Thursday, February 2

Tag: Activision Blizzard

Gaming

Phil Spencer Defends Future Of Halo Amid Cuts And Criticism

Image: 343 Industries / MicrosoftThings haven’t been going great for Xbox recently. Microsoft is facing stiff resistance in its attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard. It released hardly any big exclusive blockbusters last year. And it just cut over 10,000 jobs last week, including many senior developers at Halo Infinite studio 343 Industries. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tried to remain upbeat and do damage control on each of these points and more in a new interview with IGN.“Every year is critical,” he said. “I don’t find this year to be more or less critical. I feel good about our momentum. Obviously, we’re going through some adjustments right now that are painful, but I think necessary, but it’s really to set us up and the teams for long-term success.”This week captured both the p...
Gaming

Bobby Kotick Donates To Republican Who Protested 2020 Election

Rep. Mike Garcia on the campaign trailPhoto: Myung J. Chun (Getty Images)While it’s normal for prominent business people to donate to both sides of the political aisle—so that whoever wins an election they can call in some favours—as the Republican Party lurches further to the right, some of the candidates being supported are deserving of a bit more scrutiny than usual.As Axios reports, the race for a US House seat in California’s 27th District—part of the city of Los Angeles—is expected to go down to the wire on Tuesday, after the 2020 election saw Rep. Mike Garcia win by just 333 votes. His rival this week (as it was in 2020) is Democrat Christy Smith, and to help the incumbent over the line, three wealthy donors have handed Garcia $50,000.One of those three donors is Activision CEO Bobb...
Gaming

The Scariest Things That Happened In Gaming In 2022

Image: Warner Bros. / Devolver Digital / Bandai Namco / Innersloth / Kotaku / Mia Stendal / Bibadash (Shutterstock)On an average day, my friends might ask me how my job is going. I’ll smile, tell them “It’s going great,” and then launch into a story about one of the most fucked up things they’ve ever heard of. And now I get to give the recap to you.Spooky season is upon us, but the chronically online gamers at Kotaku know that terrifying shit is happening in our space all the time. It’s not just the games that are occasionally horrifying—it’s also how the industry grinds humans into dust, how giant corporations are increasingly looking to put the screws to the average consumer, and how abuse of power comes as no surprise. Some of the spookiest gaming news stories this year are sad. Some of...
Gaming

Burger King’s Modern Warfare 2 Skin Gets Resold At Huge Markup

Screenshot: Activision / Burger King / KotakuBurger King’s proprietary Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II operator skin, a man with a beautiful mustache and Burger Town t-shirt, is selling on eBay for about half of the full game’s $69.99 asking price. I will repeat that for your benefit. Burger King, home of the Whopper, partnered with Modern Warfare II and brought forth from its troves of hot grease an exclusive Call of Duty skin. It is a man with a beautiful mustache and shirt that says Burger Town, the CoD franchise’s burger emporium and easter egg, on it. The man, let’s call him Bobby, is listed on eBay for around $30.This is not what Burger King intended. You’re supposed to buy the skin, bundled with one hour of double XP, as part of the fast food empire’s Modern Warfare II meal, or the ...
Gaming

Blizzard Announces LGBTQ+ Inclusive Programs For Overwatch 2

Screenshot: BlizzardToday, Activision Blizzard announced three programs coming to Overwatch 2’s competitive and casual scene. These aim to foster a healthy environment, with a focus on its new and returning LGBTQ+ player base. In a blog post titled “Calling All Heroes,” the Overwatch team and its competitive E-Sports program, Overwatch League (OWL), announced it would co-develop an in-game Defense Matrix, Challenger’s Cup, and Caster Camp. Blizzard said the goal of these programs is to “focus on equity, visibility, and community support for underrepresented genders.”To ensure that its mission statement is upheld, the Overwatch team announced that it will be rolling out a gameplay system called Defense Matrix. Named after D.VA’s projectile blocking ability, Blizzard said the program will ac...
Gaming

Controversial Executive Steps Down From Call Of Duty Publisher

Screenshot: CBS Viacom / KotakuIn a past life, Frances Townsend defended the legal basis for the torture method called waterboarding during George W. Bush’s war on terror. In a more recent one, she helped lead Activision Blizzard’s initially tone-deaf response to a major sexual harassment lawsuit by the state of California. Now she’s stepping down as the Call of Duty publisher’s chief compliance officer after less than two years in the position.CEO Bobby Kotick announced the move to staff in an email on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reports. Despite stepping down from the position, Townsend will still remain an official advisor to Kotick and to Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors, over which Kotick presides. This shift in the company’s governing structure comes as Microsoft tries ...
Gaming

Phil Spencer Says Xbox Series Price Hikes Unlikely, For Now

Photo: JUNG YEON-JE / Kotaku (Getty Images)Sony turned a few heads when it unexpectedly hiked prices on the PlayStation 5 in the second year of the current generation of consoles. Naturally, many wondered if the same complicated economic situations we all find ourselves in would see a spike in Xbox prices as well. In a recent interview with CNBC, however, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stated that raising the price of the Xbox Series line wouldn’t be a wise move for the company right now. He also explained that Microsoft has no plans to slow down on investing in game studios, despite the Activision Blizzard bid.While in Japan for the Tokyo Game Show, Phil Spencer appeared on CNBC to talk about Microsoft’s potential interest in acquiring more companies, how it sees itself in the Japanese video...
Gaming

Call Of Duty Remains On PlayStation A Few More Years

Sony gets “several more years” of joint custody over Call of Duty with Microsoft.Photo: Activision / Kotaku / Barone Firenze (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)Good news PlayStation Call of Duty players: Microsoft says you get to have “several more years” of playing the shoot-bang game on your Sony console. According to The Verge, earlier this year Microsoft’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer made that commitment to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan in a written letter saying that Call of Duty wasn’t going to disappear off the PlayStation storefront anytime soon if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is approved by regulators.“In January, we provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee Call of Duty on PlayStation, with feature and content parity, for at least several more years beyond the current S...
Gaming

Tencent And Sony Acquire 30% Of Elden Ring Maker FromSoftware

Image: FromSoftwareElden Ring wasn’t just a hit with fans of FromSoftware’s notoriously difficult action-RPGs. Today Tencent Holdings and Sony announced they’ve acquired 30% of the Souls-series developer’s shares, split in favor of Tencent. FromSoftware is expected to gain $260 million from the arrangement.Today’s announcement from FromSoft’s parent company Kadokawa revealed that Sony and Tencent are acquiring 14.09% and 16.25% of FromSoft, respectively. The statement indicates that Kadokawa wants FromSoftware to be able to expand its development efforts; Kadokawa sees the “enhancement of capabilities for the creation, development and deployment of [FromSoft] game IP as one of the [Kadokawa] Group’s highest priorities.”One of the aims is to give FromSoft the resources needed to grow Elden ...
Gaming

The Internet Kicks Toxic Jerk Andrew Tate Off Funniest Places

This is fine.Image: EA / CmrTV Music / KotakuAndrew Tate, a former kickboxer-turned-misogynistic-internet-guru-for-incels, was recently kicked off every major website you could think of for being a piece of shit. But his legacy now lives on as the butt of everyone’s memes.In case you’re not terminally online like the rest of us and are wondering why you’re hearing about this dumbass in a Kotaku article, allow me to explain. Despite claiming he’s not an “internet guy,” Tate rose to prominence because, among other things, his connection with Twitch streamers who helped platform him on their streams. Why would these streamers platform him? He’s good content. Not in the sense of being “good” but because having him on their streams helps farm the controversy machine, which in turn drove up enga...