Call of Duty Series Beating Battlefield 3 on Xbox Live

November 3, 2011 -

If the fight between EA's Battlefield 3 and the Call of Duty series is a popularity contest than EA is losing, according to online usage stats released by Xbox Live's Major Nelson. According to his list of most popular game being online for the week, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 are more popular than Battlefield 3. This might give EA some pause considering that these are very old games beating a game just barely released this month.

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Pirated Modern Warfare 3 Disc Makes the Rounds

October 27, 2011 -

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is set for release on Nov. 8, but the PC version of the game is already in the hands of pirates, according to this VentureBeat report. The PC version of the game (or at least the single player portion of the game) is being sold from pirate circles around the country. Apparently the pirated version of the game originated from a shipping warehouse (run by a huge shipping company) in Fresno, California.

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Pachter: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield to Generate $1.4 billion in Q4

October 24, 2011 -

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter loves to make predictions, and when he does, he goes big. Two of the biggest games this year - Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 - are set to launch in North America and Pachter has a big number that he believes both games will hit. Pachter believes that Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 will generate more than $1.4 billion combined by the end of the year.

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GameStop UK Offers BF3 for MW3 Trade-In

October 20, 2011 -

GameStop UK has an interesting trade-in offer that will give consumers across the pond Modern Warfare 3 for 0.99p. All they have to do is buy Battlefield 3 before October 27, then buy Modern Warfare 3 before midnight on November 7. If consumers who bought Battlefield 3 send it back to GameStop UK before November 18, their GameStop accounts will be refunded for MW3 minus £0.99.

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Infinity Ward Going to War with Modern Warfare 3 Cheaters

September 27, 2011 -

Infinity Ward's creative strategist Robert Bowling says that the studio has learned some hard lessons about online cheating from previous Call of Duty games, and is taking extraordinary measures to make sure that there is little (or at least less) of it in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. To that end, Bowling says that MW3 will have dedicated teams monitoring online activity and dealing with anyone foolhardy enough to cheat.

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Call of Duty XP Third Most Popular Televised Event in History

September 14, 2011 -

According to Activision its Call of Duty fan event, Call of Duty XP, was a smashing success and the second most viewed televised event in history. Speaking to IndustryGamers, Activision Publishing's top executive Eric Hirshberg said that they were delighted with how the event turned out and proud of the milestones it earned.

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West and Zampella v. Activision Gets Trial Date

September 12, 2011 -

Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella finally have a trial date in their long-running lawsuit with Activision. Their court battle with Activision over royalties allegedly owed from the Call of Duty series is set to go before a judge in Los Angeles on May 7, 2012.

"I’m really looking forward to having our day in Court," said Zampella in conversation with Forbes.

Zampella and West founded a new studio, Respawn Entertainment, in 2010, signed a deal with EA, and have hired over 60 employees.

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Activision Wins ModernWarfare3.com Domain Fight

September 8, 2011 -

Activision has prevailed in a fight with the owners of ModernWarfare3.com, a website that first came to light in July because it lampooned the Call of Duty series and Activision - and redirected visitors to the official Battlefield 3 site. Clearly a violation of naughty internet rule 370.

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Call of Duty v. Battlefield, Round 79

September 2, 2011 -

Ignoring calls from Activision to tone down its rhetoric, EA Label boss Frank Gibeau says that - for the first time - the Call of Duty series will face the first real competition it's had "in a long time."

Gibeau bragged that DICE's upcoming FPS shooter Battlefield 3 will "definitely" take market share away from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this Christmas.

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Activision Sells 18 Million Black Ops Map Packs

September 2, 2011 -

According to Activision CEO Eric Hirschberg, his company has sold in excess of 18 million Call of Duty: Black Ops map packs to date, and the average Black Ops player spent $76. That is a pretty impressive number by anyone's standards. The sales figures were released by Hirschberg during an investor event in Los Angeles yesterday. While it's a dramatic improvement over the last Call of Duty game (World at War sold 9 million map packs at $10 each with an average spend of $68 per player in its first nine months of release) DLC for the series always does well.

