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Activision Blizzard enters film industry

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US gaming company Activision Blizzard on Friday announced the formation of its own television and movie studio to expand its video game titles into the realm of film.

Activision Blizzard Studios' first release will be "Skylanders Academy," an animated TV series based on its Skylanders game. It will later produce a series of films based on its Call of Duty franchise, whose latest video game title, "Call of Duty: Black Ops III", debuts on Friday.

The studio will be co-headed by former Disney VP Nick van Dyk.

"With the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios, our engaged fans can now watch the games they love come to life across film and television," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.

Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, is producing a film based on its World of Warcraft game, in partnership with Legendary Pictures and Atlas Entertainment. The "Warcraft" film is scheduled for release in mid-2016.

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The formation of Activision Blizzard Studios is the latest move in the company's aggressive effort to gain ground in the media and gaming industries.

The company last month unveiled a new division focusing entirely on e-sports (large-scale competitive video gaming), headed by Steve Bornstein, former CEO of ESPN and the NFL network, and Mike Sepso, co-founder of Major League Gaming.

On Tuesday, Activision Blizzard bought King Digital Entertainment, creator of household name Candy Crush Saga, for $5.9 billion, acquiring with it a base of half a billion mobile gamers.

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