Who We Are
engaging the world through
Activision Blizzard Esports
Our esports vision is to be the most innovative, scalable, and valuable developer of global competitive entertainment. Our professional gaming properties include the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty League™, Hearthstone® Grandmasters, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship, among others. Activision Blizzard Esports also operates Tespa™, the leader in collegiate esports.
Activision Through the Years
Activision Blizzard’s history goes back more than 40 years. Our path to industry leadership started from humble beginnings. Two incredible gaming brands, Activision and Blizzard Entertainment, merged, bringing together the best creative talent in gaming. The acquisition of King in 2016 further strengthened our vision to bring the world together through epic entertainment. Today, Activision Blizzard celebrates each of our business segments, and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way. Follow our journey:
1979: Four intrepid software programmers made the decision to break from the mold and create something entirely new. Initially called “Computer Arts, Inc.,” the team pivoted and came up with the idea to combine “Active” and “Television,” thus resulting in “Activision”—the very first independent, third-party console video game developer. Storming shelves with bright colored packaging and visually distinct gameplay, their first breakout title was Pitfall!® in 1982, selling more than 4 million copies.
1991: Allen Adham, Frank Pearce, and Mike Morhaime founded Silicon & Synapse, entirely self-funded including money borrowed from their grandmothers. The company grew, and three years later, changed its name to Blizzard Entertainment, which has since become one of the most popular and beloved video game publishers in the world. In 1994, Blizzard released its first breakthrough hit, a real-time strategy game called Warcraft®: Orcs & Humans.
1996: “We think this internet thing is going to be big,” said the Blizzard technology team. Thus began the development of Battle.net®, the first free online gaming service incorporated directly into the games people were already playing. It was a platform for internet-based gaming, social networking, digital distribution, and digital rights management. It launched with the release of Blizzard’s action-role-playing video game series Diablo®.
1998: Blizzard Entertainment releases StarCraft®, a sci-fi real-time strategy game that would become one of the pinnacle titles of the genre and amass a global fanbase. Featuring a robust multiplayer mode, StarCraft allowed players to compete with or against one another through Blizzard’s Battle.net platform. In just three months following its release, 3 million copies of the game sold worldwide.
2003: Activision, together with now-legendary development studio Infinity Ward, released Call of Duty®, a first-person action set in World War II that would go on to become one of the biggest game series of all time. Thanks to the passionate community of Call of Duty players, it was the #1 selling console video game franchise in the U.S. for 11 consecutive years.
2008: Activision and Blizzard merge to bring together the biggest games and best development talent across both console and PC, with franchises including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and more.
2012: King releases Candy Crush Saga®, which took the mobile gaming world by storm and became one of the highest-grossing mobile game franchises ever created.
2015: Activision’s award-winning Skylanders® franchise—the video game that pioneered the “toys to life” category by allowing players to use a portal to bring real-life figures into the video game as playable characters—became the 15th top-selling video game franchise of all time, selling 240 million Skylanders toys and generated $3 billion in revenue. The Skylanders series was so successful it generated its very own animated series, “Skylanders™ Academy”.
2016: Activision Blizzard acquires King to combine some of the best creative talent in games and bring the world together through epic entertainment.
2018: Activision Blizzard Esports evolves the competitive gaming industry with the inaugural season of the Overwatch League™, the first major global professional esports league with 12 city-based teams around the world, including Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Seoul, Shanghai, and more.
2019: Activision brought the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise to mobile, delivering a free-to-play action experience to iOS and Android that brings together the most beloved maps, competitive modes, iconic characters and signature weapons from the series. In the first three months alone, the game saw over 150 million downloads and skyrocketed to the top of the download charts in more than 150 countries and regions.