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Activision announces Call of Duty franchise has generated $10 billion

Activision has announced that Call of Duty has generated over $10 billion in sales worldwide, with the company saying that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the "biggest entertainment launch of the year".

 

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It had been previously reported by analysts that the Call of Duty franchise was in decline, but Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has said that "Preorders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product". During the announcement earlier today, Hirshberg said: "Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous".

 

Activision also added that the new Call of Duty is the highest-selling digital launch in console history, too.

Apple requests Foxconn builds a new $2.6 billion factory

It looks like Apple has requested Foxconn, which is the largest device manufacturer in the world, to build a new $2.6 billion facility just for the production of displays for its various iDevices.

 

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Apple reportedly wants to have its hands-on an Innolux factory, the display portion of Foxconn, to only make displays for its iPhone, iPad and other popular-selling products. Innolux has been a company that Apple has reportedly been tapping to make the 4.7-inch displays for the iPhone 6. Sophia Cheng, a Public Relations representative for Foxconn's Display Unit, Innolux Corp., said: "Equipment installation will commence next month with mass production of panels to start by the end of 2015 after an urgent request for exclusive capacity".

 

Cheng wasn't aware if the deal had been signed or not, and Apple is keeping its mouth firmly shut about the deal. Considering Foxconn already has a couple of Apple-dedicated facilities in China, this would still be a first for the company; to have a factory making components exclusively for products for a single company.

Intel will soon merge its mobile divisions with its CPU division

Intel may be struggling in the mobile market, but things could change with the news that the chipmaker will soon combine its mobile divisions with its CPU-making division.

 

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Bloomberg is reporting the news, after speaking with Intel's spokesman, Chuck Malloy, who said: "The lines are blurring between PCs, tablets, phablets and phones. The idea is to accelerate the implementation and create some efficiency so that we can move even faster". With Intel close to its goal of shipping 40 million tablet processors in 2014, the company still isn't hitting its stride when it comes to profitability in the mobile market, mainly because of its big subsidies to have them on-board in the first place.

Sony continues to restructure, wants to push forward in entertainment

Electronics company Sony is desperate to find ways to restructure and revamp its business offerings, as the company struggles to keep up with industry rivals. The company's PlayStation 4 continues to sell extremely well, but its high-definition TV (HDTV) sector and other units have greatly struggled. Meanwhile, Sony wants to prove it can turn its entertainment business around, so it is able to contribute to financial revenue.

 

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Sony Music and Sony Pictures total 18 percent of the company's overall sales, which is ahead of Sony's mobile business unit. However, the company still strives for $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion from the music division, at a time when the music industry is still trying to adapt to digital music.

 

"I understand that everyone expects me to show how Sony can be changed into a highly profitable company... and to unveil a roadmap toward growth for the overall company," said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.

US Marshals will auction off another lot of 50,000 bitcoins

The US Marshals plan to auction another lot of 50,000 bitcoins, worth around $19 million, which were seized when the federal government shuttered the original Silk Road. The second auction is scheduled to run for two weeks, and a winner will be announced on Dec. 5. The second auction takes place five months after a lot of 30,000 bitcoins were sold off by the US Marshals.

 

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The first auction was won by venture capitalist Tim Draper, and the value of bitcoins have dropped from $647 down to $384 - but should still draw fierce competition from bidders able to pay the required $100,000 deposit to the US Marshals.

Bitcoin provides a 'compelling investment thesis' for investors

The bitcoin cryptocurrency is becoming more appealing for businesses looking to accept additional payment methods from customers. However, widespread adoption by consumers and financial investors remains unknown, as bitcoins have a high volatility mixed with problematic acceptance of state and federal regulators.

 

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Even so, a growing number of bitcoin-focused startups and businesses indicate a growing legitimacy that cannot be simply overlooked. The current value of a single bitcoin is $391.74, a fraction of the all-time $1,130 value it reached in December 2013, but investors urge potential investors to not lose faith.

