Activision seeks help to overtake Electronic Arts

Activision is launching a review of the gaming industry's largest PR account as it seeks to take the lead in its one-on-one battle for video games supremacy.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold more than 3.1 million copies in the UK in 2011
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold more than 3.1 million copies in the UK in 2011

The publisher’s search for consumer comms support – currently held by Frank – comes as the company responsible for the Call of Duty franchise fights for the lead against Electronic Arts.

Activision sold more than 3.1 million units of Modern Warfare 3 in the UK in 2011, a small drop from the 3.26 million copies of Black Ops sold the year before.

Although Call of Duty games continue to command the top sales in the industry, Electronic Arts claimed the crown as biggest-selling publisher of 2011.

It is thought the brief, which encompasses UK and European work, is worth around £500,000 a year.

A gaming industry insider suggested that Activision could be looking to change its PR approach as the battle heats up in 2012.

‘Although this is a procurement fuelled process and Activision has a very strong relationship with Frank, the publisher wants and needs its stories to achieve cut-through away from big events.’

The PR account is believed to be the biggest gaming account in the UK and Ireland.

An Activision spokesman told PRWeek: ‘Activision is currently undergoing a procurement-driven review of our existing PR briefs. We are still working closely with Frank PR and they are involved in the process.’

The brief makes specific reference to the company’s Call of Duty and Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure series of games.

The agency will be tasked with both Activision’s UK PR and European co-ordination and will run the company’s press office functions, media relations, social media and events PR.

 

The Activision brief

  • This review follows the arrival of EA’s Ian McGregor, who joined in July as V-P of European marketing and shared services.
  • The appointed agency will work on both a consumer and strategic level in the UK and Europe.
  • Activision is expected to hold chemistry meetings with eight agencies in the coming weeks, then select three or four for a pitch process.

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