Activision, publisher of the 'Call of Duty' games, says a monthly subscriber fee would provide extra content.
Consumers are used to paying $60 each for videogames that run on consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Now the publisher behind the industry's biggest videogame franchise— "Call of Duty"—is about to find out whether it can get them to pay a monthly bill, too.
Activision Blizzard Inc. plans to launch an online service called Call of Duty Elite this fall that will work with the next major edition of the game, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," and future installments of the hyper-realistic combat-simulation game. In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn't offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new "Call of Duty" levels to play.
Activision executives said they haven't yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but they expect the cost to be less than fees for comparable online-entertainment services, such as a $7.99-a-month Netflix Inc. movie subscription. Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let "Call of Duty" players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests.
Another feature of the service will give "Call of Duty" players tools, modeled on those from stock-trading websites, to analyze their performance within the game, gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies.
The plan—which comes a week ahead of the videogame industry's big E3 trade show in Los Angeles—is a potentially risky bet by Activision that it can further milk profits from consumers, who could feel the $60 they spend on "Call of Duty" in stores is enough. Charging a monthly subscription fee is more common for multiplayer games that run on personal computers. The most successful of those is "World of Warcraft," a fantasy game from Activision's Blizzard division that has over 11 million subscribers, who typically pay $15 a month for the service.
For players with a Microsoft Corp. Xbox 360 console, a Call of Duty Elite subscription will come on top of the $9.99 monthly fee they typically pay for Xbox Live, the online game service that provides players of all Xbox games to meet and compete against others online. Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 console owners don't pay a monthly fee to play against others online.
The PlayStation Network that provides those multiplayer capabilities recently suffered an outage of more than three weeks after a hacker intrusion on the service. Players of PC versions of "Call of Duty" don't pay to play others online.
In an interview, Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said he isn't worried about pushback from gamers about the Call of Duty Elite fee because players will still be able to compete against each other online without subscribing to the service. While he is coy about many of the offerings that will be included in the service, Mr. Kotick said Call of Duty Elite, and the customer-service operation that will be needed to support it, wouldn't be possible if the service was free. "This is an enormous investment," he said.
"Call of Duty" is in a unique position to seek a monthly fee from customers. The game's previous installment, set during the Cold War and called "Call of Duty: Black Ops," was the best-selling game last year, with global retail sales of more than $1 billion during its first six weeks on shelves.
Since Activision first began publishing the series almost eight years ago, it has accounted for more than $3 billion in retail sales, according to the company. Unlike hit movies, new versions of "Call of Duty" come out every year, with "Modern Warfare 3" due to arrive in stores Nov. 8.
"It's probably the biggest entertainment franchise in the world," said Dennis Durkin, corporate vice president in Microsoft's interactive-entertainment business.
Just as important is the degree to which "Call of Duty" has become the biggest online-game hit on consoles. While many gamers still play the old-fashioned way—by themselves against enemies operated by the game itself—"Call of Duty" has been the most successful console game at getting players to battle other human-operated opponents over the Internet.
Jamie Berger, Activision's vice president of digital for "Call of Duty," said the company has about seven million daily players of the game who spend, on average, about seven full days a year playing the game against others online. Players often use headsets to communicate verbally with other online gamers.
Like other publishers, Activision has earned money selling "Call of Duty" map packs and other digital content for one-time charges, but subscriptions to its new service could give it a continuing way to capitalize on the online popularity of the game.
Rob Dyer, senior vice president of publisher relations at Sony's U.S. games division, said only a few games have the audience loyalty and size to support a subscription service like Call of Duty Elite. Mr. Dyer said he is "very confident" other publishers will follow Activision's lead. "There's money to be made there," he said.
Thought i should share with you guys. I will update the thread once i get more information
What happens when a large contingency of a series' creative team packs up, and two additional teams are brought on to round out the production? Apparently, you get a lot of loose lips. Details of Modern Warfare 3, in development across Infinity Ward, Raven Software, and newcomer Sledgehammer Games, have been leaked with an unusual amount of specificity to Kotaku less than a month before its presumed big reveal at E3.
A lot of that specificity is wasted on spoilers which, in addition to being generally unwanted for those of us who haven't played the game, are about a Call of Duty title meaning they follow multiple characters through multiple elaborate setpieces. Oh, and there's shooting. MW3 begins right where MW2 left off: with the US trying to prevent a Russian invasion. Your roles include a "Russian Federal Protective Services agent, SAS Operative, tank gunner, and AC-130 gunner" as well as some old friends from previous MW games and some new characters, notably "Frost" and "Sandman."
