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.

3 comments | Read more

World of Warcraft Access in Iran Cut Off Due to U.S. Trade Sanctions

August 28, 2012 -

Blizzard Entertainment has been forced to cut off access to its popular MMO World of Warcraft to subscribers in Iran, due to ongoing (in an earlier version of the story we used the term "new" to describe the trade sanctions, which was not accurate.) U.S. trade sanctions against the country. The company issued the following statement to a thread complaining about World of Warcraft not being available in the region:

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Blizzard: No Plans to Raise Level Cap on World of Warcraft Starter Edition

August 23, 2012 -

If you thought the makers of World of Warcraft were sitting around wringing their hands over the trend to rush towards full free-to-play models, think again. Blizzard Entertainment's John Lagrave, the producer for World of Warcraft, tells Computer & Video Games that the company has no plans to raise the level cap for free players above level 20. The company introduced the free Starter Edition of the game in June, which lets players fool around within the virtual world - without too many restrictions - up to level 20.

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Axl Rose's Guitar Hero Lawsuit Moving Forward, Judge Dismisses One Claim

August 16, 2012 -

A hearing was held on Tuesday in a Los Angeles courtroom for the Axl Rose Guitar Hero lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The Guns N' Roses lead singer was featured in Guitar Hero III alongside band member Slash, which agitated Rose to no end. The court hearing delivered mixed results for Rose as he tried to move forward with his $20 million lawsuit against the publisher of the game.

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Dehydrated Teenager Hospitalized After 4-Day CoD Marathon

August 8, 2012 -

CBS Cleveland News is reporting that 15-year-old Tyler Rigby has been hospitalized after a 4-day gaming marathon left him severely dehydrated.  Reportedly, the Columbus teen locked himself in his room to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  According to his mother, he emerged for the occasional potty and snack break.

13 comments | Read more

Diablo III Player Claims $10K Profit from Real Money Auction House

August 7, 2012 -

According to this thread on Reddit (by way of CVG), one poster who remains anonymous claims that he (or she) has managed to make $10,000 from Diablo III virtual item trading using the game's Real Money Auction House.

7 comments | Read more

An Open Letter from Blizzard to the Diablo III Community

July 19, 2012 -

Blizzard President Mike Morhaime posted a rather lengthy open letter on Battle.net to talk about the launch of Diablo III, the problems associated with that launch, the need for the "always-on" requirement, and what the company has planned for the game in the future.

Morhaime starts by talking about how the launch was a smashing success, but noted that it is hard to predict how the number of players they would have to deal with at launch in advance.

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Report: Vivendi Taps Goldman Sachs and Barclays To Sell Off Activision Blizzard Holdings

July 19, 2012 -

According to a Wall Street Journal report Vivendi has tapped two investment banks to help it sell off the assets of Activision Blizzard. Vivendi wants to unload its majority stake in the company responsible for Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, which WSJ estimates is worth $8.1 billion.

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Blizzard to Add New Limits to Diablo III in the 'Near Future'

July 18, 2012 -

According to a post on the Battle.net forums, Blizzard plans to limit the number of games a player can create within a given timeframe to combat the use of bots. The company did not detail the number of games, nor the time frame in which players would be limited - that roast is still in the proverbial oven. Whatever the parameters are, this change will happen in the "near future."

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World of Warcraft Server Blades Auction Raises $300K for Charity

July 13, 2012 -

World of Warcraft players helped Blizzard raise $330,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The funds are the result of a charity auction that saw the sale of some retired WOW server hardware put up by Blizzard on eBay earlier this year.

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Treyarch Reveals 'Champion of the 99 Percent' as Villain in Black Ops 2

July 11, 2012 -

Treyarch is diving headfirst into politics with the new villain from Call of Duty Black Ops 2. According to Gameranx the new villain will be Raul Menendez, a man described as a "champion of the 99 percent," who is a lot like Wikileaks front man Julian Assange. In the game Menendez hopes to start a "global insurrection against the status quo."

2 comments | Read more

Blizzard Details Comic-Con 2012 Plans

July 9, 2012 -

Blizzard did not attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June and it announced that it wouldn't be hosting a BlizzCon event this year, but the company seems to be ramping up its attendance at events that allow actual fans (as opposed to just industry professionals and games journalists) to experience its games and culture first-hand. Recently it announced that it would be in full force at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany later this year, and today it revealed its plans for Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego at the end of this week (July 12 - 15).

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Bobby Kotick Acknowledges the Challenges of Bringing Call of Duty to China

July 6, 2012 -

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick admitted in a recent interview with CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box that bringing Call of Duty Online to market in China is a risky proposition. While Kotick expresses confidence in Tencent Holdings in making the game based on its popular first-person shooter series successful in Mainland China, Kotick also knows that there is a risk when bringing a Western game into a new market with different business models and player tastes.