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Borderlands, Modern Warfare 3 Supporting Steamworks

August 29, 2011 -

Valve Software announced today that Activision's next Call of Duty game will use Steamworks. On a related note, over the weekend at PAX in Seattle, Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford revealed that the PC version of its role-playing game shooter, Borderlands, would add Steamworks support with a new update. The PC version of MW3 will be powered with Steamworks for both the digital and retail versions of the game. It will support offline play, auto-updating, achievements, and dedicated servers at launch. Naturally Steamworks adds a DRM layer as well.

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Scott Steinberg: EA's Mud-Slinging is a 'Smart Move'

August 23, 2011 -

EA's trash-talking to Activision about its Call of Duty franchise may be frowned upon in some circles, but Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global sees it as a clever ploy on the company's part to draw attention to its Battlefield series.

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EA's Brown Trash Talks to Activision CEO

August 19, 2011 -

While Activision's new CEO said earlier this week at Gamescom that EA should stop trash talking Call of Duty because it "hurt the entire industry," one of EA's top executives has a different point of view. The Battlefield publisher threw some verbal jabs at Activision's former AAA franchises and predicted that the Call of Duty franchise would collapse "In 2-3 Years."

"Welcome to the big leagues Eric," EA spokesperson Jeff Brown said in a comment issued to Kotaku addressed directly to Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision.

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Activision: EA Mud-Slinging Bad for Industry

August 18, 2011 -

Activision's CEO of publishing, Eric Hirschberg, has publicly criticized EA for what he calls "mud-slinging tactics" over the rivalry between the Modern Warfare series and Battlefield 3. According to Eurogamer, Hirschberg took some time out of his Gamescom keynote to encourage Activision's competitors to focus on development, rather than making negative comments in the press.

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Infinity Ward 'Welcomes Negative Feedback'

July 29, 2011 -

The very public face of Infinity Ward says that his company does not take offense when people that (seem to) hate Call of Duty criticize the game. Instead, the man in the public trenches for the wholly-owned Activision studio takes those complaints and finds useful feedback to help his company build a better game.

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NYC Attack in Modern Warfare 3 Not Like 911, says Infinity Ward

July 27, 2011 -

Activision's Infinity Ward studio has commented on a recent report by the UK-based Daily Mail Newspaper, who recently wrote an over-reaction to an upcoming mission set in New York City. The Daily Mail story - found here - played up the Russian assault on New York depicted in Modern Warfare 3, comparing it to what happened on September 11, 2001.

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ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

July 25, 2011 -

The Australian Christian Lobby has called for games to be banned if they contain violence that is "excessive or gratuitous." The call came as the world digests the bizarre rambling of a 1500-page manifesto written by Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik and released online shortly before he killed 76 people in and around Oslo, Norway.

The Australian federal government said yesterday that Breivik committed his crimes because there is "something clearly intrinsically wrong with him", not because he played violent video games.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge did say that Modern Warfare 2 should be reviewed to have a more restrictive R18+ rating in the country. It is currently rated MA15+.

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Call of Duty XP Tickets on Sale

July 22, 2011 -

Tickets are on sale for Activision's first annual event dedicated to Call of Duty, Call of Duty XP, at www.callofduty.com/xp. The event will take place September 2 - 3 in Los Angeles. Call of Duty XP tickets are now on sale. Tickets are $150 and are valid for both days of the event. In addition, buying a ticket gives you admission to all events and activities with the exception of food and drink. Naturally you'll have to pay for your own travel to and from the event. You can buy up to two tickets, the proceeds of which will go to the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit organization that helps returning veterans find employment, establish careers and transition back to civilian life. You must be 18 years old or older to attend.

