Connect with us

Activision

Activision granted patent that allows players to share Call of Duty loadouts

Published

on

Activision has been granted a patent that the team filed in 2019 in references to sharing loadouts in a multiplayer video game via online social networks. The patent was granted to Activision officially on November 17, 2020.

The inventor of the patent is: David Vonderhaar. The studio design director at Treyarch.

The patent was originally filed on September 16, 2019. It’s called “Systems and methods for customizing weapons and sharing customized weapons via social networks,” according to the US Patent Office.

The main premise of this patent is to build an engine that will allow “one or more other players of the multiplayer video game” to share their custom loadouts “via at least one social network such that the one or more other players can utilize the customized weapon configuration during a gameplay session.”

This patent details every single portion of the weapon that Call of Duty considers and tracks in implementing them into the game. It looks at “weapon performance attributes, weapon appearance attributes, weapon performance statistics, and player performance statistics.” 

The massive part of this patent is the sharing aspect, which is something that could change Call of Duty and add a new layer to the social experience of the franchise. 

As reported by PCGamer, this new patent details how players could control who can see and use their loadouts. The patent explains that loadouts can be shared. It talks about customized weapon configuration and details how they can dictate the share controls. 

“A player may further specify that he or she wishes to make a customized weapon configuration available for gameplay by one or more other players. In some implementations, a user may specify that a customized weapon configuration and/or some or all of the foregoing information be made available to all players, or a subset of players including, but not limited to, friends (or followers), or team members, or other groups of players.”

Another massive part of the patent is about how players can share the loadouts. In detail, the patent describes a new engine that goes in depth to allow players to share loadouts on social media platforms, within the game itself, and more. 

This new engine will “enable a player to share weapon configurations, information about weapon configurations, and/or gameplay statistics internally (or in-game) via, for example, an in-game social network or a game publisher-centric social network accessible in-game by game players. Additionally or alternatively [it will enable players to share] via one or more external social networks (e.g., Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, etc.). In one implementation of the invention, the sharing engine may enable a player to transmit communications (e.g., email messages, text messages, or other electronic communications) that include hyperlinks or other selectable graphical user interface objects that enable recipients to access the shared information.”

This detailed patent also allows players to include messages and/or details when sharing said loadouts. Players can include “personalized text, graphics, pictures, audio, video, or other multimedia” as part of their share experience. 

Lastly, the new patent describes how players could potentially issue challenges when sharing their loadouts, and then allow others to complete or best those challenges. 

“The sharing engine may further enable a player to issue challenges to one or more other video game players to obtain or exceed certain player performance statistics, weapon usage statistics, or ratings, and/or achieve other objectives using a given weapon configuration.”

It says there’s a “Challenge Interface” that could be built allowing players to track and advance their challenges within the game’s engine. 

This would be a significant new portion to the social experience for Call of Duty, if implemented. Do note that is a patent, and patent’s don’t always end up in products immediately or in the near future. It could take some time for players to see a real in-game experience of this feature. But it’s quite interesting to see the level to which Activision can take the social experience of Call of Duty especially with Warzone and free to play experiences. 

Activision

Activision Blizzard hires new head of HR as harassment lawsuit scandal continues

Activision Blizzard hires two new executives as fallout over the harassment lawsuit continues.

Published

on

Activision Blizzard has announced the hiring of two new senior executives as the company continues to face challenges with the harassment and diversity lawsuit.

The new executives will join later this month, with one coming from The Walt Disney Company, and other from Delta Airlines.

The first new hire is Julie Hodges, who will be joining the company as the Chief People Officer. Hodges worked at The Walt Disney Company for years.

Activision Blizzard says she will be responsible for building and reshaping the company’s corporate HR and people team.

Activision Blizzard’s press release describes her role as:

Ms. Hodges brings more than three decades of global human resources experience in entertainment and an impeccable record of shaping corporate culture. She will be responsible for the company’s global talent organization, making Activision Blizzard the destination for top talent. In her role, she will lead all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity and inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning and development, compensation and benefits and workforce planning.

“I can’t think of a better person to join our team and help lead our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace,” Kotick said. “Julie is the seasoned leader we need to ensure we are the most inspiring, equitable and emulated entertainment company in the world.”

“I share the company’s belief that a work environment should welcome all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds,” Hodges said. “A workforce where everyone feels valued is critical to the success of our business, as is a trusting, engaging and safe environment that encourages creativity and innovation and in which all employees can thrive. It takes a collective effort to do this, and I’m looking forward to ensuring that we support the diversity of our talent to bring our people together and continue creating amazing entertainment.”

Per the company’s press release, the current Chief People Officer Claudine Naughton is leaving the company. This comes as Activision Blizzard is engulfed in the harassment and diversity lawsuit scandal in the state of California.

The lawsuit, which first came to light on July 21, has shined a light on many of the incidents that took place at Activision Blizzard – from sexual harassment, in-equality, lack of diversity, and more.

The state of California recently further updated their lawsuit to claim Activision Blizzard’s HR team was shredding documents relevant to their investigation.

Ms. Hodges will start her role on September 21 in a rocky time for the company. Employees continue to demand action and change from the executives, including the removal of arbitration clauses. The employees formed a group recently, A Better ABK, to jointly file a labor suit against the company.

The company said in the press release that these new hires will “help the company build a more inclusive workplace as well as diversify and grow its revenue.”

