New Ghostbusters Game Won’t Feature Reboot Film Cast

Activision has unveiled a new Ghostbusters game, billed as a tie-in to the up-coming all-female movie reboot, directed by Paul Feig, and yet it doesn’t feature any of the cast members from said film. Rather than focus on the new cast of characters, played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, the game – confusingly titled just Ghostbusters – introduces a new team of two guys and two girls.

The game is a third-person action RPG, featuring Diablo-esque four-player co-op, and is set for release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. An additional mobile game, Ghostbusters: Slime City, is being released on iOS and Android.

“This July, Ghostbusters returns to screens both big and small,” the Activision announcement reads. “That’s right, in addition to the new film from Sony Pictures, this July we’re introducing two all-new Ghostbusters adventures for consoles and mobile devices — Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters: Slime City, respectively. Both games will feature new casts of rookies as they fight rogue sprits while the now-famous Ghostbusters are off stopping high-profile poltergeists.”

“On PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, there’s Ghostbusters, a third-person action role-playing game with up to four-player local co-op,” the Activision blog adds. “Each player can level up their character’s gear and abilities by battling ghosts, completing objectives, or discovering hidden collectibles. Players will have four heroes to choose from, each with their own unique personality and play style that benefit the overall team.”

Ghostbusters is set for release on the same day as the film reboot, 15th July.

Has The Latest Ghostbusters Release Date Been Leaked by Newegg?

Ghostbusters is one of the most recognizable franchises ever devised and spawned a number of interesting games. For example, the ZX Spectrum version of Ghostbusters featured a wacky take on the iconic theme tune and surprisingly advanced mechanics for the time. Moving to the modern era, Activision released Ghostbusters: The Video Game in 2009. The gameplay revolves around shooting in the third person perspective and is very impressive when compared to other officially licensed video games. I still feel it’s a little bit underrated despite good reviews and is well worth checking out.

Not so long ago, a trailer was released showing the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot which caused some controversy. This is because of the predominately female cast including s Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones in the lead roles.  Whatever your views, it’s clear the initial unveil received a mixed reception and there’s some skepticism surrounding the film prior to its availability in cinemas. To coincide with the film’s release, Activision is reportedly releasing a game but there’s not much information regarding the genre or release date. However, US retail giant, Newegg has listed the PlayStation 4 version with a release date of 7/12/2016. Of course this could simply be a placeholder and delays are quite common when producing video games on the latest consoles.

Saying that, I’m sure Activision is keen to unveil the game as quickly as possible when the film is still in everyone’s minds to create a sense of excitement. It’s important to be wary of licensed games because they have a pretty terrible history. The most pertinent of example of this is Rambo which has some of the worst design decisions and graphics I’ve seen for a long time. Personally, I’m looking forward to the new Ghostbusters video game and hope it lives up to its predecessor.

Tom Clancy’s The Division Was More Popular Than Black Ops for a Moment

Tom Clancy’s The Division has attracted a lot of attention, with it making a staggering $330 million during release week alone. With such high levels of sales is it really any surprise that the game became the most popular title on Xbox one?

The Division has risen to the most popular title on Xbox One, knocking off Activision’s call of Duty: Black Ops III, a favourite for many games and a series that seems to claim the most popular title every year when the next in the series releases. With no exact numbers, it’s hard to tell how much (or how little) the Division had overtaken Black Ops III but by the time, we managed to grab wind of this, Black Ops III had already regained its title, hinting that the competition is closer than people might expect. Thanks to VG247 for grabbing a shot of the Divisions title, shown below.

The Division doesn’t look to be slowing either, starting with its large opening week momentum, people are keen to see how the game progresses with patches being released regularly to deal with players troubles and issues in the game such as the inability for players in safe zones to even get a quest. You can see the current chart (as of 27th March 2016) below, showing that Call of Duty III is back at the top, but maybe for only a little while.

The Division is grabbing some help with mods, such as the SweetFX Mod responsible for turning the game into a 4K experience within the game. Are you a player of the Division? Is it worth the hype? Have you stopped playing it? Tell us about your experience with the game in the comments.

