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Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Introduces Level Up U Training Program

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Activision Blizzard ATVI has announced the launch of its talent training program Level Up U, aimed at preparing non-industry professionals and industry professionals to become full-time game developers.

Level Up U is a 12-week program that prepares and develops professionals for engineering positions at ATVI through a combination of on-site and virtual training.

It is the first major program funded through the $250-million investment announced last October to accelerate opportunities in gaming and technology for under-represented communities.

Every candidate will join Level Up U as a full-time employee. Upon successfully completing the program, participants will continue to be coached and mentored by employees as they integrate into roles at Activision Blizzard that fit their individual skills.

Activision Blizzard, Inc Price and Consensus

Activision Blizzard, Inc Price and Consensus
Activision Blizzard, Inc Price and Consensus

Activision Blizzard, Inc price-consensus-chart | Activision Blizzard, Inc Quote

Gaming Lineup and Recent Buyouts to Aid Top Line

Activision Blizzard’s growth was supported by a strong performance of its iconic and popular game franchises, including Diablo, Call of Duty (COD), Overwatch, World of Warcraft (WoW), Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Friends Saga.

On Jul 1, Activision Blizzard’s subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment announced that it closed the acquisition of Boston-based studio Proletariat to better serve players in the award-winning, multiplayer, online role-playing game, World of Warcraft.

Activision Blizzard plans to launch World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, the upcoming World of Warcraft (WoW) expansion, in the second half of 2022, which will likely boost its top line.

Last month, Activision Blizzard’s subsidiary King announced the acquisition of Pelatrion, an artificial intelligence (AI) software company. The Pelatrion acquisition will likely help Activision Blizzard’s King accelerate the use of AI and ML on its gaming platform. It will also enable ATVI to launch innovative game developments, and design and improve live operations capabilities.

Despite the year-over-year decline in revenues in the last reported quarter, due to the resumption of normal work-life post COVID, King’s in-game net bookings witnessed an increase of $40 million, driven by the Candy Crush franchise. The trend is likely to continue in the near term.

Activision Blizzard has an exciting slate of releases expected to boost its user growth and net bookings in the near term, thus driving the top line.

ATVI has plans to release its next premium title under its Call of Duty franchise in the second half of 2022. Throughout the year, Activision Blizzard expects to deliver uninterrupted content for its various franchises, including continued in-game content for Call of Duty: Vanguard, new content for key Blizzard franchises and continued releases of content, features and services across King’s portfolio, with a focus on the Candy Crush franchise in the remainder of 2022.

The recent launch of Diablo Immortal on mobile and PC is likely to aid the franchise in expanding Diablo’s reach before the launch of Diablo IV, which is anticipated to be released in 2023.

However, great prospects in the industry also bring intensifying competition for this currently Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) player from the likes of Take Two Interactive Software TTWO, Nintendo NTDOY and Electronic Arts EA.

Take-Two’s publishing label 2K and Marvel Entertainment recently publicized the release of Marvel’s Midnight Sun. The tactical role-playing game, created by the Civilization and XCOM franchise developer Firaxis Games, is all set to be launched on Oct 7.

Nintendo, which has several hit franchises like Brain Age, Kirby, Super Smash Bros, Pokémon and Mario, among others to its credit, recently announced the release of Mario Strikers: Battle League, available on Nintendo Switch.

Electronic Arts unveiled that new gameplay features will be made available in Madden NFL 23. The game will be launched on Aug 19, worldwide. EA’s Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm Games unveiled the next chapter of the popular Star Wars action-adventure series Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, scheduled to be released sometime in 2023.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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