Late last year Activision announced a licensing deal with LEGO competitor and toy maker Mega Brands to make building toy sets based on its popular mature-rated action game series, Call of Duty. The toy sets, which were launched in January, are finally getting the attention of children's advocacy groups and one outspoken UK MP - UK Labour MP Keith Vaz, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee.
Cautionary tale #657: drinking too many energy drinks to do anything - in this case to play a marathon session of Call of Duty - can put you in a coma. That is exactly what happened to a 14-year-old Norwegian boy. After drinking four liters of energy drinks he collapsed and was hospitalized with kidney failure. He then slipped into a coma for several days.
Call of Duty Elite, Activision's stat tracking system for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, will officially shut down on Friday, February 28. The system is shutting down mainly because Call of Duty: Ghosts uses the new stat tracking system called "Clan Wars." The current Call of Duty app will serve as a replacement for Elite when it goes offline, according to Activision.
Even though Activision warned (earlier in the year) that it expected this year's iteration of the Call of Duty series to be down compared to last year's Black Ops II because of the transition to new console systems, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz is sounding alarm bells with investors today. The analyst noted that sales of the franchise year-over-year are down 19 percent and could ultimately be down a lot lower than that for the life of the title.
Activision has released a Call of Duty Ghost hotfix for all platforms that deals with several serious issues that have been plaguing the game's online community for awhile. The hotfix addresses various hacks including "invisibility" and "god mode" being used in multiplayer.
Activision has also released the first update for the Xbox One version of the game, including general performance and stability fixes.
According to an announcement made by Activision today, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the best-selling PS4 game so far. The PlayStation 4 launched on Nov. 15, and the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts was launched on the same day. The game is also available for last-generation consoles and PC, with an Xbox One version launching at the end of this week. The company cited sales data from top North American retailers including Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Wal-Mart.
You can watch the band's latest music video to your left.
Video game cover band Critical Hit has released a second music video on YouTube today - this time playing its own rendition of "Battle for New York" from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The band will also be performing live at BlizzCon 2013 on November 9 and taking part in a panel on sound in games. In case you don't know, Critical Hit is a game music cover band led by Blizzard’s composer Jason Hayes, as a side freelance project.
Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz is saying something publicly that must be music to Activision's ears: what critics say about Call of Duty: Ghosts does not matter. Speaking to GII, Creutz says that latest title in the series is "somewhat review-proof."
"We think [Call of Duty] has become such an embedded franchise that it is somewhat review-proof," said Creutz to GII.
At this time of year when a new Call of Duty game hits, Activision is usually able to say that the latest release in its popular franchise is the greatest launch in video game history. But following on the heels of Take-Two's and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V, it seems like Activision is tweaking its message a little bit.
Call of Duty: Ghost, the latest in Activision's best-selling military-themed shooter series, releases today, but current generation versions of the game have been hacked, according to this Polygon report.
Prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto V in September, Activision held the title of biggest video game launch in history with Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Activision UK senior brand manager Kevin Flynn recently told MCV that congratulations were in order for the folks at Rockstar, but that they shouldn't get too comfortable with the title they recently earned:
To celebrate 15 years in business Amazon UK has released its best selling games list of all time, and the Call of Duty series is prominently highlighted throughout. According to Amazon UK, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (all platforms) is the best selling game in the service's history, followed by Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, Grand Theft Auto V (which has only been out since September in the UK), and Black Ops 2.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a lengthy statement today noting that it is time that games involving war start including the actual laws of war. The IRCC says that this could be done without interfering with the fun that millions of players have playing first-person shooters.
It looks like the fellow behind the stories for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2 has had his latest television project greenlit by CBS. NCIS: LA creator Shane Brennan has teamed with video game writer Jesse Stern for a show called Insecurity. The duo previously worked together on the mothership NCIS series.
A new study by the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester comes to the conclusion that first-person shooters can help players better perceive motion... while walking backwards. The research was recently published in a paper called "Selectively enhanced motion perception in core video gamers" in the journal Perception.
Tulsa, Oklahoma Talk Radio Station KFAQ AM 1170 gives former Florida Attorney and familiar anti-game crusader Jack Thompson a chance to talk about his favorite subject: Grand Theft Auto.
On Pat Campbell's podcast, Thompson discusses at length the effects of the Grand Theft Auto series, the Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis' obsessive gaming habits, and the possible culpability of corporations that make violent video games.
You can find the show here. It's about 30 minutes long.
An article on ABC News tries to determine how violent video games fit in with real-world violent behavior. The report focuses on what Michael Ritrovato said about Washington Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis' obsessive gaming habits.
Ritrovato, who has been name checked in a number of stories for these comments, tells ABC News that the former Navy reservist was obsessed with military-style video games:
Last week we asked our readers if they thought adding a female solider into Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer was a good call on Infinity Ward's part. Overwhelmingly, our readers thought that giving players a female option in multiplayer is a good idea.
Around 297 votes were casts in the poll, with the majority of those votes - 89 percent (264 votes) - agreeing that the new option is a good thing. Around 11 percent (33 votes) thought that adding a female soldier to multiplayer was not a good idea.
This week hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by Joystiq Managing Editor Susan Arendt to talk about female soldiers in Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer, a Connecticut lawmaker who wants game makers to stop "licensing" deals with gun makers, the best reason to go to PAX, Gone Home and Saturday Morning RPG, that infamous OUYA ad, and even some of Andrew's LEGO game milestones. Download Episode 66 now: SuperPAC Episode 66 (1 hour, 15 minutes) 69.3 MB.
Despite the fact that a fair number of its games take place in the modern day, the Call of Duty series has never included women as playable characters in its main multiplayer mode. Hell, so far as I know, Tanya Pavelovna from the single player campaign of 2004's Call of Duty: Finest Hour is the only playable female character in the history of the entire series!
Until now, that is.
In Andrew's latest video he talks about Call of Duty: Ghosts adding female characters into multiplayer. Chances are you can probably tell when he's being facetious, taking at dig at someone, or just engaging in overblown theatrics to make a point in the video. If you can't, then I recommend that you ask him forcefully about it in the comments.
If you enjoyed this video then you should probably check out Andrew's YouTube channel to find even more of his antics!
Activision has let several game trademarks expire, according to GameSpot. Activision has let trademarks for "Call of Duty: Space Warfare" and "Call of Duty: Secret Warfare" expire. Activision filed the trademark application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in May 2010, but no game was ever announced.
During a special reveal of multiplayer modes in Call of Duty Ghost at an LA event today, Infinity Ward revealed that it has added female models into the game. In addition to having the ability to play as a female soldier, the multiplayer offers dynamic events that affect gameplay and new moves such as knee slides, mantling, and contextual leaning. The game also adds 30 new weapons (including a new Marksman Rifle weapon class), 20 new killstreaks, 14 maps at launch, seven new multiplayer modes, and a new Squads mode that supports up to six players on a team.
Infinity Ward producer Mark Rubin welcomes the competition that the Battlefield series brings to the market because it makes Call of Duty a better product. He believes that competition from games like the Battlefield series helps push his studio to do more with its own games, and that's a good thing.
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.
Robert Bowling's LA-based game development studio Robotoki had a scare this week when heavily armed police officers from the LAPD raided the offices in response to a panic alarm going off. Polygon chronicles the saga pretty well - complete with some still photos from an ADT security camera - but the short of it is that things could have gotten ugly because of a cardboard cutout from a game.
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.
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.
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.