Activision is Harassing a Modder After He Reveals Odds of Drops

Call Of Duty is one of the biggest franchises in the gaming world, with releases year after year from no less than 3 developers now. With so many games it comes as no surprise that their modding community is quite active as well, bringing new maps and options to gamers all over. One modder seems to have caught the developers eye resulting in claims that Activision are harassing a modder over some of his content.

In the Reddit post, moderator and modder TheReal_DF (DecrypterFixer), explains how much of a fan he has been, especially of the zombie survival mode. Recalling everything from his average of wave 45 in the zombie survival mode and how he got into the game mode only to then discover the mysteries of easter eggs within the game. Being interested in programming TheReal_DF decided to have a look and see how the game (Black Ops 1) worked.

TheReal_DF even says that the game helped him better at reading assembly language, a skill which eventually got him his dream job. That’s where the post goes south, describing the game as something that no longer represents what he “loved”.

In a follow-up post by chefslapchop, it’s revealed that “Activision has been harassing him legally him exposing the annals of their micro transactions and creating offline mods”. If this isn’t clear he then goes on to point out that in particular Activision dislikes that TheReal_DF has been “trying to find the exact odds of supply drops so people know what they’re spending money on”.

So a community loses a great person, a modder, all thanks to a company “harassing” him over offline content (not even stuff that affects people online, unlike the many hackers that exploit the game) and the fact that he wants to help people understand and make better decisions in the game.

Do you agree with this? Who’s side are you on? Is Activision right to be upset someone is looking at and learning from their work or should we all have the right to learn and enjoy games without the companies that create them trying to bully and scare us from their communities?

Humble Store Features Deals On Activision Games

Humble Bundle are known for their bundles, but more recently they’ve started up several other offerings. If you feel like comics or books, the humble book bundles currently offering sci-fi and thriller stories from upcoming authors or you can immerse yourself in the world of elves and dwarves with the Lord Of the Rings audiobook bundle including the original hobbit story for only $15. One of the less used sources for games the Humble store gives both charity and companies are cut of the sales, and currently you can get a selection of Activision games at large discounts.

Feel like playing the merc with a mouth? Get the Deadpool game for 50% off at £14.99 or restore balance in The Legend of Korra for only £2.99 (75% off). Want something a little darker? Enjoy playing the dark side of life as a vampire in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines for only £3.74.

Of course, any Activision  collection wouldn’t be complete without their contribution to the Call of Duty series, all of which currently feature 50% off their standard price. This collection also includes the Call of Duty Complete Zombie Experience which has every game and DLC involving Call of Duty zombies for only £67.48.

With series like the Amazing Spiderman games and Transformer War For Cybertron series also discounted your wallet may give way under the weight of the deals you are sure to find on the Humble Store this weekend.

Activision Will Not be Hosting an E3 Press Event

Activision is one of the leading attractions during press events due to the Call of Duty series which continues to sell an impressive number of units every year. You might expect given the yearly release cycle and similar gameplay mechanics, consumers to become less enthusiastic. Although, the series certainly receives some criticism for its iterative updates, and ability to make so much money! As always, each year’s unveiling of the latest entry gains a lot of media attention and publicity on social media. Whether it’s mocking the franchise, or discussing its merits, there’s a great deal of social media engagement.

However, Activision has decided to forgo their usual plans, and will not be hosting a press conference during E3 this year. The reasoning behind this is to save money, and raises questions about the importance of E3 in the gaming industry. This move follows EA’s plans to also have a small presence during E3. It’s important to remember that both companies will be in attendance, but they won’t be showcasing their games in a dedicated press conference. EA is launching their own event, which probably has much smaller fees compared to a booth on the E3 show floor. However, Activision doesn’t seem to be adopting a similar strategy and just scaling back their efforts.

So what does this mean? Perhaps, big publishers no longer see a return of investment from events like E3 and feel it’s not financially prudent. In an era where there’s a huge array of media events including Gamescom, Pax and others, they might not perceive E3 as that important. This decision clearly revolves around money and I’m sure their research suggests that any presence at E3 isn’t making a substantial difference with sales.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts regarding E3 and if you feel it’s still relevant in the modern gaming industry?

Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 Leaked by UK Gaming Magazine

Call of Duty is one of the most profitable franchises in the gaming industry and continues to set unbelievable sales records. There are many consumers out there who own a console, and play Call of Duty every year without looking into other gaming experiences. The same applies to sports games which seem to hold people’s attention despite each release being fairly iterative. Of course, users can spend their money as they choose, and the hundreds of hours invested into a Call of Duty’s multiplayer provides a great reason to buy each year’s release. Personally, it’s not for me, but I’m pleased to see different games which cater to unique audiences. Call of Duty: Ghosts received fairly disappointing reviews and sparked debate about the lack of innovation in the series.

It’s quite uncommon for a Call of Duty game to have widespread criticism from the press, as most websites usually opt for high scores. However, Call of Duty: Ghosts didn’t offer anything new, and ran extremely poorly on PC. To this day, the PC version is plagued by terrible optimization, a mundane single player and lacklustre gameplay. It’s really not worth bothering with and a waste of your time. Given the negative publicity surrounding Call of Duty: Ghosts, you might expect its sequel to undergo a re-branding exercise. Despite this, a scanned version of the February issue of GamesTM contains Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 in a segment entitled, “2016 Most Wanted Games”. The issue was scanned by Mari Fernett, and sent into the publication FragHero. Here we can see the front cover:

According to the magazine, Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 will launch in November 2016, and be produced by Infinity Ward.

A transcription of the game’s description reads:

“When creative strategist Robert Bowling exited Infinity Ward in 2012, he put the departure down to the studio doing “too much ‘pew pew’ not enough new new.” We got a look at what he meant with the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts – a solid, yet unspectacular next-gen debut for the franchise. Infinity Ward will have had three years to work on a follow up, and it needs to showcase the same creative spark that once put in on the map with Modern Warfare back in ’08 if it wants any chance of standing shoulder to shoulder with Sledgehammer and Treyyarch.”

Are you a fan of the Call of Duty franchise?

Activision Reduces Workforce Due to Poor Guitar Hero And Skylanders Sales

Activision is one of the most profitable video game publishers in the industry and produces a wide range of successful franchises including Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. As a result, the studio can invest large sums of money into projects and usually makes an impressive return. Although, the company doesn’t really take any risks and focuses on sequels which have a long-standing history of being popular.

For example, Activision funds a yearly release cycle for Call of Duty and continues to set record sales targets. Arguably, this has resulted in some fans being disappointed with the series due to a lack of innovation. It’s also a target of mocking as people perceive the franchise as a way of printing money for Activision. Despite the financial success of Activision’s main IPs, there has been some disappointing sales of late. For example, Activision has tried to capture the casual market on mobile devices and bring it to consoles. An Activision spokesperson told Gameinformer

“As announced on our earnings call, our games for core audiences did extremely well, but the casual audience has not yet emerged on next-gen consoles,”

“So we are refocusing to better align with Activision’s long-term priorities because, as always, our strategy evolves to keep us ahead of a rapidly-changing industry. We are working with those impacted by the changes to offer outplacement services and support.”

It’s always sad to see people losing their jobs especially in the games industry where there’s so much competition. Clearly, the console audience is accustomed to an enriching narrative and complex gameplay. Casual games on smartphones work superbly because they offer downtime at any location and provide tactile controls. Barring a few exceptions, I can’t really see puzzle games being that successful on consoles unless there’s a shift in attitudes from players. They are rightfully very wary of the casual business model and distrust publishers’ use of microtransactions.

Image courtesy of Forbes

Destiny Will Not Offer Ammo Microtransactions

Over the years, gaming habits change. From triple-A games being released at £40, to subscription-based games and even free games with paid bonuses. A large number of customers are offended by companies who release a game and then request more money in either DLC or microtransactions that are sometimes already packaged with the original game. Destiny is a popular subscription based game that was recently rumoured to include ammo microtransactions.

Microtransactions are almost like small DLC (downloadable content), they focus on adding a little experience to the game, normally at the cost of real-world money. Want to change the colours of your outfit? That will be £1.50. Don’t want to spend months grinding away to possibly get the gun you want? Buy it for £5. Microtransactions can be seen as good or bad, depending on how the company implements them and if they use them to restrict players choices or give others power boosts.

Activision has come forward saying that they will not be charging for the heavy ammo synth. The item in question offers a one-time refill for a players heavy weapon’s ammunition, something that could be seen as unfair given their rare drops. Offering players a boost for real world money is not something new but Destiny has so far avoided using these kinds of microtransactions. Destiny does currently feature microtransactions but only for emotes (actions the player can perform such as dancing on the spot or taunting the enemy), something that will not affect actual gameplay and is more for personalising your experience.