About those setpieces! Modern Warfare 3 will reportedly include 15 missions that take place across "a dozen cities around the world including New York, Paris and London." If some of that selection sounds familiar, that's because this fall's Battlefield 3 will find itself in "Paris, Tehran and New York." Awkward.
But it's not just Manhattan, it's also Brooklyn, Mogadishu, and more, if the list of 20 multiplayer maps is to be believed. (It's unclear if these include maps from the inevitable DLC map packs.) Spec Ops is back as well, with the mission-based co-operative offerings from Modern Warfare 2 accompanied by a new "Survival" mode or, as you're more likely to know it by, Horde mode. The goal: You and your pals will defend yourselves from increasingly difficult waves of enemies. There are seven "Mission" maps and five "Survival" maps listed.
Previous Modern Warfare installments were so shrouded in secrecy, nearly up until the time of release, that it's hard to imagine how such a massive, seemingly coordinated leak took place. Oh, and one last detail: the release date! Kotaku's report pins MW3 for November 8, just a week after Uncharted 3 and a few days before Skyrim.
[Update: Infinity Ward's @fourzerotwo just weighed in on the leak, offering, "A lot of hype & a lot of leaked info on #MW3, some still accurate, some not. To avoid spoiling the experience, I'd wait for the real reveal." We wonder how the accurate / not accurate percentages look; regardless, if you want 100% accurate you'll want to hear it straight from the dev. Everyone else, dig in.]
Just moments ago Activision uploaded a MW3 Teaser trailer to their youtube but for some reason after its upload they privated the video on youtube. In those few moments we did manage to grab it from youtube and reupload it to both our own site and our youtube! The links for both will be in the read more!
While the teaser doesn't give up much information on the game itself it does confirm the box art we posted earlier to be true! Maybe you can figure out the hidden clues embedded in the video, get to finding them!
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 news keeps pouring in today, as a second trailer for the game has just been spotted online. If you’ve already watched the debut trailer, which confirmed that you would be taking on the Russians in downtown New York, the new trailer reveals a new location with a black and green shot of Big Ben; that’s right, we’re headed to jolly old England this winter. The trailer is very similar to the “Am3rica” trailer from earlier today, but the few lines of dialogue we can hear are packed with clues. From the first exchange in the trailer, we can discern that the city of London is in a state of lockdown, much like New York in the other trailer. In addition, a new line of Russian can be heard at the end of the trailer, which seems to be the second part of a list of instructions. We’ve had the audio translated, with the result being, “Two: Use everything at your disposal.” The trailer gives us a whole new set of questions to ponder over: Can we expect more trailers to come, with further instructions from the Russian voice? Will other countries be revealed as targets in the coming days or weeks? And what does this say about the overarching story for the game? Let us know what you think, and which country you think will be represented in the next trailer.
Here is 3 videos i found on TTG's youtube account.
MW3 Weapons, Map, & Characters
I tried to put this in news but i couldn't because i need special access. So i just put it in general chat.
+REP is always appreciated but not needed
Microsoft has been very vocal about the fact that they have not abandoned their core Xbox 360 audience. E3 2011 is said to be springboard for a slew of new announcements for the console maker, and these announcements are said to have the hardcore gamer in mind. In a recent report by Eurogamer, Microsoft is slated to announce 10 new non-sequel Kinect titles that aren’t obvious announcements that will surprise the hardcore crowd. Microsoft is rumored to announce a couple of sequels to the best selling Kinect titles Dance Central 2 & Kinect Sports 2, both the sequels are scheduled to be released this holiday season. Eurogamer also noted that Rare is rumored to have an original game under wraps for the Kinect, that will be announed at E3. Other titles that you can expect to see more of at E3 2011 are of course, Forza 4. The new driving simulator will be out in the fall, and is already confirmed to have Kinect functionality. The rumored Halo: Combat Evolved remake is said to be announced officially at the show and coming in November 2011. Microsoft will also be following up with many of the teasers from last year with Crytek’s Kingdoms and that Star Wars game we saw briefly at last year’s Kinect event. The Microsoft Press Event is three weeks away from today, where we’ll see what Microsoft has in store for the rest of 2011 and 2012.
