Rudy Giuliani to defend Activision in Manuel Noriega lawsuit

Activision-Blizzard Giuliani-activisionhas tapped America’s favorite mayor to help defend its “Call of Duty” franchise from former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega.

Bracewell Giuliani will represent the company in its defense against claims by the former ruler that the videogame publisher unlawfully used his image for monetary gain. And leading the charge is former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who will serve as co-council on the defense team. His first step: Filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Monday morning in the Superior Court of the State of California.

Read more at CNBC.com

Durkin joins Activision as CFO

Activision has lured a long-term senior Microsoft executive away from Redmond to become its new chief financial officer.

Dennis Durkin, a former corporate vice president and chief operating and financial officer at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, has joined the developer of “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” — leaving Microsoft after a 12-year stint.

Read more at Daily Variety

EA And Activision: A Tale Of Two Social Media Strategies

Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks at two traditional publishers — Activision and EA — examining how the packaged game giants will square off in the emerging social media space.

EA and Activision, despite their ongoing war of words, tend to swim in the same waters. Both like the military shooter genre. Both used to like the music genre. And both want to own the MMO market.

To date, that rivalry hasn’t extended to the social gaming and mobile space. While EA has substantially expanded into both fields, Activision has been content to sit back and view the fray from a distance. That could be changing before too long, though.

Read more at Gamasutra

World of Warcraft goes free-to-play…to level 20

If we’ve learned anything about addiction, it’s that the easiest way to get someone hooked on something is to offer it for free for a while. Once they can’t live without it – bam! Charge ’em.

Given how many people need their daily fix of World of Warcraft, we have to wonder why it took Blizzard so long to figure this out.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Is Warcraft in trouble?

Subscriber numbers tend to ebb and flow with massively multiplayer games. No matter how high they get, people generally expect them to come down — unless that game is World of Warcraft.

So when Activision-Blizzard announced earlier this month that subscriptions of its crown jewel had fallen 5 percent, heads turned. Was the mightiest title in the persistent world universe finally showing signs of weakness?

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Should Activision Buy Take-Two?

The Wall Street rumor mill has been alive with chatter for the past couple of weeks about whether video game king of the hill Activision-Blizzard should buy Take-Two Interactive Software.

It’s a merger that makes sense on some levels—but is absolutely baffling on others.

Read more at CNBC.com

 

Activision Doing More Than Scrapping ‘Guitar Hero’

While Wednesday’s announcement that Activision-Blizzard was pulling the plug on “Guitar Hero” might have turned heads in the gaming world, it was the company’s other announcement that might have bigger repercussions for investors.

As it cancelled games and the long-standing franchise, the publisher also announced plans to double down in the digital space and increase its focus on the lucrative “Call of Duty” franchise, two steps analysts say could significantly raise the company’s margins.

Read more at CNBC.com

Toys and video games collide in new Spyro game

With gigantic franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft in its back pocket (which apparently has a Guitar Hero-sized hole in it), Activision has a firm grip on the adult audience. Now it’s looking to add children to its customer base.

The company has announced a reboot of the long-running Spyro the Dragon franchise, and aims to combine the video game world with physical toys.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Industry Analysts Talk Activision’s Guitar Hero Shutdown

[Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris analyzes the sudden dissolution of the Guitar Hero music franchise at Activision, with input from multiple financial sector analysts, who discuss how the company has “pretty much driven the franchise into the ground”.]

Players might still be reeling from the news that Activision is pulling the plug on Guitar Hero, but Wall Street is giving the fat lady a standing ovation.

It’s no secret that the franchise has been in considerable decline for the past couple of years. And while it seems like it was only yesterday that the games were pulling in $1 billion, analysts say the publisher made a hard choice that will likely serve it well over the long term.

Read more at Gamasutra