Activision Ramps Up Licensing Activity

Activision Publishing has more than doubled its portfolio of licensees in less than one year in support of its Skylanders and Call of Duty franchises.

The company also announced plans for a new video game universe, “Destiny,” from the developer Bungie.  

The company’s Skylanders program is anchored by key global partners including Penguin, Topps, Rubies, Mega Brands and PowerA, as well as a selection of licensing agents outside of the U.S.

The property is already extended into a range of categories including publishing, apparel, back-to-school, game accessories, costumes, construction sets, bedding and party goods.

Promotional partnerships have helped build awareness of the brand including a three-phased Frito-Lay national promotion followed by a Skylanders Giants Happy Meal program at McDonald’s that took place in North America in April and will be roll out to other countries throughout the year.

Newly signed licensees for Skylanders include American Greetings (party goods and greeting cards), KIDdesigns (consumer electronic products), Cortina Leomil Group (athletic shoes and slippers), USAopoly (Skylanders-themed Monopoly) and MZBerger (personal care and novelty stationery).

Additionally, in 2013, Activision began expanding its licensing reach for the Call of Duty franchise in Europe and Australia with a focus on lifestyle categories such as apparel, gaming headsets, mobile and electronic accessories, with partners including Turtle Beach, BioWorld, PowerA and Brady Games.

In 2014, Activision, in collaboration with Bungie, will launch a focused merchandising program to support the game launch of “Destiny.”

“Our licensing strategy is focused on partnering with industry leaders and category experts who will align well with our games’ demographics  and deliver meaningful brand extensions,” says Ashley Maidy, vice president, global licensing and partnerships, Activision. “Deeper integration at retail is a key element of our expansion plans. Licensing has allowed us to secure space outside of the video game aisle, providing our fans with multiple touch points for consumer interactions. Additionally, the programs have garnered space in non-traditional gaming retailers like W.H. Smith and Smyths in Europe.  Overall, this holiday we are increasing our retail space by more than one third over last year.”

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