Activision Blizzard sent out a press release to annouonce its presence at the Licensing Expo 2018, and to reveal its new partners. Blizzard Entertainment has licensed Overwatch to Hasbro, NERF Blasters, Lego Group, and UNIQLO (apparel).
In addition, something new is that Scholastic not only does the World of Warcraft: The Traveler series, but they have landed the Overwatch license as well. That one in particular will be on fans’ radar.
AS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 22, 2018– Set for ongoing growth with a slate of world-class entertainment properties, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG) arrives at Licensing Expo 2018 with an all-star roster of licensing and retail partners. Through gameplay, film and television content, esports events and consumer products, Activision and Blizzard Entertainment are creating depth, breadth and longevity of engagement around their franchises and across platforms. A year into the group’s formation, ABCPG is successfully delivering against the company’s franchises, including Blizzard’s Overwatch® and Activision’s Call of Duty®, among others.
The merchandising program for Overwatch is significantly expanding. Hasbro has been awarded the master toy license for the franchise with plans for a wide range of play experiences including a NERF product line, games and more. Additionally, LEGO® Group has plans for multiple Overwatch building sets across various price points. Further, Overwatch is just one of many Blizzard Entertainment properties featured in the recently announced exclusive apparel line from UNIQLO as part of its Spring/Summer 2018 collection that launched globally on May 18.
Esports has emerged as a significant opportunity that engages millions of players and spectators worldwide. Activision Blizzard is at the forefront of competitive gaming with the Call of Duty World League, MLG Network and the Overwatch League™, the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams. A robust apparel line is at the center of the merchandising program, designed to appeal to a massive global audience of gamers. ABCPG is currently seeking best-in-class partners across all product categories to explore burgeoning licensing and merchandising prospects targeting a new era of fans.
“Since debuting at last year’s Licensing Expo, we’ve begun to successfully realize our vision of offering more value and more opportunities for our global licensing and retail partners by leveraging the blockbuster franchises that Activision and Blizzard have created and expanded over many years of dedicated development,” said Tim Kilpin, CEO and president, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. “For our hundreds of millions of players around the world, we’re working hard to build lasting global franchises that they can connect with across game platforms and through esports and vibrant transmedia story content. We are well positioned to continue playing a leading role in shaping the future of entertainment.”
Located in Booth #U202, additional highlights of Activision Blizzard’s slate coming to Licensing Expo 2018 include:
With a player base of 40 million¹, Overwatch’s wide appeal continues to drive a robust merchandising program supported by new and returning partners including: Hasbro (Master Toy); NERF (Blasters); LEGOGroup (Construction); UNIQLO (Apparel); Bioworld International (Bags, Accessories); Spirit Halloween (Costumes); Disguise (Costumes); Brown Trout (Calendars); Insight Editions (Stationery, Cookbook); Trends (Posters, Sticker Packs); Just Toys (Sticker Books); Good Smile Company (Figures); Razer (PC Peripherals); J!nx (Apparel, Accessories); Dark Horse (Artbook); Funko (Apparel, Bags, Home Accessories, Figures); and Scholastic (Books).
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
More than 100 million passionate players have enjoyed the ever-evolving online adventure of Blizzard’s seminal massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft¹. Partners include: Brown Trout (Calendars); Del Rey (Novels); Panini International (Novels); AST (Novels); Jeu Media (Publishing); Ju Ju Be (Bags and Accessories); J!nx (Apparel, Accessories); Insight Editions (Cookbook); Funko (Figures); and Dark Horse (Publishing).
Blizzard recently launched the 12th content release for Hearthstone, its internationally acclaimed free-to-play digital card game that continues to engage and delight a massive global audience across PC and mobile platforms. Licensees include: Insight Editions (Pop-up Book); Displate (Fine Art); Panini International (Art Book); and Huginn & Muninn (Art Book).
Blizzard Entertainment released a sneak peek into a new Deathmatch map named Petra, expected to arrive around the 2nd Anniversary of Overwatch (May 22 – June 11).
