Microsoft Buys ‘Minecraft’ Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion
Microsoft has closed the previously much-rumored deal to acquire Mojang, the small Swedish company behind the massively popular videogame franchise Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.
If you're not a gamer, or the parent of one, you may not know Minecraft, but trust me, the little kids understand. It's huge, one of the biggest independent game franchises in the world. The game has blocky, Lego-like graphics that are far from state-of-the-art in their style, but it hasn't stopped… Read
Activision Says ‘Destiny’ Broke Day 1 Sales Record For A New Video Game Franchise With $500M
Everyone expected initial sales to be big — but few thought they'd be this big. Worldwide retail and first-party orders for the multiplayer shooter game Destiny yesterday topped $500M, Activision Blizzard says today. That tops the previous record for a new franchise set in May by Ubisoft's Watch Dogs. If you add sequels, both still trail last fall's Call Of Duty: Ghosts, which had more than $1B in Day 1 sales, and Grand Theft Auto V, which had more than $800… Read
TECH Bits: ‘Madden NFL 15′ Kicks Off To Quieter Audience
A few years back, today would have been a very bad day for workplace productivity, as hundreds of thousands of fans of EA Sports' Madden Football franchise either took the day off or missed a big chunk of it to wait in line to buy the latest iteration of the iconic videogame series. These days, not so much. With online pre-orders, electronic downloads and disappearing game retailers, finding a line of camped-out gamers waiting for midnight and this year's Madden is a lot… Read
You Won’t Believe What Happens Next: Facebook Clamps Down On Clickbait
Mostly lost in all the Emmy hubbub around Deadline yesterday was a little “FYI” blog post by Facebook, noting changes it was making in how it decides what stories to show its 1.1 billion users in their profiles' News Feed.
From now on, the company said, it would be downgrading stories from publishers that use come-on headlines (like the first half of this story's headline) to get people to click through to posts without much substance. Some publishers use this… Read
Online Game Networks Hacked, Sony Unit President Threatened
UPDATE: Sony's PlayStation Network, the online service that connects PlayStation 3 and PS4 videogame consoles to the Internet and to over-the-top video services such as Netflix, has been down much of the day after a distributed denial-of-service attack left the network inaccessible to users. Hackers also attacked the Microsoft's Xbox Live service, Santa Monica-based League of Legends and other game sites.
In taking credit for the takedown, a group calling itself Lizard… Read
High Score: Sony’s PS4 Passes 10 Million Console Sales in Nine Months
Sony's PS4 videogame console continues to rack up high scores in its sales race with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U, passing 10 million units sold nine months after its mid-November debut. Sony execs reported the sales landmark today in Cologne, Germany, during a briefing ahead of the big GamesCon conference there.
The Xbox One, which debuted a week after the PS4 last November, has yet to recover from a stumbling launch. Though its executives did not report… Read
It’s Alive! ‘Dead Island’ Vidgame Movie Rises Again
EXCLUSIVE: Zombie video game Dead Island is getting reanimated for the screen by Occupant Entertainment and publisher Deep Silver. The companies have pacted to package, produce, and finance a new film based on the bestselling vidgame played from the perspective of survivors fending off the undead on an island paradise.
Dead Island sold over 8 million units worldwide after its initial release, drawing huge viral buzz from a memorable teaser trailer depicting one family's… Read
Sony’s PlayStation Now Strategy: Everything Old Is New Again
Though videogames can be massive sellers (witness those billion-dollar debuts last fall for Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Ghosts), every title faces rapid obsolescence, at least in gamers' eyes. Three years after hitting the shelves, even the hottest titles can look woefully quaint compared to the latest stuff. That creates a wildly different set of economic realities compared to Hollywood, where so much money is made from library titles, produced (and paid for)… Read
Heeding The Call: 20.9 Million Catch ‘Call Of Duty’ YouTube Trailer To Top Q2 Charts
With some Frank Underwood-esque delivery help from a virtualized Kevin Spacey, the “reveal” trailer for the next installment of Activision Blizzard's behemoth game franchise, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, easily topped YouTube's charts of the second quarter's most-watched trailers. COD's 20.9 million views were nearly 3 million more than the No.2 trailer, for X-Men:Days of Future Past, and two to three times the views of No. 3, the game Mortal Kombat X, and No. 4, Netfli… Read