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Activision abused Guitar Hero
By: | February 18th, 2011

Last week, we reported that Activision is killing off the Guitar Hero franchise “due to continued declines in the music genre.” While we’re certain that the folks over at EA and Harmonix are quietly celebrating, not everyone is so happy to see the music behemoth go the way of the dinosaurs.

RedOctane was the publisher that teamed up with Harmonix back in 2005 to make Guitar Hero I and II. They were subsequently acquired by Activision in 2006, and dissolved last year. Their former CEO, Kelly Sumner, doesn’t have the nicest things to say about Activision’s management of the franchise.

His words await you after the break.

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Yesterday Activision announced some news that has some pretty major effects on the gaming industry. First off, the publisher has canceled the open-world action title True Crime: Hong Kong.

While this may be upsetting to some gamers, the real heavy hitting news is that Activision has eliminated its Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises “due to continued declines in the music genre.” Both teams working on the GH and DJH franchises have been hit with “severe layoffs.” Read more… »

All you Call of Duty junkies out there better cancel your weekend plans – it’s double XP weekend! Everything you do, from something as simple as killing another player for +50, to shooting down an enemy spy plane for +150, counts double. After all the dust clears, I predict an awful lot of 15th Prestige players out there by the time the sun comes up Monday morning.  The double period starts at 1PM EST today, and ends sometime Monday morning (my guess would be around 5AM EST).

Personally, I don’t have a real big problem with double XP weekends, but I can see why some people don’t like it. There are a lot of people out there who have spent tons of time in Black Ops honing their skills the last few months, and achieving 15th Prestige in a short amount of time, only to be matched by people who happen to log on this weekend. Either way, make sure you at least try some Demolition, because anytime you plant a bomb, it’ll earn you a sweet +1200. Read more… »


When I asked Mark Lamia of Treyarch at E3 whether we’d be seeing zombies in the studio’s highly-anticipated next chapter in the Call of Duty series, he gave me the same answer that Activision and Treyarch have given everyone: “No comment.”

I distinctly remember Mark having a smirk on his face when he said it, however. It’s being reported that a Best Buy listing for the Hardened Edition of Black Ops read that it will feature “Four Zombie Maps Pack made famous from COD: World at War.” This information has since been pulled from the Best Buy site.

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Now I’m all for special editions, but this is getting a little ridiculous. Today Activision revealed two tiers of special editions for Treyarch’s upcoming shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops.

First off, there is the “Hardened” edition. This box includes “a custom Black Ops limited edition medal, exclusive Black Ops Avatar outfit, as well as four playable cooperative maps.” Not too shabby, if I do say so myself, but wait for it. Things get pretty crazy with the “Prestige” edition. Read more… »

Following in the footsteps of the previous Call of Duty titles, today Activision revealed that a “companion” title for Call of Duty: Black Ops will be released on the Nintendo DS. The newly revealed shooter will be hitting stores along side the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 releases on November 9, 2010.

Developed by n-Space (the guys behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized), Call of Duty: Black Ops promises to put gamers in various combat situation ranging from “taking the controls of an attack helicopter to flying an experimental stealth fighter jet.” Read more… »

Whether it is Bobby Kotick wanting to raise game prices even further, trying to take the fun out of making videogames or even driving away one of the most popular studios in the industry, one thing is for certain: Activision has been a PR nightmare lately. While Activision is attempting to improve its public image, Electronic Arts seems to be taking advantage of Activision’s growing unpopularity amongst gamers. During a recent interview, EA Chief Operating Officer John Shappert took the opportunity to make backhanded comments towards Activision when asked about the rival company.

When asked about Activision, Shappert noted that “… stories of late [regarding Activision] haven’t been very positive. And we couldn’t be happier to have Jason [West] and Vince [Zampella] as part of our EA Partners program, or Ted Price of Insomniac”. In addition to rubbing salt in Activision’s wound regarding the loss of  Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward, the interview allowed Shappert to differentiate his company from the likes of Activision.

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Today Activision sent word that a new James Bond title will be arriving on the Ps3, Xbox 360 and PC this holiday season. Dubbed James Bond 007: Blood Stone, the third-person shooter is currently being developed by Bizarre Creations (best known for Blur and The Club).

It seems like Activision has really pulled out all the stop for this game. Apparently, Blood Stone will feature an original story by Bruce Feirstein (the guy behind GoldenEye), as well as voice acting from Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and singer Joss Stone. Word also has it that Ms. Stone will be providing the soundtrack with a little help from Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics). Read more… »

Yesterday Blizzard Entertainment announced that it will be making some major changes to it’s forums in preparation for StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. The biggest thing being changed is that “anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name.”

That’s right folks, anonymity on the Blizzard forums is going to die. According to the official posting, “These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.” Read more… »

You guys remember way back in March when I wrote about how Activision halted the fan-made sequel to King’s Quest? Apparently, over the weekend Activision had a change of heart.

The publisher released a statement saying, “given the overwhelming community support for the Silver Lining project, [Activision is] in discussions with Phoenix Online Studios about allowing them to continue to finish the game and then release it to their fans.” Read more… »

GoldenEye was a landmark time in the industry’s history.  For many, it marked the success of the FPS and it certainly was a defining moment for the N64.  Likewise, many of us can recount the days when parties would consist of four friends huddled around a 14 inch TV screen to play one of the four player modes.  Gawd, those were the good ole days.

At this very moment, it just kind of dawned of me that GoldenEye is the best and most successful film to video game crossover we’ve ever seen.  On an unrelated note, according to leaked sources, Activision has decided to flog it til it’s dead remake the game that Rare made so popular.  Read more… »

Activision’s long running Guitar Hero series is set to further shred the saturated market this September with the release of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, the direct sequel to Guitar Hero 5. The game will feature an all new story-driven Quest mode, narrated by Gene Simmons from KISS, that will have players trek from New York clubs to molten lava fields in a bid to save rock and roll from “The Beast” – this is already sounding a trifle familiar.

A new gameplay mode entitled Quickplay+ has also been announced, which will feature 13 new challenges for every song including Band Streak, High Score and Power Challenge. A brand new guitar peripheral is also said to be in the works, and is said to reflect the game’s art style with an emphasis on shredding.

90 songs will feature in the final setlist, with a focus on more rock-centric tracks than in Guitar Hero 5, making it the largest collection of tracks to be found on disc to date. A listing of the songs that have been confirmed for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock so far can be found after the break.

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