Tag - Activision Blizzard
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, a report claims Major League Gaming is selling the majority of its assets to Activision Blizzard; Valve reveals 34,000 account details were on view for Steam's brief holiday issues; and MacGamer HQ publishes its list of the best Mac games of the last year.
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. Today's edition is covering all of the major announcements made during BlizzCon 2015, including expansion news for World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, preorders for Overwatch commencing, and Activision Blizzard's creation of a film and TV studio.
Activision Blizzard has unexpectedly announced it has purchased the studio behind major mobile titles, including the Candy Crush franchise and Bubble Witch Saga. The purchase of the British-based King Digital Entertainment will cost Activision $5.9 billion, the $18 per share purchase price representing a 20-percent premium over the developer's closing share price on October 30, but will ultimately help boost its mobile gaming efforts.
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Activision Blizzard starts taking the business of eSports seriously, the people behind Payday 2 attempt to appease revolting players, and Harmonix employees have been caught giving positive reviews to Rock Band 4 on Amazon, a game the company itself produced.
Activision Blizzard's $500 million bet on former Halo developer Bungie appears to be paying off after the first day. The company's Destiny launched this Tuesday, bringing in more than $500 million in sales for the Activision-published game. The sales figure that Activision claims makes the game "the biggest new video game franchise launch in history."
It appears that Blizzard Entertainment realizes what the numbers have been saying for years. A designer for World of Warcraft recently admitted that the company is no longer expecting growth in its player base. Player subscriptions have been in decline for the game since it peaked at 12 million in 2010, with only a small rise in 2012 with the release of the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
A gaming studio that once vanished through a series of mergers appears to be undergoing some sort of comeback, as indicated by an update to its website. Sierra Entertainment, a gaming developer and publisher that dates back to the late 1970s, appears to be witnessing a sort of revival. After a silence of nearly six years since the publisher was shut down after coming into possession of Activision Blizzard, a new announcement appears to be coming at Gamescom later this month.
Reuters reports that Activision Blizzard will drop a total of $500 million on the development of Bungie's upcoming game Destiny. The investment makes the game the most expensive video game production to date, surpassing previous cost leaders such as Grand Theft Auto V and Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick announced the record-setting investment at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles at the end of April.
The Delaware Chancery court has issued a ruling on a lawsuit, putting the pending sale of Vivendi's portion of Activision Blizzard back to its founders on hold. Activision is seeking to buy back 429 million shares of itself from Vivendi for $5.83 billion, with chief executive Bobby Kotick and chairman Brian Kelley will each purchase about 172 million shares of Activision stock.
Videogame developer and publisher Activision Blizzard announced yesterday that is has reached an agreement for a total of $8.17 billion with French media conglomerate Vivendi, effectively buying itself out of its partnership. Activision Blizzard is contributing $5.83 billion at $13.60 per share, with Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelley purchasing 172 million company shares for $2.34 billion. Following the completion of the transaction, Activision Blizzard will be an independent company again, with the majority of its shares owned by the public.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE