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Rumor: Activision interested in acquiring Take-Two Interactive

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A new rumor from analyst Mike Hickey is stating that Activision Publishing is interested in acquiring Take-Two Interactive, the publishers behind games such as Grand Theft Auto series.

Take Two’s stock today saw a dramatic increase following the note. Hickey noted that there’s an “emerging romance” between Activision and Take-Two recently. Apparently, Take-Two and Activision are interested on making a movie studio together based upon their popular game series. 

“For Activision, acquiring Take-Two Interactive would be a no-brainer, in our view, circling some of the strongest development talent and owned IP in the world, within a company that has nearly $1 billion in cash and trades at a comparably lower multiple,” Hickey said.

Take-Two admires Activision’s “deep connections to Hollywood” and its capabilities in making massively multiplayer online games, such as “World of Warcraft” and “Diablo.”

The two publishers could become a gaming giant, and could help Activision enter the movie industry with some of Take Two’s series. Another big thing that would come out of a possible acquisition is that Activision would become the owner of some of the biggest developers in the world. Currently, Activision has the Call of Duty team under it’s roof, and Bungie. With this possible acquisition, Activision would then own Rockstar Games as well.

“With the acquisition of Take-Two Interactive, Activision would have arguably the three strongest development studios in the world with Rockstar Games, Bungie and Blizzard,” Hickey said.

Previously, EA made a bid for Take-Two, but Take-Two turned them down. Activision would have to have a strong proposal to Take Two on an take over matter.

The investor also noted that Activision could use Take Two titles to balance out their “annualization” of franchises.

“The opportunity for Activision to intelligently layer future releases from Rockstar, Bungie and Blizzard, could in-part enable Activision to annualize future performance from what today is arguably a less linear performance profile.”

“We would also note that Activision’s mega performance foundation with World of Warcraft is trapped within a life cycle decline, their Skylanders franchise will face considerable pressure from Disney and Call of Duty is vulnerable to franchise fatigue from consistent annual iterations. Therefore, acquiring GTA, Red Dead, Borderlands (now owned, partnership deal that would likely transfer…), NBA 2K, BioShock… etc. Along with the potential performance opportunity from a new MMO and movie adoption of GTA from Rockstar Games… Acquiring Take-Two Interactive would seem like a very smart move for Activision.”

All of this is just a rumor for right now, and nothing official has been stated.

SOURCE: Investor and Polygon and StreetInsider

Call of Duty: Warzone

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.

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How to land without a parachute in Warzone

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.

Parachutes in Warzone

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.

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

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Treyarch dev Tony Flame’s Twitter account hacked

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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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Activision

Sledgehammer Games adds 150 new people to team in 2020

Sledgehammer Games’ expansion continued in 2020 with a massive new hiring spree.

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Sledgehammer Games has continued to steadily expand their studio throughout 2020, despite the pandemic.

Back in May, the studio announced a massive recruitment effort to bring on many new developers, in all fields, to their studio.

The studio’s Chief Operating Officer announced on Twitter that their effort brought 150 new people to the studio over the last several months.

In a video on Twitter, the studio shared some stories and a look at these new people who the team as the year wraps up.

Beyond already hiring 150 new people this year alone, the studio’s website still has over 65 job positions still listed.

In addition to their recruitment effort, Sledgehammer confirmed earlier this year that they are working on ‘multiple projects’, presumably within the Call of Duty franchise.

We’re now a multi-project studio and we’re looking for a substantial number of new team members to join us. We’re looking across every discipline and various levels of seniority. It’s a pretty exciting time for our studio.

What some of those projects are remains unclear. Sledgehammer Games has played a role, as a support studio, in the development of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

The studio was a lead developer on Call of Duty, kicking off the three year development cycle in 2014 with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In 2017, the studio released their second main project: Call of Duty: WWII. Following WWII’s launch, the studio collapsed. Both co-founders and lead, Michael Condrey & Glen Schofield, left. And the studio lost hundreds of developers.

The team was set to work with Raven Software on the 2020 Call of Duty title, but due to the number of employees who left, Treyarch stepped in with Raven to create Black Ops Cold War.

What Sledgehammer Games is working on, in terms of their own projects, has yet to be revealed publicly. Whether they even become a lead developer again is also unclear.

Looking into 2021, there’s no clear indication yet as to which development team is leading the Call of Duty 2021 project. The three year development cycle was upended in 2020 with Treyarch stepping in to salvage the 2020 title. 2021 could be Infinity Ward or see the return of Sledgehammer Games.

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