MLG to Serve as the Foundation for Activision Blizzard's Esports
SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the acquisition
of the business of Major League Gaming (MLG). MLG is a leader in
creating and streaming premium live gaming events, organizing
professional competitions and running competitive gaming leagues. The
acquisition expands Activision Blizzard's reach across the
rapidly-growing esports ecosystem by adding proven live streaming
capabilities and technologies to the Activision Blizzard Media Networks
division, led by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and MLG Co-founder Mike
Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, "Our
acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to
create the ESPN of esports. MLG's ability to create premium content and
its proven broadcast technology platform - including its live streaming
capabilities - strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming.
MLG has an incredibly strong and seasoned team and a thriving community.
Together, we will create new ways to celebrate players and their unique
skills, dedication and commitment to gaming. We are excited to add
Sundance and the entire MLG esports team to our competitive gaming
Sundance DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer and MLG Co-founder, said,
"Our mission for over 12 years has been to promote and expand the growth
of competitive gaming worldwide, and today the industry is at a key
inflection point as its popularity soars and rivals that of many
traditional professional sports. This acquisition and Activision
Blizzard's commitment to competitive gaming will expand the
opportunities for gamers to be recognized and celebrated for their
Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Media Networks
and MLG Co-founder, said, "Sundance and I founded MLG to highlight the
incredible talent of competitive gamers all over the world. Activision
Blizzard's esports leadership, incredible intellectual property and long
history in competitive gaming create a perfect home for MLG's
capabilities. The acquisition of MLG's business is an important step
towards Activision Blizzard Media Networks' broader mission to bring
esports into the mainstream by creating and broadcasting premium esports
content, organizing global league play and expanding distribution with
key gaming partners."
MLG will continue to operate MLG.tv, MLG Pro Circuit and GameBattles
platforms, and will continue to work with its partners and other
publishers across the industry. MLG.tv is a premium online broadcast
network for professional-level esports and the MLG Pro Circuit is the
longest-running esports league in North America. GameBattles is the
largest online gaming tournament system across consoles, PC and mobile
With over 100 million unique viewers, the esports audience is estimated
to be bigger than audiences for many professional sports leagues.
Creating premium content for these audiences will provide significant
opportunities in ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships, licensing and
merchandising. By 2017, esports is projected to have over 300 million
viewers1. For the past 12 years, MLG has helped bring esports
into the mainstream with broadcasts of professional gaming competitions
that rival traditional sports fan engagement.
About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the S&P 500, is the world's most
successful standalone interactive entertainment company. Activision
Blizzard develops and publishes games based on some of the most beloved
entertainment franchises, including Call of Duty®, Destiny, Skylanders®,
Guitar Hero®, World of Warcraft®, StarCraft®, Diablo®, and Hearthstone®:
Heroes of Warcraft™. The company is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best
Companies To Work For®" 2015. 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.
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Activision Blizzard, Inc.
SVP, Global Communications
Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.
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