Activision will be instead investing more in live services, Battle.net, eSports, and advertising efforts. CEO Bobby Kotick said that the cuts would come from support staff while the company consolidates its commercial operations and reorganizes its marketing initiatives. At the time, the company called the move a de-prioritizing of initiatives that didn’t meet expectations.
King's user count was up for the second quarter in a row, thanks to the success of "Candy Crush Friends Saga," according to the company. In reporting its earnings Thursday, Activision Blizzard pointed out that the company had 345 million monthly active users across the quarter, a bulk of which — 272 million — came from King.
Three months after announcing mass layoffs at the company, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said Thursday that the company outperformed its outlook, making progress against that plan, and declared a cash dividend for common shareholders.
The company also noted that "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" sold more than two million copies in less than 10 days and that the second season of the Overwatch League started in February to sell-out crowds at the Blizzard Arena. Viewership hours for the second season to date are over 30% higher than in the first season, according to the company.” />
Activision announced on Thursday that it has sold the first five Call of Duty teams in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris and Toronto to owners who “recognize the scale of the opportunity from their partnerships with us on the ‘Overwatch League.’”
The plan outlined in February included laying off about 775 people — 8% of its 9,600-person staff — as it refocused its efforts on its Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo franchises.
Currently, the company remains focused on delivering in the near-term.
In Thursday’s earnings report, Kotick noted that the company is continuing to “enhance our leadership position in esports.” He pointed to strong growth in Overwatch League viewership and “enthusiastic demand for our professional, city-based Call of Duty league franchises.”
Net revenue for the quarter was $1.83 billion, down from $1.97 billion for the same period last year, the company reported in its first-quarter earnings report. The Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $0.37 per common share, payable on May 9, 2019 to shareholders on March 28, 2019, up 9% from 2018.
While Activision Blizzard is moving forward with its plan to invest in increased development on their internally-owned franchise, as well as investing in platform expansion on PC and mobile and new geographies, that is all meant to “bear fruit in the future.”
The company added it would be increasing development resources by 20 percent in 2019 on those franchises it is now focusing on. “The company will fund this greater investment by de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business,” the publisher said in its earnings release.”

27, 8–10 p.m. EDT on ESPN2 Apr.
Overwatch League-produced broadcasts sponsored by ABI are airing on ABC and ESPN2 during the Bud Light Homestand Weekends in Dallas and Atlanta at the following times:
EDT on ABC 6, 3–5 p.m. Jul.
“We’re very happy to be working with a company that finds value in bringing fans together to celebrate the very best in competitive entertainment.” “Partnering with a brand like Anheuser-Busch allows us to continue to reach fans in new and exciting ways,” said Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.
The Overwatch League is partnering up with Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) and making the company its official global beer sponsor everywhere except in China, it announced on Friday.
Jul. EDT on ESPN2″ /> 7, 2–3:30 p.m.
t's also a sponsor of the Washington Wizards' NBA 2K League team, Wizards District Gaming. It launched the Bud Light All-Stars program in 2016. This is not the first time ABI is getting involved in esports.
The 2019 Overwatch League season includes 20 teams who, for the first time, will host matches in their hometowns instead of the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. The teams are competing for a $5 million prize pool. The season kicked off in February with a sold-out crowd at the Blizzard Arena and 13 million global viewers in its opening week. That's a 30% increase in viewership compared to last year, Activision Blizzard said.
The deal makes ABI's Bud Light brand the official beer of the esports league and select watch parties around the world effective immediately. ABI will also have a presence at fan events when the Overwatch League goes on the road later this year at the Dallas and Atlanta Homestand Weekends and the LA Rivalry Weekend, as well as at the Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals.
“ABI helped to create the notion of sports sponsorships as we know them today. We are thrilled to be partnering with a company that is all about the fans, as we are with the Overwatch League.” “As the Overwatch League continues to grow, we’re excited to expand our partnerships with quality products our fans know and love like those from Anheuser-Busch,” said Josh Cella, head of global partnerships for Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.

