and the securities of Activision Blizzard, Activision Blizzard's ability to consummate the offering in the currently anticipated timeframe or at all, the negotiations between Activision Blizzard and the underwriters and the other factors identified in "Risk Factors" included in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to the company at this time and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements are believed to be true when made, they may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) today announced the pricing of three series of senior unsecured notes in an aggregate principal amount of $1.2 billion, in a public underwritten offering, consisting of $400 million of 2.600% senior notes due 2022, $400 million of 3.400% senior notes due 2027 and $400 million of 4.500% senior notes due 2047. The offering is expected to close on May 26, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Each series of notes will be the general senior obligation of Activision Blizzard and will be effectively subordinated to all of Activision Blizzard’s future senior secured debt, if any, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such debt. The notes will not be guaranteed by any of Activision Blizzard’s subsidiaries. Activision Blizzard intends to use the net proceeds of approximately $1.18 billion from the offering, together with cash on hand, to permanently prepay $1.2 billion principal amount outstanding under its term loan “A” facility. The offering is being made pursuant to an effective registration statement filed by Activision Blizzard with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 7, 2016. BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus and related prospectus supplement. Potential purchasers of the Notes can obtain copies of the prospectus and related prospectus supplement from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, at 200 North College Street, NC1-004-03-43, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department, or by calling toll-free (800) 294-1322 or by email at dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, at 383 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10179, Attention: Investment Grade Syndicate Desk, or by calling (212) 834-4533 or by fax at (212) 834-6081; or Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, at 608 2nd Avenue South, Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or by calling toll-free (800) 645-3751 or by email at wfscustomerservice@wellsfargo.com. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities, nor shall there be any sales of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world, and its games are played in 196 countries. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Activision Blizzard’s ability to consummate the offering described in this press release. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risk, reflect management's current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. The company cautions that a number of important factors could cause Activision Blizzard's actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, Activision Blizzard's ability to consummate the offering in the currently anticipated timeframe or at all, the negotiations between Activision Blizzard and the underwriters and the other factors identified in "Risk Factors" included in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to the company at this time and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements are believed to be true when made, they may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Breaking Data Corp. (TSX-V: BKD) (OTC: BKDCD) announced today that its GIVEMESPORT Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) Audience is experiencing significant traction and growth across a number of key metrics through the first calendar quarter of 2017. Total Reach on Facebook up by 436% and Total Engaged Users on Facebook was up by 364%. "While many other digital publishers are struggling to adapt to the 'new rules of the game' on Facebook, GIVEMESPORT continues its growth of its 26 million sports fans on Facebook, firstly by executing its plan, and secondly by utilizing its proprietary social media distribution technology that gives GIVEMESPORT a real competitive advantage in this space," said Nick Thain, CEO. GiveMeSport, Breaking Data's recent acquisition, is a leading next-generation sports media company with the largest single publisher Facebook page in the world, with over 25.9 million fans compared to ESPN with 15.2 million fans. Read this and more news for Breaking News Data Corp at: http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/bkd.html Breaking Data Corp. also recently announced that it has partnered with McLaren to market World's Fastest Gamer - the world's most intense and demanding competition for virtual racers. It's a contest that will see the winner offered the best job in eSports - a role with the Formula 1 team as one of its official simulator drivers. World's Fastest Gamer is a collaboration between GIVEMESPORT, global sports and technology brand McLaren; founding partner Logitech G, a global leader in gaming gear and the founder of virtual motorsport's famous GT Academy; Darren Cox, sports and eSport racing innovator Sparco. In other eSports and Gaming news and developments: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) reported fiscal 2017 fourth-quarter financial results on May 9. The video game publisher delivered sharply higher revenue and profits, fueled by strong digital game sales. Revenue jumped 17% year over year to $1.5 billion, driven by the continued success of Electronic Arts' games including eSports game, FIFA. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) - 2K today announced that NBA 2K will feature Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal on the cover of the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition. This special edition of the top-rated NBA video game simulation series for the last 16 years* gives the court to the big man who needs no introduction, 'The Diesel…The Big Aristotle…Superman…Shaq Daddy…' with special Shaq-themed memorabilia and content, extending his legacy as the most dominant center in NBA history. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) closed up on Wednesday at $55.99 trading over 7.8 million shares by the market close. Activision Blizzard is the maker of some of the world's most popular game franchises, including World of Warcraft and, more recently, Overwatch, which quickly became a worldwide hit after the game was released last May. Activision is now taking its market-leading position in video games and hoping to become the biggest name in e-sports as well. DISCLAIMER: MarketNewsUpdates.com (MNU) is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. MNU is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein. MNU and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. MNU's market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities. The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material. All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks. All material included herein is republished content and details which were previously disseminated by the companies mentioned in this release. MNU is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers. Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks. For current services performed MNU has been compensated two thousand two hundred dollars for news coverage of the current coverage of Breaking Data Corp. by a non-affiliated third party. MNU HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE. This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may", "future", "plan" or "planned", "will" or "should", "expected," "anticipates", "draft", "eventually" or "projected". You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and MNU undertakes no obligation to update such statements.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Breaking Data Corp. (TSX-V: BKD) (OTC: BKDCD) announced today that its GIVEMESPORT Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) Audience is experiencing significant traction and growth across a number of key metrics through the first calendar quarter of 2017. Total Reach on Facebook up by 436% and Total Engaged Users on Facebook was up by 364%. "While many other digital publishers are struggling to adapt to the 'new rules of the game' on Facebook, GIVEMESPORT continues its growth of its 26 million sports fans on Facebook, firstly by executing its plan, and secondly by utilizing its proprietary social media distribution technology that gives GIVEMESPORT a real competitive advantage in this space," said Nick Thain, CEO. GiveMeSport, Breaking Data's recent acquisition, is a leading next-generation sports media company with the largest single publisher Facebook page in the world, with over 25.9 million fans compared to ESPN with 15.2 million fans. Read this and more news for Breaking News Data Corp at: http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/bkd.html Breaking Data Corp. also recently announced that it has partnered with McLaren to market World's Fastest Gamer - the world's most intense and demanding competition for virtual racers. It's a contest that will see the winner offered the best job in eSports - a role with the Formula 1 team as one of its official simulator drivers. World's Fastest Gamer is a collaboration between GIVEMESPORT, global sports and technology brand McLaren; founding partner Logitech G, a global leader in gaming gear and the founder of virtual motorsport's famous GT Academy; Darren Cox, sports and eSport racing innovator Sparco. In other eSports and Gaming news and developments: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) reported fiscal 2017 fourth-quarter financial results on May 9. The video game publisher delivered sharply higher revenue and profits, fueled by strong digital game sales. Revenue jumped 17% year over year to $1.5 billion, driven by the continued success of Electronic Arts' games including eSports game, FIFA. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) - 2K today announced that NBA 2K will feature Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal on the cover of the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition. This special edition of the top-rated NBA video game simulation series for the last 16 years* gives the court to the big man who needs no introduction, 'The Diesel…The Big Aristotle…Superman…Shaq Daddy…' with special Shaq-themed memorabilia and content, extending his legacy as the most dominant center in NBA history. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) closed up on Wednesday at $55.99 trading over 7.8 million shares by the market close. Activision Blizzard is the maker of some of the world's most popular game franchises, including World of Warcraft and, more recently, Overwatch, which quickly became a worldwide hit after the game was released last May. Activision is now taking its market-leading position in video games and hoping to become the biggest name in e-sports as well. DISCLAIMER: MarketNewsUpdates.com (MNU) is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. MNU is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein. MNU and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. MNU's market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities. The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material. All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks. All material included herein is republished content and details which were previously disseminated by the companies mentioned in this release. MNU is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers. Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks. For current services performed MNU has been compensated two thousand two hundred dollars for news coverage of the current coverage of Breaking Data Corp. by a non-affiliated third party. MNU HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE. This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may", "future", "plan" or "planned", "will" or "should", "expected," "anticipates", "draft", "eventually" or "projected". You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and MNU undertakes no obligation to update such statements.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: cleantechnica.com

In a recent note to clients, Citigroup analyst Jim Suva named Tesla as a possible acquisition target for Apple, if the company does in fact repatriate the ~$250 billion that the company has stashed overseas. In addition to Tesla, the Citigroup analyst also named Netflix and Walt Disney as possible targets for acquisition. The note to investors was sent out as a result of US President Donald Trump’s previously revealed proposals to allow multinational corporations to bring back profits that have been stashed around the world in various tax havens at a tax rate of only 10%. The note read: “Since one of the new administration’s top priorities is to allow US companies to repatriate overseas cash at a lower tax rate, Apple may have a more acute need to put this cash to use.” Autoblog provides more: “Apple has shown clear intentions to enter the automotive segment, with a secretive group of engineers working under the Project Titan label. Apple was recently granted a permit to begin testing self-driving automobiles in California. “Other potential acquisition targets include video game developers Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take Two Interactive Software as well as video streaming service Hulu. The analyst said the targets were screened considering five criteria — strategic fit, global scale, transaction size, few non-strategic assets and likely impact on Apple’s share price.” As a reminder here, Tesla’s market cap recently surpassed that of GM — so any potential acquisition certainly wouldn’t be cheap at this point. Though, it still might be quite a lot cheaper than such an acquisition in a few years time. All of that said, Elon Musk and crew may have no desire to sell. Previous coverage of such a possibility — when Tesla was in more challenging situations — implied that Elon wouldn’t like to pass on control of the company until more of Tesla’s initial master plan was achieved … and the master plan has grown considerably since then. Check out our new 93-page EV report. Join us for an upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

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