Activision goes independent in $8.2 billion buyout

Bobby COD-Ghosts-In-The-Weeds-jpg_182637Kotick, the sometimes controversial CEO of Activision-Blizzard, is leading an $8.2 billion buyout from parent company Vivendi, a move that will restore independence to the world’s largest video game publisher.

The agreement will occur in a pair of purchases. Activision, as a company, will acquire 429 million shares for $5.83 billion in cash, while an investor group headed by Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly will separately purchase another 172 million shares for $2.34 billion. Kotick and Kelly have personally invested a combined $100 million into the company.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

‘Call of Duty’ May Be Facing Its Biggest Battle

In COD ghoststhe videogame world, there is no bigger behemoth than “Call of Duty.”

For the past four years, the franchise has dominated the sales charts, outselling every other game. Last year’s “Black Ops II” grossed over $500 million in just 24 hours, topping $1 billion within 15 days—and is on track to be the best-selling entry in the 10-year-old franchise’s history.

Read more at CNBC.com

Tapping China’s Gaming Gold Mine

The china gamingU.S. is the profit center of the video game industry, and has been for years. But if trends continue, China might be taking that title before too long.

China represents a huge opportunity for U.S. publishers, which are quickly exploring ways to monetize the country’s growing appetite for gaming. Meanwhile, some of the biggest firms in China are eyeing the U.S. market.

Read more at CNBC.com

Meet gaming’s newest star: The Call of Duty dog

The call-of-duty-ghosts-dog-top630Internet might be a haven for cat lovers, but when it comes to gamers, dogs rule.

Activision has a viral hit on its hands with Call of Duty: Ghosts, but not for the reasons it likely expected. The German Shepherd seen wearing a motion-capture suit in the game’s first official trailers and screenshots has become something of an internet sensation.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Black Ops II ‘Uprising’ to feature Hollywood’s top mob men

Activision cod-black-ops-2-uprisinghas never been afraid to go big with its expansions for Call of Duty, but the next bit of downloadable content makes an offer you might not want to refuse.

Uprising, the next downloadable expansion for the billion-selling shooter, will feature four new diverse multiplayer maps and a new Zombie mode that features four of Hollywood’s go-to actors for mafia-themed films.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

The Walking Dead game you shouldn’t buy

Last yearwalking-dead-survival-640, Telltale Games gifted gamers with The Walking Dead, a deeply emotional episodic adventure game that offered a breath of fresh air for the video game industry, capturing “Game of the Year” honors from a host of publications – including us.

Unfortunately, a much different Walking Dead game shambled into stores this week, and the only air surrounding it is the rot of decay.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Microtransactions invade Call of Duty

Activision callofduty-blackop2-top630is getting into the microtransaction game, and it’s bringing its most notable franchise along for the ride.

Starting today, Call of Duty: Black Ops II will let players pick up small items such as extra loadout slots and gun personalization packs for prices ranging from $1 to $5.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Activision expands the Skylanders with ‘Swap Force’

Given skylanders-swap-force-top630how phenomenally successful the Skylanders franchise has been for Activision, it was just a matter of time before the company accelerated its expansion.

Last year’s Skylanders Giants supersized the “toys meet video games” figurines. This year, you’ll be able to mix and match their components.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Skylanders sales top $500 million

When skylanders-top-500-mil-top630Activision-Blizzard launched Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure in 2011, there were a lot of questions about its chances of success. A hybrid toy/video game based on an aging franchise? Would people be interested?

The answer, of course, was yes. Skylanders has been a hit for toy companies and Activision alike. A really, really big hit, as life to date sales have now topped $500 million, reports Activision.

Read more at Yahoo! Games