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

Activision launching specialized Call of Duty programming Friday

The launch window has been a rocky one for Activision’s Call of Duty Elite, but even with a few bugs remaining, the publisher is ready to start ramping things up.

This Friday, members of the subscription service will get the chance to see the first installment of Friday Night Fights, an original entertainment series that’s produced by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott’s RSA Films.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

‘Call of Duty’ leads Nov. sales charge

Activision has done something no other publisher has been able to do this year – pull the video game industry out of its retail sales slump for the second consecutive month.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops” led the industry to an impressive 9 percent gain over the 2009 retail sales numbers. Add in hardware, Kinect and the rest of the assorted offerings and the gaming industry made $2.95 billion last month, according to The NPD Group. That’s the best November on record.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Analysis: What Lies Ahead For Call of Duty?

[Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks forward from the tumultuous midnight launch of Call Of Duty: Black Ops to ask where Activision’s franchise goes from here, examining what Infinity Ward’s shifts mean for 2011’s CoD installment and beyond.]

As bleary eyed GameStop employees recover from last night’s midnight launches and fans begin tearing through Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Activision’s phenomenally successful franchise stands at something of a crossroads.

The fate of Black Ops is hardly in doubt, of course. Pre-orders are already telling us that it will dominate software industry sales this year. And while Activision is publicly saying it doesn’t expect the game to meet Modern Warfare 2’s numbers, several analysts feel that’s just the company taking a conservative stand to protect itself against investor backlash if the numbers really do fall short.

Read more at Gamasutra

Analysis: Is Microsoft Putting Halo At Risk?

[What’s the right balance between quality and release spacing for theHalo franchise, pre- and post-Bungie? Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris examines how other franchises have been affected by more regular iteration.]

Within four days of its release, fans spend the equivalent of over 2,300 man-years playing Halo: Reach. While Bungie’s sendoff to its most famous franchise is certainly a resounding success, though, the long-term fate of Halo is starting to become more questionable.

On Wednesday, Microsoft corporate VP Phil Spencer told IGN that the company is looking to increase the frequency of Halo releases.

Read more at Gamasutra