A group of archaeologists have begun an excavation and preservation project among the ruins of Petra, a new Deathmatch map that puts all heroes on their own, facing off against one another until one hero scores enough eliminations to win the match. Take in Petra’s majestic views, from high vistas to twisting passageways and deep caverns. Travel along deadly cliffs, but be careful to not fall off! A dilapidated bridge stretches across the map, and the ground underneath it can crumble away to reveal a lethal pit. Hopping on a green jump pad will boost you up to Petra’s higher levels and unlock new strategic possibilities for you…
The latest Overwatch PTR introduced the new Escort map: Rialto — located in Venice, Italy. It absolutely shows a portion of the Retribution event map, but you get access to some rooms that weren’t accessible in the event.
Play a part in history in Overwatch Archives, a seasonal event that brings back last year’s Uprising mission and introduces a new PvE co-op mission, Retribution. More than 160 Archives Loot Box items will be available to unlock during the event, including items from last year’s Overwatch Uprising event along with 8 new Legendary skins.
The all-new Retribution mission gives players a chance to return to the past and experience a critical Blackwatch operation that ultimately led to the fall of Overwatch. Taking place in Venice prior to the events of Uprising, Retribution casts players as Blackwatch members McCree, Moira, Genji, and Reyes (before he became Reaper) in pursuit a high-ranking member of the Talon organization.
In Story Mode, players must fight the forces of Talon in the streets of Venice as the four agents of Blackwatch, teaming up and relying on their distinct abilities to battle their way to an extraction point. In All Heroes Mode, players can bring the hero of their choice into the mission, engaging in dynamic encounters with foes that spawn in different locations each playthrough. Can you master the highest level of difficultly?
If you didn’t watch the Brigitte origin story video entirely, you should wait till the last frames play to see what I meant. Toward the very last 5 seconds you can clearly see an outdoor image of the Eichenwalde Inn seen from the cafeteria house’s perspective.
Immediately, you will notice there is some sort of mobile command center (or if you are familiar with The Punisher comics: the Battle Van). This van is nowhere in any of the Overwatch maps. It is unique.
The second thing you will notice is that the destroyed omnic is still at the Inn’s entrance to your left, but the big vehicle scrap is missing. The banners by the windows have changed as well. There are no trees in the in-game Eichenwalde by the Inn either. That’s like 4 differences comparing the in-game Inn versus the one shown in the Brigitte Origin Story video.
Could this be an upcoming update to Eichenwalde? A new special event? If it is a new special event, it doesn’t seem to be set in the past, but more contemporaneous. The current Eichenwalde map is set possibly shortly after Reinhardt and Brigitte visited the Eichenwalde castle, where Reinhardt placed the Overwatch insignia on the throne. But that happened shortly after Winston sent out the message to all inactive Overwatch agents.
The image shown below shows a van that has never been there before, and the vehicle scrap in front of the Inn is missing. What do you think Blizzard might have done here on purpose?
@Modstersmash points out this Battle Van was featured in the “Dragon Slayer” digital comics that featured Reinhardt and Brigitte (Originally posted on April 28, 2016).
Blizzard Entertainment has officially unveiled the new Hero 27: Brigitte. Torbjorn’s daughter. The surprising twist is that Brigitte is not a tank, as I had speculated, but a Support hero. Whoa? Didn’t see that one coming. Still, she is tanky. So I still get half-point?
She has a shield, shield-bashes, and hits enemies with her flail weapon. Damage she does at close-range heals her nearby teammates. In addition, now we know why Health Packs were re-sized in the PTR. Brigitte dishes out Health Packs for friendly players. She’s basically a Diablo III Crusader in that she is a tank and a healer simultaneously.
An engineer with peerless armor-constructing abilities, Brigitte Lindholm is a valiant squire who fights on the front line to protect her allies.
The youngest of Torbjörn’s daughters, Brigitte is an adventurer who travels with her godfather—Reinhardt Wilhelm—to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Previously, she aided Reinhardt by repairing his armor but as time has passed, Brigitte has realized that there is some damage that her hammer cannot fix. Her desire to help stronger than ever, Reinhardt is training her to fight while she built her own armor in secret. Now she fights alongside him on the front line, where she can make an even bigger difference
Brigitte’s armor engineering capabilities make her a stalwart support hero, capable of holding her ground in combat while also providing healing and armor for her allies. Her primary weapon is her heavy-hitting Rocket Flail that she swings in a wide arc in front of her to smash multiple enemies at once. Whip Shot enables Brigitte to fling her flail forward, striking enemies at a distance and knocking them backward. With each blow, Brigitte’s passive ability, Inspire, heals nearby allies over time.
