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AT&T and Blizzard renew hosting vows

Wednesday, 4th March 2009 03:30 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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AT&T has renewed its contract to host Blizzard’s online titles – including Diablo II, StarCraft and World of Warcraft – for the next two years.

The company’s hosted WoW and the Battle.net service for Blizzard for the past nine years.

“We’ve been pleased with AT&T’s service over the years, and we’re confident in their ability to continue to provide the quality support we need,” said Blizzard COO Paul Sams.

“This renewed agreement allows us to stay completely focused on our games while AT&T applies its hosting expertise to help us offer the speed, reliability and security our players expect.”

Press release after the break.

AT&T Renews Hosting Agreement With Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. for Online Games

LOS ANGELES, March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Online gamers will continue to enjoy a rich and reliable gaming experience thanks to an agreement struck between AT&T* and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Today, AT&T and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software, agreed to a two-year renewal for hosted services in North America.

Blizzard Entertainment(R) is best known for its Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) PC games as well as its massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game World of Warcraft(R), which is available in eight languages and played by more than 11.5 million subscribers worldwide.** AT&T has been working closely with Blizzard Entertainment for 9 years, providing hosting for World of Warcraft and the Battle.net(R) online-gaming service.

“We’ve been pleased with AT&T’s service over the years, and we’re confident in their ability to continue to provide the quality support we need,” said Paul Sams, Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “This renewed agreement allows us to stay completely focused on our games while AT&T applies its hosting expertise to help us offer the speed, reliability and security our players expect.”

Through multiple Internet Data Centers (IDC), AT&T will provide strategic hosting and proactive, 24/7 network monitoring and management for the online infrastructure of Blizzard Entertainment’s games and services. The AT&T Gaming Core Team will provide comprehensive networking support to Blizzard Entertainment.

The AT&T Gaming Core Team was formed in 2004 to meet the infrastructure needs of customers’ gaming operations across AT&T’s Internet Protocol (IP) network. The team consists of engineers and hosting specialists who provide round-the-clock support to companies offering MMO games. The team provides global, end-to-end support of customers’ gaming operations across AT&T’s hosting infrastructure, applications and IP network and supports trouble resolution, incident command and control, post incident review and root cause analysis.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, which represents computer and video game publishers, U.S. computer and video game software sales grew almost 23 percent in 2008 to $11.7 billion.

For more information on AT&T Hosting and Application Services, go to www.business.att.com/hosting.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft(R) and the Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes eleven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net(R), is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.

**World of Warcraft’s Subscriber Definition

World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation’s leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE(R) magazine’s lists of the World’s Most Admired Companies and America’s Most Admired Companies.

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