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Nov 8, 2012

Activision raises outlook on hopes for ‘Call of Duty’

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc
raised its 2012 outlook on Wednesday on expectations of
strong holiday sales of its latest title in the “Call of Duty”
franchise, despite competition from Microsoft Corp’s
blockbuster “Halo 4.”

Investors are keeping a close eye on action-shooter “Call of
Duty: Black Ops II,” a game that hits stores next week and
advances a franchise that has broken sales records and driven
Activision’s fourth-quarter performance in past years.

Nov 7, 2012

Activision hikes outlook on high hopes for Call of Duty

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised its 2012 outlook, expecting strong holiday sales of its latest title in the “Call of Duty” franchise, despite competition from Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) blockbuster “Halo 4.”

The world’s largest video game publisher now expects earnings per share of $1.10 in 2012, compared with 99 cents previously. It raised its revenue estimate to $4.8 billion from $4.63 billion. This beat Wall Street’s view of $1.01 earnings per share and revenue of $4.68 billion.

Nov 6, 2012

Preview – Microsoft pulls out the stops for Halo 4

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – “Master Chief” springs back into action on Tuesday with the release of Microsoft Corp’s Halo 4, the latest instalment of the Xbox blockbuster that will compete with Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty franchise for holiday-season bragging rights.

Microsoft hopes the return of the laconic green-armoured super-soldier protagonist of Halo, which has generated $3 billion of revenue since its 2001 launch, after a five-year hiatus will bring out gamers in droves when the title begins selling in more than 40 countries starting midnight.

Nov 6, 2012

Microsoft pulls out the stops for Halo 4

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – “Master Chief” springs back into action on Tuesday with the release of Microsoft Corp’s Halo 4, the latest installment of the Xbox blockbuster that will compete with Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty franchise for holiday-season bragging rights.

Microsoft hopes the return of the laconic green-armored super-soldier protagonist of Halo, which has generated $3 billion of revenue since its 2001 launch, after a five-year hiatus will bring out gamers in droves when the title begins selling in more than 40 countries starting midnight.

Nov 5, 2012

THQ net loss shrinks but revenue drops in 2nd quarter

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Video game publisher THQ
Inc reported a smaller net loss even as revenue fell in
its fiscal second quarter as it continued to grapple with a weak
market.

The company, known for its wrestling videogames, announced
that the spring 2013 launch of South Park: The Stick of Truth,
based on the popular animated television series, was postponed
to 2014.

Oct 31, 2012

Thousands throng San Francisco to mark World Series win

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Thousands of fans resplendent in orange and black choked downtown San Francisco’s largest thoroughfare on Wednesday, noisily celebrating the Giants’ second World Series baseball title in three years.

Giants faithful journeyed from all over the Bay Area from dawn to stake out a clear view of a celebratory parade that kicked off with a military band and featured floats, cheerleaders, double-decker buses and replicas of the city’s iconic cable cars along a three-mile route from the eastern ferry terminus to the Civic Center in the heart of downtown.

Oct 31, 2012

Electronic Arts Q3 forecast disappoints as “Medal” seen lagging

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc forecast third-quarter earnings below Wall Street targets on Tuesday after its just-released “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” title failed to wow gamers ahead of a crowded holiday season.

Poor reviews for the latest installment in the first-person shooter franchise released last week and the postponement of its “NBA Live 13″ will hurt current-quarter sales, analysts say. A clutch of new sports games, such as the popular “FIFA 13,” did not seem able to take up the slack, they say.

Oct 29, 2012

Microsoft CEO says Windows 8 demand outpaces Windows 7

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Monday demand for the company’s new Windows 8 operating system, released to the public on Friday, was running at a higher rate than its last release, Windows 7.

“We’re seeing preliminary demand well above where we were with Windows 7, which is gratifying,” Ballmer said at an event launching new Windows phones.

Oct 19, 2012

Activision hopes new Skylanders game is a holiday hit

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard
is betting big on children’s fantasy adventure game
“Skylanders” this holiday, with the launch of a new title on
Sunday and plans for more mobile versions of the console game.

The franchise’s second offering, “Skylanders: Giants”, will
hit stores in North America following the success of
“Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures” whose U.S. sales have exceeded
286 million game packs, toys and accessories since its 2011
release.

Oct 15, 2012

Microsoft debuts Xbox music service to take on Apple

Oct 15 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp on Monday
announced that Xbox Music, a digital music service to vie with
Apple Inc’s iTunes and Amazon.com Inc’s Cloud
Player, will be available for its Xbox game consoles on Tuesday.

The service will be expanded to Windows software-based
computers and tablets, including the upcoming Surface tablet,
from Oct. 26, when Microsoft launches Windows 8. It will be
expanded to phones shortly after that.