Connect with us

Activision

Activision confirms E3 lineup: Call of Duty: Ghosts, Skylanders and Destiny

Published

on

Not really a surprise to anyone however Activision has just announced AND officially confirmed which games will be at their E3 booth next week. This is our first E3 so we’re not sure in what capacity the games will be (I.E. playable, video only, etc.). We do have an appointment at the booth at 12:30pm right after E3 opens Tuesday so we’re crossing our fingers we’ll get some hands on time while there..

“This is obviously a big year – not just for Activision, but for the entire industry,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “There’s a console transition coming and naturally, everyone wants to see what new possibilities that will unleash in the games. We remain laser focused on delivering the things we know our gamers care about most: great gameplay, immersive worlds, and cool innovations. And that’s what our amazing lineup at E3 this year will deliver.”

Full Press Release:

ACTIVISION PUBLISHING, INC. USHERS IN THE NEXT-GENERATION OF GAMING AT ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT EXPO 2013

Targeted Line-up Includes Call of Duty®: Ghosts, Destiny™ and
Skylanders SWAP Force™

Santa Monica, CA – June 7, 2013 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), is ushering in the next-generation of gaming at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo) taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11 – 13, 2013 with a blockbuster lineup that features some of the industry’s biggest franchises. On display at Activision’s booth #647 in the South Hall, the company’s slate includes Call of Duty®: Ghosts, Destiny™and Skylanders SWAP Force™.

“This is obviously a big year – not just for Activision, but for the entire industry,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “There’s a console transition coming and naturally, everyone wants to see what new possibilities that will unleash in the games. We remain laser focused on delivering the things we know our gamers care about most: great gameplay, immersive worlds, and cool innovations. And that’s what our amazing lineup at E3 this year will deliver.”

Activision’s E3 Slate Includes:
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Developed by Infinity Ward, the studio that created the original Call of Duty® and the critically-acclaimed Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® series, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the next generation of Call of Duty and a stunning leap forward for the franchise. The game delivers an all-new world, setting and cast of characters, all powered by a new, next-generation engine. For the first time, gamers play as the underdog, fighting as part of a single squad against an enemy that has superior numbers and firepower. Call of Duty: Ghosts’ next-gen engine delivers gameplay innovations throughout the entire game, including several new multiplayer features that will be unveiled in the coming months. The game is expected to release on November 5, 2013 for the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows® PC. (Developed for Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 system and Windows PC; not yet rated by the ESRB.)

Destiny – Activision in partnership with Bungie, the creators of Halo®, will showcase Destiny, the next evolution in interactive entertainment that brings first-person action gamers together in a shared, persistent online world filled with sweeping adventures. Destiny casts players as Guardians of the last city on Earth, who will traverse the ancient ruins of our solar system from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus. Able to wield incredible power, gamers must battle humanity’s enemies and reclaim all that was lost during the collapse of mankind’s Golden Age. In a story-driven universe, Destiny’s saga unfolds through grand tales and epic adventures by immersing players in a bold new universe filled with cooperative, competitive, public, and social activities, all seamlessly connected. (Developed for the PlayStation 4 system, PlayStation 3 system, Xbox One and Xbox 360; not yet rated by the ESRB.)

Skylanders SWAP Force – Activision’s Skylanders SWAP Force continues to build upon the success of the award-winning franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience with the introduction of an innovative feature – dynamic swapability. Kids and gamers will have unprecedented levels of choice in how they explore Skylands and battle Kaos by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys to transform 16 SWAP Force characters into more than 250 unique combinations. Set in a richly detailed world of next generation visual fidelity, Skylanders SWAP Force takes kids on an all-new adventure with 32 never-before-seen heroic characters that each offer unique powers and personalities. The game also features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, and teleporting – which can be used in special areas of Skylands. Additionally, fans can play with their entire collection of 100+, forward-compatible toys from both Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants™. Skylanders SWAP Force is set to release in North America on October 13, Australia on October 16 and Europe on October 18. Fans can pre-order Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Packs worldwide beginning on June 7; all games pre-ordered at participating retailers worldwide also will come with a free Skylanders toy. Suggested retail pricing: starter pack, $74.99; individual action figures, $9.99 for core characters, $14.99 for new SWAP Force characters. (Developed by Vicarious Visions for the PlayStation 4 system, PlayStation 3 system, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and the Wii U™ system from Nintendo; the Wii™ from Nintendo version is in development by Beenox; the portable Nintendo 3DS™ version is in development by n-Space; not yet rated by the ESRB.)