With microtransactions becoming the normal for so many games, it’s nice to see a game where the focus is on expanding the gameplay through expansions and events rather than asking for a continuous stream of money for highly controversial boosts.

How many of you still play Destiny, are you happy to hear this won’t be a paid for addition to the game?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Declared Biggest Entertainment Launch of 2015

Despite churning out sequel after sequel, the Call of Duty franchise continues to be extraordinary popular and a commercial success. By now, you might have expected the game’s earnings to have curtailed off, and continued on a downward slope. However, Black Ops 3 grossed over $550 million in a mere three days. To put this into perspective, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of 2015 and even surpassed major film releases. Activision relayed the news in a Twitter post which reads:

https://twitter.com/BlackOps3News_/status/664434930001154050/photo/1

This illustrates the surprising longevity of Activision’s first-person-shooter and ability to retain its loyal audience. On another note, video games are becoming so successful, and a genuine threat to the movie industry. Sadly, the game suffers from a number of performance issues on PC which revolves around strange RAM and VRAM utilization. Nowadays, Call of Duty’s main player base is on console and many people simply purchase a system to play COD and Fifa.

I’m interested to see how long the series can remain profitable and when the bubble will finally burst. Call of Duty almost seems like a dirty secret, as people often deride it in public, but the sales tell a different story.

Are you a fan of Call of Duty?

Activision Launches its Own Film Studio

The cumbersomely-named Activision Blizzard, publishers of the World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Skylanders games, has decided to cut out the middleman and launch its own film studio, according to Deadline. Activision Blizzard Studios will use its gaming intellectual properties to create movies and TV shows, with children’s television action show Skylanders Academy, an adaptation of the popular Skylanders games, already in development, with Futurama’s Eric Rogers attached as showrunner.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, promises that the studio will “approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development,” a sentence which will mean very different things to different people.

Predictably, the studio has a “near-term initiative” to create “a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise” which may include “the possibility of television adaptations.”

“We’re not in the film and television business, we’re in the franchise, intellectual property business,” Co-President Nick van Dyk said during a sales call, adding that “This gives us a terrific position to pursue partnerships,” making the studio “extremely attractive to financial partners.” It’s inspiring to hear that the move is all about the art.

The studio’s inception comes in the wake of the imminent World of Warcraft movie, the first trailer for which hit yesterday.

After Activision Blizzard’s recent $5.9 billion purchase of King, can we expect a Candy Crush Saga movie soon? Or maybe the underappreciated classic Farm Heroes?

Activision Acknowledges Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Problems

 

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5’s release has been shambolic, with absurd glitches and visually ancient texture quality. To put this train wreck into perspective, the game’s user score on Metacritic currently stands at 1.6 with a press rating of 36. Given this public outcry, an Activision spokesperson released a statement which reads:

“We are aware of the issues that players have experienced following the launch of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5,”

“And [we] are working with the developer to address these so that we can continue to improve the gameplay experience for all of the Tony Hawk fans who have known and loved this franchise for more than 16 years.”

I highly doubt anyone with functioning brain activity will accept this woeful response which doesn’t even offer an apology. Furthermore, Activision is a major publisher and surely consulted with the developer during this project. It seems absurd that they can provide the funds without having any clue about the game’s technical state. Clearly, Activision was aware of the unfinished build and pushed it out any way to receive financial rewards. The company felt like they could fix it in a future patch and had to meet the game’s deadline.

Thank you Digitalspy for providing us with this information.

Idiotic PR Alert – Call of Duty Tweets Fake Terror Attack

Update: Call of Duty have now changed their Twitter name back to @CallofDuty, which earlier read as Current Events Agg. The embedded tweets below now look more representative of the game.

In a fit of inspired viral marketing, which was not at all tacky and inappropriate, the official Call of Duty Twitter account scared the Hell out of unsuspecting followers by reporting a made-up terrorist attack on a densely-populated area in Singapore.

