Not only is the gaming behemoth hosting an esports panel today from 11 a.m. to noon (booth No. A105), it announced a robust licensing program that means more merch and experiences for fans of both flagship brands and newer properties, including Activision’s Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro, and Blizzard’s Overwatch and World of Warcraft.
“Activision Blizzard has a portfolio of some of the world’s most beloved franchises, and our aim is to work with world-class licensees that enrich our fans’ experience around the world,” says Steve Young, president of ABCPG. “The fan experience is at the center of everything we do, and we’re thrilled to create new opportunities for players to immerse themselves and show their passion for Activision’s and Blizzard’s games through relationships ranging from LEGO to Uniqlo.”
Fans of the Call of Duty franchise can expect a ton of new collaborations and offerings, including a high-end capsule collection, available this fall, from international streetwear brand DRKN; a range of apparel and fashion accessories, available this fall, from Fashion UK; and various products across categories and properties from Bioworld, KontrolFreek, New Era, and Pyramid; and assorted Call of Duty merch from Astro, Scuf Gaming, Surreal, and Rubber Road.
ABCPG will also lean into the strong consumer demand for retro properties with the reemergence of iconic characters from the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro franchises.
Overwatch fans better get their wallets ready, because the rest of this year is gonna be a doozy. LEGO Group already kicked off the year with the release of the first-ever LEGO Overwatch product line, and it will continue to expand the line throughout the year. Plus, Hasbro is releasing Overwatch Monopoly, with more games and toys to come this fall. Uniqlo launched an exclusive line of clothing across Blizzard franchises, including Overwatch and World of Warcraft, as part of its spring/summer collection, with more apparel continuing to roll out regionally through June. There are also new Overwatch-themed Funko Pop!s.
Foodies can preorder the Overwatch: The Official Cookbook from Insight Editions, filled with more than 100 recipes inspired by the heroes of Blizzard’s hit game. Finally (whew!), fans can also preorder the third installment of the World of Warcraft Traveler book series, from Scholastic, which is due out later this year.
The official Blizzard Gear Store in China is also relaunching with new e-commerce licensee Baozun, opening merch access to more fans throughout the region.
Fanatics, the worldwide leader in licensed sports merchandise, has partnered with Overwatch League for a new e-commerce platform that helps fans around the world connect with their favorite league, teams, and players via Shop.OverwatchLeague.com. Obviously, there’s some new merch in the mix from New Era, Starter, G-III, and Outerstuff, plus the first-ever trading card program for esports with Upper Deck. Funko is launching an Overwatch League-themed Pop! Vinyl SKU later this year, too.
Are you attending Licensing Expo? You can check out the ABCPG and booth No. U202.