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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Publishers Still Deliberating on Used Games in Next Generation

June 25, 2013 -

While Microsoft, Sony, and even Nintendo seem to be on the same page about messing with used games on their new systems, publishers are still being non-committal about how they will approach used games sales in this new generation. In the past some have tried everything from always-on DRM to online passes and even forcing customers to use software clients in order to play their games.

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Diablo III Coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 Sept. 3

June 6, 2013 -

Blizzard announced this morning that Diablo III will be released on the PlayStation 3 on September 3, 2013. The company also revealed that an Xbox 360 version of the game has been in the works for quite some time and will release on the same date. Both games will be released simultaneously in the U.S., Canada, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Andrew Eisen Video: Interactive Fish

May 28, 2013 -

Is Call of Duty: Ghosts really that innovative? In Andrew Eisen's latest video he points out that a certain feature touted during the Xbox One press conference last week has been around since... 1996. Check out the video to your left. At least having a canine companion is new. Oh wait... maybe not...


Report: Activision Blizzard Interested in Buying Back Some of Vivendi's Holdings in Company

May 15, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard majority stakeholder Vivendi is still interested in selling off the 61.2 percent it owns in the company but according to the Wall Street Journal, Activision Blizzard would like to buy back some of it. The WSJ reports that Activision Blizzard management is interested in using some of the cash reserves it has managed to stockpile to buy back at least some of what Vivendi owns. This is probably a good idea since Vivendi has been looking to offload its stake in the company since last year.

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Bobby Kotick: The $65 Million Dollar Man

April 29, 2013 -

Update: A representative for Activision points out that Bloomberg has updated its original story, and that because Activision is a public company it has to account for compensation in the year it is granted, even though the amount of performance-based compensation Kotick would receive under the new agreement he signed in 2012 would be vested over a five year period. Here's the update from the Bloomberg story we sourced:

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Two Former Activision UK Associates Convicted of Fraud

April 23, 2013 -

Activision UK has come out of court victorious in a case against a former PR executive and a consultant from Activision's external PR company, Frank PR. Two people, Activision PR executive Kathryn Kirton, and Frank PR consultant Jamie Kaye were found guilty of embezzling money from the company.

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Activision Donates $2 Million to Call of Duty Endowment

April 9, 2013 -

Activision Blizzard has donated $2 million to the Call of Duty Endowment, a foundation dedicated to helping returning vets from Afghanistan and Iraq find decent employment in the currently rough job market here in the United States by providing scholarships, grants, and other services related to finding gainful employment. The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit organization and was founded by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in 2009.

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PSA: BlizzCon 2013 Tickets on Sale April 24 and 27

April 4, 2013 -

Mark those calendars and get ready to camp out at the official BlizzCon site at the end of April! Blizzard Entertainment announced the dates when you'll be able to pick up tickets for its upcoming fan gathering, BlizzCon 2013. Tickets for BlizzCon 2013 will officially go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. PDT (10 PM EST) and Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 PM EST) through the official BlizzCon website.

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King's Quest License Returns to Activision

April 4, 2013 -

Telltale Games announced in 2011 that it was working on a reboot of the classic Sierra point-and-click adventure game series, King's Quest, but it looks like that's not going to happen after all. Instead Activision, who merged with Vivendi Games (who owned Sierra's IP) in 2008, has retained the license and will now work on a reboot of the series in-house.

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Activision Lays Off 40 at High Moon Studios

April 3, 2013 -

Activision has confirmed with GameSpot that it has laid off around 40 full-time High Moon Studios employees following the completion of Deadpool. High Moon Studios is best known for Deadpool and Transformers.

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'Micro Items' Coming to PS3, PC Versions of Black Ops 2 April 12

March 27, 2013 -

If you felt left out when Activision community manager Dan Amrich revealed that the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 would be getting in-game micro-transactions earlier this month, then you'll be happy the hear that the PS3 and Windows versions of the game will get the same options beginning on April 12.

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Call of Duty Endowment Uses $1.1 Million in Grants for 'Chapterization'

March 21, 2013 -

Activision's Call of Duty Endowment announced plans to open up a number of chapters around the country using $1.1 million in grant money. They are calling this initiative "Chapterization." The Call of Duty Endowment also announced the appointment of its first full-time Executive Director - Dan Goldenberg. Goldenberg has 21 years of active and reserve military service and currently serves as a commander in the Navy Reserve.

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Papa MidnightIt's not bad so far, but I am honestly not sure what to make of it (or where it's going for that matter)07/28/2014 - 9:44pm
Matthew Wilsonis it any good?07/28/2014 - 9:36pm
Papa Midnight"Love Child" on HBO -- anyone else watching this?07/28/2014 - 9:27pm
MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
 

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