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648905858529759232

To aid the ruse, the verified Call of Duty account changed its name to the rather obfuscating ‘Current Events Aggregate’, posing as a genuine news outlet, which just happens to be a breach of Twitter’s terms and conditions – a verified Twitter account is not permitted to change key information that might obscure the reason it was verified – for reasons of, y’know, fooling people into thinking that this was something other than a cheap promotional stunt.

A series of tweets followed, painting a picture of death and destruction in the fictional Singapore bombsite:

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648943510268284928

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648925311623655425

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648913308238643200

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648944146644905988

The final tweet reads, “That was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3,” but might as well say, “Gotcha!”. Even if people weren’t fooled by it, using the imagery of tragic real world events, out of context, to push your factory-churned product is deplorable. Bombs, quarantine zones, and martial law, all to sell a few video games. Stay classy, Activision.

Activision Releases Downton Abbey Game

Activision, the studio behind the Call of Duty series has released a quirky, hidden object game based on ITV’s period drama, Downton Abbey. This seems like a complete world away from Activision’s usual endeavours but perhaps, there’s a scope for financial success given the TV programme’s worldwide appeal. In Downton Abbey: Mysteries of the Manor, you have to investigate a shocking burglary which occurred in your absence. Additionally, can you find all of the Crawley family’s lost trinkets? The gameplay revolves around talking to characters and earning their trust to divulge clues.

In a similar vein to other hidden object games, a large proportion of your time is spent hunting around the landscape. Here is a brief taste of what you can expect in Activision’s own words:

“Returning items to their rightful owners is a good way to earn the trust of the estate’s residents, and it will lay foundation for the abbey’s eventual restoration,”

“But choose your friends wisely. In a place where everyone has something to hide, discretion is always important.”

Downton Abbey: Mysteries of the Manor is now available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire. The game adopts a free-to-play business model so expect heavy advertising or in-app purchases. I do find it rather amusing that the studio behind the most heavily publicized first-person-shooter can also create something so timid. Call of Duty’s player base is synonymous with terrible behaviour and petty insults. Despite this, it’s interesting to see Activision moving into different genres.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

World of Warcraft Subscribers Descend To 9 Year Low

Is it me or has World of Warcraft been around forever and a day? It certainly feels that way considering the game was released way back in 2004, since then it has spawned expansions to the excitement of fans, but it seems subscription numbers are not quite what they used to be.

According to the press release from Activision, World of Warcraft has 5.6 million subscribers to of the end of the second business quarter which for Activision is 30th June 2015.

Blizzard president Mike Morhaime stated the Warlords of Draenor expansion brought more returning players to the game than any previously. He also confirmed plans for the company to increases the rate of content to help attract new players while also retaining existing fans.

For a game which is nearly 11 years old, I do think it is an achievement to be able to attract 5.6 million subscribers, considering how current market trends will become obsolete in a matter of months. For me, this is the unfortunate by-product of listing your company to investors, yes it brings in much-needed revenue, but it does not take long for the market to react to any slight negative data which would impact on profits.

If you’re a regular reader to my articles for eTeknix then you know I like a tangent, and here it is, take a look at the WWE, Hulk Hogan was erased for two reasons, the obvious “open your mouth before engaging brain” with the second reason being that WWE share price lost $50 million dollars as the market reacted to the news. Investors call the shots and back successful trends and track record projects, any negative press effects company value. Investors wonder why they have not attracted more players; try 11 years with the same concept being rehashed within expansions. This is why you also have Fifa 2679 and Call of Duty Black Ops 12, the balance sheet conveys a track record of revenue to consumers.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Details Leaked

Another year, another predictable entry in the modern history of computer games, a new Call of Duty is on the way! Now, that obviously comes as absolutely no shock to anyone who’s even played an FPS in the last decade or so, but what is interesting is that the game is expected to have a Beta; a first in the game’s history.

The new Call of Duty is expected to be out in November, not counting any delays of course. Although, no offence to most developers, but I’d expect this game to launch broken rather than miss that important Christmas release window, but that’s just my two cents on the matter.

Those who pre-order the game can expect access to the Beta on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC; no details have been mentioned in regards to Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but it’s safe to expect a version will be released on these formats. Interestingly, the leaked information states that “actual platform availability and launch date(s) to be determined.” So that does hint that even the already mentioned formats are subject to change, perhaps a possible timed exclusive at launch?

