Call of Duty 5, Guitar Hero IV, and what we know about them

Activision’s 2007 Batch of Games

We have no doubt that you know of the random Activision-Blizzard merger, which happened yesterday to give birth to Activision Blizzard. A fact sheet for the merger has leaked detail that there are several sequels and games coming from Activision worth knowing about. The two biggest stars here are Activision’s current favourite money-milking franchises – Call of Duty and Guitar Hero, as well as another Tony Hawk game.

As for originals (which are not quite so original), we have a James Bond game to tie up with the next James Bond movie, some games for Marvel comics and then some for Dreamworks movies like Madascar 2 and Kung-Fu Panda. There’s also a racing game from Bizarre Creations (the makers of Project Gotham Raving), which Activision bought earlier this year. You can view the entire fact sheet here.

Decided to do some research on the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero sequels, and found some interesting stuff. Call of Duty 5 was talked about waay back, when in early 2007 a rumour said that Infinity Ward will not handle CoD 5. The reason is that Activision wants a new CoD game every year (much like EA’s sport games and their general be a lousy corporation strategy). Infinity Ward stated that this does not match their interests.

This resulted in a compromise – Infinity Ward churns out a new CoD game every two years, while the middle year’s game is filled in by Treyarch, the guys responsible for CoD 3. So, if this rumour is right, Call of Duty 5 will be done by Treyarch, and Infinity Ward’s next will be Call of Duty 6. I’m not complaining about CoD 4’s quality or anything, but all of this just sounds filthy. 🙁

As for Guitar Hero IV, RedOctane had already announced this April that they will be churning out a Guitar Hero game every year. Not much of a surprise, then, that Call of Duty 5 and Guitar Hero IV will just be a “2008 Batch”. This saddens me in that instead of looking forward to create great games, or creating games for gaming’s sake – corporations have seized franchises to milk money from them, reducing the franchise’s name itself to shame. 🙁 This works only in sports games, Activision Blizzard.

Also, Aerosmith is involved in Guitar Hero IV and hence we should expect quite a few Aerosmith songs in it. If the guys of Aerosmith are right, they are a major theme in the game, and will have much influence over it. Wowie.

What do you think of this? Do you praise Activision Blizzard for the idea? Hate them? Think you smell? Discuss below!

Activision MERGES with Vivendi (and Blizzard)

An Activision logo

Right when you thought that all the attention of the gaming world has been turned to the Gerstmann controversy, Activision announces out of the blue (the one you see above) that they are merging with Vivendi, who owns Blizzard. As any good gamer will know, Vivendi is just a frail shell encompassing the massive development powerhouse that is Blizzard. This deal shows promise to our gaming eyes, because both sides of the merger here lie on the good side. Activision have published great games like the Call of Duty series and the Guitar Hero series, while Blizzard is known for their even more popular games like the WarCraft games, StarCraft, Diablo series and of course, World of WarCraft.

This flabbergasting deal is worth $18.9 billion, and the result has been titled Activision Blizzard, although I would have preffered something more catchy, like Actizzard, or Blactivision, or Blizzivision. Even though Blizzard gets to be in the company’s name, Vivendi is the one holding a 52% stock in the corporation.

Blizzard CEO, Mike Morhaime says, “Blizzard’s industry-leading PC games business…is an exceptional fit for Activision’s highly profitable console games business.” This probably hints that Blizzard may now be concentrating on the console crowd, which has now become ever simpler with Activision permanently involved. With the developing genius of Blizzard, and the publishing power of Activision, the new corporation is going to give the strongest competition of the Dark Evil Lord of gaming, EA.

Blizzard has posted a press release on their site, which is basically a FAQ with what is going to happen after the deal. Blizzard has explicitly stated that their operations, goals, beliefs and political ideals will not be affected with this deal. You can read the release here.

I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling Activision did this to compete with EA’s buying of BioWare and Pandemic. With those two devs in EA’s hands, they are an unstoppable force in the RPG market, leaving their fierce rivals Activision at a loss. In retaliation, Activision buys what must be the most successful developer in the past 5 years – Blizzard, and their sorry money-giving shell that is Vivendi.

Possible? Not? Comment.