Bloomberg the well known financial website, has been reporting on the PSN hacks and has just stated recently that they believe that Amazon’s Cloud service was used to hack PSN, here is a quote from the site:
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s Web Services cloud- computing unit was used by hackers in last month’s attack against Sony Corp. (6758)’s online entertainment systems, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Hackers using an alias signed up to rent a server through Amazon’s EC2 service and launched the attack from there, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. The account has been shut down, the person said.
The development sheds light on how hackers used the so- called cloud to carry out the second-biggest online theft of personal information to date. The incursion, which compromised the personal accounts of more than 100 million Sony customers, was “a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,” Sony has said.
Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, declined to comment.
“We’re continuing to work with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation into the situation,” said Patrick Seybold, a U.S. spokesman for Tokyo-based Sony. “As such, we will not comment further on this matter.”
The hackers didn’t break into the Amazon servers, the person said. Rather, they signed up for the service just as a legitimate company would, using fake information.
Even so, the breach at Amazon is likely to call attention to concerns some businesses have voiced over the security of computing services delivered via others’ remote servers, referred to as cloud computing.
Cloud security is Amazon’s top priority, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said at an event sponsored by Consumer Reports magazine this week.
“Data security is one of these great dynamic situations where the bad guys get better, and the good guys have to keep getting better too — it’s not a static situation,” Bezos said, Fast Company’s website reported. “I don’t think this is ever going away — it’s like trying to say that you’re going to get crime to go away.”
The use of a hijacked or rented server to launch attacks is typical for sophisticated hackers. The proliferation of server farms around the globe has made such misdirection easier, said E.J. Hilbert, president of the security company Online Intelligence and a former FBI cyber-crime investigator.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will likely subpoena Amazon as part of its investigation process, or it may try to obtain a search warrant, Hilbert said.
“The subpoena will give law enforcement a history of the transactions,” or who had access to the specific Internet address at that time, Hilbert said. “The search warrant will get them more detailed information, including payment information and which credit card was used.”
Herdener declined to say whether Amazon has been subpoenaed or served with a search warrant.
FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth, a spokesman for the agency’s San Diego office, said he couldn’t comment on whether the agency had served Amazon with a search warrant or subpoena.
“We are following up on each and every lead,” Foxworth said.
Amazon Web Services leases computing space to companies such as Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) so they don’t have to buy their own servers to store data and handle a surge in visitors. The unit brought in about $500 million in revenue in the past year, according to estimates from Barclays Capital and Lazard Capital Markets, or about 1.5 percent of Amazon’s $34.2 billion in 2010 sales. The company doesn’t disclose revenue from Web services.
Sony offered customers a free year of identify-theft protection after its PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment networks were crippled by the attack. Thieves may have stolen credit-card, debit records and other personal information from customers of Sony Online Entertainment, a third service. The New York Attorney General’s office has subpoenaed Sony, according to a person familiar with the probe.
Network security breaches are part of a trend that saw the costs of such invasions jump 48 percent, to an average of $318 per compromised record last year, according to a March report by the Ponemon Institute.
Malicious attacks in the U.S. are on the rise. They climbed 7 percentage points in 2010, with data breaches costing U.S. businesses an average of $7.2 million per incident, according to the Ponemon Institute report. The study found that about 85 percent of all U.S. companies have experienced one or more attacks.
Play Iso's Right off of a USB With Out Firm-Ware Modding.
Right here, right now
User friendly: intuitive interface, no soldering required
Compatible with all fat (and soon slim!) Xbox 360 models
Supports most Xbox 360 and Xbox 1 games
Supports most file systems, including NTFS, EXT2/3/4, and Mac OS X Extended
High speed USB2 interface
Stylish USB control pad for selecting games and controlling your x360key
Powerful embedded Linux system running from Micro SD card (included)
Linux firmware fully updatable from USB media
FPGA fully updatable from USB media via built-in, in-system JTAG programming
Recovery mode - it is always possible to recover from a bad flash
No drive flashing or JTAG hack required
AP25 protection emulation
In A Firmware Coming To You Soon:
Support for all slim Xbox 360 models
Web Control Panel *
Work in progress:
Loading games from NFS and Samba shares*
Xbox Live support
Backup original Xbox 360 games to USB hard drive
* Requires WiFi dongle (sold separately)
HOW IT WORKS
x360key consists of 2 parts, a motherboard and a remote.
