With every passing trailer, Rockstar’s next installment in the lucrative Grand Theft Auto franchise looks better and better. This brand spankin’ new clip clocks in at a lengthy 3:53 and is organized by playable protagonist. There’s rich but miserable Michael, caught up in the hood Franklin, and hillbilly Trevor. GTA V releases for Xbox 360 and PS3 on September 17; preorder today.
Get introduced to the next game in the Call of Duty franchise after the break. (Click here for more…)
Another Call of Duty game released, another record is set. On November 13 Call of Duty: Black Ops II came out and in 24 hours the shooter generated more than $500 million worldwide. For the fourth consecutive year, Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year following Modern Warfare 2 (generated $310 million in 24 hours in 2009), Black Ops ($360 million in 2010), and Modern Warfare 3 ($400 million in 2011). “Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a press release.
In other video game sales news, Halo 4 released last Tuesday on November 6 and raked in over $220 million on launch day. This makes it the most successful Halo launch in the franchise’s history, narrowly beating sales of Halo: Reach which generated $200 million in 2010. It was expected that Halo 4 sales would surpass the $300 million mark during its first week on the market, but that figure has not been made official yet. Stay tuned.
‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3′ generates $400 million in 24 hours, bests its predecessors to become biggest entertainment launch of all time
Infinity Ward’s latest first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launched one week ago on November 8 and on that day the game sold over 6.5 million units in North America and the UK generating over $400 million in sales. MW3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Does this all sound familiar to you? Well that’s because this is the third consecutive year that the Call of Duty franchise has set day one launch records across all forms of entertainment. It started in 2009 when Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 million copies and generated $310 million in sales; and then it happened again the very next year when Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies and made $310 million.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick shared his enthusiasm about the franchise’s success in a press release. ”We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories. Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings,” two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.”
Same time, same place next year, people?
Is this the greatest zombified video game trailer after Dead Island? I think so. To promote the latest DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops, Activision put together this insanely awesome trailer that stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Danny Trejo (Machete) Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), and the father of zombie films George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead). The DLC content pack is called “Escalation” and it’s described like this: “Set in a mysterious, ice-covered, remote Siberian island and inspired by legendary writer and director George A. Romero, a group of four fearless explorers fight for their lives amidst an army of bloodthirsty Soviet zombies.” Watch the Robert Rodriguez-inspired (Planet Terror) trailer above and anticipate Escalation’s May 3 release.
Today video games publisher Activision announced the end of the Guitar Hero franchise. Three developers, two publishers, and six iterations later, the once beloved music game is no more. The news came out of the company’s just released quarterly financial results press release.
“Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011. The company also will stop development on True Crime: Hong Kong. These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.”
So according to the company, Guitar Hero was axed due to declined interest in the genre. But there’s more to it, obviously. Ever since original creator-turned-fierce-competitor Harmonix handed the reins of the franchise to Activision (who in turn gave it to developer Neversoft and Vicarious Visions) in 2007, the game’s overall feel quickly went sour. The game mechanics got weaker, the songs got stale, the instrument accessories never evolved past toy-like appearance and usability. Each new iteration of the game following Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, in my opinion, paled in comparison to the franchise’s best version (GH II) and the competition in Rock Band. All of these downfalls led to poor sales and ultimately to the demise of the franchise.
With the Guitar Hero brand dead and gone, what’s left of the lingering related games? Well, the only one left standing is DJ Hero and it’s being reported that its developer Freestyle Games is being hit with layoffs too. No word on whether or not it will meet the same fate as its close rhythm-based cousin.
RIP Guitar Hero (2005-2011). You will always be remembered as the video games franchise to revolutionize the way we play interactive music-based games that always seemed to find the inner rock star in all of us.
Update: I happened to stumble upon a blog post written by Activision’s Dan Amrich and he shed light on today’s unfortunate news with a positive spin:
“So, honestly…is that “death” or a much-needed break? For a while there I couldn’t drown out the cries of gamers on forums, blogs, and Twitter saying GH should take some time off, and from all appearances, that’s what this is. Step back, let it breathe for a while, don’t make any major plans, and see what happens in the future. I’m very okay with that, even if the break turns into a long time. Chapter closed? Sure, okay. Book burned? I doubt it.”
