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Activision Blizzard names Rob Kostich as new President of Activision Publishing

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Activision Blizzard today announced the appointment of Rob Kostich, the current General Manager and Executive Vice President of Call of Duty at Activision, as the new President of Activision Publishing. Kostich will now lead the Activision Publishing division within Activision Blizzard.

This is the first new, confirmed leader of the operating division following the departure of Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg back in March 2018. Since then, no confirmed new president or CEO was appointed — till today. The company also announced two more new appointments within other divisions of the company.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. today announced key leadership appointments, naming long-time veteran executives to lead three of the Company’s operating units. Call of Duty® Executive Vice President and General Manager Rob Kostich has been named President of Activision; Humam Sakhnini has been named President of King Digital Entertainment, having most recently served as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the operating unit. The Company also named Dennis Durkin President of Activision Blizzard’s Emerging Businesses, in addition to his role as Chief Financial Officer of the Company. As previously announced, veteran Blizzard executive and World of Warcraft® Executive Producer J. Allen Brack continues to serve as the President of Blizzard Entertainment.

“Rob, Humam, Dennis and J. exemplify our deep bench of operational and commercial leadership. These capable and seasoned executives have shown unwavering commitment to our company, our employees, and our beloved community of fans around the world,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “With these proven, principled leaders at the helm, we will continue to invest in the strategic growth drivers of our business; our talented people, and creating the world’s best videogames, live services, mobile experiences, and new and growing franchise engagement models.”

In the press release announcing the new leads of the company’s operating units, Activision also revealed that the Call of Duty franchise has generated more revenue than the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has generated double the revenue than Star Wars has.

Kostich Named President, Activision: Rob Kostich has led the Company’s most iconic franchise, Call of Duty®, for the past 10 years. He is an Activision veteran of nearly 15 years and, as President, Kostich will oversee strategy and operations, including game development, for the operating unit. Under his leadership as GM and Executive Vice President of the franchise, Call of Duty® has become one of the most successful entertainment properties in history. As a franchise, Call of Duty has now generated more revenue than the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the box office, and double that of the cumulative box office of Star Wars.

During his tenure, Call of Duty has been the No. 1 top-selling console video game franchise in the U.S. for the last decade. Mr. Kostich also serves as President of the Call of Duty Endowment and has overseen the growth of Call of Duty esports including the establishment of the Call of Duty World League, a leading esports organization. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kostich held a variety of leadership and marketing positions at Verisign, Nestlé USA and The Clorox Company.

Activision Blizzard also announced two more appoints, a new President of King Digital Entertainment, alongside a new President of their Emerging Business Units.

Dennis Durkin, who was announced last week to be the new Chief Financial Officer, will also take on the role of President of Emerging Business Units at Activision Blizzard. With this role, Durkin will oversee Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, Activision Blizzard Studios, and Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Division.

Durkin Named President, Emerging Businesses: Dennis Durkin, who was recently re-appointed Chief Financial Officer of Activision Blizzard, will also serve as President of the Company’s Emerging Businesses, working closely with each division’s leadership team. In this expanded role, Mr. Durkin will oversee operational management of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, Activision Blizzard Studios and Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. Mr. Durkin previously held the role of CFO from March 2012 to May 2017, and most recently, served as Chief Corporate Officer for the Company.

During Mr. Durkin’s initial tenure as Chief Financial Officer of Activision Blizzard, the Company delivered strong financial performance, and a greater than 400 percent increase in the stock price during that time. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Durkin held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at Microsoft Corporation during an over twelve-year period, including Corporate Vice President and Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business (IEB), which included the Xbox console business.

Activision Blizzard has been going under many executive changes the last year, with a new CFO appointed last week, alongside the departure of Blizzard’s CFO.

Image Source: VentureBeat

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Activision

Activision files cease and desist letter against another cheat manufacturer

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Activision Blizzard continues to take down cheat manufacturer sites to stop the spread of different cheats for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone.

In August, the company filed a lawsuit against CXCheats for illegally creating cheats to be used in an IP owned by Activision Blizzard. CXCheats since deleted all cheats for Modern Warfare and Warzone in compliance with the lawsuit.

Now, in September, another large cheat manufacturer, GatorCheats, has said that Activision Blizzard has filed a cease and desist letter to stop them from making cheats for Call of Duty games.

