Activision

Chris Nuttall

In a week of big numbers for a previously slumping video game industry, Activision has come up with the biggest one of all – $500m in sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in its first 24 hours.

On Monday, Microsoft announced $220m in first-day sales for Halo 4 and then revealed, on the 10th anniversary of Xbox Live on Thursday, that a record 442m hours were played on it last week. Meanwhile, Sony announced sales of the PlayStation 3 had passed 70m and Nintendo expects the Wii U to sell out when it goes on sale in the US this weekend. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Video game publishers have had their best November on record in the US, according to the NPD research firm, with hard-core gamers loading up on two first-person shooters and a classic role-playing game.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from Activision was the top-selling title, with Electronic Arts rival, Battlefield 3, at number three, and the highly-rated Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (pictured) from Bethesda Softworks splitting the two shooters. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Nintendo has received a Black Friday boost after a black year for sales – shifting more than 500,000 Wii consoles on the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.

Sales of the 3DS handheld console have also been booming, due to a new Mario game, bundling offers and a precipitous price cut. Read more

From around the web:

  • Yahoo has unveiled Livestand, a digital newsstand that personalises content to reader’s interests.
  • The Wall St. Journal reports that both Facebook and Google have had talks with Twitter about acquiring the micro-blogging service.

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Chris Nuttall

Open warfare has broken out between Activision Blizzard and the two studio heads it fired this week  responsible for its biggest hit -Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 .

Activision responded on Thursday to a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court by lawyers representing Jason West and Vince Zampella, president and chief executive respectively of the Infinity Ward studio, over their dismissal. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Analysts expressed concern today over a major conflict at the Infinity Ward studio – developer of Activision Blizzard’s biggest video game success to date – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Gamer sites have reported that the two studio heads have left, a day after Activision reported it was concluding an inquiry into “breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees.” Activision did not immediately respond to our questions about whether the two incidents were related. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The creators of Guitar Hero, the video game that transforms console players into plastic-guitar-wielding maniacs, have big plans to extend the brand.

Speaking at the MI6 game marketing conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Kai Huang, co-founder with his brother Charles of RedOctane, the Guitar Hero publisher, said he believed the industry was in the early stages of developing a huge category around music. Read more

  • Faced with industry-wide overcapacity, Taiwan announced it was restructuring the nation’s memory chip companies and creating a new government-backed group. The move comes two days after AMD and Abu Dhabi investors created a new company to take on the Taiwanese. Demand for chips is falling precipitously as consumers and companies cut spending on computers, cameras and mobile phones.
  • Although there is evidence that gamers are growing tired of music games such as Activison‘s Guitar Hero, one title may revive the genre. “The Beatles: Rock Band” will ship in September, and is an almost guaranteed blockbuster for the companies behind Rock Band, which include Electronic Arts, Viacom‘s MTV and Harmonix. The Beatles, who have sold more than 600m albums worldwide, have rarely licensed their music.

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Chris Nuttall

SpongeBob gameTo borrow an EA game title, it feels as if there is an Army of Two, or perhaps three, benefiting from booming video game software sales.

That best sums up the paradox of strong industry sales but disappointing revenues and losses for individual publishers. Read more