Activision CEO Has Turned Down Call Of Duty Movie Opportunities

Many people have said that the Call of Duty franchise has turned into something like a blockbuster movie, a sometimes derisive accusation other times a point of fact. As it turns out, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has fielded offers to make Call of Duty into a movie and has passed on several requests, mainly because he was worried that such a movie would “taint the brand.”

“He’s a very, very careful thinker about how value is created in the business,” said Bruce Hack, who was chief executive of Vivendi Games when it merged with Activision.

Source: New York Times

Gamevil Reaches 200 Million Game Downloads

Gamevil has announced that it reached the 200 million game downloads accomplishment this week. They attribute this in part to the Partner Fund, where they’ve spent $20 million publishing third-party titles to date, bringing in more than 40 developers.

Gamevil also hired Won Il Sue, previously CEO of Nexon Korea and most recently VP or Corporate Development at Nexon America, as Senior Vice President of Gamevil USA to lead the Corporate Development and Publishing arm at Gamevil.

“I feel very lucky to be part of this company that has seen such extraordinary growth,” stated Sue. “It’s not only one of the top mobile game publishers in the world, but with the numerous years of experience the company has had in the mobile space, it is an industry leader. I want to bring my online gaming experience and knowledge to this industry and work with Gamevil to make it even bigger and better. I look forward to tackling the quickly evolving challenges in the mobile gaming industry.”

Apple Denied Injunction Against Samsung Devices

California U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung that would have made 26 smartphone and tablet devices restricted from sale in the U.S. She asserted that Apple had not supplied sufficient evidence that the violated patents were the main reason for the iPhone’s success.

“The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple’s patents,” Koh wrote in a statement. “Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple… It does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions.”

Apple won a major victory when a jury said Samsung violated five Apple patents in August, awarding them more than $1 billion in damages. Apple sought a permanent injunction against a large number of Samsung devices because of the ruling, including the popular Galaxy S III.

Source: Reuters

Cliff Bleszinski Says New Studio Matter Of When, Not If

Former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski retired from the company in October in order to take a break. Now, however, he’s eager to “work on something new and fresh and sort of redefine my legacy”.

“I had been working with [Epic] since I was 17-years-old. It’s time for a fresh start,” said Bleszinski. “I’ll start a new studio maybe at some point – it’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a matter of when and with who.”

“I started to get a little bit bored and then my phone started ringing a lot. I started meeting with a lot of people, a lot of developers and publishers… just to see what could possibly happen, of which I can tell you nothing right now,” he explained, noting Ubisoft was one of the more interested. “I felt like Liam Neeson in Taken. I called the number, talked to them, and we ended up meeting up and it was cool, but it was like the covert ops moment that was really amazing.”

Bleszinski noted that his goals will be to “pan for gold, while also having faith in the process” while remaining aware of the risks for ‘celebrity’-helmed studios. “I think when you look at Romero and when he did Ion Storm, I think it worked against him as much as for him,” Bleszinski said. “If you look at Curt Schilling and his studio [38 Studios]… You have to be careful when you have a certain amount of cult of personality. You can use it and leverage it to some extent, but you have to be careful not to believe your own crap, honestly.”

“And surrounding yourself with people who will question yourself at the right times… you don’t want to surround yourself with a lot of ‘yes men’ essentially,” he noted.

Source: G4

MLG Sees Itself Competing With Other Global Sports Media Businesses

Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of MLG, has seen eSports grow from an esoteric fringe activity into a global industry on the verge of mainstream popularity. In fact, the executive has other “real” sports in his crosshairs.

“We need to make it easier for people to find and become fans of eSports,” said DiGiovanni. “We currently have an amazing community and they live and breathe eSports, but in order for us to get to a point where we are truly realizing our potential we need to create more hooks. Hooks that appeal not only to the current audience, but hooks that will help us draw in new generations of fans. We want the next generation to grow up viewing eSports as a global phenomenon that is on the same level as the NFL, European Football, the NBA and other global sports media businesses.”

“If we continue to execute properly and more structure is introduced to the scene, I see eSports rivaling the UFC within 5 years. There’s no reason that we can’t rival even the NFL eventually, we just need to continue to evolve while growing our scene and focusing on sustainability,” he added.

Source: PC Gamer

Dead Space 3 Gets Kinect Voice Support

Electronic Arts announced that the Xbox 360 version of Dead Space 3 will have Kinect voice support. Usable in both single-player and co-op, commands include “Find partner”, “Fire stasis”, or “Attack Enemy”.

“The voice commands in Dead Space 3 give players a unique way to take down the terror, whether they choose to face the Necromorphs alone in single-player, or alongside a friend with drop-in / drop-out co-op,” said the game’s exec producer and Visceral VP Steve Papoutsis. “Dead Space 3 delivers the action-horror experience our fans have come to know and love. And with the ability to survive the adventure alone, with a friend, or with Kinect, we’re excited about extending the spine-tingling Dead Space experience to a whole new audience of players.”

THQ Considers Alternative Operating System Releases

The THQ Humble Bundle saw over $5 million in sales and that has the publisher considering other ways to boost sales. In particular, THQ president Jason Rubin said that he got the message when it came to making Linux versions of the company’s various games.

“The message I took away from a large number of tweets and comments around the THQ Humble Bundle sale is that there are vibrant communities of gamers using other operating systems besides the dominant ones, and a company like THQ should not overlook them,” said Rubin. “Complicating the analysis (in a positive way), gamers have tweeted inventive ideas to me, such as letting the community help in the porting to bring down costs. THQ is committed to look at anything that makes sense. I’m sure we will have more to announce shortly.”

Rubin also announced that Saints Row: The Third had sold 5.5 million copies before the Humble Bundle promotion. More than 885,000 bundles were sold, and those who paid more than the average price ($5.76, by the promotion’s end) were given a copy of Saints Row: The Third.

Source: Polygon

Infernum Productions Sees Koch Media Investment

Koch Media has acquired a majority stake in Infernum Productions AG, makers of the popular Brick Force. This move will allow Infernum to expand in-house productions like Project: Theralon and license MMOs from foreign markets like Dragon’s Prophet.

“We see great opportunities for growth in the area of free-to-play online gaming,” said Koch Media CEO Klemens Kundratitz. “Through our strategic investment, we want to support Infernum on the way to becoming a leading provider in the free-to-play market, and to participate in the enormous business potential.”

“We are very happy to have Koch Media at our side now, a partner that is both experienced and visionary, and who will open up brand new opportunities for us with its distribution know-how, its international positioning, and its powerful brands,”added Infernum CEO Andreas Weidenhaupt. “This cooperation will enable us to take on an even more important role in our rapidly growing market.”

ESPN – Born Into It

For those not in the know, Manchester United and Manchester City are two of the biggest teams in professional soccer and have a cross-town rivalry akin to Chicago’s Cubs and White Sox. The fans of both teams are fervent in their support… and more alike than different, as illustrated by this video, featuring the song Beginning of The End by The Cockney Rejects.

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It’s Such A Beautiful Day

Don Hertzfeldt made a name for himself with the Rejected animated film a dozen years ago, and his off-kilter animation style has truly been realized in It’s Such a Beautiful Day. Sadly not able to be nominated for an Oscar, here’s the first chapter Everything Will Be OK from Hertzfeldt’s magnum opus many years in the making.