Mega Brand Takes Heat from UK MP Keith Vaz and Advocacy Group Over 'Call of Duty' Play Sets

April 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Late last year Activision announced a licensing deal with LEGO competitor and toy maker Mega Brands to make building toy sets based on its popular mature-rated action game series, Call of Duty. The toy sets, which were launched in January, are finally getting the attention of children's advocacy groups and one outspoken UK MP - UK Labour MP Keith Vaz, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

'Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls' Sales Hit 2.7 Million Mark

April 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision Blizzard announced today that its first expansion for Diablo 3 is selling like hotcakes. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls topped 2.7 million units in the expansion's first week of availability, according to Activision Blizzard.

The data is based on internal company sales tracking and reports from key distribution partners. We assume that these numbers also include digital direct-to-consumer sales by Blizzard.

Diablo 3's first expansion pack launched on PC and Mac on March 25.

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Delaware Court Rules That Vivendi Can't Invoke French Law in Activision Shareholders Lawsuit

February 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A Delaware Court has ruled that Vivendi cannot invoke a French law to avoid discovery in a lawsuit filed by shareholders over its stock deal with Activision. Activision announced on July 26, 2013, that Vivendi had agreed to sell back 85 percent of its majority stake for $8.17 billion. Vivendi owned 61 percent of Activision stock but allegedly owed more than $17 billion to its creditors, and desperately needed cash.

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Activision Pulls the Plug on Call of Duty Elite Feb. 28

February 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Call of Duty Elite, Activision's stat tracking system for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, will officially shut down on Friday, February 28. The system is shutting down mainly because Call of Duty: Ghosts uses the new stat tracking system called "Clan Wars." The current Call of Duty app will serve as a replacement for Elite when it goes offline, according to Activision.

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Blizzard Touts 15 Million Copies of Diablo 3 Sold To-Date, Improving Wow Subscriber Numbers

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sales of Blizzard's popular online-only action-RPG Diablo 3 have reached 15 million to date worldwide, according to Activision Blizzard. The new milestone was revealed as part of the company's latest financial report. Those 15 million in sales include versions of the game across all platforms. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick said that these numbers also bode well for the upcoming launch of the expansion pack Reaper of Souls in March.

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Analyst Describes Call of Duty Ghost Year-over-Year Sales as 'Troubling'

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Even though Activision warned (earlier in the year) that it expected this year's iteration of the Call of Duty series to be down compared to last year's Black Ops II because of the transition to new console systems, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz is sounding alarm bells with investors today. The analyst noted that sales of the franchise year-over-year are down 19 percent and could ultimately be down a lot lower than that for the life of the title.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts Hotfix Kills 'God Mode' and 'Invisibility' Hacks

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision has released a Call of Duty Ghost hotfix for all platforms that deals with several serious issues that have been plaguing the game's online community for awhile. The hotfix addresses various hacks including "invisibility" and "god mode" being used in multiplayer.

Activision has also released the first update for the Xbox One version of the game, including general performance and stability fixes.

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Report: Activision CEO Threatened to Quit if Board Didn't Support His Vivendi Stock Buyback Plan

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

An interesting report in the LA Business Journal (citing a Bloomberg report) says that Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick allegedly threatened to quit as Activision Blizzard’s top executive if the board didn't accept his buyout plan to re-secure Vivendi’s stake in the company. This little morsel of information - which Activision Blizzard has not publicly commented on as of this writing - comes from claims in a shareholder lawsuit over the deal.

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Skylanders Giants Wins BAFTA

November 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Skylanders Giants, the second game in Activision's popular series of games that requires action figures in order to play, has won a BAFTA award. It was named game of the year at the 2013 Children's BAFTA awards, beating out the likes of Lego City Undercover, Luigi's Mansion 2 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Despicable Me: Minion Rush by Gameloft was chosen as the winner in the BAFTA Kids' Vote - Video Game in 2013. The award was voted on by children ages 7-14, who picked Gameloft's free-to-play game over Minecraft and Just Dance 4.