According to the leaked information, which is believed to be handed out to GameStop staff, details a co-op campaign, multiplayer, a new movement system and no doubt most entertaining of all, the latest Zombies mode.

Excited, or have you become weary and tired of the franchise?

Activision Finally Patches Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ‘XS1 Goliath Scorestreak’ Exploit

Activision has finally released a new update for all Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare platforms that also fixes an exploit where players could have had unlimited health using the XS1 Goliath scorestreak.

Alongside the exploit, the update also patches several other exploits across different multiplayer maps. Users will have the update automatically downloaded once it rolls out. Also, you can view the update’s complete changelog below.

Map Updates:

    • Fixed various out of map exploits across different multiplayer maps.

Game Mode Updates:

    • Players no longer advance more than one gun rank with a multikill in Gun Game.

Scorestreaks:

    • Fixed an exploit where players were able to have infinite health using the XS1 Goliath scorestreak.

Exo Zombies:

    • Fixed various out of map exploits where players could remain in place and not be attacked by zombies.

Thank you DSOGaming for providing us with this information

Is Activision Working on a new Guitar Hero?

This is music to my ears and no doubt bad news for the people who live next-door to me! It’s been four long years since Guitar Hero last graced our screens and at least two years since I rocked out with my Guitar Hero drum kit and guitars; is it time for me to dust off the old peripherals and warm up for a new game?

According to two sources close to the franchise, Activision is developing a new Guitar Hero game, as well as new peripherals for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

“We don’t comment on rumor or speculation, but have previously said, that as one of the most beloved entertainment franchises, we would only bring Guitar Hero back if we developed the right innovations to usher the franchise into the new generation of gaming.” Said Activision when asked for a comment on the rumour.

It’s expected the game will be at E3 and will launch later this year, no doubt in time for the Christmas season.

With news that Harmonix may be working on Rock Band 4, it looks like the two rock-star simulators will be going for a battle of the bands once more!

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

New Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Game Coming This Year

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is one of the most iconic video games of several generations. The series has been in the shadows for quite a while now, but I still think fondly of the PlayStation 1 and 2 era releases of the game.

The developer teased a new Tony Hawk game on Valentine’s day via Twitter, which has now be reconfirmed by Tony Hawk, who said that he’s working with Activision on a new console game and a new mobile game, both of which are to be released this year!

What the game will entail is currently unknown, is it a reboot, HD re-release or an all new entry, who knows. Are you excited about the return of THPS?

Thank you Gameinformer for providing us with this information.

Win a Share of a $1M Purse Playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

This coming March, the third annual Call of Duty Championship begins in Los Angeles, offering the top Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players to compete for a share of a $1 million prize purse, Activision announced today.

The tournament, hosted by Activision, Sledgehammer, and Xbox, in partnership with Major League Gaming, will take place between 27th and 29th March, and will be broadcast live over Xbox Live.

Michael Condrey, Co-founder and Studio Head of Sledgehammer Games, said in a statement: “From Day 1, the team at Sledgehammer Games set out to bring a new way to play Call of Duty multiplayer to fans. We couldn’t be more thrilled of how the competitive community has embraced and mastered the new player movements and game modes of Advanced Warfare.”

“This is poised to be one of the most exciting Call of Duty competitive seasons with the Call of Duty Championship being one of the best eSports tournaments of the year.”

Regional qualifiers across every continent begin on Xbox One in February, running through to early March, with the regional finals being broadcast on MLG.tv and other broadcast partners.

Any interested parties should read the official rules and regulations to check that they meet the qualification requirements.

Source: Polygon

World of Warcraft 2 Could Be a Possibility

Now not being a World of Warcraft player myself I’m not really excited by this news but there will be millions of players who are very interested about what Blizzard are saying. Game Informer asked WoWs game directer, Tom Chilton, if there was any possibility of World of Warcraft getting a sequel? To which Tom replied…

“Definitely. It’s something we have talked about. It’s something we have talked about for ten years. I think that there are a lot of challenges there in seeing how World of Warcraft II relates to World of Warcraft, do they live alongside each other, does one feed into the other, what is that product, etc. These are challenges that have to be figured out before that becomes a reality”.

