Tag Archives: Activision

Is this the next Xbox – or just a very confusing infographic?

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Look! Colours and boxes!  Via VG Leaks.com

So, this is what the inside of the next Xbox looks like, apparently.

It’s a deeply interconnected series of coloured boxes with vaguely impenetrable titles, which will somehow allow you to play the next “Gears of War” in eye-wateringly intense super HD vision from the future.  Why, it’s almost as if we’re on the verge of a new generation of games consoles, Valve-approved PCs and similar free time monopolising devices of fun…

I’m no technologist, but I know that 8 GB of RAM and an identical number of CPU Cores promise lots of potential to deliver more immersive games worlds.  Of course, it’s an arguable point as to whether the complexity of the PS3‘s internal architecture was ever satisfyingly grappled with by most of the multi-platform publishers and developers in this generation of machines – if the 360 couldn’t handle it, it does seem that EA and Activision didn’t exactly shoot for the fences with the systems out there.

Ever played “Dragon Age: Origins” on the PS3?  Exactly.

Expect major fireworks to be unleashed come E3 this June – or possibly earlier, if you believe the word on t3h str33tz…

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Hypocrisy? What hypocrisy?

We’ve barely had time to try and process Friday’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut and UK tabloids are up to their usual tricks.

Oh look - one of those hyper-detailed murder simulators that the kids all love...

Oh look – one of those hyper-detailed murder simulators that the kids all love…

Rupert Murdoch’s wholly above reproach UK tabloid newspaper The Sun today has a headline story skirting around the idea that Adam Lanza’s rampage is somehow connected to his ‘obsession’ with Activision’sCall of DutyFPS franchise.

You know the kind of thing before you read it – no real evidence to speak of, a few splashy pull-quotes and amateur psychology aplenty conspire to deliver the kind of schlock, predictable, cynically hand-wringing story we usually see after a tragedy like Newtown, all the while trying to inspire an emotional, “Won’t Somebody Think About The Children?” type reaction in the kinds of parents who are (whisper it quietly) probably buying “Black Ops 2” as  a Christmas present for their kids (if they’re not already playing it themselves).

Did Lanza play “Call of Duty”?  Who knows – who cares?  He was a young American adult.  The bigger story would be that he didn’t play “CoD“, “Battlefield” or “Medal of Honor”.

If he did play video games, why does it automatically follow that he was being somehow desensitized or made more susceptible to violent power fantasies?  I’ve played “Call of Duty” instalments in the past and all that I can point to is an increasing lack of desire to engage with that franchise.  Am I somehow miraculously unaffected by the otherwise corrupting, pernicious influence of these games?  Is it down to my living in a different country without easy access to guns?  Am I too old and set in my ways to buy into such shock and awe pyrotechnics?

Just as a matter of curiosity – is the “Call of Duty” game series being raked over the coals by The Sun today any relation to the “Call of Duty” game lauded in breathless prose in a story tied to the launch of “Black Ops 2”?  Or in this feature about how ‘SAS hero (TM)’ Andy McNab believes that the game teaches morality to kids?  Or is that a different series of blockbuster action FPS titles from Activision, Infinity Ward and Treyarch?

When it’s going to sell copies or connect The Sun in a positive way with a blockbuster, generation-defining pop culture entertainment brand loved by their demographic, the paper will happily get into bed with Activision in a mutually beneficial relationship.  When there’s a sliver-thin line of particularly smelly, easy answer bullshit to peddle, that partnership gets swiftly forgotten about in the rush to sell papers or get page impressions.

Hypocrisy?  Surely not.  Not on Rupert’s watch.

No violence here, eh, Rupes?

No violence here, eh, Rupes?

It’s a good job that Twentieth Century Fox doesn’t make violent, gun-heavy entertainment isn’t it?

 

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“Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” announced

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Well, that’s Autumn sorted for a lot of gamers – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 announced • News • Eurogamer.net.

I’m not one of those players – action RPG nerds who play as Rogue Female Elves for the win! – but I fully expect this latest episode of the annual FPS franchise to dominate sales chart and mind share in the games community for the latter part of this year.  It’s the go-to shooter for many a gamer and remains seemingly unstoppable at the retail counter, predictable annual controversies notwithstanding…

Expect a proper reveal (and trailer) tonight and more hype when E3 rolls around in the summer.

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“Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” trailer gets teased…

This summer, a paternal robot truck will rise...

Topless Robot has a wee hint of a teaser trailer for the next Transformers game from High Moon, “Fall of Cybertron” today and it got me thinking.