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Rumor: Sony Buying Crash Bandicoot IP from Activision

November 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to CVG Sony is acquiring the rights to Crash Bandicoot from Activision. Crash Bandicoot became the official mascot of the first Sony PlayStation console and was a popular franchise for many years until it was sold as part of a deal with Vivendi.

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Activision Claims Call of Duty: Ghosts is the Best-Selling PS4 Game So Far

November 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to an announcement made by Activision today, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the best-selling PS4 game so far. The PlayStation 4 launched on Nov. 15, and the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts was launched on the same day. The game is also available for last-generation consoles and PC, with an Xbox One version launching at the end of this week. The company cited sales data from top North American retailers including Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Wal-Mart.

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Analyst: Call of Duty: Ghosts 'Review Proof'

November 6, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz is saying something publicly that must be music to Activision's ears: what critics say about Call of Duty: Ghosts does not matter. Speaking to GII, Creutz says that latest title in the series is "somewhat review-proof."

"We think [Call of Duty] has become such an embedded franchise that it is somewhat review-proof," said Creutz to GII.

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Activision 'Ships' a Billion Dollars Worth of Call of Duty Ghosts to Retail

November 6, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

At this time of year when a new Call of Duty game hits, Activision is usually able to say that the latest release in its popular franchise is the greatest launch in video game history. But following on the heels of Take-Two's and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V, it seems like Activision is tweaking its message a little bit.

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Report: Current-Gen Call of Duty: Ghost Pirated, Hacked

November 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Call of Duty: Ghost, the latest in Activision's best-selling military-themed shooter series, releases today, but current generation versions of the game have been hacked, according to this Polygon report.

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Poll Results: Games that Use Toy Tie-Ins to Unlock Game Play

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week we asked our readers, "How do you feel about games that require you to buy toys to access game content (Skylanders, Disney Infinity)?" Nearly half of those who voted said that this practice of tying toys to video games to unlock access to characters, levels, and other game content is a complete rip-off for consumers.

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Activision Wants Its Title Back from Rockstar

October 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto V in September, Activision held the title of biggest video game launch in history with Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Activision UK senior brand manager Kevin Flynn recently told MCV that congratulations were in order for the folks at Rockstar, but that they shouldn't get too comfortable with the title they recently earned:

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Activision Blizzard Completes Deal with Vivendi, Takes Control of Stock

October 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision Blizzard has closed a deal to buy back shares from France-based conglomerate Vivendi a day after a Delaware Supreme Court judge lifted an injunction on the plan put on the deal by a lower court judge in response to several shareholder lawsuits.

With the deal complete Activision Blizzard now has a controlling interest in itself. Activision Blizzard now owns $5.83 billion of stock, with CEO Bobby Kotick and his partners owning $2.34 billion. Vivendi's stake has been reduced significantly to 12 percent.

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Activision Blizzard Stock Repurchase Plan Gets Greenlight by Delaware Supreme Court

October 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Delaware Supreme Court unanimously reversed a lower court ruling that put a temporary injunction on Activision Blizzard‘s plan to buy back most of Vivendi’s stake in the video game maker for $8.2 billion.

With the injunction lifted, Activision Blizzard can move forward with the plan. In a hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for Activision Blizzard argued that the provision was inapplicable, since it applied only to a merger, while the company’s plan was a stock repurchase.

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Activision Blizzard Sues Worlds, Inc. for Patent Infringement

October 7, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In what can only be described as ironic, Activision Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Worlds, Inc. for patent infringement. In its lawsuit, the World of Warcraft maker says that Worlds, Inc. has violated two of its patents that relate to navigating a 3D space and the interaction of objects with a 3D space. The irony is that Worlds, Inc. sued NCSoft - a lawsuit the two companies settled in April of 2010 - related to scalable chat systems and another one related to interacting in a virtual space.

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Delaware Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Shareholder Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard

September 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision Blizzard will take its fight against shareholders trying to block a deal to become independent from majority stakeholder Vivendi before Delaware's Supreme Court next month, according to Reuters.  Lawyers for the company hope to overturn a lower court's surprise decision earlier this month to halt the video game company's planned $8.2 billion deal with French media conglomerate Vivendi SA.