The motherboard connects to the SATA bus inside the Xbox 360, and sits between the drive and the Xbox 360 motherboard. x360key is a full-fledged computer system running embedded Linux. It is capable of many things such as
- Emulating the Xbox 360 DVD drive
- Reading USB hard drives and other USB media with various file systems
- Updating itself and other hardware from USB media
- Communicating with the remote and other external USB devices
- And a lot more! (embedded Web server and Wifi connectivity for exampe)
The remote is a simple yet stylish piece of hardware that features an OLED display and 3 buttons. It connects to the x360key motherboard via a high speed USB2 connection. It also has USB for connecting USB hard drives and other devices. The OLED and buttons are used to control various aspects of x360key. It is also used for browsing attached USB media devices and launching games.
Basically Insead Of flashing Your Xbox and Burning Game's Onto A Disk You Just Put Them On a USB and you don't need a Modded Xbox.
Rockstar Made L.A. Noire So Big, They Could Barely Fit It On One Disc (or Three)
Sat May 07, 2011 12:26 pm by MonopolyMan
Rockstar Made L.A. Noire So Big, They Could Barely Fit It On One Disc (or Three)
"You can't judge a video game by the number of discs it ships on—not unless you're prepared to declare the four-disc Lost Odyssey as the best Xbox 360 game of all time. You can, however, judge the intent of the developer to give you a whole lot for your dollar.
The folks at Rockstar, never ones to skimp on the amount of content they put on a game disc, have made, in L.A. Noire, a game that spreads across three discs on the Xbox 360, the company confirmed to Kotaku. The forthcoming game about being a detective in 1947 Los Angeles fills a single-layer, 25 GB Blu-Ray disc on the PlayStation 3.
In fact, the developers made so much game that it spilled over into downloadable content.
"L.A. Noire was always going to be a massive game, from the size and detail of the world to the length of the cases, and of course, the sheer amount of MotionScan data required for the faces of over 400 actors in-game," Jeronimo Barrera, one of the company's top people, told me. "To tell the story and make the game we wanted to make, we knew that it was going to take an entire single layer Blu-ray disc and three Xbox discs."
Rockstar doesn't tend to ballpark the number of hours it will take to complete their games, and the number of discs on this one doesn't exactly mean the game will take, say, three times as long to play as the single-disc Grand Theft Auto IV. It does indicate, as Barrera explained, that the MotionScan data—the heavily-promoted new technique for rendering realistic facial expressions from the game's actors—requires a significant amount of storage.
The only down-side to a multi-disc game is that it could require a lot of disc-swapping. You don't want to play, say, the two-disc Mass Effect 2 and want to keep changing discs. Not to worry, Barrera said. "Since the game is built around the concept of progressing through individual cases from desk to desk, players on Xbox will find disc-swapping is hassle-free. In fact, players will only need to swap discs twice at natural breaks between cases without interrupting the flow of the game."
I've seen several of the game's cases, each of which is presented as a discrete episode, though players can diverge and tinker with some side-missions. Rockstar and Team Bondi people who worked together on the game have likened L.A. Noire to a couple of seasons of a TV show. And it turns out they made some episodes they didn't have disc space for. "Throughout development, we created lots of great cases, the bulk of which were central to the main story of Cole Phelps and his rise through the ranks of the LAPD, alongside other cases that felt more like strong stand-alone episodes," Barrera said. "This gave us a powerful main story, and left us with quality extra content that we wanted to put out as DLC, that would slot seamlessly into the existing game."
L.A. Noire is sounding like another massive Rockstar game. Will it rival the length of the dozens-of-hours-long GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption? It probably doesn't matter. But if for some reason you were wondering if L.A. Noire was a small experiment or a tiny game, that's not the case."
Remake Of Halo: Combat Evolved Coming This Holiday
Sat May 07, 2011 11:59 am by MonopolyMan
Remake Of Halo: Combat Evolved Coming This Holiday
"The original Halo game is being reworked with new visual assets.
Joystiq reports that previous rumors regarding a Halo: Combat Evolved remake are in fact true. According to the information obtained, the game does not use the original visuals upgraded into a higher resolution, but instead features all new art to take advantage of the 360's capabilities.
It is believed that the remake is under construction at Saber Interactive, most recently the team that worked on TimeShift. The remade installment of Microsoft's sci-fi shooter is expected to arrive on November 15, 2011 – ten years to the day of its original launch."
Well, Let's all hope only the Graphics get changed, anything else it would just be another terrible Halo. Also Hopefully This means Halo 2 Coming next Year.