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‘Call Of Duty’ Storms China Market Under Activision-Tencent Deal

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Call of Duty, the biggest-selling videogame franchise of the past few years, has debuted in an online, free-to-play version exclusive to China under a deal between publisher Activision and Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. As a free-to-play game, anyone with the right device can play Call of Duty Onlinebut typically in such games, must spend small amounts of money on in-app purchases or even “rentals” of game items such as weapons to be able to progress… Read

Business

Sony’s PS4 Hits 18.5M Units Sold Despite PSN Headaches

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Sony’s videogame console has sold more than 18.5 million units since its November, 2013 launch, Sony Computer Entertainment says. The sales number includes 4.1 million sold worldwide during the holiday season. It comes after the console’s online network was temporarily hobbled by a hacker group’s distributed denial-of-service attacks and their aftermath that began on Christmas Eve. Despite those frustrations for gamers, the PS4 remains the market leader among the Big… Read

Business

Lizard Squad Member Said Group Provided Log-Ins Used In Sony Attack

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An administrator of Lizard Squad, the anonymous hacking group that claimed credit for the last week’s attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live, says in an interview that the group provided the hackers behind the massive cyber attack on Sony Pictures with log-in information from “a couple” of Sony employees, information used in the initial attacks that exposed a vast trove of sensitive corporate data. The claims came in a Q&A with a Washington Post… Read

Business

Sony PlayStation Network Finally Out Of The Woods? Services Returning, Slowly

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10th UPDATE, SUNDAY, 8:45 AM: It’s hard to pronounce the patient healed just yet, but Sony’s PlayStation Network this morning finally appears to moving past several days of heavy cyber assaults that left it mostly unaccessible to gamers – apparently distributed denial-of-service attacks that made it impossible for legitimate. Sony is posting this on its main customer-service Twitter feed: “The PSN is gradually coming back online. Please try to sign in again. Any problems… Read

Business

John Malkovich And Team Face ‘Exo Zombies’ In ‘CoD’ Add-On – Trailer

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal provide the voices for Exo Zombies, what game publisher Activision calls a “survival co-op experience” within its blockbuster Call of Duty Advanced Warfare game, which debuted last month and is the year’s biggest seller. The Exo Zombies will be part of the first batch of the game’s downloadable additional content, to arrive next month. The game already featured Kevin Spacey as the voice of the Atlas CEO in the… Read

Business

Google Play’s 2014 Stars: ‘Frozen,’ ‘Frozen’ Again, #TFIOS And ‘The Walking Dead’

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‘Tis the season for lists: Two days after Facebook and Google unit YouTube released their 2014 Top 10s, the Google Play online store has come out with its best-selling movies, TV shows, books, apps, music and more. And what’s at the top: AMC’s ratings monster The Walking Dead, Disney’s animated blockbuster Frozen and … the soundtrack for Frozen. In fact, the store’s biggest music trend this year was movie soundtracks, and not just for Frozen, whose soundtrack perched at… Read

Business

No Sales Details On ‘Call Of Duty,’ But Activision Shares Jump 11 Percent

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

Normally, when you successfully release the latest iteration of a blockbuster franchise, it’s a good time to brag. Activision Blizzard says Call of Duty Advanced Warfare has had the year’s biggest launch of any entertainment property. That’s big. But what’s more interesting is what ATVI didn’t say, and how Wall Street is still sending company shares up like an exo-skeleton boost. In a November 19 release, ATVI called the Advanced Warfare debut “the biggest entertainment… Read

Business

Disney’s Mobile Push: Walmart Deal, PewDiePie App, Revamped ESPN.com

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The Disney Movies Anywhere app will be available on Walmart’s VUDU online-video service beginning Tuesday, the biggest news out of Disney’s mobile showcase Friday morning outlining initiatives from its brands. Also coming: stand-alone video apps for its biggest YouTube stars such as PewDiePie, a revamped ESPN.com online presence, and ImagiCademy, a new hybrid service providing learning and entertainment for children. CEO Bob Iger introduced the event, reminiscing about… Read

Business

Sony Unveils PlayStation Vue; Web-Based TV Service To Launch With 75 Channels

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Back at the International CES confab in January, Sony Computer Entertainment Group CEO Andrew House touted the upcoming arrival of a new cloud-based service in the U.S. that would include the "most popular live TV programs combined with a large library of VOD content," although he offered no specifics. Now, 10 months later, the mystery has been solved. Sony Network Entertainment International and Sony Computer Entertainment today unveiled subscription service PlayStation V… Read

Business

Fullscreen Buys Online Video Pioneer Rooster Teeth

Status: Off The TableWhat: Bought in the fall of 2014 by AT&T and the Chernin Group, Fullscreen is one of the biggest "horizontal" MCNs, with

Fullscreen, the big YouTube multi-channel network and talent-management group, has bought Austin-based online pioneer Rooster Teeth, home of the hugely popular online video series Red Vs. Blue  and other titles predating even the rise of YouTube, the companies announced this morning. Terms were not disclosed in the deal, the latest in a flurry of acquisitions and stake purchases, mostly driven by traditional media companies in the U.S. and Europe seeking a foothold in the… Read

Business

Activision Shoots ‘Em Up On Strong ‘Destiny’ Debut As ‘Call Of Duty’ Arrives

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It was a very good day for videogame giant Activision Blizzard, which reported record (non-GAAP) revenues and earnings per share thanks to new franchise Destiny and the long-running World Of Warcraft. The big numbers came just as Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare, the next iteration of its blockbuster franchise, hits retailers with its prospects buoyed by strong reviews, reduced competition and a featured role from Kevin Spacey. The numbers were announced after the stock… Read

Business

Sony Posts Wider Q2 Loss, Beats Estimates On Strong PlayStation4 Sales

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Sony came out ahead of analyst estimates with a smaller-than-expected second quarter loss thanks primarily to increased demand for its PlayStation4 game console. However, overall losses widened to 136B yen ($1.2B) from 19.6B yen in the comparable period in 2013 as the mobile phone unit bled $1.58B. Sales and operating revenue were up overall by 7.2% compared to the same period last year at $17.4B. The games and network services segment recorded an 83.2% bump in sales and… Read