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Domain Fight: Activision Wants Modernwarfare3.com

July 18, 2011 -

A new website not owned by Activision and - and at first glance dedicated to modern Warfare 3 - is causing a bit of ruckus. According to an Ars Technica report, the domain www.modernwarfare3.com began directing people to the official Battlefield 3 site, leading some to believe (including Activision) that the site might be owned by electronic Arts. The domain was registered in 2009 by Domains by Proxy - a company owned by Go Daddy, and the owners currently remain unknown. That hasn't stopped Activision from filing a domain name dispute with the National Arbitration Forum claiming that it has full rights to the domain for obvious reasons.

After garnering a bit of attention the web site offers the following commentary:

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Jason West and Vincent Zampella Lawsuit Gets Approval to Go Forward

June 20, 2011 -

The lawsuit against Activision from former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vincent Zampella soldiers on, thanks to a ruling from a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. The judge ruled June 14 that  there were sufficient facts to support the duo's allegations that Activision defrauded them by firing them shortly before significant royalty payments were due. The lawsuit was first filed in March 2010.

The two former heads of the Activision subsidiary Infinity Ward were terminated by the company after it conducted an investigation that allegedly turned up breaches of contract, insubordination, and violations of company policy. The duo allege wrongful termination that cost them more than $125 million in royalties. West and Zampella further allege that Activision had promised them the right to creative control to the Call of Duty series and increased royalty payments on future games.

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Two Million Sign Up for Call of Duty: Elite Beta

June 13, 2011 -

No matter what some fans may think of Activision's new Call of Duty: Elite subscription service, at least two million gamers are interested in it. According to Activision, around two million gamers have signed up for the Call of Duty: Elite beta test, set to happen on July 14. Elite will support Call of Duty: Black Ops first, followed by Modern Warfare 3 when it releases later this year.

Activision's Dan Amrich announced the news via his One of Swords blog and urged players to join up, noting that two million players is a mere fraction of the 30 million that play the game online.

In a subsequent post Amrich said that it is important for people that want to change the service for the better to participate now, because it will have a strong influence on the final product.

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Astonishing E3 Tales: Kotick Wanted Private Showing of Battlefield 3

June 9, 2011 -

It's kind of a funny story, though it might be more folklore than fact; Computer & Video Games has a report about a personal assistant to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick trying to get him in to see Battlefield 3 behind closed doors. As you can imagine, EA said no to the request.

According to the C&VG report (citing "a senior informant who witnessed the exchange first-hand") Bobby Kotick's personal assistant discussed the chances of a hands-on trial of the game with EA reps at the door of the publisher's private meeting room. The female assistant jumped to the front of the line on Wednesday morning to request a personal showing of the game for Kotick. After mulling it over inside the private meeting room, an EA representative declined the request, saying that "it would not be possible."

The PA put up a small fight in front of those waiting to get in and then left in a huff, according to the witness.

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Call of Duty Elite FAQ

June 3, 2011 -

In response to some confusion and anger in the Call of Duty community over Activision's reveal of the new Elite subscription service, the company has decided to release a list of frequently asked questions. While the FAQ doesn't answer too many questions about what a paid subscription will cost, it does reveal some of the free benefits users get with Elite.

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Beachhead: Security Number One in Call of Duty Elite

May 31, 2011 -

Beachhead, the newly formed Activision studio in charge of the Call of Duty Elite subscription services, claims that security is a very important piece of the puzzle for Activision. The service, which adds free and paid features to several Call of Duty games (it launches in November with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), will help the company deal with cheaters and hackers that have attempted to breach the game's various security systems.

"From a developer standpoint we put an extremely high premium on security," Chako Sonny, studio head at Beachhead tells Eurogamer.net. "We have dedicated staff focusing on that from an architectural standpoint, making sure nothing we design is exposed, and we're also making sure that we're securing the events and competitions that will eventually become part of the service."

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Activision Releases Details on Call of Duty Subscription Service

May 31, 2011 -

The official announcement for Activision's Call of Duty Elite service has been released, revealing a little bit more about the premium stand-alone service designed to enhance the company's popular games with various features. Elite is developed by Activision's new Beachhead studio and is basically a giant social network and matchmaking service for the Call of Duty franchise.

