Activision Adds In-Game Purchases to Call of Duty: Black Ops II

March 12, 2013 -

Activision will add in-game purchases in its popular action game Call of Duty: Black Ops II tomorrow. The announcement was made by Activision community manager Dan Amrich on his OneofSwords blog. Amrich says that players will notice on March 13 new "Micro Items." The pre-order bonus map, Nuketown 2025 will also be made available for free tomorrow.

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Respawn Co-Founder Jason West Retires

March 4, 2013 -

According to two reports, one on Polygon and another on GiantBomb, Respawn co-founder Jason West has retired from the company he helped found with Vince Zampella in 2010. Both were founders of Infinity Ward, the Activision studio responsible for the Call of Duty franchise.

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Report: Activision Lays off About 30 Employees

February 19, 2013 -

Kotaku is reporting that Activision has laid off about 30 employees from their global workforce. The layoffs are apparently taking place at Call of Duty: Black Ops II developer Treyarch. A spokesperson for the company tells Kotaku that a "good number" of the layoffs are taking place outside of Treyarch as the company shifts its focus away from games based on licensed properties.

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BlizzCon 2013 Announced

February 19, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment today announced plans for its seventh BlizzCon gaming convention, to take place Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You may recall that Blizzard canceled last year's event, much to the chagrin of fans.

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Axl Rose's Guitar Hero III Lawsuit Dismissed

February 11, 2013 -

Former Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose has lost his 2010 lawsuit against Guitar Hero III maker Activision, reports GameSpot (by way of the The San Marino Tribune). In his original complaint, Rose claimed that the publisher duped him in several ways in order to get the band's popular "Welcome to the Jungle" song into the game.

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Activision Publishing CEO Predicts Year-On-Year Decline for Next Call of Duty Title

February 8, 2013 -

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg warns investors that the next Call of Duty will sell less than Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

"The Call of Duty franchise continues to set the bar for innovation and we expect the new Call of Duty game in development for 2013 to raise that bar even higher," Hirshberg told investors during a conference call to discuss financial results this week.

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100 Million Skylanders Toys Sold To-Date

February 7, 2013 -

No doubt Activision is delighted that over 100 million Skylanders toys have been sold across the United States. The company announced the milestone at the Toy Fair 2013, reports Destructoid. Activision says that the Skylanders franchise (Skylanders and Skylanders Giants) across all platforms has generated over $500 million since its launch in 2011.

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North Korean Propaganda Video Uses MW3 Footage, Gets Pulled by YouTube After Activision Complaint

February 5, 2013 -

It's one thing for North Korea to threaten the United States of America via a propaganda video, it's quite another for them to steal the footage of the nuclear blast from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3! But that is exactly what they did, according to an analysis of the footage over at Forbes.

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Lawmakers Demand Answers from Federal Prosecutors About Aaron Swartz Case

January 29, 2013 -

Two U.S. lawmakers have asked federal prosecutors at the Department of Justice to answer a series of questions about the prosecution of Reddit co-founder and internet activist Aaron Swartz. In a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) want to DOJ to explain why federal prosecutors sought up to 50 years in prison and $1 million in fines for Swartz, who committed suicide prior to his trial. Swartz was arrested in 2011 for downloading 4.8 million documents from the academic archive JSTOR.

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'Grand Theft Childhood' Author to Discuss Biden Meeting on MSNBC Saturday at 1 PM ET; ESA Issues Statement

January 12, 2013 -

According to a Polygon report, the video game industry executives and other interested parties that met with Vice-President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Commission walked away feeling that they were unscathed, and that Biden was looking for general input on media and violence.

World of Warcraft Pet Sale Raises $2.3 Million for Hurricane Sandy Victims in December

January 11, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment announced via its official blog that it managed to raise $2.3 million for the American Red Cross’s ongoing Superstorm Sandy relief efforts in the month of December. World of Warcraft players were given the opportunity to purchase a new in-game pet during the month, and stepped up in droves to help raise the money.

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Report: Multiple Bond Games Disappear from Digital Store Fronts

January 4, 2013 -

A number of Activision's James Bond games have disappeared from Valve software's Steam digital distribution platform, Xbox 360's Games on Demand service and Activision's own store, according to GameSpot.

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Analyst: 'Violent Video Games' in the Media Spotlight Will Not Have an Impact on Video Game Sales

December 21, 2012 -

It has been a week since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut but the country has no more answers for what caused the horrific tragedy than it did last week. In the weeks ahead you can expect the media and politicians to talk about violent media, guns, and metal health care in this country, but one analyst believes that all of this media attention won't have much of an effect on what entertainment consumers will buy (thanks to The Escapist).

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Michael Pachter: Activision Should Charge a Fee for Call of Duty Multiplayer

December 7, 2012 -

This is sure to put analyst Michael Pachter on someone's naughty list: Recently he said that Activision needs to start charging a fee for the multiplayer portion of its Call of Duty games. Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter made his comments during the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, California (as reported by GamesIndustry International). During his presentation he said that Activision made a serious mistake when it didn't implement a subscription-based model for Call of Duty multiplayer.

Why Guitar Hero 7 Was Canned: Big Ambitions, No Money

December 6, 2012 -

Yesterday we reported that Activision and developer Vicarious Visions had been working on Guitar Hero 7, but a report today from Kotaku citing an anonymous source close to the situations says that the game was a hot mess and overly ambitious.

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Take-Two CEO: Annual Releases Can Hurt Franchise Sales

November 28, 2012 -

My, Mr. Zelnick sure is chatty this week.

