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Call of Duty: Ghosts was the best selling game in December 2013

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NPD has published their report for the month of December and have stated that Call of Duty: Ghosts was the best selling game in December of 2013.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is the #1 best-selling next gen launch title on both Xbox One and PS4, and for the second year in a row Skylanders was the #1 top-selling kids video game franchise,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “This consumer response to both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Skylanders speaks to the deep connection both franchises have made with fans, which fuels our commitment to delivering great games time and again.”

December 2013 Top-10:

  1. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, XBO, PS4, NWU, PC)
  2. Battlefield 4 (360, XBO, PS4, PS3, PC)
  3. Just Dance 2014 (WII, 360, NWU, XBO, PS3, PS4)
  4. Madden NFL 25 (360, XBO, PS3, PS4)
  5. NBA 2K14 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PC)
  6. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, NWU, PC)
  7. Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
  8. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (360, PS3, 3DS, XBO, PS4, NWU, PSV, PC)
  9. FIFA 14 (360, PS4, XBO, PS3, PSV)
  10. Skylanders SWAP Force (WII, 360, PS3, NWU, 3DS, XBO, PS4)

For the fifth year in a row in the month of December, the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty has been the best selling game.

 “For the fifth year in a row, the standard 360 version of Call of Duty was the top-selling SKU for December,” Callahan noted.

In terms of overall 2013, Call of Duty: Ghosts came in at the top 2 spot, right behind Grand Theft Auto V; and Call of Duty: Black Ops II made the list at #7.

Annual 2013 Top-10:

  1. Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
  2. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, XBO, PS4, PC, NWU)
  3. Madden NFL 25 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO)
  4. Battlefield 4 (360, PS3, XBO, PS4, PC)
  5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, NWU, PC)
  6. NBA 2K14 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PC)
  7. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, NWU, PC)
  8. Just Dance 2014 (WII, 360, NWU, XBO, PS3, PS4)
  9. Minecraft (360)
  10. Disney Infinity (360, WII, PS3, NWU, 3DS)

In terms of console sales, Xbox One and Xbox 360 lead the US in December with the most sales:

December NPD Group figures released today revealed Xbox One was the number one selling console in the market in the U.S., selling 908,000 units in December. Additionally, Xbox 360 continued to see strong momentum with 643,000 units sold in December, putting it in the number three spot overall, and lead for last generation hardware. Together, Xbox One and Xbox 360 held 46 percent of the hardware market share in the U.S. and showed a 10 percent year over year growth from December 2012.

Sony has issued a statement confirming that the PS4 is currently the next-gen leader in terms of cumulative sale numbers.

 “PlayStation 4 remains the cumulative leader for next gen console sales in the U.S. since the launch on November 15,” SCEA’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications Dan Race wrote in response to the data to Joystiq. “We sold every PS4 available at retail in the U.S. and were out of stock in December due to overwhelming consumer demand.”

SOURCE: NPD

Activision

Activision issuing “hardware bans” to thwart Warzone cheaters

Activision have confirmed that they are handing out “hardware bans” to banned cheaters who keep making fresh accounts.

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Call of Duty Warzone gameplay

Cheaters and hackers have plagued Call of Duty: Warzone since its launch, but on top of account bans, Activision has confirmed that they are issuing hardware bans to thwart repeat offenders.

Cheaters have been a thorn in both players’ and developers’ sides since Warzone launched in 2020. It has been common to run into players blatantly wall-hacking and aim-botting, ruining the game for casual players and pros alike.

Raven Software has been providing regular updates on how many cheaters have been banned, and Activision recently confirmed that 475,000 permabans have been issued since Warzone’s launch. The likely reason why this number is so high is that Warzone is free-to-play. It’s widely believed that even if a cheater’s account gets banned, they can simply create a new one and carry on as if nothing happened.

Activision is aware of this issue and player’s concerns and released an in-depth update on their anti-cheat progress on April 12.

Because so many players have been concerned that account bans are ineffective, Call of Duty staff responded to this, saying that “Removing cheaters and taking away their ability to move to alternate accounts is a key focus for the security teams.”