Many of Elite's features will be available free of charge, says Activision. The premium membership promises "state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market." No specific pricing was revealed today, but some have suggested (as we reported earlier) that it will cost about as much as a Netflix subscription.

Here are the core components, from the press release:

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Call of Duty Elite Details Come Early

May 31, 2011 -

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Activision will reveal a new subscription-based online service for Xbox 360 and PS3 called Call of Duty Elite. The Call of Duty Elite subscription would supplement Call of Duty releases - such as the upcoming Modern Warfare 3 - with extra content such as multiplayer maps, new game modes, and community features. While a fee hasn't been revealed (it might be later today when the embargo on Elite lifts and media outlets get the courage to talk about it) some have suggested that it will cost about as much as a Netflix streaming account (around $8 a month).

Even at this early hour, Activision is correcting those in the community that are calling Elite "paid multiplayer." Inifnity Ward's Robert Bowling spent a great deal of time this morning on Twitter telling people that Modern Warfare 3 will still have a full and complete multiplayer component that won't require Elite.

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Divorce Online: 15 Percent of Divorces Due to Game Addiction

May 31, 2011 -

Divorce Online, a website dedicated to getting rid of that dead weight in your marriage, claims that 15 percent of the divorces it has handled can be attributed to spouses that are addicted to online games such as world of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

According to a press release issued by Divorce Online, an examination of 200 unreasonable behavior petitions filed by women using its service between January - April of this year found that 15 percent complained that their husbands were happier playing video games than they were paying attention to them. They called their "gaming addiction" an unreasonable behavior that lead to the divorce they were seeking.

The release also offers comments from one disgruntled 21-year-old wife from London named Jessica Ellis, 24, who married husband Michael in 2008.

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NY Man Used Xbox Live, Call of Duty to Lure 12-Year-Old Boy

May 4, 2011 -

A Greece, New York (a small town northwest of Rochester) has been indicted this week on 19 charges alleging sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy he met online through Xbox Live. A Monroe County grand jury indicted 19-year-old Greece resident Richard J. Kretovic on nine counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, nine counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Kretovic was arrested April 19 on one felony charge of first-degree criminal sexual act and a misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child. At the time of his arrest, local police urged parents whose children might have been in contact with Kretovic to come forward. The charges delivered by the grand jury dealt only with one child, according to Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride. MacBride added that the investigation is continuing.

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Microsoft Warns of Modern Warfare 2 Phishing Scheme

April 27, 2011 -

An Xbox Live status update found here warns Modern Warfare 2 users to be on the lookout for scammers who have a brand new scheme ready to trick you into revealing your personal information. The "scheme" will occur while users are playing the game online, according to Microsoft. While hacking and phishing schemes related to Modern Warfare 2 are nothing new to players on every platform the game is on, users who love the game must be ever vigilant in avoiding getting caught in some sort of trap.

"Users may receive potential phishing attempts via title specific messaging while playing Modern Warfare 2," Microsoft warns via the status message.

Microsoft adds that it is "working to resolve the issue."

We hope they figure it out sooner rather than later. However, if you are an MW2 player, be vigilant.

7 comments | Read more

Fantasy Warfare: West, Zampella and Call of Duty

April 6, 2011 -

In theory, former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella could regain partial control of the Call of Duty franchise. We say in theory because the chances of that ever happening are somewhere between slim and none. But the two counts of fraud that the duo added to its lawsuit against Activision earlier this week also asked the court to rescind the Memorandum of Understanding agreement. If the court were to give them a favorable ruling hypothetically, the duo could co-own Call of Duty and release their own games in the series. It's an interesting scenario to explore, even if it is on par with the plot to Independence Day in terms of likelihood.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter - and most anyone with an inkling of common sense say that this will never happen.

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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
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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