IRVINE, Calif.—June 6, 2016—Blizzard Entertainment and Facebook are working together to provide gamers around the world with new ways to connect and share their gaming experiences, while bringing more high-demand entertainment content to Facebook’s global platform.
The companies announced today that a major step in their ongoing collaboration will begin later this month with the integration of Facebook Login in Blizzard’s PC games. This will enable players to sign up for and log in to games such as World of Warcraft®, Heroes of the Storm®, Hearthstone®, Diablo® III, StarCraft® II, and Blizzard’s most recent blockbuster release, Overwatch®, using their Facebook accounts.
Adding Facebook Login will pave the way for new social functionality in Blizzard games while highlighting Facebook’s capabilities as a platform for sharing, viewing, and discussing AAA game content. As an example, Blizzard is in the process of incorporating Facebook’s Live API in order to create its own “Go Live” streaming functionality for its games. When this functionality is implemented, players will for the first time be able to livestream their Blizzard-gaming sessions directly to their Facebook timelines, and friends will be able to subscribe and be notified when new streams are available.
“Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it’s important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other,” said Gio Hunt, executive vice president of corporate operations at Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”
As part of the collaboration between the two companies, Blizzard recently hosted multiple livestreams via Facebook. The first series of streams centered on Heroes of the Dorm™, Blizzard’s collegiate tournament featuring its popular team-brawler Heroes of the Storm. Last week, Blizzard hosted a livestreamed launch event for Overwatch on Facebook.
“Blizzard has a passionate community of players, and an incredible track record for launching innovative and high-quality gaming experiences,” said Leo Olebe, global games partnerships director at Facebook. “Our collaboration on Overwatch demonstrates Facebook’s commitment to partnering with AAA game companies, while further empowering Blizzard gamers to connect and share the content they're most passionate about with the friends they play with around the world.”
In preparation for the Overwatch launch, Facebook worked with Blizzard on a comprehensive mix of Facebook and Instagram marketing solutions—including Carousel ads, Canvas, and Instagram Marquee. Using the platforms’ powerful targeting capabilities, Facebook helped Blizzard present the game to a broad set of gaming and entertainment audiences within Facebook’s and Instagram's global audiences of 1.65 billion and 400 million people respectively. On Facebook, more than 650 million people play games connected to Facebook every month across web, mobile, and console.
Overwatch is a dynamic team-based shooter in which players choose from a cast of 21 diverse heroes—each with their own unique arsenal of extraordinary weapons and incredible abilities—and battle to complete objectives in various locations across a near-future earth. The game is available now for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and Windows® PC in English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, European Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean (PC only), Japanese (PC and PS4™ system only), and traditional and simplified Chinese (PC only). The game has been rated T for Teen by the ESRB.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty #1-selling games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the integration of Facebook-related functionality in Blizzard’s games, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment'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 Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes 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 Blizzard Entertainment or 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.