Brigitte’s Barrier Shield deploys a frontal energy barrier that can absorb a limited amount of damage and protect any allies directly behind her. Once her Barrier Shield is deployed, she can use Shield Bash to lunge forward and stun the first enemy in her path. Drawing on her engineering prowess, Brigitte can create Repair Packs to instantly heal wounded allies or provide armor to teammates at maximum health. When Brigitte is at her strongest, she can activate her ultimate ability, Rally—a galvanizing call to arms that generates a substantial amount of armor for nearby allies and increases Brigitte’s movement speed so she can lead them into battle.
Brigitte is the seventh support character to join the Overwatch lineup and her gameplay is engineered to defend allies while also providing healing and armor. She excels at healing multiple allies at once with Inspire while pressuring the enemy team’s front line as she whittles them down with her Rocket Flail. Her Whip Shot can be used to disrupt an enemy formation or to shove a flanking assassin off a vulnerable teammate. Repair Pack can be either used as an instant reactionary heal or as a preventative heal when anticipating incoming enemy damage. Brigitte’s Barrier Shield is most effective as a personal shield to absorb some damage so Brigitte can reposition herself if she finds herself being targeted by the enemy or safely move up into the heat of the fray. Shield Bash’s stun can be key in defending her allies from foes who get too close, or to immobilize an important target and start a team fight. Its mobility allows her to move into a fight or escape from an enemy’s reach. Rally can be used either to engage the enemy with a favorable advantage or safely disengage from a losing battle. Armor gained from her ultimate is permanent until chipped away by damage.
Brigitte is available for testing right now on the Overwatch PTR!
If you’d like to help us hammer her into shape, simply log in to the Public Test Region, then head to our official forums to report your findings. Click here for more info.
A third teaser was posted today in the Overwatch Twitter. Hero 27 is definitely looking to be Brigitte, Torbjorn’s daughter. The image clearly shows the Torbjorn gear logo (on the mug), which she also has tattooed on her left arm in the Glory and Honor animated short.
Seems she has a talent for designing and crafting, like her dad, but the most notable item in the blueprints is what looks like a Diablo III Crusader shield with a lion crest. This doubles down on my earlier speculation that she might be a tank.
Another notable detail is that one of the sketches hidden beneath the blueprint shows a pencil-drawn sketch of her cat’s tail (marked by the mug’s stain), and what looks like some sort of mechanical gadget wrapped on the cat’s hips. Is it an exoskeleton? Some sort of jetpack? Could Brigitte be a tank with a combat pet? Rexxar anyone?
Morrhar is swedish for “Whisker” — proper name for a cat.
There is another teaser I missed earlier that shows a weapon named Slaga 3.0. Slaga is swedish for Flail. You can also notice a cat toy shaped like a mouse. You can see the cat’s paw playing around at the bottom.
The translations go like these:
Titanlegering = Titanium Alloy
Titanstav = Titanium Rod
Gummiblad = Rubber Sheets
3MM forsankt Skruv = 3MM Screws
Hög mutter = High Nut
Vagnsbult = Carriage Bolt
Slaga Med Kedgja = Flail with chain
Another observation: The letter that Torbjorn sent to his wife Ingrid nearly 20 years ago after the operation WHITE DOME went south with his injuries, had an odd numbering at the bottom: OW-ICLD-07. If you take a closer look at the Shield blueprint image at the top of this page, you will notice the red pencil also has the imprint: ICLD 07.
Blizzard Entertainment has teased a brand-new Overwatch hero with today’s transmedia tweet. In this report, Operation White Dome takes place in Istanbul, Turkey. Formerly known in history as Constantinople — for those who remember reading about the journey of Marco Polo.
According to Blizzard’s report: Ana Amari led a team composed of Reinhardt, Torbjorn, and Private First Class Emre Sarioglu into Istanbul to deal with remnants of the Omnic resistance. Emre is potentially to be Hero 27 (or the 27th hero in Overwatch).
