Industry juggernaut Activision Blizzard is being shopped around by Telecom giant Vivendi, after chief executive officer Jean-Bernard Lévy was ousted for opposing restructuring.
According to several news sources, Vivendi wants to sell its 61 percent stake in the publisher, which is valued at $8.1 billion. If Vivendi can’t find a suitor, it will head towards the open market.
Currently Vivendi chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou is under pressure to restructure his company and boost the stock price from a nine-year low. Previously, the board had discussed a sale of part or all of its stake in Activision.
Blizzard Entertainment have announced a brand new expansion pack for World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria. The latest expansion will reintroduce the Pandaria and centerpiece the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance.
Mists of Pandaria highlights the idea of “war,” with vice president Chris Metzen stating that the Alliance and Horde will go to war in ways we haven’t seen since the second WarCraft installment. Introducing a the new Monk class, it features the Pandaren as a playable race of characters. It also brings the level cap up to 90, add new talents, a “Challenge Mode” for dungeons and a “Pet Battle” system.
Beside its slow production progress, vice president of creative development, Chris Metzen said that the progress on the World of Warcraft movie has slowed, but it’s still happening. At a merchandising panel, Metzen said that director Sam Raimi is still “very, very passionate” about making the movie.
He later continues to state that, once the screenplay treatment is finished, “hopefully it’ll start moving very quickly, very soon.” Metzen and the rest of the panelists also talked about the next lore-based novel to be released — it’s called The Shattering, and will set up a lot of the events leading up to the Cataclysm expansion.
Metzen cautioned the game’s fans that there are “dark times ahead” for Azeroth with the return of Deathwing and quakes destroying large parts of the game world. “It’s going to get rough out there for a while,” he admitted, reports Joystiq. “But there’s a plan. The great heroes always rise to the top.”
It’s no secret that Blizzard Entertainment has been working on a new MMO, even teasing at its development via a job listing. However, it wasn’t until BlizzCon that World of Warcraft director, Jeffrey Kaplan confirmed that Blizzard is “definitely involved” in a new MMO. “I think the great part about a new MMO from Blizzard is that it doesn’t have to be ‘WoW‘,” he said to MTV. “There are a lot of lessons we learned in making ‘World of Warcraft,’ and some of those you can take and do things better than you ever did before.”
When being asked about the possibility of their new MMO being cannibalizing to “WoW” subscribers, Kaplan stated that he wasn’t worried at all, and that the company was going to great lengths to make sure that, that doesn’t happen. But, with the recent success of high fantasy MMOs, one must wonder if there’s any more room for MMOs of WoW’s kind.
“Oh yeah,” Kaplan said. “I only think [non-high fantasy MMOs] have a harder time because of the past games that have tried and the game design decisions that they made, not because of the [intellectual property] or the setting that they chose.” Kaplan also added that the next-gen MMO is very early in development and, like all Blizzard titles, it’s “going to be a while” before we see it.
Remember Game Fuel? Well, it seems Mountain Dew is teaming up with folks over at World of Warcraft – instead of the people at Halo – to release two brand new flavors, which are Alliance Blue and Horde Red. These products will be available for a limited time, so they’re sure to be collectibles as well.
In addition, Dew and World of Warcraft have created an interactive microsite where they’re giving away swag and free trial memberships to World of Warcraft. You can check it out here: http://www.mountaindewgamefuel.com/
Blizzard today announced that World of Warcraft, its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now played by more than 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. This new high was reached following the November 13 release of the game’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.
Within its first 24 hours of availability, Wrath of the Lich King sold more than 2.8 million copies, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. In addition to winning a number of editor’s choice awards from major gaming publications, the expansion has now gone on to sell more than 4 million copies in its first month, setting a new record for monthly PC-game sales. Both sales records were previously held by World of Warcraft’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade.
“We’re pleased to welcome the new and returning players who have helped World of Warcraft reach these new milestones, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and support that the game’s global community has continued to show,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to providing all of them with an excellent entertainment experience for a long time to come.”
South Park has always had a lot of fun with video game referencing, including games like World of Warcraft and Guitar Hero. Both have been used and parodied alot of times, even receiving some help from Blizzard in regards to a World of Warcraft parody. Now, South Park has seems to set its eye on a brand new game, Call of Duty: World of War. Which was revealed in an episode of South Park where the kids are suppose to be learning about computers and Butters has somehow found out that vampires are in the school. It’s really funny so check it out.
[South Park Plays Some World at War (NSFW) via Aeropause]
Funcom is proud to announce that Age of Conan is one of the fastest selling PC games of all time. More than 400.000 gamers have entered Hyboria over the last few days, with almost half coming from the North American market. This amazing figure for a PC game shows that the positive pre-order trend has transferred into actual sales, and people from all over the world are now flocking to the most savage, sexy and brutal MMO ever created.
Over the weekend an astounding amount of concurrent gamers were logged on to the game, making Age of Conan one of the busiest MMOs in the western hemisphere. With stock flying out of several retail chains, Funcom expects the number to increase in the days to come. In addition to the many gamers logging in, there was also substantial traffic to the Age of Conan websites, with more than 2,2 million unique visitors during the last ten days.
As a result of the great launch, players and press have been raving about the unique qualities of the game, and the first 20 reviews give Age of Conan an average score above 90%. The first US reviews are also live, with Gamezone.com giving the game an Editor’ s Choice Award, a 9.4 of 10 score, while heralding Age of Conan as a “ Benchmark MMO” . Sci-Fi.com was also an early mover and gave the game a straight A, stating that “ If Robert E. Howard had been a game designer.., this is the Conan he would have invented.”
“ The initial sales and reviews are very encouraging, and it’ s great to see that so many are enjoying Age of Conan ,” said Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas. “ This is just the beginning, and we already look forward to massive updates and cool new features. We believe our focus on making Conan unique and groundbreaking is a key reason for the initial success. This is a focus we will keep and reinforce, and players can expect continued quality and innovation as we enter a new era for the game.”