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Delaware Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Activision Blizzard-Vivendi Deal

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Delaware Chancery Court has issued a preliminary injunction against a plan that would see Activision Blizzard separate itself from parent company Vivendi with a stock repurchase program. The court blocked the deal after multiple lawsuits were filed by shareholders seeking to block the deal. The transaction will be halted until its terms are modified on appeal or the transaction is approved by a shareholder vote of "non-Vivendi stockholders."

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Activision Hires Prominent D.C. Lobbying Firm to Tackle Sen. Jay Rockefeller's Video Games Research Bill

September 9, 2013 - James Fudge

Activision Blizzard has hired a prominent Washington D.C.-based lobbying firm to take aim at legislation to research video games.

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Poll: Was Including Female Combatants in Call of Duty Multiplayer a Good Thing?

August 21, 2013 - Andrew Eisen

Despite the fact that a fair number of its games take place in the modern day, the Call of Duty series has never included women as playable characters in its main multiplayer mode.  Hell, so far as I know, Tanya Pavelovna from the single player campaign of 2004's Call of Duty: Finest Hour is the only playable female character in the history of the entire series!

Until now, that is.

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Activision Abandons COD: Space Warfare Trademark

August 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Activision has let several game trademarks expire, according to GameSpot. Activision has let trademarks for "Call of Duty: Space Warfare" and "Call of Duty: Secret Warfare" expire. Activision filed the trademark application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in May 2010, but no game was ever announced.

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Call of Duty Ghost Multiplayer Features Female Soldiers

August 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

During a special reveal of multiplayer modes in Call of Duty Ghost at an LA event today, Infinity Ward revealed that it has added female models into the game. In addition to having the ability to play as a female soldier, the multiplayer offers dynamic events that affect gameplay and new moves such as knee slides, mantling, and contextual leaning. The game also adds 30 new weapons (including a new Marksman Rifle weapon class), 20 new killstreaks, 14 maps at launch, seven new multiplayer modes, and a new Squads mode that supports up to six players on a team.

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Infinity Ward: Battlefield's Success is Good for Call of Duty

August 6, 2013 -

Infinity Ward producer Mark Rubin welcomes the competition that the Battlefield series brings to the market because it makes Call of Duty a better product. He believes that competition from games like the Battlefield series helps push his studio to do more with its own games, and that's a good thing.

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Shareholder Sues Activision Blizzard Execs Over Vivendi Buy Back Deal

August 2, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard shareholder Todd Miller filed a derivative lawsuit on Thursday against the company and other parties associated with an $8.17 billion deal to buy back a controlling interest from major stakeholder Vivendi. In his lawsuit filed in Superior Court, Miller claims that the deal to buy back stock from Vivendi gives "insiders" a windfall of more than $600 million on the discounted sale of stock from Vivendi, while Activision Blizzard shareholders get no enrichment from the deal.

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BMO Capital Markets Weighs in on Activision Blizzard-Vivendi Buyback Plan

July 26, 2013 -

BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward S. Williams says that Activision Blizzard's plan to buy back its shares from Vivendi is a good thing and has reiterated his firm's rating of "outperform." Last night Activision Blizzard announced that - with its own cash on hand and investments from outside sources - it would buy back a total of 601 million shares from Vivendi to the tune of $8.2 billion.

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World of Warcraft Loses More Subscribers

July 26, 2013 -

As part of its announcement this morning that it would break the iron grip of Vivendi's controlling interest, Activision Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have fallen to 2007 levels. The number of paying World of Warcraft monthly subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, according to Activision Blizzard. That's close to what the game had in 2007 before The Burning Crusade helped it break into the 8 million subscriber mark.

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CEO Robert Kotick Leads $8.2 Billion Activision Blizzard Buyout

July 26, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard announced that it will purchase approximately 601 million shares from Vivendi to the tune of $8.2 billion with the help of outside investments. There had been some talk that Vivendi would force Activision into giving Vivendi a special dividend of $2 - $3 billion to raise funds for paying down debt. Vivendi currently holds a controlling stake in the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publishers, but this plan would make Activision an independent entity again.

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Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
 

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