Perhaps the franchise isn’t completely just, it’s just taking a long hibernation. Amrich went on to add an addendum to his post that certainly dampens the aforementioned positive thinking. According to the official GH Twitter feed: “We will release the previously announced DLC track and mix packs for February, but we will not be able to release new DLC packs.” So GH DLC is disappearning (for now) as well.
CoD Black Ops tops Modern Warfare 2 in day one sales to become biggest entertainment launch in history
The video games industry has done it again. More specifically, Activition has pushed out another Call of Duty game that has managed to break launch day records and become the biggest entertainment launch in history. Call of Duty: Black Ops garnered $360 million during its first day on sale in the United States and United Kingdom, according to internal Activision estimates. This sales figure beats out MW2 which generated $310 million almost exactly one year ago. 5.6 million copes of Black Ops were sold on day one, topping MW2‘s 4.2 million copies sold.
Says Activision CEO Bobby Kotick: “There has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records for two consecutive years and we are on track to outperform last year’s five-day global sales record of $550 million. The game’s success underscores the pop culture appeal of the brand. Call of Duty: Black Ops is the finest game that Treyarch has ever made and raises the bar for online gameplay by delivering the deepest and most intense Call of Duty experience yet. The Call of Duty franchise has over 25 million players around the world that are engaged in billions of hours of online gameplay, and we are committed to supporting them with new content and features on a more frequent and regular basis.”
Yes, that feeling of speechlessness is normal. Wowzers.
DJ Hero 2, the Activision music game that features 83 original, exclusive mixes, is available for all wannabe amateur DJs today! Let’s talk bundles. The Party Bundle ($149.99) includes a copy of the game, two turntable controllers, and a microphone. The Turntable Bundle ($99.99) includes a copy of the game and one turntable controller. You can also purchase the standalone game ($59.99). In addition to these bundles, retailers are offering limited-time extras. If you purchase the game at Amazon between 10/17 & 10/23 you will receive a free copy of Linkin Park’s album A Thousand Suns; if you purchase the Party or Turntable Bundle at Best Buy you will receive a premium hard-shell turntable carrying case that converts to a performance-ready DJ stand; and if you get the Party Bundle for Xbox 360 or Wii at WalMart you will receive a free copy of the original DJ Hero. Not bad, eh? Look after the break for the full PR.
Fellow rock gods, the Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock setlist is here. Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Anberlin, Avenged Sevenfold, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Children Of Bodom, Def Leppard, DragonForce, Foo Fighters, Foreigner, KISS, Megadeth, Muse, R.E.M., Rush, Styx, Third Eye Blind. And the list goes on and on. Check out the full 93 track setlist after the break. With Rock Band 3 and Guitar Hero (this is the sixth major game in the series) packing some amazing tracks, this holiday season promises to be the best one yet for music game lovers. Guitar Hero: WoR releases September 28 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.
With an October 19 release date lingering just around the corner, Activision deemed it appropriate to unveil the DJ Hero 2 tracklist. The list includes 105 songs in total, and these will be stratigically mashed together to create 85 unique playable mixes. Says Dan Neil of FreeStyleGames: “The individual songs that have been mixed into the DJ Hero 2 soundtrack have been viewed online more than 1.5 billion times, which really speaks volumes to both the size and scope of our music. Working with some of the best DJs in the world, we were able to take this amazing collection of the biggest pop, hip-hop and dance hits, and with some turntable magic, craft the best soundtrack in entertainment.” The tracklist includes songs from 2Pac, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, A-Trak, B.o.B., Daft Punk, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Eminem, Justice, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Tiesto, Timbaland, Young Jeezy, and oh-so-much more. Jump after the break to view the full tracklist.
For about a month now we’ve known that DJ Hero 2 is releasing on all major consoles starting at $99 sometime this fall. [Update: It releases October 19.] What we’ve eagerly been waiting for is the official tracklist. Though the mashups have yet to be revealed, we now know all 108 artists that will be featured in the game. Some of the standouts include 2Pac, B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Dr. Dre, Drake, Eminem, Gorillaz, Jackson 5, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lady Gaga, Metallica…ah who am I kidding? The list is pretty stellar so just jump after the break to check it out.
