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Pre-order alert! Activision Blizzard trademarks 'Dance Hero'


Now that getting innovation out of the rhythm music genre is like squeezing blood from a stone, Activision Blizzard has jumped to a new (old) pool of possible cash. According to 1UP, Actizzard has trademarked the title Dance Hero for "computer game software" development. Hey, it makes sense. After all, Guitar Hero was the North American equivalent to Konami's Guitar Freaks and considering Dance Dance Revolution is still a cash cow for the Japanese giant who'da thought it would take this long for a clone?

According to our sister site Joystiq, the trademark filing showed up around the same time a rumor cited DJ Hero, a title reserved by Activision in February, is already in production. True or not we'd like to think Activision is only stockpiling trademarks and not actually ever use most of them. If half the titles they register turn into games we're going to have to buy up Facepalm Hero just to showcase how annoyed we are.

Activision: Maybe music companies should pay us


Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick is readying his guns in an attack against music companies citing they should be paying for the right to be included in titles such as Guitar Hero.

"When you look at the impact [Guitar Hero] can have on an Aerosmith, Van Halen or Metallica, it's really significant," Kotick told The Wall Street Journal. "You sort of question whether or not, in the case of those kinds of products, you should be paying any money at all and whether it should be the reverse."

The shots come soon after Warner Music head Edgar Bronfman called music royalties for rhythm games too low considering the games are "entirely dependent" on the content provided by music companies.

Kotick was quick to point out that gamers are purchasing games for enjoyment of the title and not necessarily for the music included.
"The bulk of our consumers will tell you they're not purchasing the products based on the songs that are included," he said. "They're purchasing based on how fun the songs are to play when they're playing them."

If Kotick and Bronfman continue this dance what do you think the chances we'll see each as bosses in the next Guitar Hero title?

[via CVG]

Sex Pistols, MC5, Motorhead re-record classics for Guitar Hero World Tour

Activision has announced that several bands will re-record their classic recordings for Guitar Hero World Tour. First up is MC5's lead guitarist Wayne Kramer who will re-record and "modernize" the track "Kick Out the Jams" with the help of Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Gilby Clarke who spent three years with Guns N' Roses (the recording will retain the vocals originally recorded by lead Rob Tyner). The Sex Pistols will contribute another track, "Pretty Vacant," which was re-recorded at the same time as "Anarchy in the UK," which was featured in Guitar Hero III. Finally, Motörhead will re-record the title track from its album Overkill.

Guitar Hero World Tour releases later this year.

Update: Added Rob Tyner details.

Geometry Wars 2 release date moved to July 30

Initially set for release on August 6, Activision has moved up the final release date for Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 to July 30. Even after a bit of a disappointment about the co-op situation, it's probably safe to say that we're all still excited for the game. We just wish that there were more games that actually had their releases expedited instead of delayed (we're looking at you Castle Crashers and Bionic Commando). You should also note that July 30 is also the release date for Double D Dodgeball and probably Pirates VS Ninjas Dodgeball as well.

No BrĂ¼tal Legend at E3 for you!


Are you ready to rock? We said are you ready to ROCK?! Oh, um, well in that case we're sorry to inform you that Double Fine's Brütal Legend -- the rock opus featuring Jack Black -- won't be melting faces at E3 this year. The news comes as the game's maestro Tim Schafer informs MTV's Multiplayer that new Brütal Legend info will have to wait until after "the dust settles from this whole [Activision Blizzard] merger thing." As Joystiq points out, Activision is not attending E3 anyway, though Schafer's announcement means Brütal Legend won't be making it to the company's offsite event on Tuesday either.

Truly, it is a sad day for rock.

[Via Joystiq]

Infinity Ward rewarded with new IP

When the rumor went around that the next Call of Duty from Infinity Ward would be going sci-fi, there was some who said that the described game might be an entirely new IP. We still don't know about the sci-fi part yet, but the new IP part looks pretty solid. Their deal with Activision was renegotiated (they 've got enough clout to do that these days) to give them a chance to do "a unique new IP by Infinity Ward, that we'll have complete control over."

