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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Activision's Dan Amrich Offers a Strong Rebuke to Surly Call of Duty Players

July 24, 2013 -

After Treyarch released a new update to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, some fans of the game showed that they lack basic communication skills. For example, it's not usually good form to wish someone to die or for harm to come to their family... But that is exactly what some fans wished for Treyarch design director David Vonderhaar via Twitter as he talked about some minor changes to three weapons in the game.

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Report: Vivendi May Make Activision Blizzard Pay Special Dividend

July 22, 2013 -

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Vivendi may force Activision Blizzard to pay a special dividend that would give the company $2 - $3 billion to help it pay down some of its debt. The company's board will discuss the move at a regular meeting on Monday and may seek Activison's board members to approve it at a meeting later this week, WSJ claims in its report. Since six of eleven Activision board members are from the Vivendi group or its units such a vote would likely be approved.

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Activision Blizzard Rejoins ESA

July 8, 2013 -

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today that Activision Blizzard has rejoined the trade group as a member after a five year absence. Chinese firm Tencent also joined the association as a member.

Tencent owns League of Legends developer Riot Games and owns a stake in Epic Games.

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Blizzard Considering Additional Microtransactions in World of Warcraft

July 5, 2013 -

After an in-game store was discovered on a World of Warcraft test server, Blizzard publicly acknowledged that it is looking into adding microtransactions to its long-running MMORPG. In response to questions about this from members of the community, Blizzard community representative Jonathan Brown made the following post on the Battle.net forums:

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Activision CEO Second Highest Paid Executive in America in 2012

July 1, 2013 -

A New York Times report detailing executive pay for the top companies in the United States shows an increase that the median 2012 pay package came in at $15.1 million a leap of 16 percent from 2011. But the more interesting aspect of the report is who is on top. It should be noted that when the NYT says executive pay that includes any bonuses, benefits and salary - and sometimes these bonuses are spread out over multiple years.

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Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a cunt in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
 

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