 

"In terms of purchasing bitcoin for investment, we need to remember that bitcoin is still early in its adoption cycle," said Trevor Murphy, CTO of the BitStash bitcoin storage solution company, in a statement to TweakTown. "So, a portion of the current price of bitcoin reflects the future value and potential of bitcoin, and as such that value can and will fluctuate with sentiment, regulatory changes, and investor demand."

 

The volatility of bitcoin might frighten some investors, but the growing addition of consumers and businesses willing to shop - and receive payment in bitcoins - will give investors a chance to invest in a potential Internet goldmine.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin provides a 'compelling investment thesis' for investors' (full post)

Rob Zombie not concerned about online piracy, saying he feels 'freed'

As many musicians and music industry executives are still worried about Internet piracy, longtime artist Rob Zombie isn't overly concerned about the problem. Just a few years ago, Zombie mentioned how piracy could hurt indie bands, not the major artists, but admits he feels "freed" by the current state of the music industry.

 

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"I don't care about any of that stuff," Zombie recently said. "In fact, in a funny sort of way the fact that nobody buys records doesn't bother me. In fact, I feel like it's freed me. I never did anything to sell records, per se, but when you take that pressure away 100 percent, I swear to God you get more creative because it doesn't matter anymore."

 

Instead, Zombie has a more glass half-full approach: "That's really been the case, I'm happy to give it away for free. I don't care. I just want to make it, play it, get crazy with it. I hear a lot of musicians crying about it but for me, it's re-energized us."

Taylor Swift's record label firing back against Spotify

The battle between online streaming service Spotify and Taylor Swift continues, with the CEO of her Big Machine record label, Scott Borchetta, recently speaking out. Borchetta says Swift has received less than $500,000 in the past 12 months for US Spotify listeners enjoying her music - despite Spotify saying Swift could be paid upwards of $6 million in 2014.

 

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It appears Swift's cut will be $2 million for the past 12 months globally, with that number expected to grow as more users sign up for Spotify.

 

Unfortunately, it seems Swift and Borchetta are both forgetting who truly is missing out in this ongoing war of words: the music fans. Millions of Spotify users listened to Swift's music, and while they are no longer able to via Spotify, they are either going to purchase the music, or find an illegal way to download her music.

Ubisoft promises its changing its review policies, but is it too late?

This is my third Ubisoft article for the day, and I'm only just beginning it - the developer has spoken with the BBC, telling the UK news outfit that it will be changing the way it works with game reviews, and gamers themselves.

 

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A spokesperson for Ubisoft told the BBC: "We are working to adapt our services and communications with consumers accordingly, both by changing the way we work with reviewers and by offering customers open betas or other early access to some games, all so that they have the information they need and want". The spokesperson said that the issues are coming from the launch of Assassin's Creed: Unity, where we saw late embargoes for the reviews - most likely to stop the negative press from getting out and affecting the launch, but as my 3-year-old daughter says: "too late".

 

The spokesperson added: "Having the online elements available and having populated world's is essential to creating a representative and complete experience for reviewers. Achieving this prior to launch is incredibly complex, which is why some games are being reviewed much closer - or as was the case with Destiny, even after - the game launches".

Ubisoft stock drops 9FPS, I mean 9% due to Assassin's Creed problems

It seems that my week has been busy with bashing at my keyboard writing up various articles about Ubisoft and Assassin's Creed: Unity, but it's for a good reason: the world needs to know what's going on, and this sh*t needs to stop. Gamers are able to walk away with their hard-earned money, and not purchased the game, but the company's just blame piracy when this happens.

 

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Well, Ubisoft might wake up when their stockholders start to notice sharp drops in their stock prices - with a massive 9% drop in Ubisoft stock after the launch of Assassin's Creed: Unity was met with a truck load of negative reactions and feedback across the world. We can see that the stock was alright up until the morning of Wednesday, 12th of November - and then it dropped harshly, just like the frame rate in Assassin's Creed: Unity.

 

Now we need to see if this will continue, or stabilize and return to norm. Gamers are pissed, and so are people like me, where I don't think Ubisoft should be able to get away with this. Promising something so grand, building Assassin's Creed: Unity from "the ground up" on next-gen consoles, and then launching the game - which was obviously not ready by any means - to gamers, at a very decent premium.

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