DJ Hero is getting significantly upgraded in its second installment. DJ Hero 2 will feature over 70 never before heard mixes with artists ranging from Dr. Dre, The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West, Metallica, and Rihanna. Only three mixes have been revealed: Lady Gaga “Just Dance” Mixed With Deadmau5 “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff”, Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha” Mixed With Pitbull “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”, and MSTRKRFT “Bounce” Beat Juggle. Deadmau5 will also be featured as an in-game playable character. This game will include something the original did not–a story mode. In Empire Mode, ”players start out as an up-and-coming DJ on the road to becoming the head of a major entertainment empire, all of which is founded solely on their success as a DJ.” There will also be a couple new multiplayer modes. DJ Battles will “pit DJ against DJ in mixes produced specifically for battle gameplay.” This mode differs from the multiplayer experience in the first game. Previously both players played the same notes and battled for the high score. This new mode has players take turns with the notes, making it feel more like a genuine head-to-head DJ battle. Gameplay is separated into checkpoints, and the objective is to collect the most checkpoints.
With the original DJ Hero, players were given the option to connect their own mic into the deck’s USB port to freestyle vocals over mixes. DJ Hero 2 integrates the mic as a standard intrument in gameplay. If you choose to play along with/as a vocalist, on-screen lyrics will appear at the top of the screen and you’ll be scored on pitch and accuracy.
DJ Hero 2 will arrive this fall on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii. The “Party Bundle” includes the game, two turntables, and a microphone (if you opt for this bundle, you can select a white deck). The “Turntable Bundle” includes the game and one turntable. They will go for $149.99 & $99.99, respectively. Also the game will sell standalone at $59.99. Pre-order here. More details will spill next week at E3, so stay tuned. For now, check out the awesome trailer above!
According to an Amazon listing, the next game in the Guitar Hero franchise will use a subtitle and not a number. Much like the third iteration of Guitar Hero stripped the number and added “World Tour” to its name, Guitar Hero 6 will be titled Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Here’s what we know–GH: Warriors of Rock will release on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii sometime this holiday season, it will be made available in three variations (Standard ($59.99), Guitar Bundle ($99.99), and Super Bundle ($179.99)), and publisher Activision claims the game will go back to its roots with this one. We’ll see if they carry out on this promise once the tracklist is revealed. But until then, all we have to stare at is the new logo sitting above. How exciting.
Today Halo developer Bungie announced a partnership with Call of Duty publisher Activision. To be more specific, it’s a “10-year exclusive [worldwide] partnership to bring Bungie’s next big action game universe to market.” This means that for the foreseeable future, Activision will retain exclusive rights to publish all the games related to whatever Bungie has in store for us (a new Halo trilogy, perhaps?). Also noteworthy, the announcement states that Activision also has the rights to distribute these games ”on multiple platforms and devices”, meaning Bungie might finally cut its exclusive ties with Microsoft. The partnership keeps Bungie an independent company and Bungie devs will continue to own their intellectual property. Over at Bungie.net the devs share their excitement: “We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience.” With powerhouse titles under their belts, hopefully this unexpected partnership will result in some exciting new games for all major platforms. Call of Halo? Halo Duty? Guitar Halo? Sorry, I had to do it.
Look after the break for the official PR statement and a word from Bungie.
The first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 downloadable content will come in the form of a map pack. The “Stimulus Package” will consist of five maps, two of them being old maps, “fan-favorites” from the original Modern Warfare game. A description of the map pack was posted on the Xbox Live Marketplace (and has since been taken down for unknown reasons):
The best-selling Xbox 360 game of all-time just got bigger, with more epic multiplayer content, first on Xbox LIVE! The Stimulus Package delivers 5 additional action-packed multiplayer maps featuring a variety of locations: “Bailout,” a multi-level apartment complex; “Storm,” an open industrial park littered with heavy machinery; “Salvage,” a snowy junkyard fortified by stacked debris and crushed cars. Two legendary fan-favorites from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare return, including “Crash,” [pictured above] a war-torn urban environment; and “Overgrown,” which features a massive dry creek bed.
“Stimulus Package” will land on Xbox Live as a 328MB download on March 30 for a whopping 1,200 Microsoft points (that’s $15!). It will be made available on the PlayStation Network and PC at an undisclosed date. Still feeling down about the hefty price tag for three new maps and two old ones, and remembering that popular map packs for World At War only cost $10 when they released? Share your greif with other gamers by signing this petition. Hopefully Activision will get wind of it and make things right before the 30th.