Activision

Sledgehammer Games open new UK Studio to support CoD: Vanguard seasons

Sledgehammer Games have announced they are opening a new studio in the United Kingdom to support Vanguard’s live seasons.

Published

on

Sledgehammer Games logo

The developers of the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard, Sledgehammer Games, have announced they will be expanding with a new studio in Guildford, UK.

Sledgehammer Games has grown drastically over the past couple of years, opening a new studio in Melbourne, Australia in 2019, hiring 150 new people to the team in 2020, and opening another new studio in Toronto in May.

With only a few weeks until Call of Duty: Vanguard’s launch, Sledgehammer Games has now announced they’re opening another studio in Guildford, England, to support Vanguard’s live seasons and “future projects.

Call of Duty Vanguard character using 1911

Sledgehammer Games announced on October 14 that they’re growing yet again with a new studio in Guildford, which will support the existing studios in the Bay Area, Melbourne, and Toronto.

“I’m just really excited to bring our studio brand to the UK, along with the incredible franchise we get to work on,” said Andy Wilson, COO of Sledgehammer Games.

“It’s another opportunity to do our own small part to grow the industry, in a place where there’s a huge number of talented developers. As we have done in our other locations, we will be looking to build partnerships with schools and universities to help nurture and grow the next generation of talent. It’s not just about finding people who already work in the industry, it’s about providing pathways for those who are looking to get in. I remember that daunting feeling very well and it makes me happy to be providing opportunity, especially as we emerge from a historic pandemic.” 

Sledgehammer is looking for team members in various roles, including Technical Artists, Senior Level Designers, and VFX Artists.

They said they are looking for “various levels of seniority” but will also be “prepared to create roles when great talent comes along.”

This news comes soon after Activision officially announced their new kernel-level anti-cheat software, RICOCHET, which may even detect Cronus users.

Expect more Operators, maps, weapons, and more from each season of Call of Duty: Vanguard, with the first bringing a new Pacific-themed Warzone map.

Source: Sledgehammer Games

Image Credit: Sledgehammer Games

Continue Reading

Activision

Blizzard Chief Legal Officer resigns as Activision Blizzard lawsuit controversy continues

Turmoil at Activision Blizzard continues as new investigations & details surface on the harassment lawsuit.

Published

on

The turmoil over the lawsuit for Activision Blizzard continues as a high profile executive of the company has announced their departure.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Chief Legal Officer, Claire Hart, has shared on her LinkedIn that she’s left the company on Friday, September 17.

Hart said in her message on LinkedIn that “the past three years have been full of unexpected twists and turns, but I feel honored to have worked with and met so many great people at Blizzard and across the Activision Blizzard businesses.”

She did not comment on whether her departure was related to what was happening at the company currently. Activision Blizzard also declined to comment beyond confirming her departure.

The news of her departure comes as this week the company confirmed new investigations by the SEC over the company’s handling of the lawsuit scandal.

This week, the situation heated up as Activision Blizzard is now under investigation by the SEC for potentially misleading investors over the brevity of the lawsuit and harassment that occurred at the company.

Activision Blizzard confirmed that they are cooperating with the SEC as part of their investigation into the company.

The lawsuit from California State, which surfaced in July, primarily focused on Blizzard Entertainment’s harassment and scandal issues, including sexual harassment, inequality amongst staff pay, and more issues.

