Back in 2017, the makers of Humvee military vehicles sued Activision Publishing for using Humvees in Call of Duty titles without permission of Humvee. The makers of Humvee were seeking millions in missed revenue opportunities from Activision not getting permission to use Humvee in their titles.
Humvee vehicles have been used in more than just Call of Duty games; they have been used in TV shows and movies and the outcome of this lawsuit could impact all of those industries not just Call of Duty titles.
Activision finally responded to the lawsuit in a new filing with courts on Friday, May 31 saying that the lawsuit is a direct attack on First Amendment Rights.
“This case is nothing less than a direct attack on the First Amendment right to produce creative works that realistically depict contemporary warfare,” opens a summary judgment motion filed by Activision. “AM General LLC, a government contractor that manufactured military ‘HMMWV’ (or ‘Humvee’) vehicles for the U.S. military, seeks to use trademark law to control the mere depiction of those vehicles in Defendants’ fictional Call of Duty video games. The use of purported trademark rights to restrict the content of expressive works is dangerous under any circumstance. But the claims in this case are particularly egregious because they involve a U.S. military vehicle paid for by American taxpayers and deployed in every significant military conflict for the past three decades.”
Activision goes on to claim that the company never stated that the vehicles are actually Humvees and that the company is not competing with AM General in any way in the businesses that they both operate in.
HUMVEE® has been featured in every Call of Duty game almost, being prominently used in the titles’ campaigns and backgrounds of multiplayer maps.
The lawsuit from AM General, the makers of Humvee, included Activision, Activision Blizzard, and Major League Gaming Corp, all of which are all owned by Activision Blizzard Inc.
AM General filed a brief responding to Activision’s lengthy response claiming that the company has profited from Call of Duty using HUMVEE without every seeking permission.
“A defendant who engages in willful infringement may not invoke laches,” states AM’s brief, which can be read here. “[T]he evidence is undisputed that Activision acted willfully. The evidence comes from Activision’s own documents, its executives’ deposition testimony, and its own conduct. The evidence proves that Activision used the HUMVEE® Trade Dress knowing that it had no right to do so, knowing that it was unlawful to do so, yet intending to reap a substantial benefit from its widespread, unauthorized use.”
AM General’s brief that was filed is redacted in many areas by a judge, so it’s hard to depict some of the information they are trying to argue on. One section states that “although many military aircraft and vehicles appear in those of the Call of Duty games that are set in current and near-future times, the HUMVEE® vehicle is the only military vehicle that appears in every one of them. In fact, so valuable is the HUMVEE® vehicle to the Call of Duty franchise that Activision’s president admitted that..” The rest of that is redacted, as Activision executives deposition in this case is not available.
SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter
Activision merges Vicarious Visions into Blizzard Entertainment
Activision has announced that one of their wholly owned studios, Vicarious Visions, will no longer be part of the Activision Publishing division.
The company has revealed that Vicarious Visions will be fully merged into Blizzard Entertainment division of the company effective immediately.
Vicarious Visions has worked on many titles and projects for Activision, including Skylanders, Destiny franchise, supported development of select Call of Duty games, and more. Most recently, the studio developed and released remasters of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2. The studio was listed as a support developer of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
In a statement to GamesIndustry, Blizzard says the studio becomes a “natural fit” after working on several Blizzard projects behind the scenes for the last several years.
“After collaborating with Vicarious Visions for some time and developing a great relationship, Blizzard realized there was an opportunity for [Vicarious Visions] to provide long-term support,” a representative explained to us.
It’s not truly clear how long Vicarious has been supporting Blizzard projects.
Vicarious Visions’ studio head Jen Oneal has been promoted to be Executive VP of Development at Blizzard Entertainment as part of the merger. She will report directly to Blizzard President J. Allen Barrack. All 200 Vicarious Vision employees will be part of Blizzard and work on Blizzard projects.
Her role is being replaced by Simon Ebejer, who was previously the Chief Operating Officer of the studio. It’s not clear what projects within Blizzard they are working on. Blizzard has multiple projects in the works, including Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, and more.
Clever Warzone tricks lets you land without a parachute
A few players have discovered a fun little trick in Call of Duty Warzone that allows them to touch down on Verdansk without a parachute.
There is a useful trick that you can use in a Call of Duty: Warzone match to break your fall while in mid-air. This will allow you to land safely in Verdansk without worrying about deploying your parachute.
Call of Duty: Warzone will pit you against a ton of other players in a highly competitive Battle Royale match. The instant you land in Verdansk, you’ll have to find ways to get ahead of your enemies through different weapons or gear, scoring killstreaks, and even making use of glitches.
Players have discovered many different maneuvers in the game since its release in March 2020. These grant you an advantage over your opponent, including one that has you take out enemies by firing in mid-air.
This will have you deploy your parachute when you’re near the ground, and is a great way to score kills in mid-air. Now a neat new trick has been discovered that removes the need for a parachute altogether.
How to land in Warzone without a parachute
This trick was pointed out by Reddit user Thexer0, who posted a clip of them dropping into Verdansk in the Call of Duty: Warzone subreddit. Here they showed that you are able to land on different surfaces without deploying your parachute.
- Read more: Best Warzone Rebirth Island landing spots
Al you need to do is try hitting certain edges and surfaces in mid-air to break the fall before landing on your feet. In the clip, the player used a Satellite dish for this purpose, and slid off the curved edge before taking out their weapon.
While this trick is useful, it’s not guaranteed to work unless you’re precise with your landing. If you don’t hit the right type of surface, then you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt. The player pointed this out and mentioned that you should try this “at your own risk.”
That said, this trick is absolutely worth trying out. Other players also commented on the thread about their own attempts at this neat little exploit, and many of them reported that it worked out successfully for them.
One Reddit user said “You can do it as well with some of the telephone/electrical towers,” and another mentioned “It works on stones and stuff too. You gotta land on the edges, something around 45 degrees.”
Parachutes are a vital component in Warzone matches, so you should definitely go for this trick. All it takes to succeed in pulling it off is some practice, along with a ton of patience. You can learn some more helpful tricks in our Warzone tips and tricks guide.
Image Credits: Activision
Treyarch dev Tony Flame’s Twitter account hacked
On this Christmas morning, Treyarch’s Lead Designer, Tony Flame, has had his Twitter hacked.
A user hacked Tony Flame’s Twitter account in the early morning hours of December 25, and has gone on a posting rampage, including posting racial slurs and more across the account. The hacker is @wixyV3.
We’re not going to showcase posts here with any racial slurs. The Twitter account has been locked by Twitter for the amount of slurs the hackers have posted, per images sent around in Discord servers.
One of the hacked tweets that has gone viral is about SBMM, asking Activision to remove it from his “game” he “worked hard to make.”
The account still remains hacked at this hour, but it does appear that tweets are being blocked from posting at this time. Twitter locked the account due to the content being posted.
Tony Flame’s account is not verified on the platform.
Flame has been active in posting since Black Ops Cold War’s alpha launched back in September. He’s been posting updates and thoughts around what the team is doing in terms of balancing and content updates.
The last tweet from Flame himself was a Merry Christmas post on the night of December 24.
Activision has not stated anything yet on this hack.
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