Do we really need teasers for trailers?

This seems to be a weird and growing phenomenon in the Nerd sphere – are we now deemed such inveterate fanboys and fangirls that we’ll keep F5-ing sites, Facebook ‘liking’ and generally chasing around the interwebs until we get a look at a trailer for a movie/game/tv show which we’re waiting for?   If this is the case, I don’t know if it constitutes hardcore fan service or some kind of ‘Dance, monkey boy, dance!’-style condescension.

Social media only seems to be making things better/worse, depending on how you look at it.

It’s now quite the thing for one of your favourite video games blogs to report on the latest mysterious countdown clock to surface on a developer website or publisher site, with cryptic hints and Facebook/Twitter pimping being used to build up the anticipation for the early release of a game trailer.

A trailer, as in ‘free advertising’, the last time that I looked.

I suppose that for the PR department of a publisher, this is one way of gathering user metrics and getting a sense of just how big the anticipation for your product is.  Not that this guarantees anything – witness the quiet retreat of the Hollywood studios from San Diego Comic Con after the hyped-to-the-gills films like “Watchmen” and “Scott Pilgrim” failed to cross-over beyond the Hall H crowd to the elusive mainstream audience.

It’s not hard to see the uber-publishers like Activision, EA and Ubisoft taking a similar tack when their first trailer for a game doesn’t ignite the Twit-verse with eager chatter and set games blogs alight with hype.  Does your marketing budget drift south if you’re not trending, having new threads made on NeoGaf or getting 80 plus MetaCritic rankings?

Countdowns for teasers for trailers – innovative way to drive enthusiastic community interest in your product or the latest example of the games space chasing its own backside?

 

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“Modern Warfare 3” sets sales records

Making sales and taking names...

The early sales are being counted and in an entirely stunning development, foreseen by absolutely nobody whomsoever, Activision and Infinity Ward’s FPS juggernaut “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” has sold quite a few copies.

Six million or so, worldwide, to be exact, indicating that the “Modern Warfare” brand is good for at least one million more sales than the “Call of Duty” marque on its own, depending on which website you look at and if you care a jot.

More of the same, but if it ain't broke...

Sales are one thing – anybody sentient knows that this thing is going to be big – but reviews and initial reception are quite another.  The reviews embargo broke earlier today and the likes of Games Central, OXM UK, Joystiq and even movie magazine Empire giving the game very positive reviews – at this point, it would appear, the people at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games might just have an idea or two about how to make these games and make them huge sellers.  The Metacritic is at a sterling 90 out 100 on Xbox 360 as I write this, fact fans.

With the five-hour campaign being the only aspect of these games that I generally get into – having myself multi-player murderized consistently by garrulous pre-teen racists on Xbox Live has never been my idea of an evening well spent – this is sounding like a solid rental to me, but I’m only too aware that is many gamers highlight of the year.  If you’ve picked it up and made your way through the game, feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you enjoyed it – is it really as good as the reviews would have us believe?

For a final word on the game as it releases into the wild, why not take a gander at what Penny Arcade’s Tycho has to say?

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Oh, Hi there, “Modern Warfare 3” launch trailer…

"MW3" - A veritable license to print money...

Some posts just write themselves.  Activision have released the launch trailer for “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” and Joystiq have it for your perusal here.

 

Mrs Rolling Eyeballs just viewed it with me and promptly gave it the finger – she’s not a fan of the hyper-violent, uber-patriotic, neo-con action game you’ll be stunned to learn – and I’m not really that into it, either.  It does look like more of the same, certainly in terms of the campaign trailer.  Still, when you sell a gazillion copies each time that you release a new game, why fix what’s very clearly working well for a big audience?

Seriously, Activision, would it kill you to include unicorns with rainbow-shooting RPG mounts in the next one? Wither innovation…

 

 

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Acti/Infinity Ward shenanigans – what the what?

MegaTon, anybody?

If you’ve been following game news sites on the internets over the last few hours, you could be forgiven for thinking that things have gone slightly doo-lally over at Infinity Ward and Activision.

Dan Amrich over One of Swords has the word from inside Acti HQ, which gives a bit more detail.

Eurogamer has a take, as does Kotaku..

NeoGaf’s thread voices the belief that most gamers neither know nor care who creates the “Call of Duty” games, so long as one happens along every year and has sweet multi-player action for the Live gamerhood.

And you know, I don’t think that they’re that far off the mark in that assessment…

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