Activision Blizzard also announced another new executive joining the company. Sandeep Dube will join the company from Delta Airlines as the new Chief Commercial Officer. Dube replaces Armin Zerza’s open role, who was promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

Activision Blizzard press release says Mr. Dube will oversee Activision’s global Sales and Go-To-Market teams. He will be responsible for developing and implementing commercial strategy and delivering on the company’s revenue growth plan.

“Sandeep is a rare leader who not only has the ability to expand our global go-to-market teams, but also bring his diverse experience from an accomplished career to unite our commercial group,” Mr. Kotick said. “Our mission is to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment. While Sandeep connected the world through air travel at Delta, he created a growth-oriented culture that was focused on the very best customer experiences. The innovations he inspired created incredible customer loyalty. We are excited to continue our work on revenue growth with an even greater focus on recognizing and rewarding our players.”

Mr. Dube said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join this team and work together to continue building our inclusive culture and to expand our audiences.”

Dube will start his role on September 27.

Continue Reading

Activision

Call of Duty Twitter account trolls banned hacker in new video

Call of Duty took to Twitter recently to show off how effective its anti-cheat system has been recently ahead of its new PC anti-cheat coming in the future.

Published

on

warzone artwork

Call of Duty has been affected by hackers for a very long time now, especially within Warzone. However, with the latest updates to the anti-cheat system, it seems the developers have finally got some positive results.

With the announcement of Call of Duty: Vanguard and its integration into Warzone, players were also told that the game would receive a brand new PC anti-cheat system to fend off the hackers who have been causing a great deal of frustration in the community.

Although the developers had been fairly quiet about the hacking situation and issues in Warzone, it seems they have finally got some revenge on cheaters creating as many accounts as they wanted to bypass ban waves.

warzone characters fighting over a loadout drop

Over on Call of Duty’s Twitter, the fan-favorite franchise posted a video of a hacker explaining just how effective the recent upgrades to their anti-cheat system have been.

Originally, hackers have just been able to create new accounts after being banned, allowing them to continue cheating and ruining the game for others. However, a recent video by a player showed that he had been hardware banned and could not play on any accounts on his PC.

This is shown in the video posted by Call of Duty, where a hacker is showing how they are unable to create a new account and use it to cheat: “I’ve been cheating for a little bit, it’s been fun…but every one of my accounts are banned, every single one with even me playing it.”

Although this video was a troll, it is a great way of advertising their anti-cheat strategy to entice players like NICKMERCS back to the game. In recent weeks, many streamers and content creators had been switching over to Apex Legends due to the abundance of hackers in Warzone.

Luckily, it seems the developers have the situation more under control than they have in the past and will be looking to squash the hacking problem completely when the new PC anti-cheat system arrives during the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard cycle.

This is a great step for the developers at Call of Duty, as it adds another tool to the list when it comes to preventing cheaters and hackers in Warzone and Multiplayer.

For more on Call of Duty, check out our article on every confirmed change from the Vanguard Alpha.

Image Credits: Activision / Call of Duty

Continue Reading

Activision

California updates Activision Blizzard harassment lawsuit, claiming company is ‘shredding’ documents

California state government files updated lawsuit with more claims against Activision Blizzard as investigation continues.

Published

on

The California State Government’s DFEH has updated its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard to now include temp-workers’ experience, and also state that the company’s HR is not properly keeping records for their investigation.

First reported by Axios, in an updated filing, the DFEH claims that Activision Blizzard’s HR team is not saving records related to the investigation, which is impeding their ability to move forward.

The initial lawsuit, which was filed on July 21, claimed numerous cases of harassment, inequality, and more took place at Blizzard’s side of Activision Blizzard.

The DFEH states that the company has a policy of “shredding” documents of employees who’ve left the company within 30 days.

The California government requires employers to keep records for up to 2 years. It says, “documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel.”

Further, the government claims that Activision Blizzard has required employees to sign NDAs, speak internally before contacting the DFEH which is impeding their investigation.

The updated lawsuit also claims that Activision Blizzard adding in a review of the company via WilmerHale law group has further caused issues.

The updated lawsuit claim that these actions “directly interfere” with their ability to “investigate, prosecute, and remedy workplace discrimination and harassment violations on behalf of employees and contingent or temporary workers.”

The new filing also added in mentions that experiences of harassment and inequality “exist for employees and contingent or temporary workers.” The initial lawsuit only covered full time employees.

Following this lawsuit’s update being surfaced, Activision Blizzard responded with a lengthy statement, one that differs in tone from their original attack on the DFEH.

The company claims that they have “complied with every proper request in support” of the DFEH’s review.

Their full statement is below:

“Throughout our engagement with the DFEH, we have complied with every proper request in support of its review even as we had been implementing reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe for every employee. Those changes continue today, and include:

  • Several high-level personnel changes;
  • Revamped hiring and recruiting practices requiring diverse interview panels;
  • Greater transparency on pay equity;
  • Expanded and improved training and investigative capabilities for human resource and compliance staff;
  • Created investigation teams outside of business units to support greater independence;
  • Restructured divisions to support greater accountability;
  • Enhanced review processes to include evaluation of managers by employees;
  • Clear boundaries on workplace behavior with a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and other actions that diminish or marginalize.

We strive to be a company that recognizes and celebrates the diverse talents and perspectives that lead to the creation of great, globally appealing entertainment.  

We have provided the DFEH with clear evidence that we do not have gender pay or promotion disparities. Our senior leadership is increasingly diverse, with a growing number of women in key leadership roles across the company.

We share DFEH’s goal of a safe, inclusive workplace that rewards employees equitably and are committed to setting an example that others can follow.”

As more information arises on the lawsuit situation, we’ll keep everyone updated.

Continue Reading