2 comments | Read more

Pachter: Vivendi Probably Won't Sell Activision Blizzard

July 3, 2012 -

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter has said in a note to investors (PDF) that it is unlikely that Vivendi would sell off Activision Blizzard.

1 comment | Read more

Activision in Pact With Tencent for Call of Duty Online

July 3, 2012 -

Activision Blizzard has inked a deal with Chinese online games giant Tencent Holdings Limited to bring Call of Duty Online to Chinese players. In its announcement this morning Activision said that Call of Duty Online has been in development by Activision Publishing for approximately two years. Under the multi-year agreement with Activision Publishing, Tencent gains the exclusive licensing rights to operate Call of Duty Online in mainland China. The game is described as free-to-play and uses a monetized in-game store to sell virtual items.

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Report: Activision Blizzard-Owned Studio Radical to Close

June 29, 2012 -

It looks like Prototype series makers Radical Entertainment may be closing. The Canadian-based studio has fallen victim to lackluster Prototype 2 sales, according to Activision officials.

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Activision Names Top Winners of Independent Games Competition

June 25, 2012 -

Activision has announced the winners of its Independent Games Competition. Christopher Hui's Iron Dragon won first place in the developer competition, and the $175,000 cash prize. Iron Dragon is an action flight adventure game designed for touch-screen devices. Second place and a $75,000 prize went to Michael Stanton's Planet Smashers, a multiplayer action game built from scratch.

The contest entries were judged by IndieCade. All winners retain the intellectual property rights to their games.

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Andrew EisenMP - I love that games but damn my squadmates are bozos.09/21/2014 - 10:05pm
MaskedPixelanteSWAT teams should be banned until they; 1. Learn not to walk into enemy fire, 2. Learn to throw the flashbang INTO the doorway, not the frame and 3. Stop complaining that I'm in their way.09/21/2014 - 9:53pm
Craig R.I'm getting of the opinion that SWAT teams nationwide should be banned. This probably isn't even the most absurd situation in which they've been used.09/21/2014 - 9:26pm
Andrew EisenAnd, predictably, it encouraged more parody accounts, having the exact opposite effect than what was intended.09/21/2014 - 7:07pm
E. Zachary KnightThis is called a police state people. When public officials can send SWAT raids after anyone for any offense, we are no longer free.09/21/2014 - 6:41pm
E. Zachary KnightJudge rules SWAT raid tageting parody Twitter account was justified. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/19/illinois-judge-swat-raid-parody-twitter-peoria-mayor09/21/2014 - 6:41pm
MechaTama31quik: But even if it did break, at worst it is only as bad as the powder. Even that is assuming that it is dangerous through skin contact, which is not a given if its delivery vehicle is a syringe.09/21/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/09/20/isis-uses-gta-5-in-new-teen-recruitment-video/09/21/2014 - 4:25pm
quiknkoldSyringes can break. And in a transcontinental delivery, the glass could've broken when crushed. I work in a mail center. Shit like this is super serious09/21/2014 - 3:25pm
E. Zachary KnightIt doesn't matter what is inside the needle. As long as it requires him to take the step of purposefully injecting himself, the threat of the substance is as close to zero as you can get.09/21/2014 - 1:27pm
quiknkoldEzach: I'm not talking about the needle. I'm talking about what's inside. Geeze. Depending on what it is, the sender could be guilty of bioterrorism.09/21/2014 - 12:51pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, No. That syringe is not worse than white powder or a bomb. The syringe requires the recipient to actually inject themselves. Not true for other mail threats.09/21/2014 - 12:49pm
Andrew EisenThe closest to a threat I ever received was a handwritten note slipped under my door that read "I KNOW it was you." Still no idea what that was about. I think the author must have got the wrong apartment.09/21/2014 - 12:28pm
InfophileThat's what they call it? I always called it hydroxic acid...09/21/2014 - 11:57am
MaskedPixelanteProbably dihydrogen monoxide, the most dangerous substance in the universe.09/21/2014 - 10:14am
james_fudgewell I hope he called the police so they can let us all know.09/21/2014 - 9:07am
quiknkoldIt's pretty gnarly. Depending on what it is, it could be worse than white powder or a fake bomb.09/21/2014 - 9:06am
james_fudgeI just looked it up on UPS.com09/21/2014 - 8:56am
james_fudgeand expensive for an American to ship to London.09/21/2014 - 8:55am
E. Zachary KnightThat is pretty scary. Would have been worse if it were a fake bomb or white powder.09/21/2014 - 8:49am
 

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