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Activision learning about Chinese gamers with Call of Duty Online; open beta for China coming end of this year



Activision’s big push, officially, into Chinese market is with Call of Duty Online. Call of Duty, thanks to piracy, is in high demand across China. Activision saw this opportunity and is working with China’s publisher, Tencent, to bring Call of Duty Online exclusively to China. 

“If you look at other [Western game companies], they’ve tried to come into the Chinese market and it’s been difficult,” Daniel Suarez, the vice president of production for the Call of Duty franchise, said during a presentation at E3. “I think they’re under the assumption, ‘I’m going to take my game, I’ll bring it over, and people will engage with it because the graphics are good,’ and everything else.”

“Call of Duty is a known and established brand in China — through piracy, it’s become this well established and known franchise. So I think Tencent sees that opportunity and they have wanted to partner with us.”

Activision plans to make the Call of Duty Online beta open by the end of this year, but has to make sure it get’s every aspect right. The game has been in closed beta, in two different sessions, with a third session set to start this summer.

Raven Software has taken over as the Lead Developer on this title. Call of Duty Online for China started off with assets from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, MW2, and Black Ops to get the frame-rate in the game right. As development progresses on, Raven plans to add features and assets from MW3, Ghosts, and even Advanced Warfare. But, bringing a new title to China means that Activision really has to understand Chinese gamers. For one, Chinese gamers don’t have ADS in current titles. Their most popular game right now is called Crossfire, which has no ADS.

“One of our biggest takeaways [from research] is that Call of Duty is hard,” Raffel said. “CoD players in the west, we’re used to looking down sights, we’re used to going prone and jumping and doing all these things at the same time. They do none of those things, and the things that they do do, they do one at a time. So they aren’t multitasking.”

“They see our epic killstreaks and go, “Wow, this is kind of a daunting experience, I don’t know that I’m going to be able to do all these things,'” Suarez said. “Being able to train them, and have them understand how they’re able to do these things is critically important.

“They don’t ADS [aim down sights] in Crossfire,” he continued. “So for us, it’s training them to understand that this will give them more accuracy. It’ll give them a better experience.”

The culture and foundation of how Chinese gamers play is fundamentally different and requires understanding across the development teams to implement. 

“In video games [in the west], you see the shiny coin, you see the blinky box, you know you need to go collect it,” Suarez explained. “But when we started toing tests in China, this is not what they did. We have game modes, like ‘Kill Confirmed’ where you go around collecting dogtags, and either capture the kill for your team or deny the kill for the other. In China, they actively avoid these things. Thye’re like, ‘No, I don’t want to get that.’ These practices are just not inherent to their knowledge of how they play they games.

“So we need to take more time to explain that,” Suarez said. “We need to adapt our game to that culture.”

Call of Duty Online for China is exclusive to China; it’s a free-to-play Call of Duty title, but Activision is using micro transactions with customization and other options to make a profit from it. 

SOURCE: Polygon 



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Activision files cease and desist letter against another cheat manufacturer



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



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



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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