So there you have it folks, Blizzard are discussing a sequel to the insanely popular ip, they’re just not sure on which way to take it. What are your thoughts on this? Should they make another game? There are obvious signs that the game has become a lot less popular then it was a few years ago, with player figures dropping is it wise to make another game? I think if a sequel does ever come around, it will either be a huge success and completely revive the series or it will end the series completely.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

Activision Predict Strong Holiday Sales and Shares Jump

Activision Blizzard Inc has raised their full-year 2014 forecast, citing better-than-expected second quarter results and expectations of strong sales for upcoming titles like “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” and “Destiny.”

The California-based company said robust digital sales of its “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” game franchises drove non-GAAP net revenue up to $658 million in the second quarter from $608 million a year earlier. It beat the $608 million expected by analysts.

Shares of Activision jumped 3 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $22.36 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

“Digital revenue represented 73 percent of the total for the quarter and that’s a record for us,” Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in an interview. “We had over-performance in the quarter and we feel very enthusiastic about the products we are releasing for the back-half of the year. ‘Advanced Warfare,’ the new ‘Call of Duty,’ I would say that will be the most successful game of 2014.”

Activision raised its 2014 non-GAAP revenue forecast to $4.7 billion and said it expects non-GAAP earnings of $1.29 per share. It had previously announced a forecast of $4.67 billion in non-GAAP revenue and $1.27 per share of non-GAAP income.

The holiday line-up from Activision includes “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”, the new instalment from the franchise and “Skylanders Trap Team” from its billion-dollar game franchise for children.

On September 9, the new sci-fi shooter “Destiny” will be released, which has seen a whooping $500 million investment from the company. Gamers are responding well to the beta version of “Destiny” and pre-order numbers are encouraging, Kotick said without providing details. “The audience reaction on ‘Destiny’ has been extraordinary.”

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Activision

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Pro Edition Will Set You Back $120

Brace yourself, $120 for 1 game, never in a million years, this is when publishers like to take the p*ss in my opinion, what you get is a load of digital content and 2 things that are actually physical.

Here is the full list of content you’ll receive if you buy this hideously overpriced package:

Season Pass
Atlas Gorge Bonus Multiplayer Map: A re-imagined Pipeline map from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Atlas Digital Content Pack: Customized gear inspired by the Atlas Corporation:*Bal-27 AE Assault Rifle – A custom Atlas designed rifle
Atlas 45 AE Pistol – A custom Atlas designed pistol
Atlas Exoskeleton – A white, red and black Atlas exoskeleton
Atlas Helmet – A custom Atlas helmet
Atlas Player Card: A custom Atlas calling card and emblem
5 Bonus Supply Drops: Customized gear and weapons.
Single Player Exoskeleton Upgrade Token: A token for an extra upgrade/perk for your exoskeleton in the campaign
Official Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Soundtrack: A digital copy of the game score by Harry Gregson-Williams and music by Audiomachine.

Now some of you may be thinking, wow I get the season pass too which is usually $60 so that means I’m saving money, you’re right but I always wait until I see at least 1 trailer for a DLC pack before I even consider buying the Season Pass, you never know, it might be awful.

All in all I think this package is a little ridiculous, tons of digital content, next to no physical content. If this edition came with a little model or something like that then it would be worth $120 but all digital content that hardly alters the way the game plays is not worth it.

Will you be picking this edition up or are you looking for a cheaper way to play the latest titles?

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

World of Warcraft, Still Worth $1b A Year, Despite Decline In Subscribers

There have been many attempts to throw World of Warcraft from the #1 spot over the years, in fact, WoW has been out for so long now that I haven’t even heard about it in almost two years, having done my best to avoid it after my own little attempt at the massively popular MMORPG, which only lasted about ten hours playtime. I knew the game had always been big, but I honestly believed it had declined greatly over the last couple of years, falling into obscurity… I was wrong.

A new set of figures from SuperData Research shows that while subscriptions to online MMOs has declined over the years, WoW is still king with a 36% share of the market. Its closest competitor, Lineage 1, only has a 9% market share. WoW is still pulling in over $1 billion a year, an impressive figure compared to Lineage 1 which only draws in around $253 million.

Numbers may be dropping periodically, but steady updates and content packages have proven to keep people flocking back and while rumours of the games demise over the years have been plentiful, with many gamers that I know having long left the series, it’s clearly far from dead from a profit point of view. It’s certainly unlikely that the developers will be turning off the servers any time soon.

