Activision’s megapopular Call of Duty: Black Ops officially raked in $1 billion in six weeks of sales, according to Variety, outpacing the previous highest-grossing video game, Modern Warfare 2. Black Ops crossed $650 million in sales in its first five days alone, and players have logged more than 600 million game-hours already.
Tag: Tech (41-50 of 163)
The Federal Communications Commission voted today to approve some regulations for net neutrality. In a 3-2 verdict, the Commission ruled that broadband providers cannot block access to or discriminate against sites. Committee Chairman Julius Genachowski called the plan a “strong and sensible framework,” but it’s already meeting with blowback from both sides of the aisle, including members of the FCC itself. The plan distinguishes between wired and wireless Internet, banning only the former from “unreasonable discrimination” of web traffic. Democrats on the committee feel the regulations don’t go far enough, while Republicans say the rules overstep the committee’s bounds and will stifle economic growth. [CNET, Washington Post]
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the latest expansion pack for Activision Blizzard Inc.’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), sold a massive 3.3 million units in just the first 24 hours after its release, according to Reuters. That sets a new record for the franchise: The last WoW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, sold 2.8 million copies in one day when it was released in November 2008. WoW has approximately 12 million subscribers globally.
Cypress Hill back-up singer sues Rockstar Games, claims 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' based on his life
Michael “Shagg” Washington, a model and back-up singer/performer for rap group Cypress Hill, has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive alleging the companies appropriated his image for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the Playstation 2 videogame released in October 2004. According to court documents filed by Washington’s lawyer in California on Monday, Washington met with a group of young videogame developers in January 2003 to discuss possible participation in a future videogame. The developers spent two hours asking Washington about “street life,” and he told them details about his “troubled youth.”
Washington signed no contract, and was never contacted by the developers again. In 2010, his young nephew informed him of his similarity to CJ, the main character in GTA: San Andreas. Washington’s suit claims that the GTA developers are guilty of copyright infringement and fraud, and is demanding $250 million in compensation.
Howard Stern, whose half-billion dollar contract with Sirius XM ends Dec. 31, lashed out at his boss during this morning’s show following reports that Sirius XM executive David Frear had suggested a paycut was in order. “I am not taking a f—ing pay-cut,” Stern said, according to The Wrap. “Why would I have to take a pay-cut? … Who is this guy to say this in public?” Stern went on to say, “I know what I have done in this company. I am more important than Oprah, in this company anyway. Oprah’s out getting the Kennedy Center honor and I’ve got the CFO announcing to Wall Street that I have to take a pay-cut.”
Sirius XM did not respond to requests for comment. Stern’s last show is scheduled for Dec. 16.
Update: On Wednesday morning’s radio show, Stern explained that he’d investigated Frear’s speech and concluded that The Hollywood Reporter had misinterpreted the CFO’s words when it concluded that he’d said Stern would need to take a pay cut. “David Frear is okay with me,” said Stern, who reportedly conceded that the financial landscape had changed since Sirius merged with XM.
News Corp.’s COO says the company is willing to selling off Myspace. (Recall that it’s no longer “MySpace.”) Chase Carey told Reuters that the company is open to a sale, partnership, or some other option. “There are opportunities here to do 20 things… but that doesn’t mean you’re going to do any of the 20. If there’s something there that makes sense you ought to think about it,” Carey said. Myspace’s recent redesign and rebranding efforts are an attempt to make the site more attractive to possible buyers, and Carey stuck by his position that the social networking platform had “quarters, not years” to turn itself around. “We need to deal with this with urgency,” he said today.
Myspace redesigns itself, but is it enough?
Ryan Seacrest and Clear Channel have agreed to a three-year extension of his contract with the radio giant, clearing the way for Seacrest to build upon his three top-rated shows and serve as a company spokesperson. The New York Times estimated that the entire deal would bring Seacrest approximately $60 million. In addition to continuing his hosting and producing duties with On-Air With Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40, Seacrest will develop new programming, as well as cultivate and promote new musical artists.
Launching itself into the movie business in a big way, Amazon.com announced Amazon Studios today, a new online venture offering $2.7 million in award money for feature film and screenplay submissions to the site. According to an introductory video on the site’s home page, the awards will go to the films “that tell the best story, not to the films with the most visual polish.” Starting in January, each month, $100,000 will be awarded to the top film, and $20,000 to the top two scripts; at the end of the year, $1 million will go to the best film, and $100,000 to the best script, submitted in the 2011 calendar year.
While anyone is invited to comment and critique the submissions, the films and scripts will be judged by industry insiders — in January, Mark Gill (a former Miramax exec who produced Law Abiding Citizen and currently heads up his own production company, The Film Department), and Michael Taylor (chair of University of Southern California’s film and TV production program), will judge the “test” film submissions.
Through a first-look deal with Warner Bros., Amazon hopes at least some of the winning “test” films will be produced as commercial feature films, with another $200,000 going to any filmmakers who get their films a greenlight. If the film grosses over $60 million, the filmmakers will win a $400,000 bonus.
The site is accepting submissions today.
Myspace has “quarters, not … years” to turn its traffic trajectory around, News Corp.’s COO Chase Carey told investors, according to USA Today. While News Corp. didn’t release specific numbers, “the category in News Corp.’s financial report that’s dominated by Myspace lost $156 million in the quarter that ended in September vs. a loss of $126 million in the same period last year, on revenues of $298 million, down 25.5 percent.”
The onetime behemoth of social networking recently launched a redesign, attempting to reposition itself as a “social entertainment” site, geared more strictly to a younger audience. It still reaches a worldwide audience of 95 million users a month, and a U.S. audience of 43 million visitors per month.
DirecTV will not carry G4 anymore after negotiations between the satellite provider and G4′s parent company, Comcast, ended Sunday. “At this time we are no longer negotiating and we have no plans to put G4 back up,” a DirecTV rep said in an e-mail. “We are constantly evaluating our lineup in a new world where programming costs continue to rise at significant rates. Since G4 is among the lowest rated networks based on the latest Nielsen data, we decided that it made sense to focus on preserving programming that is more relevant to our larger customer base.”
According to a statement from G4, “We have been trying to engage DirecTV in fair and reasonable discussions to continue to carry G4. G4 offered DirecTV the same basic deal we have had for the past three years. However they still plan to drop the network and deny G4 fans the only network that focuses on the popular gaming lifestyle.”
G4 is best known for Attack of the Show, its popular gamer-oriented series which launched Olivia Munn‘s career. It also airs Web Soup and Ninja Warrior.