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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Blizzard Adds 72-Hour Restriction on Diablo III Digital Purchase

June 21, 2012 -

Blizzard announced today that those who buy a digital version of Diablo III through its online store will have to wait 72 hours before they can play the unrestricted full version of the game. During that time period players will have access to Act I up to the Skeleton King, a level 13 cap, and matchmaking only with other Starter Edition players. Global play will also be off limits and anyone attempting to play the Starter Edition in an outside region will get an "error 12." The auction houses will also be off limits.

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Cisco, ESA, Activision, Intel, and IBM Oppose ITC 'Order of Exclusion' Against Apple and Microsoft

June 11, 2012 -

Cisco Systems, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Activision Blizzard, Intel, and IBM, are the latest entities to send letters to the International Trade Commission asking them not to institute a ban on the Xbox 360 or various Apple products. Florian Mueller of Foss Patents has the breakdown of why Cisco and the ESA have sided with Microsoft in this particular dispute between the company behind Xbox 360 and Windows and Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

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Report: Vivendi SA Considering Sale of Activision Blizzard Holdings

June 7, 2012 -

According to a Bloomberg report, Vivendi SA plans to host a senior executive meeting later this month to discuss the possibility of unloading its 61 percent stake in Activision Blizzard. The report comes from several anonymous sources close to the situation, according to Bloomberg. The point of the meeting is to find ways to stop the stock from the continued state it has been in over the last year.

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Activision Claims Skylanders is a Cash Cow

June 1, 2012 -

If you think Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 made the most money for Activision in the first quarter, then you would be wrong. According to the company the biggest money maker for them in 2012 so far is Skylanders. Because the game encourages players to buy action figures that unlock additional characters and levels, it makes a ton of money they say.

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Blizzard's Seoul Office Raided by Korean Government

May 31, 2012 -

In the continuing saga between the Korean government and Blizzard over Diablo III's launch in the region, the Korean Federal Trade Commission raided Blizzard's Seoul office on Monday. The raid was part of an ongoing investigation into consumer complaints that Blizzard refused to give them refunds for Diablo III. Under Korean law, companies must give a refund to a customer within seven days of purchase if they ask for it. Blizzard's position is that it does not give refunds for products that are in use.

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Activision Settles with West, Zampella, and Former Infinity Ward Developers

May 31, 2012 -

Update: Polygon is reporting that, after a few days of closed door negotiations, Activision has settled its lawsuit with former Infinity Ward creative leads Jason West and Vincent Zampella, and 40 former Infinity Ward developers. Attorneys involved in the case told Polygon that the case won't be going to trial. A jury trial was scheduled for tomorrow.

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No Doubt Lawsuit against Activision Will Get Jury Trial

May 30, 2012 -

A Superior Court judge ruled that No Doubt's lawsuit against Activision and its game Band Hero can move forward. Activision lawyers had asked the court to dismiss the case, but Superior Court Judge Ramona See denied the motion. No Doubt appeared in the game Band Hero as playable characters, but the group sued Activision in November 2009 because they claimed that they only gave permission for their likenesses to be used when playing their own songs.

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South Korea Investigating Blizzard over Diablo III Refunds

May 29, 2012 -

Blizzard's Seoul division is under the eye of the South Korean government, who has decided to launch an investigation into whether the company violated the country's electronic commerce law when it launched Diablo III. The investigation hopes to determine if Blizzard knowingly launched Diablo III and made it an online game while not providing the necessary servers and networks needed to handle demand. But that's is not really what the investigation is about; when South Koreans demanded a refund for the trouble they encountered at launch, Blizzard did not comply.

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Square Enix: Activision was 'Crazy' to Abandon True Crime: Hong Kong

May 25, 2012 -

In an interview with GamesBeat, Square Enix’s Mike Fischer says that Activision was crazy when it made the decision to abandon True Crime: Hong Kong. Mike Fischer is the president and chief executive of the U.S. division of Square Enix, who also happens to own Eidos. Here's what he had to say about Activision letting the game now known as Sleeping Dogs go:

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Bungie - Activision Contract Unsealed as Part of West & Zampella Lawsuit

May 22, 2012 -

Documents from the legal battle between Activision and former Infinity Ward studio leads Jason West and Vincent Zampella have been unsealed revealing a bunch of details on the contract between Bungie and Activision. According to the LA Times, the documents are part of the case because the duo's lawyer Robert M. Schwartz is using the details of that deal to demand compensation for his clients.

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Activision v. West and Zampella Court Case Revelations

May 16, 2012 -

LA Times reporter Ben Fritz, who is in close proximity of the Activision v. West and Zampella court case happening in Los Angeles today has been furiously tweeting various scoops via his Twitter account. Among the revelations are that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle has denied Activision's motion to postpone the case for an additional thirty days. The trail will begin as scheduled on May 29.

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PSA: Getting to Know Your Diablo III Errors

May 16, 2012 -

If you are one of the millions (?) of poor souls (Diablo III players) wondering "why can't I log on to my local Battle.net server?" or "what the f**k is an 'error 37' or 'error 3003'?" then you need only look to Battle.net's various pages designed to keep you from losing your mind. First there's the server status page which tells you if the server in your region is up, down, or downright lost in the ether.