But in May 2016, WhizBang, one of Burg's companies, said it needed more time to pull in profits of the first two seasons of the show before it could pay Borachuk back.
So Burg contracted Borachuk and JupiterReturn through a fourth company, ES&G, to again provide the same sort of work and services that was provided for the first two shows, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes after Borachuk and Burg worked together for three years through a number of Burg's companies, according to the lawsuit. Over those years, Borachuk says he helped create and produce three shows and was paid little to nothing of the money owed.
21 in California State Court. Victor Borachuk filed suit against Michael Burg, who’s previous award show creations include the Teen Choice Awards, the Southern Sports Awards, and the Kid’s Choice Awards, on Dec.
In November 2018, JupiterReturn issued a formal demand for the $192,343.15 it said it was owed and also asked for equal ownership of “FabLab,” and an accounting of all revenue earned.
But in the initial interview, Burg said that Borachuk was a great producer. Burg did not respond to Variety’s request for comment, but in an interview with Variety last month said he came up with the Gamer’s Choice Awards after being inspired by a rock and roll promoter and denied that Vorachuk was a co-creator. Shortly after reporting began on the story, Burg contacted Variety to say he could no longer talk about Borachuk or his involvement with the show because of legal proceedings.  He did acknowledge that Vorachuk and his production company, JupiterReturn, worked on the show.
In essence, according to the lawsuit, Burg said he could only pay for the work done on “FabLab” if the production company helped with the creation of a second television show entitled “Jump, Jive, and Thrive.”
According to the lawsuit, Burg also didn’t communicate effectively with Borachuk with his team, routinely ignoring emails and phone calls, shifting dates and at one point hiring a different writer and production company for the show.
According to the suit, despite the partial payment and new contract, Burg never paid the money owed from the first project or the second.
That show, which aired on Oct. 21, 2017, used gymnastics, dance, and music to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Burg also agreed to pay the third-party contractors hired by Borachuk and JupiterReturn for the show. In November 2015, Burg hired Borachuk and his company, JupiterReturn, to help produce the first season of a television show, according to the lawsuit. In exchange, according to the suit, Burg agreed to pay Borachuk at least $1,000 a day and a percentage of future profits. Borachuk says he helped produce the show, developing episode concepts, coordinating filming and doing post-production.
He said that he would be able to pay him back, though, if Borachuk and JupiterReturn helped with the “Gamer’s Choice Awards.” He added that JupiterReturn and Borachuk would make an additional $250,000 based on profits from this new, video game-centric show.
This time, Borachuk said he was part of every sales call and kept records on the amounts being offered for sponsorships. But things started to go awry, according to the suit, when the award show was pushed back from its original air date. 9. Instead, a nomination special was aired in those November time slots, after “Burg failed to follow up with potential sponsors or engage a venue for an award show.” The show itself ultimately aired on Dec.
Borachuk says that the results of all of this the shows were poorly produced and poorly executed. According to the suit, the poor quality of the show tarnished Borachuk and JupterReturn’s reputation.” />
Borachuk is alleging, among other charges, breach of contract, fraud violations of California state law, and misappropriation of likeness.
According to the suit, Burg said he couldn’t pay but would pay the amount owed for “FabLab” and provide “additional economic benefit” if Borachuk and his company assisted in a new project and agreed not to sue.

This left the show without a venue as of late October. Around the same time, talks with Twitch fell through for similar reasons, according to the suit. The venue — which Burg was working to make the Blizzard Arena in Burbank — fell through after “Bug failed to timely respond to Blizzard Arena’s requests for information, which forced Blizzard Arena to back out of the program,” according to the suit.
When Borachuk approached Burg about the owed money, according to the lawsuit, Burg again said he couldn’t afford to pay him the money owed, now for either “FabLab” or for “Jump, Jive, and Thrive.”
In seeking payment of money owed, earnings from three shows and punitive damages, Borachuk argues that four companies run by Burg are essentially just one big company with commingled funds and assets.
The first show named in the lawsuit is “FabLab,” a weekend morning TV show aimed at pre-teen and teenage girls with the aim of sparking an interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields.
Eventually, JupiterReturn paid the contractors out of its pocket and wasn’t able to receive reimbursement for that or other money owed from WhizBang, according to the suit.
Before he would sign the contract, though, Borachuk insisted on a $25,000 payment, which was made by a third company: Teenasaurus. At the time, according to the suit, Burg promised he would pay the full amount owed to Borachuk and his company by the end of November 2017. This time, Burg contracted Borachuk and JupiterReturn through Good Entertainment to do the same sort of work the company had done for WhizBang for the “FabLab” show.
Burg also agreed to pay past due amounts for the two previous shows, according to the suit. In this latest agreement, Burg said he would pay Borachuk $1,000 a day for his time and expertise, Burg would handle paying third-party contractors, Borachuk would be named as co-creator and executive producer on the show, and that JupiterReturn would receive a percentage of profits from the award show.
A producer on last month’s Gamer’s Choice Awards is suing the co-creator, saying that the video game show which aired on CBS was the latest in a string of shows fueled by broken promises, shifting money, and fraud, according to court documents obtained by Variety.