SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC 20549
PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of Report (date of earliest event reported): November 17, 2022
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
(Commission File Number)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
2701 Olympic Boulevard, Building B
|(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code): (310) 255-2000
(Former Name or Former Address, if Changed Since Last Report)
Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions (see General Instruction A.2. below): ☐
Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)
Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class
|Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
|Common Stock, par value $.000001 per share
|The Nasdaq Global Select Market
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).
Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Item 8.01 Other Events.
Activision Blizzard, Inc (“Activision Blizzard”) currently has licensing agreements with NetEase, Inc. covering the publication of several Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ("Blizzard") titles in China. These agreements, which contributed approximately 3% of Activision Blizzard’s consolidated net revenues in 2021, are set to expire in January 2023. Activision Blizzard has engaged in good faith discussions to extend our existing agreements with NetEase, Inc. in China, but did not reach a deal that is consistent with our operating principles and commitments to our players and employees. We now expect the agreements to expire, which will affect our business in China.
Activision Blizzard is committed to finding alternative ways to serve the community in China affected by the expiry of these agreements, and continues to see substantial long-term growth opportunities for its business in the country. Co-development and publishing of Diablo Immortal® is covered by a separate agreement. Call of Duty®: Mobile is governed by agreements with other third parties that are unaffected.
Activision Blizzard continues to expect to expand its global audience, deepen community engagement, and deliver renewed growth in player investment in the fourth quarter and beyond. Activision Blizzard’s business has continued to perform well since the third quarter earnings release, and Activision Blizzard continues to expect fourth quarter GAAP revenue to be 5% lower year-over-year or better, with net bookings and total segment operating income growing at least 20% year-over-year.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: The statements contained herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to statements about: (1) projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, cash flow, or other financial items; (2) statements of our plans and objectives, including those related to releases of products or services; (3) statements of future financial or operating performance, including the impact of tax items thereon; and (4) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Activision Blizzard, Inc. generally uses words such as “outlook,” “forecast,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “to be,” “plan,” “aims,” “believes,” “may,” “might,” “expects,” “intends,” “seeks,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming,” and the negative version of these words and other similar words and expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risks, reflect management’s current expectations, estimates, and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict.
We caution that a number of important factors, many of which are beyond our control, could cause our actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: the expected effect of the expiration of the agreement with NetEase, Inc.; the risk that the proposed transaction with Microsoft may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect our business and the price of our common stock; the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the proposed transaction with Microsoft, including the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals; the occurrence of any event, change, or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of January 18, 2022, by and among Activision Blizzard, Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”), and Anchorage Merger Sub Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft (the “Merger Agreement”); the effect of the announcement or pendency of the proposed transaction with Microsoft on our business relationships, operating results, and business generally; risks that the proposed transaction with Microsoft disrupts our current plans and operations and potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the proposed transaction with Microsoft; risks related to diverting management’s attention from ongoing business operations; the outcome of any legal proceedings that have been or may be instituted against us related to the Merger Agreement or the transactions contemplated thereby; restrictions during the pendency of the proposed transaction with Microsoft that may impact our ability to pursue certain business opportunities or strategic transactions; the potential for receipt of alternative acquisition proposals from potential acquirors; the global impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic factors (including, without limitation, the potential for significant short- and long-term global unemployment and economic weakness and a resulting impact on global discretionary spending; potential strain on the retailers, distributors, and manufacturers who sell our physical products to customers and the platform providers on whose networks and consoles certain of our games are available; effects on our ability to release our content in a timely manner and with effective quality control; effects on our ability to prevent cyber-security incidents while our workforce is dispersed; effects on the operations of our professional esports leagues; the impact of rising interest rates as a result of large-scale intervention by the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world and other economic factors; increased demand for our games due to stay-at-home orders and curtailment of other forms of entertainment, which may not be sustained and may fluctuate as stay-at-home orders are reduced, lifted, and/or reinstated; macroeconomic impacts arising from the long duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, including labor shortages and supply chain disruptions; and volatility in foreign
exchange rates); our ability to consistently deliver popular, high-quality titles in a timely manner, which has been made more difficult as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; our ability to satisfy the expectations of consumers with respect to our brands, games, services, and/or business practices; negative impacts on our business from concerns regarding our workplace; our ability to attract, retain, and motivate skilled personnel; competition; concentration of revenue among a small number of franchises; negative impacts from unionization or attempts to unionize by our workforce; rapid changes in technology and industry standards; increasing importance of revenues derived from digital distribution channels; our ability to manage growth in the scope and complexity of our business; substantial influence of third-party platform providers over our products and costs; success and availability of video game consoles manufactured by third parties, including our ability to predict the consoles that will be most successful in the marketplace and develop commercially-successful products for those consoles; risks associated with the free-to-play business model, including our dependence on a relatively small number of consumers for a significant portion of revenues and profits from any given game; risks and uncertainties of conducting business outside the United States (the “U.S.”), including the need for regulatory approval to operate, impacts on our business arising from the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the relatively weaker protection for our intellectual property rights, and the impact of cultural differences on consumer preferences; risks associated with the retail sales business model; difficulties in integrating acquired businesses or otherwise realizing the anticipated benefits of strategic transactions; the seasonality in the sale of our products; fluctuation in our recurring business; risks relating to behavior of our distributors, retailers, development, and licensing partners, or other affiliated third parties that may harm our brands or business operations; our reliance on tools and technologies owned by third parties; risks associated with our use of open source software; risks associated with undisclosed content or features that may result in consumers’ refusal to buy or retailers’ refusal to sell our products; risks associated with objectionable consumer- or other third-party-created content; outages, disruptions or degradations in our services, products, and/or technological infrastructure; data breaches, fraudulent activity, and other cybersecurity risks; significant disruption during our live events; risks related to the impacts of catastrophic events; climate change; provisions in our corporate documents that may make it more difficult for any person to acquire control of our company; ongoing legal proceedings related to workplace concerns and otherwise, including the impact of the complaint filed in 2021 by the California Civil Rights Department (formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing) alleging violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Equal Pay Act and separate investigations and complaints by other parties and regulators related to certain employment practices and related disclosures; successful implementation of the requirements of the court-approved consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; intellectual property claims; increasing regulation in key territories; regulation relating to the Internet, including potential harm from laws impacting “net neutrality;” regulation concerning data privacy, including China’s Personal Information Protection Law; scrutiny regarding the appropriateness of our games’ content, including ratings assigned by third parties; changes in tax rates and/or tax laws or exposure to additional tax liabilities; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; impacts of changes in financial accounting standards; insolvency or business failure of any of our business partners, which has been magnified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; risks associated with our reliance on consumer discretionary spending; risks associated with increased inflation on our costs and the impacts on consumer discretionary spending; and the other factors included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The forward-looking statements contained herein are based on information available to Activision Blizzard, Inc. as of the date of this filing, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Actual events or results may differ from those expressed in forward-looking statements. As such, you should not rely on forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained herein primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, operating results, prospects, strategy, and financial needs. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.
Date: November 17, 2022
|ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC.
|/s/ Armin Zerza
|Chief Financial Officer