Blizzard’s President of J. Allen Brack was the first executive to leave the company, resigning at the end of July. He was replaced by Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal as the new co-leaders of Blizzard Entertainment.

So far, Activision Blizzard has refused to met employee’s demands to chart a better future for the company. An employee group, A Better ABK, has been formed to provide their feedback to the executive team.

In other news in regards to Blizzard, the Executive Producer of Overwatch 2 is departing Blizzard this week.

Chacko Sonny, who was highly respected at Blizzard and seen as the person to chart Overwatch’s future following Jeff Kaplan’s departure, told staff in an email that he’s leaving, per Bloomberg. Sonny was perviously one the masterminds behind Call of Duty ELITE service back in 2011.

We’ll continue to update as the situation unfolds.

Continue Reading

Activision

Activision Blizzard provides update on workplace initiatives as US government opens investigation

Activision Blizzard is now being investigated by the SEC over sexual misconduct and discrimination allegations, as fallout from initial lawsuit continues.

Published

on

The fallout on Activision Blizzard over the initial revelations of workplace harassment at the company continues as the company is now facing new legal challenges from U.S government agencies.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has issued a report stating that the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Committee, opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard recently over the workplace harassment and pay inequality issues.

The SEC has also subpoenaed Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to appear in court, along with several other Activision Blizzard senior executives. Specific names beyond Kotick were not shared.

The SEC is investigating whether Activision Blizzard’s failure to provide proper information in regards to the harassment and inequality situation prior to it becoming public via the California state lawsuit on July 21, 2021 caused investors to lose money over a drop in the company’s stock prices.

The WSJ states that, per documents and files they’ve reviewed, the SEC is asking for information dating back to 2019.

The agency is specifically inquiring about the communications of senior executives over the harassment and diversity situation and what decisions were made at that time.

Activision Blizzard’s Chief Communications Officer, Helaine Klasky, confirmed to WSJ that the SEC is investigating the company and confirmed they are cooperating with the SEC.

In addition to the SEC, the WSJ reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been investigating Activision Blizzard separately since May 2020 over workplace misconduct and discrimination.

Per reports, Activision Blizzard and the agency are in talks over a settlement agreement which would see the company pay millions of dollars in fines.

Activision Blizzard has been under fire since the California DEFH lawsuit came to light on July 21, 2021.

Employees of the company formed a group, known as A Better ABK, to list their demands and how they want to proceed forward with the company, following a company wide walkout in July. So far, the company’s executives have not met their demands.

Activision Blizzard provides update

Since these new investigations have come to light, Activision Blizzard has issued a statement revealing some progress that the company claims to have made over the last two months.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere. There is absolutely no place anywhere in our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work. We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”

Activision Blizzard confirmed investigations are underway by the SEC and the EEOC, which were reported by the WSJ. The company says that they are “cooperating” with the investigations.

Kotick also said that the Company continues to productively engage with regulators, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) with the goal of improving its workplace policies and procedures and ensuring compliance.

The Company is actively engaged in continued discussions with the EEOC and has cooperated with the EEOC’s investigation concerning certain employment practices. It also confirmed that it is complying with a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoena issued to the Company and several current and former employees and executives regarding disclosures on employment matters and related issues. The Company is confident in its prior disclosures and is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

In addition, Activision Blizzard states that they have made several changes to the company and the company’s culture. They state that there have been many exits from the company and have “refreshed” their HR team.

Activision Blizzard recently announced the hiring of Julie Hodges as their new Chief People Officer, who will be responsible for HR. Hodges begins her role on Sept. 21. She replaces the current head of HR, who has left the company.

Activision Blizzard has made a number of important improvements including significant changes to personnel, exiting a number of employees, and expanding compliance resources. In addition, the Company has refreshed its HR organization and, this week, will welcome a new Chief People Officer, Julie Hodges, who joins the Company from The Walt Disney Company. The Company has also expanded training, performance management, and anti-harassment resources.

We’ll continue to provide updates on the situation with Activision Blizzard.

Continue Reading