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Activision Cuts Infinity Ward Employee Group a $47 Million Check

May 14, 2012 -

According to a report from Polygon citing a source "familiar with the case," Activision has delivered a check for $47 million to lawyers representing the so-called "Infinity Ward Employee Group." This group made up of ex-employees of the studio that created the popular Call of Duty series claimed that Activision failed to pay to pay them royalties owed on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

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Analyst Maintains Outperform Rating on Activision, Raises Q2 and 2012 Revenue Estimates

May 10, 2012 -

Analyst Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated sent out a note this morning to investors of Activision stock saying that they are maintaining a rating of outperform. This rating is based on Activision's latest financial results which were fairly solid thanks to sales of its Skylanders line of toy-game hybrid products for various platforms and continued sales growth in its Call of Duty Elite membership program.

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Blizzard: Forty Second Delays May Be Added to Login Time at Diablo III Launch

May 8, 2012 -

Blizzard may have to trigger delays of up to 40 seconds when users log in to Battle.net to play Diablo III at launch on or around May 15. Those that fail to log in will get an "error 37 message," which may confuse them but they should simply try to log in again.

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Oliver North's Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Pitch

May 3, 2012 -

Fox News commentator Oliver North has been signed to help Activision sell its next big Call of Duty game, Call of Duty Black Ops 2. North appears on-screen in an infomercial for the game talking about war. We'll leave the characterizations to Fox News (from his bio there as a contributor to the network) and this Wikipedia entry on him, but the short story is that North's past is marked with scandal.

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Vivendi Strongly Denies Company Break-Up Rumors

April 27, 2012 -

Today Vivendi strongly denied a report from Bloomberg on Wednesday that the company was considering a major reorganization of its various properties. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the Paris-based conglomerate was discussing the possibility of splitting the company into two parts. One part would include its Universal Music Group and video game company Activision Blizzard. Bloomberg reported this based on sources "with knowledge of the matter."

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Analyst: Call of Duty Brand Losing Long Tail Effect at Retail

April 11, 2012 -

PiperJaffray analyst Michael Olson says that Call of Duty's "shortened tail" and a general lack of hits are the reasons for lower retail games sales recently. Olson says that the latest game in the series - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 - isn't maintaining the same long tail sales that 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops enjoyed. He projects that the game will be the eighth largest selling game in March 2012, comparing it to Blacks Ops - which was the fifth best selling game in the same period a year ago.

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Activision v. West, Zampella, EA Gets Trial Date

April 10, 2012 -

The lawsuit between Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella and Activision (with special guest star Electronic Arts) has been given a trial date this week. The case will officially begin on May 29, according to Game Informer. In late march a judge dismissed one of the claims that West and Zampella lodged against Activision in its original lawsuit - before Activision dragged EA into the fray.

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Worlds Inc. Sues Activision Blizzard over Virtual Worlds

April 9, 2012 -

A company called Worlds Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for infringing a patent the company holds related to virtual worlds. Let the trolling begin anew. Worlds Inc. claims that the company is violating a patent it holds related to "systems and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space." The company alleges in its claim that Activision's World of Warcraft and Call of Duty games violate its patents and that it is due compensation for it.

GameStop Signs Digital Distribution Deal with Blizzard

March 23, 2012 -

GameStop is banking on a new deal with Blizzard that it hopes will shore up its digital sales over the next several years. The deal will see GameStop offer customers the ability to buy games and digital goods for Blizzard games in the retailer’s stores in the U.S. and other regions. Diablo III, coming May 15, will be the first game sold via download codes in the stores.

Activision CEO: American Companies Should Do More for Jobless Veterans

March 21, 2012 -

In an editorial on Huffington Post, Activision Blizzard CEO (and co-chairmen of the company's charity, The Call of Duty Endowment), says that American corporations are not doing enough to help veterans returning home from two wars only to find a job market that doesn't want to hire them. This new battle at home, as Kotick calls it, puts veterans in a higher bracket of unemployment than the national average.

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Analyst: Diablo 3 Will Sell 5 Million Units in First Year of Release

March 15, 2012 -

With Blizzard announcing today that Diablo 3 will be released on May 15, it was only a matter of time before an analyst rolled out the cart with the crystal ball to make a prognostication about the game's sales.

"Our street-high FY12 EPS estimate of $1.05 assumes first year unit sell-through of 5MM for Diablo III, and assumes that over 1MM of the units incorporate the World of Warcraft 'annual pass' deal which allows WoW players who commit to a one-year subscription to receive Diablo III for free."

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Judge Dismisses One Fraud Claim from West v. Activision Case

March 9, 2012 -

Activision Blizzard had some luck this week in court when one of the claims of fraud brought against it in the ongoing legal battle against former Infinity Ward heads (Jason West and Vincent Zampella) and Electronic Arts was dismissed by the presiding judge. California State Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle (Los Angeles) today sided with Activision in their assertion that a fraudulent-inducement claim made by West and Zampella was without merit and shouldn't be allowed to move forward. Judge Berle let the duo's claim of promissory fraud move forward.

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Activision Blizzard Cuts 600 Jobs from Global Work Force

February 29, 2012 -

After an internal review, Activision has decided to eliminate 600 jobs across Blizzard's global workforce, according to GameIndustry.biz. Approximately 90 percent of these job cuts are unrelated to internal development, and the World of Warcraft development team will not be affected.

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Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

February 18, 2012 -

Yesterday, we reported that French gaming site Gameblog had apparently been blacklisted by Activision for reporting that Amazon’s French portal had briefly posted a listing for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Gameblog editor Grégory Szriftgiser spoke to Kotaku about what happened:

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Report: Activision Lashes Out at Game Blog for Revealing Name of Next Call of Duty

February 17, 2012 -

Activision is not a happy camper today as the name of its next Call of Duty title is leaked by Amazon's French portal, then quickly taken offline. According to the Amazon France page, the name of the next game is "Call of Duty Black Ops 2." The news was first reported by Gameblog.

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Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
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
 

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