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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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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Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:

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NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
 

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