In this confrontation, Reinhardt saved Torbjorn’s life, though Torbjorn suffered serious injuries.
This seriously hints there might be a upcoming digital comic telling the story of how Torbjorn’s eye and hand were lost and replaced with prosthesis. It would be cool if we also got to see a new QP/Competitive map set there, or at least something akin to the Uprising special event, and a cinematic.
I will attend PAX East with a press badge. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @blizzplanetcom for updates. I have a feeling we might hear more about this hero there.
Activating Wall Ride will now cause the flag to drop during Capture the Flag matches
Developer Comments: Lúcio’s Wall Ride allowed him to reach unintended places in Capture the Flag maps, which made it overly difficult for opponents to stop him. So, we have changed the ability to cause the flag to drop instead for better balanced matches.
Fixed a typo that caused the Lunar New Year banner to display the wrong end date for Overwatch Lunar New Year
Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the client to crash after a player used the Hero Skin Selection dropdown menu in Hero Select
Capture the Flag
Fixed a bug that allowed Winston to pick up the flag while airborne after activating his Jump Pack
Fixed a bug that caused flags dropped near ceilings to get stuck inside of walls
Fixed a bug that caused Mei to levitate if she used Cryo-stasis
Game Browser and Custom Games
Fixed a bug that prevented players from playing games in the Arcade if they were using a trial account
Fixed a bug that caused hero ultimate charges to reset after the first death if a player changed their skin using the Hero Skin Selection a second before the match began
Fixed a bug that caused Zarya’s reaction animations to loop continuously after taking damage following the destruction of her Particle Barrier
Fixed a bug that prevented the Weekly Rewards timer in from displaying correctly in the Arcade
Overwatch League and Twitch have signed a multi-year media rights deal to broadcast their eSports livestreams in English, French, and Korean languages. The Overwatch League is slated to start tomorrow January 10th at 4pm PST.
Below you can read the media rights deal press release. The Overwatch League schedule can be found here.
Every match from season one and two of the Overwatch League will be broadcast live on Twitch. Upcoming innovative new viewership reward system announced for fans who watch and engage with the Overwatch League on Twitch
IRVINE, Calif. — Today the Overwatch League™ and social video service Twitch announced a historic esports media-rights partnership, ensuring that every match of the world’s first major global city-based esports league will be readily available to fans across the globe. The first match of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season goes live on Twitch this Wednesday, January 10 , on Twitch.tv/overwatchleague.
Fans of professional Overwatch have been eagerly anticipating a seamless Overwatch League viewing experience. This two-year deal, which encompasses the entirety of the league’s first two seasons, makes that a reality. With the exception of China , Twitch will be the exclusive worldwide third-party digital provider for Overwatch League regular-season, playoffs, and championship matches, with streams in English, Korean, and French.
The Overwatch League and Twitch also are developing innovative rewards for fans, which will bestow the league’s most steadfast viewers with Overwatch League in-game items. More details about content and additional rewards for the biggest fans, including some content that will be exclusive for a period of time, as well as Cheering with Overwatch League Cheermotes, will be announced as they become available.
“Our fans love to engage with content on Twitch, and we wanted to drive significant viewership of the Overwatch League in its inaugural season and beyond,” said Armin Zerza , COO of Blizzard Entertainment . “That’s why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard , for Twitch, and—most importantly—for our growing global fanbase.”
“The Overwatch League is making a major impact on esports by reshaping the industry with city-based teams,” said Kevin Lin , COO of Twitch. “Given Overwatch’s consistent reign as a top-viewed game by our community, we look forward to offering their pioneering style of league play to a large and passionate fanbase that will be able to bond over not only their favorite plays, but hometown pride.”
The first season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. For the inaugural season, all games will take place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank, California , custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment esports events. Fans can purchase tickets to attend matches, which will be played each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A full schedule and information about ticket sales can be found at OverwatchLeague.com, and all matches can be viewed live at Twitch.tv/overwatchleague (English-language channel), Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_kr (Korean-language channel), and Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_fr (French-language channel).