Activision Blizzard’s new executive has served under multiple presidents. The Call of Duty publisher wants to better navigate international markets.

Obligations Publisher Activision Blizzard recently hired Frances Townsend as vice president of corporate affairs. The Activision Blizzard board has appointed Townsend as its chief compliance officer and corporate secretary as well. the Obligations The publisher, currently celebrating having the best-selling game of the past three months, will be looking to leverage Townsend’s international affairs expertise to navigate the various game publishing requirements in markets around the world.

Although Townsend has been out of the political sphere for quite some time, she once worked in the Department of Homeland Security, serving as an assistant national security adviser to combat terrorism under the administration of President George W. Bush. Prior to that, he held positions in the Justice Department under Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush Mr. Townsend will be a valuable asset to a large international publisher like Activision Blizzard, which must take into account many different cultural and legislative factors when publishing a publication. . I play in many regions.

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As the games industry continues to grow, developers and publishers alike will need to pay more attention and get involved in legislation more often. Last August, an executive order targeted Tencent, worrying the entire industry that transactions with the Chinese tech conglomerate could be blocked. Townsend will have to monitor similar situations in his role at Activision Blizzard, as China represents the world’s largest video game market according to the Wall street journal.

Frances Townsend’s role in Activision Blizzard

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In a direct quote to the WSJ, Townsend said: “The most important thing that matters to us in terms of compliance [with international market regulations] is the protection of personally identifiable information.“Since the games industry relies heavily on the Internet, hackers stealing players’ personal information are a major concern. Tech companies came under scrutiny last year from the Trump administration, which believed that companies with Chinese investors posed potential threats to national security has been an important target of this investigation, as it owns stakes in Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, and Riot Games, among other US-based video game companies.

Townsend also told the Wall Street Journal that loot boxes would be an area of ​​concern for her. Loot boxes as a predatory form of play have come under fire recently, especially loot boxes in FIFA’s Ultimate Team game mode. Loot boxes have been the subject of lawsuits and deliberations in Congress. It’s no wonder Activision Blizzard wants someone familiar with the inner workings of Washington to monitor such things.

However, Townsend’s involvement in such matters will not benefit the average player. Corporate interests are clearly the most important factor when he tells the WSJ “it is important that we are involved in the conversation as regulations are being considered. Often times, legislators legislate on things they are not entirely familiar with, and when they do, they can have consequences they did not intend.“Activision Blizzard is likely primarily interested in interacting with legislators for the sole purpose of protecting their profits from the widespread problem of in-game microtransactions. Gaming industry executives would not want their lucrative IPs like Obligations to become less profitable.

Next: Microtransactions Should Increase Video Game Age Restrictions

Source: Wall street journal

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