Official Press Release
SANTA MONICA, Calif. & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 11, 2005–Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) jointly announced today that the companies have expanded their long-term, broad-based strategic alliance by signing a multi-year extension to their current video game licensing agreements for the Spider-Man(TM) and X-Men(TM) franchises through 2017. This agreement replaces all previous agreements between the companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Activision has extended its exclusive worldwide publishing rights to two of Marvel’s most renowned comic book properties for interactive entertainment software products for console, PC and handheld platforms. The original agreements were set to expire in 2009. Activision’s Spider-Man and the X-Men video games rank among the company’s most successful franchises, having sold more than 25 million units across all platforms to date.
“This announcement further underscores the strength of our relationship with Marvel and reinforces our leadership position in the superhero genre,” states Mike Griffith, President and CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Spider-Man and the X-Men are two of the most popular entertainment franchises today and some of the most coveted characters in interactive entertainment. This agreement will allow us to continue developing exceptional games based on these legendary characters well into the future.”
Tim Rothwell, Worldwide President, Consumer Media Group, Marvel Entertainment, added, “The interactive entertainment category continues to be one of Marvel’s key strategic categories. Expanding our partnership with Activision, a leader in the video game industry, further ensures that our characters will continue to be among the elite and dominant interactive franchises for the next decade and beyond.”
Bruno Maglione, President, Marvel International, commented, “Activision is one of a handful of players who can truly execute worldwide in this business. Spider-Man and X-Men are major global franchises. Because of this, it is always critical for us to partner with companies committed to maximizing success internationally. Activision’s results on a worldwide scale with these brands demonstrated to us that they can and will continue to do that.”
About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. – formerly known as Marvel Enterprises, Inc. – is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel’s operations are focused on utilizing its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. Areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of over sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its character franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. More information about Marvel can be found on the company’s Web site at www.marvel.com.
About Activision, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $1.4 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Spain and the Netherlands. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s World Wide Web site, which is located at www.activision.com.
Cautionary Statement about Activision
The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements”. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Activision’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, retail acceptance of our products, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions, integration of recently acquired subsidiaries and identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities. These important factors and other factors that potentially could affect the Company’s financial results are described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s most recent Annual report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings. The Company may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the Company’s assumptions or otherwise. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Cautionary Statement about Marvel
Except for any historical information that they contain, the statements in this news release regarding Marvel’s plans are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including a decrease in the level of media exposure or popularity of Marvel’s characters, financial difficulties of Marvel’s major licensees, delays and cancellations of movies and television productions based on Marvel characters, poor performance of major movies based on Marvel characters, toy-production delays or shortfalls, continued concentration of toy retailers, toy inventory risk, significant appreciation of Chinese currency against other currencies and the imposition of quotas or tariffs on products manufactured in China.
In addition, in connection with Marvel’s studio operations, including those related to the slate of feature films Marvel plans to produce on its own with proceeds from its $525 million film slate facility (the “Film Facility”), the following factors, among others, could cause Marvel’s or Marvel Studios’ financial performance to differ materially from that expressed in any forward-looking statements made by Marvel: (i) Marvel Studios’ potential inability to attract and retain creative talent, (ii) the potential lack of popularity of Marvel’s films, (iii) the expense associated with producing films, (iv) union activity which could interrupt film production, (v) that Marvel Studios has not, in the past, produced film projects on its own, (vi) changes or disruptions in the way films are distributed including a decline in the profitability of the DVD market, (vii) piracy of films and related products, (viii) that only a limited number of films will be released, (ix) fluctuations in reported income or loss or difficulties in implementing internal controls related to the accounting of film production activities, (x) Marvel Studios’ dependence on a single distributor, (xi) the potential inability of Marvel’s subsidiaries to meet the conditions necessary for an initial funding of a film under the Film Facility, and (xii) the potential inability of Marvel’s subsidiaries to obtain financing to make more than four films if certain tests related to the economic performance of the film slate are not satisfied (specifically, an interim asset test and a foreign pre-sales test).
These and other risks and uncertainties are described in Marvel’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Marvel’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Marvel assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Marvel, X-Men and related characters are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used under license. (TM) & (C) 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
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