Activision announced that its Call of Duty franchise has officially generated over three billion dollars in worldwide retail sales, making it one of the biggest and most successful video game franchises in history.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard: Call Of Duty has become one of the greatest entertainment franchises of all time. If you consider the number of hours our audiences are engaged in playing Call of Duty games, it is likely to be one of the most viewed of all entertainment experiences in modern history.”
Well I think we all know what led to this historic claim–cough, Modern Warfare 2, cough.
And that’s an understatement. In fact, IGN calls it “the biggest launch in the history of all forms of entertainment.” And we’re talking about the video games industry here. Good stuff!
On November 10 games publisher Activision released the latest installment in the coveted Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. After very positive initial reviews and a garnered hype spread by word of mouth and Twitter (MW2 quickly became (and still is) a trending topic). In its first 24 hours on sale the game sold approximately 4.7 million copies in North America and the UK and made $310 million in sales. DAY-UM!
Mike Griffith, CEO of Activision: “The Call of Duty franchise has become a cultural phenomenon showing the power of video games as an entertainment medium.” “The shattering of these entertainment records is a testament to the compelling, cinematic and uniquely engaging experience that the Call of Duty brand delivers. Modern Warfare 2 has taken interactive experience to unprecedented heights setting a new standard for entertainment.”
Jump in on the action and get yourself a copy of MW2 today.
DJ Hero is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii at $119.99. The standard bundle comes with the game and the turntable. Don’t forget about the Renegade Edition. For $199.99 you get the game, a sleeker premium turntable, a carrying case and stand, and a 2-CD pack containing Jay-Z and Eminem tracks. Look after the break for a video featuring Eminem talking about the product.
Still on the fence about this pricey purchase? Head on over to IGN and read their rave review. They awarded DJ Hero a 9.0/10 and say “In an overcrowded genre of music games, DJ Hero resides at the very top with the best of ‘em. The original mixes are stunning and scratching the turntable is just as fun as it seems.” “…DJ Hero is already the most exciting music game around and is guaranteed to get the party started.”
And if that’s not enough for you, IGN has recently reported that downloadable tracks will be making their way to DJ Hero starting tomorrow. Joining the original 93 songs are “All Of Me” by 50 Cent featuring Mary J. Blige vs. “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen and “DARE” by Gorillaz vs. “Can’t Truss It” by Public Enemy. A David Guetta Mix Pack is also on its way, coming November 24.
We already knew that the special edition of DJ Hero will include a custom turntable, a DJ stand, a carrying case, and tracks from Jay-Z and Eminem. This week the included tracks were fnally revealed to the public. Each rapper will be bringing 12 songs to the mix and will be loaded on two separate CDs. Some of Jay-Z’s songs include “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” “Show Me What You Got,” “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…),” “Brooklyn Go Hard (Featuring Santigold),” and “D.O.A. (Death of Auto Tune).” Some of Eminem’s (hand-picked) songs include “Public Enemy No. 1,” “Say What You Say (featuring Dr. Dre),” “Lose Yourself,” “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” and “Soldier.” Keep in mind, though, that these songs are not playable in-game; they are audio CDs soley for listening to. Bummer, I know!
DJ Hero ($119.99) releases alongside its special edition counterpart ($199.99) on October 27.
Today Activision announced a special version of its new DJ Hero video game. Dubbed DJ Hero Renegade Edition, the bundle will include a deluxe turntable peripheral with premium metal controls and finish, a hardshell carrying case that transforms into a stand, and 2 CDs that contain some unreleased Eminem and Jay-Z tracks. With the standard edition of DJ Hero priced at $120, expect to pay a premium on this upgraded version of the turntable and included extras. Check out the gallery of images below. DJ Hero is due out in late October.
Update: DJ Hero Renegade Edition will cost $199.99. This is an $80 premuium over the standard edtion. Make your choice when it ships on October 27.
You may have noticed the DJ Hero turntable peripheral in the Kid Cudi “Make Her Say” music video. This promotional tie-in was no coincidence. It has been made official that a remix of Kid Cudi’s “Day n’ Nite” will be featured in the upcoming video game this October. His single will be mixed with the Black Eyed Peas hit “Boom Boom Pow.” Check out the video above for a sneak peak.