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told GameSpot UK that the secret to Grand Theft Auto's continued success is the fact that the games are released years apart, making each debut special.

"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent," said Zelnick, "then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently."

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Indie Studio Hogrocket Shuts Down

November 23, 2012 -

Indie mobile game development studio Hogrocket is closing, going on what its founders call a permanent hiatus as members of the company move onto new opportunities. The company was founded by former Bizarre Creations staffers after Activision closed that studio down.

Hogrocket was comprised of Pete Collier, Ben Ward and Geometry Wars series creator Stephen Cakebread. The studio shipped a single game while it was in operation: Tiny Invaders for iOS. Collier has moved on to work for British studio Playdemic.

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Report: Eurocom Laying Off Most of its Workforce

November 23, 2012 -

007 Legends maker Eurocom has been forced to lay off an estimated 150 of its 200 employee strong workforce, according to a report from GamesIndustry International. A statement from Eurocom studio director Hugh Binns to the publication confirms the number and a drastic restructuring of the company.

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Blizzard Faces Class Action Over Battle.net Security

November 9, 2012 -

Two gamers have filed a class action against Blizzard Entertainment last week on behalf of Battle.net account holders, accusing the company of failing to properly secure players' personal information and requiring them to purchase a Battle.net Authenticator "in order to have even minimal protection for their sensitive personal, private, and financial data."

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Elderly People Respond to Call of Duty: Black Ops II Trailer

November 5, 2012 -

YouTube sensation The Fine Brothers Productions offers a nifty new video featuring a group of elderly people watching and reacting to the new trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. While some of the "seasoned" participants seemed close minded about the idea of children (teens) or adults playing such a violent first-person shooter (one person said it could train people to kill) there are a few bright spots of commentary on the usefulness of violent video games as a teaching tool.

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Pachter: Big IP Mistakes Could Impact October Sales

November 5, 2012 -

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that Electronic Arts and Activision's mismanagement of big first-person shooter titles could end up contributing to another month of "terrible" software sales for the game industry in October. He is referring to Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a game that was supposed to be a major release for EA in October and Activision's 007 Legends, which fared worse than Medal of Honor.

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Activision Rolls Out Call of Duty Dog Tags to Support The Call of Duty Endowment

November 1, 2012 -

Activision is gearing up to sell Call of Duty dog tags at select retailers throughout North America, with the proceeds going to its non-profit charitable organization, the Call of Duty Endowment. The Call of Duty dog tags will carry a suggested retail price of $4.99 and will be for sale beginning today at retailers GameStop, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Best Buy and Target.

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Some Activision Games Lose Online Functionality Because of Hurricane Sandy

October 31, 2012 -

While it is only a minor thing compared to some of the tragic losses (55 people have died so far in the United States, millions are without power and thousands have had their property severely damaged or destroyed) caused by Hurricane Sandy, Activision community manager Dan Amrich points out on his blog that the storm has affected online functionality for all Guitar Hero games and several Call of Duty titles.

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Activision Cuts 30 Jobs at Minneapolis Office

October 31, 2012 -

Activision has confirmed that it has eliminated 30 full-time positions at its Minneapolis office. The Minneapolis Minnesota office was mostly recently responsible for licensed titles such as the Cabela hunting games. The reduction in staff is due to Activision's new strategy for 2013 which will offer substantially fewer licensed titles in 2013.

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Edited Favela Map Returns to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Rotation

October 23, 2012 -

Earlier this month some Muslims in the Call of Duty community complained that the Favela multiplayer map in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was offensive because a painting placed above a toilet had holy teachings written around its frame "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty."

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Mists of Pandaria Pushes World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers Back Over 10 Million

October 4, 2012 -

While many have been keen to point out the continued decline of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft subscriber numbers, there's some good news for the company today: the latest expansion has given the game a boost past the 10 million subscriber mark. Back in August Blizzard revealed that its paid subscriber numbers had fallen to 9.1 million.

"It’s been gratifying to see the results of all of the work we put into this expansion and to hear all of the positive feedback from players so far," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said.

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No Doubt Agrees to Settle Band Hero Lawsuit against Activision

October 4, 2012 -

The Associated Press reports this morning that the lawsuit between Activision and ska rockers No Doubt has been quietly settled out of court. The lawsuit was related to Activision's game Band Hero allowing the likenesses of the band to sing other songs in the game. Similar lawsuits were filed against Activision for the same issue related to virtual avatars in its Band Hero and Guitar Hero games being used as virtual karaoke singers.

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Analyst: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Early Sales Well Below Expectations

September 28, 2012 -

An analyst at Lazard Capital is telling VentureBeat that early sales indicators on the newest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, are below expectations. The firm estimates 600-700k copies of the expansion sold at retail since its launch on Tuesday, down a whopping 60 percent from the previous expansion. VentureBeat notes that this estimate probably doesn't take into account digital downloads of the expansion.

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Report: Blizzard Can Track WOW Users Through In-Game Screenshots

September 11, 2012 -

This story on Slashdot Games reveals that screenshots taken in World of Warcraft have secret watermarks that can be used by Blizzard to track users - particularly when they are engaged in behavior considered to be illegal or that violates World of Warcraft's terms of service.

The story began a few days ago when a World of Warcraft players noticed that there was an odd mark on a screenshot he had taken in-game:

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Vivendi Still Considering Sale of Activision Blizzard Holdings, Says Source

September 7, 2012 -

According to a report on C&VG, Vivendi has not ruled out a sale of its majority stake in Activision Blizzard.

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Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
 

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