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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Greg O'Connor, Liz McMillan, Aleksei Gavrilenko, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

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Activision and Xbox Partner to Bring Landmark Call of Duty® eSports Competition to the Masses with the Call of Duty® Championship, Presented by Xbox Tournament

It’s time for gamers the world over to mark their calendars, because the ultimate high-stakes Call of Duty competition is coming this April, forever changing the face of competitive eSports. The Call of Duty Championship, presented by Xbox, featuring a $1 million Call of Duty®: Black Ops II tournament, will take place in Hollywood, CA April 5-7. Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) and their award-winning studio Treyarch, in partnership with Xbox®, Major League Gaming (MLG) and the Electronic Sports League (ESL) will bring together 32 of the world’s most skilled multiplayer teams on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft to compete head-to-head in Call of Duty: Black Ops II in a live-streamed spectacular to be broadcast to the masses.

"More people play Call of Duty multiplayer every day than watch the average regular season game of the NBA. The scale and passion of the Call of Duty fan base is simply humbling, and yet there is no formal way to find out who amongst those millions of players is the best of the best, until now," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "Watching the performances of the very best Call of Duty players is already a mass spectator sport on YouTube and Call of Duty® Elite. We are going to bring the best players in the world to Hollywood to compete on the ultimate stage, for the ultimate prize. And we are going to invite our entire worldwide fan base to join in the fun."

Beginning today, players interested in participating in the tournament can go to https://elite.callofduty.com/esports and register for a free Call of Duty Elite account – it takes just a few seconds. Once registered, teams of four can vie for entry into the Call of Duty Championship, presented by Xbox tournament by competing in the February season of League Play in Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Xbox LIVE®, which opens today. Following the close of the February season, the top eight eligible teams will earn coveted spots in the Call of Duty Championship, presented by Xbox, including a trip to Hollywood this April to compete for the $1 million tournament purse.

“It’s an absolute honor to have players and fans celebrate the thrill of competition on such a grand stage,” said Mark Lamia, Treyarch studio head. “From the very beginning of development for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, we committed to making eSports an integral part of the game, and it’s going to be awesome to watch the best teams in the world battle it out for everyone to see.”

Additionally, teams competing in the recently announced MLG 2013 Pro Circuit featuring Call of Duty: Black Ops II (www.majorleaguegaming.com) will vie for a chance to enter the Call of Duty Championship, presented by Xbox. At the MLG Winter Championship, March 15-17, in Dallas, Texas, the top eight teams will earn trips to Hollywood to play against the best Call of Duty players in the world. Joining them will be eight winning teams from the ESL’s European Finals (http://cod.esl.eu) taking place March 16-17, in the famous ESL Arena live eSports Studios in Cologne, Germany.

Remaining seats in the 32-team tournament will be made available internationally across Asia, Australia, and Brazil, with territory-specific qualification details to be revealed locally as they become available and at https://elite.callofduty.com/esports.

Further details on the Call of Duty Championship, presented by Xbox, including full rules and regulations, Call of Duty: Black Ops II maps and modes for the tournament, prizing distribution, travel accommodations and more will be made available at https://elite.callofduty.com/esports.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is rated “M” (Mature – Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs – content suitable for persons ages 18 and older) by the ESRB. More information on Call of Duty: Black Ops II can be found at http://www.callofduty.com/blackops2 or on www.facebook.com/codblackops. Fans can also follow @Treyarch on Twitter.

About Major League Gaming

Major League Gaming (MLG) (www.majorleaguegaming.com) is the world’s largest eSports organization with millions of LIVE viewers, fans and competitors around the globe. MLG enables gamers to compete, improve their skills, and socialize via the largest online destination for competitive console and PC gaming featuring more than 8 million registered gamers, and the annual MLG Pro Circuit featuring LIVE, in-person tournaments in cities nationwide. MLG broadcasts competitive play, analysis and more via online streaming to hundreds of thousands of fans in an average of more than 170 countries.

About Electronic Sports League

Electronic Sports League and the company behind, Turtle Entertainment, is the leading gaming company in the field of competitive gaming and electronic sports. Founded in the year 2000 the company is currently offering its services in more than 46 countries including the US and China. Core of Turtle's services is it's online portal called Electronic Sports League (ESL) which became a highly popular destination site for competitive computer gamers around the world. The portal reaches up to ten million visits a month (IVW) generated by more than 4 million registered users. Turtle Entertainment broadcasts ESL events via ESL TV, ESL's web-TV service, since 2007. The headquarter has more than 115 employees and is located in Cologne, Germany. Turtle Entertainment owns the majority of the Chinese eSports league PGL (Pro Gamer League) since 2007. Turtle Entertainment markets its products worldwide using these specific brands: Electronic Sports League (ESL), ESL Pro Series, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Major Series, ESL TV, Consoles Sports League. Further information is available at www.turtle-entertainment.com.

About Treyarch

Treyarch is an industry-leading game developer, wholly owned by Activision Publishing, Inc. whose Call of Duty: Black Ops II set world-wide launch day records, and whose previous game Call of Duty®: Black Ops set an entertainment launch opening record upon its release in 2010 and continues to be one of the best-selling games of all time, according to NPD and GfK Chart-Track.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, and CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

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