They confirmed that if you’re cheating, not only could you be unknowingly downloading malware to your system, you could also receive a hardware ban.

To make sure players don’t keep creating fresh accounts to cheat with, Activision said, “We do issue hardware bans against repeat, or serial, cheaters. This is an important part of our effort to combat repeat offenders.”

This means that players who receive a hardware ban will be permanently locked out and won’t be able to simply create a new, free account and go back to their cheating ways.

Helicopters flying to Warzone's Verdansk Stadium

Activision also confirmed that not only are they targeting individual accounts with cheats installed, but also “the commercial market of cheat providers and resellers.” They revealed that they have recently banned “45,000 fraudulent, black market accounts used by repeat offenders.”

Cheaters will likely still make their way into your Warzone sessions, but Activision is making sure it’s continuously more risky and difficult to do.

In the meantime, you can check out our guide on how to spot cheaters in Warzone so you can assist Activision by reporting these players.

Image Credit: Activision

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Report: Activision Blizzard HQ & Treyarch offices set to relocate

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A new report states Activision Blizzard will no longer lease its office space in Santa Monica and are actively searching for a new HQ location.

DoTEsports reports that Activision Blizzard and Treyarch have ended their lease at their Santa Monica HQ offices. The company has had the office under their lease for more than a decade.

Per the new report, the teams that work in those spaces will work from home until further notice.

The company is reportedly in search of a new space. An internal memo, which was sent to staff and obtained by DoTEsports, states the company is actively looking for a new office space in the Santa Monica area.

We have narrowed down the search for our next office location to several properties in the Santa Monica area and we hope to finalize our plans in the coming weeks,” the internal company communication said.

Activision employees have been working from home since March 2020. As of now, the company says they’re on track to return to office by September 1, 2021. The timeline remains unchanged.

Activision’s main headquarters was located in the Santa Monica office on Ocean Blvd in California. Treyarch’s studio space was located right next door to Activision Blizzard HQ in Santa Monica on the first floor of an office building. The two used those buildings for over 10 years now, and are now up for rental and purchase.

Activision has not commented on this information as of now.

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Investment group calls out Activision for CEO payout

Activision Blizzard’s CEO continues to rake in bonus after bonus, and now investment firms are questioning the decisions.

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An investment firm, CtW, issued a statement report directed at Activision for upcoming bonus pay for their CEO, Bobby Kotick, which is valued at a remarkable $200 million.

The report states that an SEC filing and agreement between Activision Blizzard CEO and the board of directors of the company will allow the CEO to receive a bonus pay of $200 million at the end of this year.

Per the investment group, as released to GameSpot, a loophole created within Bobby Kotick’s employee agreement allows him to claim full bonus payout for previous years regardless of the company’s performance. This loophole is described in the “Shareholder Value Creation Incentive” provision in Kotick’s employment agreement. He can receive a full performance equity payout from previous years – 2017 and on. That is valued at almost $200 million, which is set to be paid out in cash upon the end date of the incentive provision.

Investment group CtW issued a scathing statement over this, as the company just this week laid off less than 2% of its workforce, which is less than 190 people for “restructuring” purposes. The lay offs impacted Activision Blizzard esports department, alongside the company’s King division.

While the increase in Activision’s stock price is somewhat commendable, as we stated last year and continue to assert, this achievement alone does not justify such a substantial pay outcome for the CEO,” director of executive compensation research, Michael Varner, said. “There are many factors that may contribute to a rise in this particular company’s stock price that may not be directly attributable to Robert Kotick’s leadership. The use of video games as one of the few entertainment options available amid the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has been a boon to many companies in the gaming industry irrespective of executive talent or strategic decisions.

Bobby Kotick already makes $30 million a year from Activision thanks to his base salary and bonus yearly pay. He’s one of gaming’s highest paid executives. Activision continues to report record profits with 2020 being the company’s biggest year yet.

Activision has not commented on the latest developments on this payout.

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