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Activision Blizzard (ATVI) to Launch TV & Movie Studio

Video game giant, Activision Blizzard, Inc.ATVI is launching a film and television unit, Activision Blizzard Studios and has hired former The Walt Disney Company's DIS executive Nick Van Dyk to head the division. Dyk will oversee the operations along with another senior executive whose name is yet to be announced.

The news comes on the heels of Activision's last week's announcement of acquiring Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment plc KING for $5.9 billion. In October, the company launched an e-sports unit to gain a stronghold in the lucrative e-sports business. These developments form a part of Activision's broader strategy of metamorphosing itself into an entertainment giant.

CEO Bobby Kotnick said "Activision Blizzard is home to some of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, across any medium. With the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios, our engaged fans can now watch the games they love come to life across film and television."

Moreover, studio chief, Dyk added "Activision Blizzard Studios is not just an exciting new business for our company, it is a synergistic complement to our core business. Our movies and shows will benefit from the remarkable IP created in our games and will further increase the awareness of, engagement with and passion for our franchises."

Skylanders Academy, an animated TV series based on its famous game Skylanders, will be the studios' first production and is slated for release in 2016. The company is also mulling the idea of creating a cinematic universe based on its famous $10 billion video game franchise Call of Duty.

As per a Wall Street journal report, Activision will be collaborating with traditional movie distributors. However, the company remains open to the idea of offering its content online as an OTT service.

Activision boasts a strong library of content, which includes franchises like Call of Duty, Destiny, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo and Hearthstone. Activision's entertainment content drew 150 million people with over 13 billion hours of gaming last year.

Moreover, with the acquisition of King Digital, Activision Blizzard, which has a strong male gamer dominated base, will now have a sizeable female user base. King Digital's iconic games Candy Crush and Candy Crush Soda saga are hugely popular with women. With over 500 million users in 196 countries, Activision Blizzard is now ahead of Twitter, Inc. TWTR as well as Instagram.

Simultaneously with the movie studio announcement, Activision released the highly anticipated edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

At present, Activision sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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