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US President Donald Trump yesterday held a private meeting to discuss the issue of violence in video games, having suggested after February’s murders at a school in Parkland, Florida that it “is really shaping young people’s thoughts.” This would clearly amount to nothing productive, given mostly industry representatives and conservative pressure groups were attending, but it is a surprise that Trump showed attendees a short video montage of video game deaths. The White House have released this publicly, so we can all see a sloppy montage of deaths from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 4, and more. Somehow it isn’t a surprise that some clips are clearly ripped from YouTubers – watermarks and all. (more…)
The manufacturers of Humvees are suing Activision over Call of Duty games featuring vehicles which, they say, look an awful lot like their own warcars. AM General claim that these Humvee-lookin’ vehicles violate their trademark and Activision don’t have permission, so they want CoD to knock it off and pay them damages. Their case pivots on several Call of Duty games, including Modern Warfare and Ghosts, featuring warcars which allegedly look close enough to Humvees to fall under their ‘trade dress’ — a type of intellectual property covering what a product looks like — and are sometimes called Humvees by name.
When you think of Japan and cosplay, you probably imagine ladies dressed in skimpy anime outfits or dudes in Gundam gear. And you'd probably be right! That type of cosplay is prevalent, sure, but it's not the only game in town—especially with more and more Japanese players totally digging Call of Duty.
Recently on Japanese bulletin board 2ch, one cosplayer showed off his latest creation: a Juggernaut, which first appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Special Ops Mode. The outfit weighed a hefty 20 kilograms—30 kilograms when carrying weapons—and took thirty minutes to put on.
Some wondered where someone would go dressed like this, while other said the outfit appeared better when it wasn't being worn. "Isn't this somewhat off balance?" asked one commenter. Added another, "It looks cool. But heavy."
The get up does look better with a large firearm. Running around between warehouses helps pull off the outfit, too.
In case you missed it, here is Kotaku's roundup of some of the best Call of Duty cosplay the internet has to offer.
The controversial "Favela" map has been reinstated in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, after being pulled temporarily due to complaints of religious insensitivity. A small update will let the map show up on playlists again, with the offending portions now removed.
The patch is only 17 MB, reports MP1st, which is likely just enough to change the map's trouble spots. So far the patch has only hit the PlayStation 3 version of the game, but this should mean we'll see it coming to all platforms soon.
The Favela had previously reused assets from a picture frame in a bathroom, apparently unaware that the calligraphy read: "Allah is beautiful and he loves beauty." Activision apologized and worked on patches for both MW2 and Modern Warfare 3, where the map was reissued.
As previously reported, in a single room on the map, two paintings had been hung whose frames contained a decorative representation of a quote attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, which reads "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty". Those paintings were hung in a bathroom, one right above a toilet, and didn't appear to be found anywhere else on the map.
According to MP1st (via (Eurogamer), the map has returned in a recent 17MB update for the PS3 version. The picture frames remain, but the decorative quotes have been removed. You can see the edited version above. There's a pre and post edit comparison below.
Activision has temporarily pulled the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer level 'Favela' from the map rotation following complaints that a quote attributed to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad was written on a texture used in a bathroom. As you may imagine, some took issue with hanging holy words above a toilet.
A picture frame texture used twice in the level in a bathroom features ornate calligraphy of the quote "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty," Kotaku reports. That's probably not the only place it was used in MW2, though, and it reappeared in Modern Warfare 3's DLC re-release of Favela.
"We apologize to anyone who found this image offensive," Activision said in a statement. "Please be assured we were unaware of this issue and that there was no intent to offend."
Activision's "urgently" working on a title update to remove the texture from MW3, and less urgently to get it out of MW2. It's also scouring its texture libraries for the texture and any similar.
"Activision and our development studios are respectful of diverse cultures and religious beliefs, and sensitive to concerns raised by its loyal game players. We thank our fans for bringing this to our attention."
Here's one video complaining about the textures:
After a recessed hearing yesterday that allowed the parties to try to resolve their differences, a settlement has been reached in the case involving Activision, Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella, and 40 ex-Call of Duty developers from Infinity Ward.
The settlement details are confidential, an attorney for West and Zampella told The Verge today. While West and Zampella wouldn't offer comment, The Verge's Michael McWhertor told Twitter that there was a "beaming smile" on West's face.
A statement released by Activision tried to allay any financial analysts' concerns, saying the one-time charges related to the settlement shouldn't impact the company's earnings outlook for the current quarter or the calendar year, citing "stronger-than-expected operating performance in the current quarter."
The deal brings a close to the contentious case, which started almost two years ago. The trial was scheduled to begin tomorrow, with billions of dollars at stake. Shacknews will stay on top of the story and add more details as they become available.
While interest in the Call of Duty franchise remains high, many of the developers that worked on the original games have since left Activision. Many former members of Infinity Ward, the studio that worked on the incredibly successful Modern Warfare games, are heading to court over unpaid bonuses for the two games.
Activision has already paid $42 million to former members of Infinity Ward, but there's a lot more at stake. Ultimately, what caused the huge rift between Infinity Ward execs Jason West and Vince Zampella and Activision? The two say that the team's desire to work on a game other than Modern Warfare 3 made an already tense relationship even worse.
Speaking to Game Informer, Jason West discussed a contract that would have given Infinity Ward free reign to work on any game after the release of Modern Warfare 2. "That contract gave us the right to make whatever game we wanted after Modern Warfare 2. Apparently, they didn't want to live up to that."
West and Zampella believe Activision promised independence after Modern Warfare 2 so that the game would be made one way or another. "I think they just wanted the game, and were like, 'Tell these guys whatever you need to,'" West said. The pair's representing attorney Robert Schwartz added: "I don't think Bobby [Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard] ever intended to honor that until he had to honor it. They were in breach of it the day they signed the contract."
When the trial goes to court, West and Zampella will try to convince a jury that Activision wrongfully terminated the two in order to back out of paying them their originally promised bonuses. Leaked emails show a panicked Activision preparing for the fallout from firing the two, with contingency plans laid out for retaining other Infinity Ward employees.
Activision claims that West and Zampella conspired against the company by speaking with rival company Electronic Arts. (West and Zampella's new studio, Respawn, currently has a publishing deal with EA.) However, West believes that's an absurd claim. "They said, 'He orchestrated his own Âfiring,'" he told the magazine. "I said, 'Don't give me 100 million Âdollars - fire me! That would be awesome,'" he added sarcastically.
Infinity Ward ultimately lost a significant talent pool to West and Zampella's new studio, and it took the efforts of another developer, Sledgehammer Games, to finish Modern Warfare 3. West and Zampella never had the opportunity to work on the game, or develop the new IP they wanted to create for Activision. "Maybe we would have done a new IP, maybe we would have done Modern Warfare 3, or maybe we would have done a new IP and then Modern Warfare 3," Zampella said.
Ultimately, Zampella thought that taking a break from Call of Duty would have been good. "Resting a brand isn't a bad thing," he said. "We saw it as protecting it. And it's like, we're always working, it's not like we're going to sit around and do nothing for a while. So it's like let's do something else that will be good for Activision, and then go back to Âthat."