It seems this $1 billion is why we are yet to see anything of Blizzards Project Titan, their new subscription based MMO that was a potential replacement for World of Warcraft. Why on earth would they want to replace their own game when they’re raking in so much money… it would be financial suicide and until WoW becomes a waste of money for Blizzard, we’ll likely never see anything new from them.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Former Dictator Manuel Noriega Suing Activision from Prison.

What a horrible shock it must have come for infamous dictator Manuel Noriega, discovering the Activision had used his likeness in their Call of Duty: Black Ops II game. The imprisoned ex-dictator of Panama is now taking legal action against the developer for “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain” by using his image in their game.

After being deposed in 1989, Noriega was convicted on charges of drug-trafficking, money-laundering and racketeering in the United States, we he did prison time until 2007. He was then sent to France to face similar charges and is now in Panama servicing another 20-year sentence. To put it simply, he’s been a very naughty boy.

“In an effort to increase the popularity and revenue generated by BLACK OPS II, defendants used, without authorization or consent, the image and likeness of plaintiff in BLACK OPS II.

“Defendants’ use of plaintiff’s image and likeness caused damage to plaintiff. Plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist and portrayed as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use plaintiff’s image and likeness. This caused plaintiffs to receive profits they would not have otherwise received.”

This is a strange case indeed, as it could mean that all dictators who have been poorly portrayed in movies and games could start cases against developers and production studios. Which could get outlandish pretty quickly, just imagine Kim Jong Un suing Columbia Pictures, and winning!

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Guitar Hero Said to Have Made More Money for Aerosmith than Their Albums’ Sales

The popular American rock band, Aerosmith, also referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”, have apparently sold over 150 million albums, estimating each band member’s fortune at over $100 million. However, the most interesting news is that from 2008 onwards, the majority of their profits have apparently rolled in from a video game.

In 2007, the band is said to have licensed 29 songs to Activision, the American video game publisher behind the popular and very successful franchise, Guitar Hero. In one year’s time, namely in June 2008, the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith title went on sale, having said to have brought over $25 million by selling almost 600,000 copies of the game in the first week and reaching an estimated 4 million copies sold to date. In comparison, the band’s 2004 album, Honkin’ on Bobo, sold about 160,000 copies and received only $2 million in the first week of sale.

This is just an example of one band’s profits coming largely from endorsements, cross-promotions, concerts and even video games in this case, compared to their album sales and digital downloads. It is said that last summer, 11 albums had sold 500,000 copies, having only 5 albums doing so well this year. Some musicians are also suggesting a strategy where they should “make high upfront investments in albums, and then set correspondingly high prices on them at retail.” However, given the album sale decline, the latter strategy would only make the decline in sales faster.

All in all, Aerosmith’s strategy might seem to make the most sense. We all live in an era where it’s more or less free to make digital copies of songs, having music itself not being scarce at all. The key appears not to be the artist’s music, but their brand, having bands earning more from it than from their albums.

Thank you Vox for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Vox

Neversoft Go out in Style by Burning a Replica of Their Logo

There was nothing cooler for me when I was a kid, turning on my PlayStation 1, putting in Tony Hawks pro skater 3 and seeing the Neversoft eyeball getting impaled on a spike, ahh  the memories. Anyway…

Sadly today was the final day of the studio running independently after a 20 year run. Neversoft are best known for creating the Tony Hawk series and also Guitar Hero. The studio made a new Tony Hawk game every year from 1999 to 2007 with Tony Hawks Proving Ground being the last in the series. In 2007 they acquired the licence for Guitar Hero and developed that years Guitar Hero 3 and everyone in between until 2010 when Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock was the last title in the series.

The reason for Neversoft’s departure is that the staff are being amalgamated with Infinity Ward *shudders* to work on Call of Duty. The decision was made to amalgamate after they helped develop Call of Duty: Ghosts, the first major title they had worked on for a while. Maybe we’ll see some good games come from Infinity Ward now?

The staff didn’t just set fire to an iconic logo, oh no, each member of staff got a seriously bad ass Bowie knife! It even had the Neversoft logo engraved on the side!

Thanks to Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Eurogamer and Twitter.