[Via Joystiq]

Call of Duty: World at War Teaser Trailer


With COD4 still so popular, Activision and Treyarch needed to take the series in another direction if they wanted to see another installment sell well this fall. Since the announcement of Call of Duty: World at War there really hasn't been much seen of the game. Sadly while the teaser trailer does give us a short glimpse of the game, it is only that, a teaser. So for those of you who haven't gotten the trailer from the Marketplace, GameTrailers TV has a teaser trailer up too (which is embedded after the break due to GTTV's flash player being a bit finicky these days.)

Continue reading Call of Duty: World at War Teaser Trailer

Vigilante 8 price is set, DLC already set, date not set

Hmm ... this news is something that we're a bit unsure about. Over at IGN there's an interview with the devs of Vigilante 8 Arcade about the game's details and its dev process. And while it's a good read and did tell us that the game would be hitting at a ten dollar price point (800MSpts), it also informed us of the fact the Isopod labs already has their DLC well in hand.

The details provided in the interview don't address the question entirely, but we do know that the first DLC pack will cost 320MSpts and will feature two new arenas & three new cars. Here's where the uncertainty comes in: does this mean the DLC is already done before the game ever launches? We're not big fans of that sort of thing if true, but given that this is an XBLA game there could be a number of reasons for it. The most likely would be limited storage size, the other would be desire to keep the entry price lower. Oh well, we'll probably never know anyway.

Gallery: Vigilante 8 Arcade (XBLA)

COD4 has now sold over 10 million copies

Talk about successful. In an industry driven by sales numbers, Infinity Ward's premier shooter, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, has now sold over 10 million units world-wide. While those numbers are undoubtedly impressive (according to IW only 10 games since 2000 have sold so well) they are for all platforms and IW doesn't know the exact numbers for the individual SKU's, though they did note that the game had been the most successful on 360 and that they hope to sell even more copies of the game this winter ....

With such excellent sales what are the odds that we won't see COD5 until spring 2009? Would COD4 be enough of a mainstay shooter to keep you satisfied for the rest of the year if Activision decides to ride out the long tail of the fourth game's sales?

[Thanks Jonah]

More shooters in the cards for Bizarre?


A job listing posted on the Bizarre Creations website hints that The Club won't be the last shooter we see from the company. The job listing in question is seeking a level designer with "proven ability to design and create engaging gaming experiences (preferably a 1st/3rd person shooter)." The listing provides fuel for the rumor that Bizarre is working on a new James Bond title, a story that broke last month. Regardless of whether or not the game in question stars 007, it's clear that Bizarre is working on another shooter title. We'll have to wait and see just what they have in store.

[Via Videogamer]

Activision and Vivendi merge, officially a 2 ton gorilla


Yeah, yeah, we're late to the news. Let's get it out of our systems, shall we? All better? Good. The simple fact is we were wrist-deep in poopy Fancast yesterday, so the news had to wait. If, by some miracle, you haven't heard, Activision has merged with Vivendi Games, owners of Blizzard (World of Warcraft). So, the number one third party publisher has merged with the owners of basically the most successful game ever made to create Activision Blizzard. Lots of follow-up stories have broken since then, and instead of recounting them all here, we present you with a nice list culled from the headlines at Joystiq. Feel free to peruse them at your leisure. Make sure you do though, or you'll look like a fool when the subject comes up at your next gamer cocktail party.
  • Activision and Blizzard parent merge in $18 billion deal
  • Blizzard wants you to know that merger won't affect their games
  • GameSetWatch analyzes Activision/Vivendi merger
  • The Activision Blizzard conference call
  • Activision stock way up after merger news
  • Joystiq Podcast Roundtable - Blizzavision ... Actiblizzard?

CoD5, GHIV and Bizarre racing game confirmed

In news that won't totally shock or awe you, we have semi-confirmation of a few games Activision is working on and are headed down the development pipeline. Activision games that include Call of Duty 5, Guitar Hero IV, new James Bond, new Tony Hawk, new Dreamworks titles, new Marvel titles and a Bizarre racing game. All these sequels are mentioned in a fact sheet posted over on Activision Blizzard's newly live website under Activision's "pipeline includes" section. No dates, no time frames or other specifics are mentioned in the fact sheet other than the confirmation that the games exist and are being worked on. Again, nothing earth-shattering here, but it's still exciting game announcement stuff.

[Via GamesIndustry.biz]



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