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Activision Blizzard wants to make a cinematic universe for Call of Duty that resembles Marvel’s universe 

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In a new interview with The Guardian, Activision Blizzard Studio Co-Presidents discussed their initial plans and vision for how they want to develop the Call of Duty cinematic universe, and try to resemble the inter-connected universe that Marvel has created.

Back in 2015, Activision Blizzard announced a new division, Activision Blizzard Studios, which would create TV shows and movies based off of Activision Blizzard’s owned IPs. In their original announcement in 2015, Activision Blizzard stated that they are working on a Call of Duty movie, which was slated for a 2018/2019 release.

From the November 2015 announcement:

November 2015 announcement

Speaking with The Guardian recently, both Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk, co-presidents of Activision Blizzard Studio, have been tasked with creating this cinematic universe for Call of Duty. They have stated that work on multiple different scripts for a Call of Duty movie is already in the works, including working on extensive research with military and soldiers on how they story should be.

Stacey Sher previously worked in high value production roles on Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and more.

“We have plotted out many years,” Sher said to Guardian. “We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”

Nick van Dyk, co-president, previously worked as a senior executive at Disney. At Disney, he played a big role in working to acquire Marvel and Star Wars brand into the Disney family. Now, working as the co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios, he plans to use some of what Marvel does in creating an interconnected universe for Call of Duty.

“It’s going to have the same sort of high-adrenaline, high-energy aesthetic as the game, but it’s not a literal adaptation. It’s a much more broad and inclusive, global in scope … a big, tentpole Marvel-esque movie.” Dyk stated. “These individual universes that interconnect and a timeline that makes sense with consistent themes and Easter eggs”.

Activision Blizzard Studios is also interested and working on creating Call of Duty TV series that focuses on World War II and the Vietnam war. The Guardian reports that their focus in this TV-show series is to try and interconnect worlds how Marvel does with their Netflix based TV shows.

“We have a very rich library,” says Van Dyk. “I would say our first order of business is existing current franchises, but there an incredible opportunity to have these hundreds of games that have huge huge followings and tremendous nostalgia. If you look at Marvel, they started working when you had Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, and real film-makers on board as well. What I think made The Avengers so great was the writing and directing. You cared about those characters. If you just chase the empty blockbuster, and have nothing to say in the genre, forget about it.”

Thus far, Activision Blizzard Studios has released one TV show on Netflix based upon Skylanders, Skylanders Academy. The TV has reportedly been a hit, with Netflix already ordering a third season to debut in 2018.

SOURCE: The Guardian (feature image also via Guardian) 

Activision

Modern Warfare is now the best selling Call of Duty in its first year

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Activision Blizzard has announced it’s Q3 2020 Financial Results, which continue to exceed expectations as people move to gaming avenues during this time.

Activision has stated that generated over $1.2 billion in revenue from microtransactions across all of their titles, a new record for Q3.

The company also announced that Modern Warfare is now the best selling premium Call of Duty in its first year ever, with almost two-thirds coming digitally. Warzone also continues to see incredible success, on PC as well, with PC microtransaction sales four times higher this year.

“Our teams continue to execute our growth plans with excellence during incredibly challenging circumstances,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We are on a path to deliver sustained long-term growth across our fully-owned franchises. With confidence in our ability to continue to execute, we are raising our outlook for the year and remain enthusiastic for our growth prospects next year.”

Activision says that monthly active users for Modern Warfare & Warzone saw “three times as many” this year compared to Q3 2019.

Here’s the higlights from Activision on the quarter, which is quite impressive:

  • Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® and Warzone™ saw more than three times as many MAUs as the prior title in the year-ago quarter. Console MAU grew strongly and PC MAUs grew over ten-fold year-over-year. Across PC and console combined, hours played were approximately seven times higher year-over-year.
  • We again saw substantial year-over-year growth in premium game sales as Warzone players chose to upgrade to the full Call of Duty experience. Modern Warfare first-year premium sales are the highest in Call of Duty’s history, with two-thirds of units sold digitally.
  • Call of Duty console and PC in-game net bookings were four times the year-ago level.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will release on November 13 into the largest and most engaged community in franchise history at the time of launch, and will support cross-platform play across PC, current-generation, and next-generation consoles. Anticipation for the release is high, with far more players engaged in the game’s public testing than for the year-ago title.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War arrives Nov. 13.

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Call of Duty League

CDL Commissioner Johanna Faries set to be lead both CDL and OWL

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This week has been an interesting week for Activision Blizzard’s Esports division and leagues.

It was first reported earlier this week that Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez is in talks with Immortals to reacquire the OpTic Gaming brand. With that, H3CZ would also acquire the CDL LA Spot.

Since H3CZ is a part of NRG has Co-CEO with the Chicago Huntsmen, Activision’s rules state one organization cannot own two spots in the same league. Rumors of who H3CZ plans to sell the spot to is rampant, but no official information has been disclosed.

Late on Thursday, Esports Observed also reported that Pete Vlastelica, the Commissioner of the Overwatch League stepped down from his role.

Now, EsportsObserved reports that Johanna Faries, current Commissioner of the Call of Duty League, is expanding her role to become ‘Head of Leagues’ at Activision Blizzard. In this newly created position, she will lead both Overwatch League and Call of Duty League’s league administration and broadcast operations.

Brandon Snow, current Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports, is expanding his role to include marketing & analytics for the league. The former Chief Marketing Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports left in early September to be VP of DC Comics division of WarnerBros.

Both these new roles will take effect October 12, per EsportsObserved.

The first season of the Call of Duty League ended on August 31 with the Call of Duty League Championship Weekend. The event featured the most viewers in Call of Duty esports history, capping off a dynamically changing year with the on going pandemic.

Call of Duty League’s second season is set to kick off in 2021 with some major changes. The league announced that it will return to a 4v4 format, leaving one player on each roster looking for another starting role. They also announced that matches will be played on PC using controllers going forward instead of extending the esports partnership with PlayStation.

Activision has not announced these changes officially at this time.

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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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