The owner of GatorCheats said in their Discord that the first letter was filed by in May 2020, but they did not fully comply with that – opting to allow cheats to continue to be available.

In May 2020, Activision Blizzard’s attorneys contacted me via a Cease and Desist letter. Considering this event, I decided to act on my already pending decision to close all sales to new customers for my product relating to Modern Warfare and Warzone.

Activision has since escalated the requests. In Sept. 2020, the owner of GatorCheats claims that Activision Blizzard served another cease and desist letter. But, this time, a PI showed up at his residence with the letter and informed him of what Activision knows about their site and the owners behind it.

In September 2020, Activision Blizzard’s attorneys had another Cease and Desist letter hand delivered to me by who I assume was a PI, considering he knew my family members by name and made a point to showcase that he did. Also in September 2020, I received very clear communication in a follow up from Activision Blizzard’s attorneys communicating that they would litigate (file a law suit against me) if I didn’t comply with continuation of stopped sales as well as a complete stoppage of interaction with and updating of any products related to their client’s products.

The full letter from the owner states that he will “never make or create” a cheat for an Activision Blizzard product again after receiving the letters and a visit from them at his house.

Activision has not commented on their anti-cheat initiatives since June, where the company said they continue to ban players on a regular basis.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Activision files lawsuit against cheat manufacturer

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Activision filed a lawsuit to sue a company responsible for creating hacks and exploits for Modern Warfare and Warzone.

Activision has sued CXCheats for illegally creating cheats to use in Call of Duty, the company announced.

CXCheats claims on their website that they are “dedicated to quality.”

This is a pathetic marketing line to convince users to buy cheats to use in Call of Duty.

The owner announced on Discord (message posted to Reddit) that they are removing Warzone cheats from their site.

Announcement Message

As some of you may know, Activision Publishing, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against CXCheats and has made it clear to us that our services violate their Terms of Use.

As a result of our lawsuit with Activision, we have agreed to cease development and support for all Call of Duty related products or services sold through the site. These products will not be returning to CXCheats in any form. You also should be aware that using third-party tools in Call of Duty may result in the suspension or banning of your account by Activision Publishing, Inc. or the game’s developers. We apologize for any pain we’ve caused to players of Call of Duty.

Call of Duty: Warzone has been experiencing an intense amount of hackers since the game’s launch on March 13 on the PC platform.

With cross play, the hacks impacted the console players as well. PS4 players have opted to disable cross play to avoid them. Xbox players currently cannot disable cross play for unknown reasons.

CXCheats said on Discord that any user found using their software in Warzone will be banned, permanently.

Any user who utilizes unauthorized third-party software to gain an unfair advantage, manipulate stats, and/or manipulate game data is subject to penalty. Unauthorized third-party software includes, but is not limited to, aimbots, wallhacks, trainers, stats hacks, texture hacks, leaderboard hacks, injectors, or any other software used to deliberately modify game data on disk or in memory.

As of now, Activision has not commented on the lawsuit.

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Former MLB executive joins Activision Blizzard to lead Sports & Entertainment

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Activision Blizzard announced this week that former MLB executive will be joining the company starting August 17 in a newly formed position of President of Sports & Entertainment.

Petitti was the Deputy Commissioner and COO of MLB for years.

“Tony is one of the most highly regarded executives in sports and entertainment,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “His success in media and as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball is the perfect blend of skills to help us realize our aspirations for esports and our related businesses. He is admired by owners, media executives, players and fans.”

“Bobby Kotick has been translating his vision into opportunity at Activision Blizzard for 30 years. I couldn’t be more excited to use my own 30 years of sports and entertainment experience to help Activision Blizzard realize its ambitions,” said Petitti. “It’s clear to me the company has an incredible opportunity to connect players and fans in new and innovative ways, and I’m excited to be joining the company at such an important moment in its history. The last 12 years in baseball have been extraordinary for me and I am especially grateful for the leadership and mentorship that Commissioner Manfred provided to me and the League.”

Tony Petitti will join on to be in charge of the company’s esports businesses, which include Overwatch League and Call of Duty League, consumer products division, and films & television division.

Petitti will report directly to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

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