By 12 November 2010 | Categories: news


Black Ops beats Modern Warfare 2 sales records

Last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 stunned the world by shattering gaming, music and movie sales records throughout the world. And it seems Activision is on the right track again this year with the newest Call of Duty title, Black Ops, surpassing last year's records.
According to 1UP, the publisher revealed that Black Ops had sold a combined 5.6 million units in its first day of release across the US and UK, trouncing Modern Warfare 2's record of 4.7 million units.
That translates to a whopping $360 million in a single day of sales, compared to Modern Warfare 2's $310 million. “There has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records for two consecutive years and we are on track to outperform last year's five-day global sales record of $550 million,” said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.
Kinect only cost Microsoft $56 a pop
According to a report from UBM Tech Insights, Microsoft's fancy new motion-sensing peripheral, the Kinect, only cost the company $56 to produce per unit.
UBM got their hands on a Kinect which they promptly tore apart to examine each component. They then tracked how much each component cost the company and found that the most expensive piece of tech in the system is Israeli company PrimeSense's “reference system” of cameras, microphones and processor, which comes in at $17 a pop.
Microsoft earlier this year said that it would be selling every Kinect at a profit, but just how much of a profit has been unknown until now. The Kinect is selling in South Africa for R1999 and if UBM is correct it cost Microsoft only R386 ($56) to produce.
Grim future for Rock Band
According to the Wall Street Journal, Viacom yesterday announced that it's planning to sell Rock Band creators Harmonix after the studio's latest music games haven't seen the sales that the company expected.
The music games industry hasn't been doing too well for itself after it exploded on the scene in 2005 with Guitar Hero. Sales of the company's newest title, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock moved only 86 000 copies in its first week.
Apparently Harmonix has been a $300 million liability for Viacom throughout 2010. Viacom CEO, Philippe Dauman commented, “the console games business requires an expertise and scale we don't have.” He did reveal that Viacom is in talks with potential buyers for the studio and the company expects the sale process to go off without a hitch.
WoW, a week of free Warcraft
With the release of the next World of Warcraft (WoW) expansion pack, named Cataclysm, just around the corner, it seems Blizzard is trying to coax back some ex-WoW addicts back to its online world.
According to Kotaku, the company is sending out notices to players who haven't renewed their WoW subscriptions, offering them seven days of free game time.
The offer is aimed at bringing back older players with the enticing promises of the Cataclysm expansion pack. The free offer expires on the 1st of December while Cataclysm is launching on the 7th of December.
Starcraft II mods galore
While Starcraft II fans are anticipating the release of Heart of the Swarm next year, there is a side to the real-time strategy (RTS) title which some may not have discovered yet.
Custom games, created with the comprehensive Stacraft II world editor have been popping up since the game's release, and now Blizzard is joining in the fray announcing four new official custom maps. These include the cooking-centric Aiur Chef, puzzle game StarJeweled, co-op survival game Left2Die and Blizzard's take on the immensely popular Defence of the Ancients (DOTA) in the form of Blizzard DOTA.
According to Kotaku, Blizzard is doing this to show that the Starcraft II engine can be used for making a large variety of games, not even closely representing the game's RTS roots. According to Blizzard's Alan Dabiri, “this it to let everyone else know that there's a while 'nother [sic] part of Starcraft II they may not have played.”
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood launch trailer unveiled
Ezio is back for more prowling around, this time in Rome in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, launching for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on the 19th of November. 
The game is also the first in the series to introduce a multiplayer mode, alongside its comprehensive single player campaign.
Check out the launch trailer below.  

 Trailer courtesy of Gamepsot.
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Fatherhood is difficult, especially for an Octopus
Are you in the mood for a quirky, fun and free-to-play indie game? Well look no further than Octodad, an adventure game that tasks you with the demands of raising a family whilst maintaining your secret octopus identity.
Yes, it sound ridiculous and it is but that's what makes the game so enjoyable. Octodad was created by a team of students at DePaul University for the Independent Games Festival Student Showcase at next year's Game Developers Conference. In Octodad players are tasked with individually controlling each of the invertebrates tentacles, resulting in a hilarious control scheme as Octodad flails around knocking things over. 
Just remember, if you do anything that human fathers aren't expected to do, your suspicion meter will raise and your wife and kids might realise your true identity. The game is tons of fun, and demonstrates how games are supposed to be fun first and foremost and not take itself too seriously. Octodad is available for free download right here.


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