Friday, October 7

Tag: Video game companies

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

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

FIFA 23 Accidentally Sells For Six Cents, EA Honors The Mistake

Image: EA SportsFIFA 23 is currently up for preorder around the world, and is supposed to be a full-price retail release, but in one particular market on one particular store, customers could get one hell of a bargain.Last month, anyone browsing the Epic Games Store in India would have seen that while the standard edition of FIFA 23 cost ₹3,499 (USD$44), the Ultimate Edition—which should have been ₹4,799 (USD$60) was instead listed at ₹4.80.The error was first discovered in late JulyImage: TwitterThat is not a sale price, that is an error, one where the store has clearly put the decimal point in the wrong spot. ₹4.80 works out to be six cents, and as word spread about the savings, users flocked to the store and bought the game. And not just Indian gamers, either; once news got out, fans we...
Gaming

Diablo Devs Say Activision Back To Its Old Union-Busting Tricks

Image: BlizzardNearly two months after Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick announced the company would finally begin bargaining its first union contract with the Game Workers Alliance at Raven Software, staff at Blizzard Albany, currently working on Diablo IV, say the publisher is back to trying to union-bust. They accuse Activision Blizzard of rehiring the law firm Reed Smith to undermine their own organizing effort rather than voluntarily recognize the company’s second union.“Instead of following Microsoft’s lead and committing to a labor neutrality agreement, Activision has made the clear and conscious decision to deny us our basic labor rights while once again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a union-busting firm,” Albany Game Workers Alliance, which is organizing for thi...
Gaming

Tony Hawk Says A Pro Skater 3+4 Remake Was Killed By Activision

Image: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4From 1991 until 2021, Vicarious Visions was the name of a studio that made a ton of pretty cool licensed games, but which had also contributed to the beloved Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. Then Activision stepped in and made some changes.In January 2021, having just released a remake of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2, Activision announced that the developers were being merged into Blizzard, and would also be receiving a name change, effectively killing off the studio as we knew it.I said at the time, “This sucks!”, but it sucks even more now because of the claims—from someone who would know—that the developers had been planning on repeating the remake treatment with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3+4.On a recent stream by Neversoft, and Vicarious veteran andyTHPS, Tony Hawk hims...
Gaming

New Ni No Kuni Game Is Absolutely Rotten With Crypto Garbage

Image: NetmarbleHey, there’s a new Ni No Kuni game out! And it looks beautiful! This should be cause for celebration, but we don’t deserve nice things. So instead, we have got a mobile/PC gacha game that is built on a foundation of crypto nonsense.As we’ve covered, the supposed ‘value’ of the these markets is in freefall, but while that’s bad news for ‘owners’ of cartoon jpgs and made-up currencies, many video game studios and publishers are pushing on regardless, and among them are Korean developers Netmarble, the team behind Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds, which despite an Asian release in 2021 was only made available in the West last week.Look at this trailer, and you’ll see why fans of the series—and of Studio Ghibli—might have got excited!This is sadly now the part of the story where I tell...
Gaming

EA Was Deep In Merger Talks With NBCUniversal

Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)The video game market is consolidating like never before, and Electronic Arts is scrambling like everyone else. The Battlefield and FIFA maker recently pursued a merger with NBCUniversal, and also held potential acquisition talks with Disney, Apple, and other companies, according to a new report by Puck. While a deal isn’t currently in the works, it doesn’t sound like EA plans to give up anytime soon.“In recent years, as media companies have taken greater interest in the rapidly growing gaming industry, Wilson and Electronic Arts have held talks with a number of different potential suitors, including Disney, Apple and Amazon, sources with knowledge of those talks told me,” wrote Puck’s veteran media reporter, Dylan Beyers. “Several sources familiar w...
Gaming

Rockstar Parent Company CEO Earns Big Bonus For In-Game Sales

Photo: John Phillips (Getty Images)Microtransactions in games like Grand Theft Auto Online have become big business for video game publishers. And it’s likely this won’t be changing anytime soon. New details spotted in a recent contract extension for Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick explain that the CEO will earn a big bonus if more players spend more money buying in-game items, coins, and skins.As reported by Axios, a new contract extension for Zelnick means the 64-year-old CEO will continue running Take-Two until 2029. It also lays out how the executive will benefit greatly if games like GTA Online, NBA 2K, and Borderlands get players to spend extra cash on in-game items, referred to in the contract as “recurrent consumer spending” or RCS items. These items are defined by Take-Two’s contract...