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Activision shows off next-gen engine at GDC -UPDATE

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[nggallery id=461]
Activision has shown off their brand new, next-generation engine at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today. Activison team showed what they expect visuals to look like in their future games using this new engine.

The gallery above shows off these new visuals, and the video below gives you a demonstration of the new engine.

Activision is expected to use this engine in their new Call of Duty game expected to launch later this year.

UPDATE: We’ve added the 20 minute (off screen) video presentation from GDC! Thanks Adam

SOURCE: GameSpot and ActivisionRnD via @KillerDaLegend

Activision

Activision cuts ties with voice actor of Ghost, Jeff Leach, after sexist comments resurface

Activision ends relations with the re-casted voice actor behind Ghost.

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Activision has cut all ties with Jeff Leach, the voice actor behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Ghost Operator, after sexist comments made by Leach resurfaced on social media.

Jeff Leach was the voice actor behind the Ghost character in Modern Warfare 2019 and Warzone. The entire original Modern Warfare cast was re-casted for the 2019 reboot, and Leach voiced Ghost when the character was added as an operator in Season 2 in February 2020.

The news of Activision ending their working relationship with Leach comes as sexist comments made by Jeff Leach have resurfaced online after streamers and community members were questioning why Leach still had partners within the industry.

A Twitter thread posted shows sexist comments Leach made about streamer ZombiUnicorn in 2017, as well as other more recent comments during a stream on Facebook Gaming, and asked why he still has partnerships with Facebook Gaming and Activision.

Leach has been streaming on Facebook Gaming as an official partner in 2020 and has been frequently streaming Warzone.

One of the clips shows Leach, while playing Call of Duty: Warzone, saying, “I love how it’s always like some dirty, dirty, gross f**king looking emo b**ch who looks like she f**king has no chance of getting a bit of d**k in her.”

These clips are believed to be from a live stream that occurred in December 2020.

ZombiUnicorn since replied in their own video response on Twitter, asking why Facebook and Activision still have partnerships with Leach.

In a new statement sent to CharlieIntel on May 8th, Activision says they have ended all working relationships with Jeff Leach and “condemn” all of his remarks.

Sexism has no place in our industry, our games or in society,” Activision says in a new statement. “Activision is no longer working with Jeff Leach. We strongly condemn these remarks. We are committed to delivering a fun and safe experience for all players.”

Facebook Gaming has not commented on Jeff Leach’s comments at this time.

What this means for the future of Ghost Operator in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone remains to be seen and was not addressed in this statement.

Feature Image: Jeff Leach Twitter

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Johanna Faries named new Call of Duty General Manager

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Johanna Faries Call of Duty General Manager

Activision Blizzard announced that Johanna Faries had been named the new General Manager of the Call of Duty franchise.

Call of Duty is arguably the biggest franchise in the video game world and one of the top entities in all of entertainment. With great success this past year thanks to Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, Activision Blizzard has officially decided who will lead the franchise into the future.

This week, Activision announced that Johanna Faries has been named the new General Manager of the Call of Duty franchise. In her expanded role, she will have management oversight of every angle of the high-profile first-person shooter franchise going forward.

Johanna Faries Call of Duty General Manager

“Since joining Activision Blizzard, I’ve had the opportunity of a lifetime to set a new and dynamic vision for Call of Duty eSports alongside an incredibly talented team of colleagues, players, owners, and partners. In the process, I’ve been on the front lines of the Call of Duty franchise, working closely with our studio and marketing teams to deliver breakthrough experiences for players and fans the world over,” said Faries to GameInformer. “Call of Duty has made an immeasurable impact on the world of gaming and entertainment and is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. I can’t wait to help usher the franchise into its next chapter, and to continue to unlock the power that Call of Duty holds for the future of competitive entertainment.”

Faries is far from new when it comes to Call of Duty. She first joined Activision Blizzard in 2018 as the Head of Call of Duty Esports. Her goal when joining the company to create the franchised Call of Duty League, which lead to her becoming the Call of Duty League Commissioner and subsequently the Head of Leagues at Activision Blizzard, including the Overwatch League over the last 3 years.

The National Football League is where Johanna Faries called home before Activision Blizzard, where she spent 12 years as an executive.

With Call of Duty continuing its reign as a heavyweight in the video game world and Black Ops Cold War and Warzone kicking off Season 3 that saw the introduction of the new Verdansk ’84 map, there is no more exciting time to see where Johanna Faries will help take the franchise in the future.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard

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Premium Call of Duty games will be revealed later in the year than usual

Activision confirms Warzone’s success has had an impact on Call of Duty marketing decisions.

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With the success of Call of Duty: Warzone and the post launch campaigns, Activision has acknowledged that they are experiencing a shift in their marketing of Call of Duty.

The Call of Duty marketing machine has been in almost a consistent pattern for years. A new game gets announced in May, MP reveal over the summer, potential beta in August/September, and then a release in October/November. It’s been systematic.

That entire process has been upended with the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone. With the game’s success and continued post launch campaign seasons ongoing, there’s a lot to talk about now without having to shift attention to the latest premium release so early.

And, Activision’s President is acknowledging this shift in Call of Duty marketing plans. When asked in a new interview with VentureBeat about revealing new CoD games later in the year, Kostich states “we’re probably shifting a bit more in that direction.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the first to experience this. The game, which fans hoped would be announced in the similar schedule in May, was only revealed in end of August. The reveal event occurred within Call of Duty: Warzone, a new way for Activision to engage the fan base.

Kostich says that the reason for the change in reveal time frame is what we’re seeing right now. “You’ve seen what we have in season three this week. We have so much to talk about and so much going on that’s happening this week. We want to focus on that with the community, focus on the journey with them.”

He reiterated how Black Ops reveal was able to be apart of Warzone, something Activision has never been able to do before. “We did some cool things in terms of integrating the reveal of Black Ops into Warzone. Those are the things we want to orchestrate and provide to our community, letting them discover Call of Duty themselves in their play experience.”

Kostich confirms that “marketing is changing within Call of Duty, how we get the community to participate and uncover things for us.

He states that reveals of premium CoD games “might be happening later, but it’s all part of a broader agenda to bring the community along on a fun journey.”

How this impacts Call of Duty 2021 release timing will be interesting to watch. Activision has steep competition this year with EA releasing Battlefield game and Xbox releasing Halo Infinite.

As always, stay tuned for the latest news on Call of Duty.

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