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Call of Duty: Black Ops II Grosses $1 Billion In 15 Days

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., announced today that Call of Duty: Black Ops II has crossed the $1 billion mark in worldwide retail sales, according to Chart-Track retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates. Illustrating the strong appeal of interactive entertainment to audiences worldwide, the game achieved this milestone in just 15 days after its launch on November 13, 2012. Last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 reached $1 billion in retail sales in 16 days. The box office record set for feature films in 2009 by "Avatar" was $1 billion in 17 days.

"The release of Call of Duty has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "Since Call of Duty was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top-10 grossing films of 2012 combined. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars,' the two most successful movie franchises of all time."

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II Passes $500 Million In Retail Sales In First 24 Hours

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., today announced that for the fourth consecutive year, the Call of Duty franchise has delivered the biggest entertainment launch of the year. The highly-anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops II has achieved an estimated sell-through of more than $500 million worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release, according to Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates.

"With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, Inc. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars," the two most successful movie franchises of all time. Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013."

Black Ops 2 Could Put Activision in Legal Trouble

Activision is already going at it in court with Jason West and Vince Zampella over their dismissal from Infinity Ward in 2009, but a clause in a Memorandum of Understanding filed with the lost wages and royalties suit in 2010 could affect the recently announced Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. According to Game Informer, Activision continues to hold the rights to the Call of Duty franchise, but Call of Duty games set in "modern day (post Vietnam), the near future or distant future" would be retained by Infinity Ward. With Black Ops 2 set in 2025, developer Treyarch put a lot of thought in the futuristic setting. An intellectual property attorney said that, if West and Zampella win their suit, Activision could be forced to pull the game, but a more likely scenario is money damages awarded by the court.

However, clause 4(D) at the end of the memorandum specifically states that if IW management (Ward and Zampella) are no longer employed by Activision, then the terms of the memorandum are no longer in effect. This seems to override any potential problem, but it is yet another issue that the court must rule on. With Black Ops 2 setting pre-order records, the game could be a cash cow for Activision. A ruling against the publishing giant, though, could mean West and Zampella would get prime cuts of that cow if the employment clause is not enforced.

Source: Shacknews

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Reveal Trailer Posted

While the Cold War, assassination attempts at President Kennedy, and over the top action filled the premise of the 2010 smash hit Call of Duty: Black Ops; unmanned aerial weaponry, often autonomous, will fill up Black Ops II, Activision's autumn-winter blockbuster. The worldwide reveal trailer mentions the campaign's storyline to take place in 2025, the future, when there's huge proliferation of unmanned weaponry (≠ robots, so no conflict with the Terminator universe), and that the "keys" (control over these machines) fell into the wrong hands (and the US stopped making kill-switches for its military equipment). The game promises some pretty over the top action over futuristic settings, some of which remind us of Syndicate (which is set even further into the future).

The Worldwide Reveal Trailer follows.

Target Reveals Black Ops II Release Date

Pre-order cards of Call of Duty: Black Ops II being sold by retail chain Target ended up revealing its release date to be 13th November, 2012. Developed by Treyarch for Activision, Black Ops II is the 9th game in the Call of Duty franchise, and a sequel to the 2010 title Call of Duty: Black Ops, which is among the most commercially-successful video games in history. A reveal trailer of the game is expected to be posted tomorrow.

Source: Metro

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 To Be Revealed on May 2

This year's addition to the Call of Duty franchise is going to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, a sequel to the 2010 game developed by Treyarch. A source among retailers leaked a poster to Kotaku, which flashes a date, 05-02-12, along with a caption that reads "Return for Debriefing". Kotaku predicts that the date on the poster is more likely a reveal date than a release date. On a reveal date, Activision could post a reveal trailer of the game, along with sketchy information about the premise of the game's single-player campaign.

Source: Kotaku

Court Dismisses Fraud Charges Against Activision by ex-Infinity Ward Employees

Apparently round one goes to Activision in the royal rumble between them and Infinity Ward founders and now ex-employees Jason West and Vincent Zampella over owed royalties. One of the two fraud charges levelled at Activision by former employees and Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella has been dismissed by a US court. The remarkable story of the corporate fallout between Activision and the development pair began in March 2010 when it was revealed that the publisher had both men frog marched out of the Infinity Ward offices. Several employees quit the developer amidst the mud slinging and bitterness of the dispute, with Activision later deciding to sue EA over the whole ordeal. Why EA? Well, claims were made that both West and Zampella were already in bed with Activision’s arch rival long before the waters become turbulent. The fact that West and Zampella’s new studio, Respawn Entertainment, signed a publishing deal with EA probably didn’t help much either.

Once the dust had settled both sides laid bare their claims. Activision argues that the pair had already planned a defection to EA whilst still working on Modern Warfare 2. It currently wants $400m in compensation from EA. West and Zampella, meanwhile, say that they were sacked to save Activision the pain of paying them bonuses and royalties owed to them. Back in the present Activision’s success in convincing State Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle to dismiss one of the fraud claims levelled against it is a success, for sure, but it’s not enough to stop everyone being dragged into court on May 7th.Source: MCV

Infinity Ward Lawsuit Going to Trial with EA and CoD Creators

Apparently the war between the original creators of the Call of Duty franchise and Activision is going in front of a jury. The big "he said, the monolithic corporation said" video games kerfuffle of 2010, the fallout from Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella leaving Activision then signing up with Electronic Arts, is indeed going to trial. On Wednesday, a California Superior Court judge denied EA's motion for summary judgement on the complex lawsuit, as well as one from West and Zampella, meaning the big Call of Duty mess will go before a jury next year.

PC CoD Elite No Show: The Backpedal!

Today, we brought you the depressing news that Activision are unlikely to bring the Call of Duty social network called Elite, to the PC platform, despite all their loyal PC gamers, who have bought every iteration of the game going and in particular helped them achieve their blockbuster sales of $400M last week. This delight came courtesy of this tweet:
@thejuggz We are working towards a universal Elite experience but we cannot guarantee if or when a version will be available for the PC.
Well, what do you know, but it looks like Elite is coming to the PC platform after all. Yes, you heard that right. In a tweet a while later, Activision claim to have "misspoken", like this:
We misspoke. Our goal has always been to provide a free PC offering for ELITE. Stay tuned for an update as timing is still being determined.
So PC gamers will at least get the free version. Fantastic. Still second class, but better than nothing. Probably best to keep a close eye on those tweets and a sceptical outlook on this one until it happens. You couldn't make this stuff up.
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