Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Dana Gardner, David Bermingham, Pat Romanski, Adine Deford

News Feed Item

The Future Is Black™

Call of Duty®: Black Ops II, Most Anticipated Entertainment Release of the Year, Now Available Worldwide

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The wait is over.  The groundbreaking Call of Duty®: Black Ops II is now available at retail locations across the globe.  The highly-anticipated sequel to the best-selling Xbox 360® and PlayStation ® 3 console game in history has been called "the most ambitious Call of Duty® ever," pushing the boundaries of the blockbuster franchise to new heights by propelling players into a world full of advanced weaponry, robotics and drone technology in the year 2025.  Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which has shattered pre-order records set last year by Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3, is on its way to a historic launch, and is poised to usher in a new era for the 30-million Call of Duty fans worldwide with a host of new innovations to deliver the complete gaming experience.  Providing great value to the Call of Duty community, starting today Activision's Call of Duty® Elite services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II are free, providing fans with deeply integrated features, including Clan Operations, Zombies Leaderboards and more.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/59129-call-of-duty-black-ops-ii-activision

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121113/MM10455 )

Activision kicked-off the celebration overnight as eager fans lined-up at midnight across an unprecedented 16,000 retailers around the globe from Sydney to Dubai to Paris to Los Angeles to get their hands on Activision and their award-winning studio Treyarch's innovative new release.  Anticipation for the title has reached a fever pitch and is expected to be the "biggest game launch of all time," as GameStop Tony Bartel recently noted. 

"From the very beginning, our goal with Call of Duty: Black Ops II was to deliver a new high watermark for the franchise.  And thanks to the hard work and creative brilliance of our team at Treyarch, I think that's exactly what we've done," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI).  "In addition to an amazing and innovative game, we're also proud and humbled to see the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops II creating yet another legitimate, pop cultural phenomenon.  To our millions of fans worldwide, who have driven everything from pre-orders to YouTube views, to midnight lines outside of stores worldwide to new levels, we just want to say, thank you. You are the best fan base in the world, and the unprecedented thrill ride that is Call of Duty: Black Ops II is all for you."

"From day one, we've pushed ourselves to make the best gaming experience of our lives and I am so incredibly proud with what this team has created with Call of Duty: Black Ops II," said Treyarch Studio Head, Mark Lamia.  "Our vision has been to deliver the complete package – something for every type of player.  Beginning with the single player campaign, Treyarch introduces things that you've never seen in the Call of Duty franchise before, like branching storylines, non-linear missions and customizing player load outs; or multiplayer, where we've re-written the rules with an all-new 'Pick 10' Create-A-Class, Score Streaks, and entire suite of eSports competitive features like CODcasting, Live Streaming and League Play that further makes Call of Duty a spectator sport; all the way to our biggest Zombies experience yet, which has three modes of play by itself – it's been an absolutely amazing experience developing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and now we can't wait to play it with our fans."

Delivering an epic scale that rivals Hollywood blockbusters, Call of Duty: Black Ops II also features a heavyweight musical lineup with contributions from Academy Award® winning composer Trent Reznor (theme), BAFTA nominee Jack Wall (score), and tracks from musical acts Avenged Sevenfold and an original collaboration by Skrillex and Alvin Risk.  The plot-twisting, generation-spanning story, co-written by David S. Goyer, screenwriter for The Dark Knight and the upcoming Man of Steel, picks up where Call of Duty: Black Ops' Cold War era tale left off, in its explosively cinematic single player campaign taking gamers to the year 2025, against the most sinister villain in Call of Duty lore.  Armed with branching storylines and non-linear missions known as Strike Force levels, which provides players a sandbox style gameplay experience, Call of Duty: Black Ops II affords players the opportunity to actually affect the outcome of the game, and for the first time in series history deliver multiple endings to this epic saga.  "Collaborating with David Goyer has been an incredible experience.  From the beginning, we had a shared vision to rewrite the rules of storytelling in the Call of Duty franchise and deliver a truly innovative experience for players," said Call of Duty: Black Ops II Director and Co-Writer, Dave Anthony.

Tapping into the heartbeat of millions, Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer mode delivers a true package of innovations, including the all-new "Pick-10" Create-a-Class system that revolutionizes the traditional slot-driven system by allowing fans to gear up for battle by customizing an unprecedented number of combinations to best suit their play-style.   Further leveling the playing field for more gamers, the new Score Streaks system rewards all-types of players for helping their team win from capturing flags, securing objectives, defending teammates and more. 

Without a doubt, the most prolific multiplayer additions to Call of Duty: Black Ops II are the ones lining up to bring Call of Duty online gaming and eSports to the masses. Accessible to players of all skill levels, Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer introduces League Play, a skill-based matchmaking system that makes competition fun at any skill level. Multiplayer also now seamlessly integrates a play-by-play "CODcasting" commentary system that allows fans to create their own eSports commentaries on games. And in a historic first for console gaming, Call of Duty: Black Ops II also features live streaming of League Play games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, without the need for any additional hardware.  With the live streaming feature, players now have the ability to broadcast their Call of Duty: Black Ops II games to the masses in real-time on YouTube, so anyone in the world can enjoy watching the action. Call of Duty Elite takes the live streaming experience even further, enabling viewers to see the player card of the user that is streaming.  Viewers can dig deeper on Call of Duty Elite to see class loadouts, recent match data, as well as career stats across supported Call of Duty games on the Call of Duty Elite service.  Live streams of Call of Duty: Black Ops II are viewable via web browsers, mobile and tablets through Call of Duty Elite as well as individual YouTube user channels.  A verified YouTube account is required to live stream.  A valid Call of Duty Elite registration is necessary to view the streams and related information inside Call of Duty EliteCall of Duty: Black Ops II player live streams will be subject to limitations and restrictions. 

The complete package also delivers the fan-favorite Zombies game created by Treyarch.  The beloved and terrifying cooperative game mode pits players against an unrelenting horde of the undead. The Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies offering is the biggest to date, featuring three different modes to survive the zombie apocalypse. Unravel the mysteries of a dying Earth in Tranzit, fight endless waves of zombies in Survival mode, or compete in the new 4z4 last-human-standing mode Grief.

Activision also is making available pre-orders for the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass at select retail outlets.  The Season Pass lets gamers access four epic Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs to be released in 2013 at a bundled discount (discount based on a suggested retail price of $49.99 and four DLC Map Packs at a suggested retail price of $15 each). The DLC Map Packs will be available on the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network first, and pricing and release dates may vary by platform.  Additionally consumers who purchase the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass will not only receive an exclusive in-game calling card, but also access to the Nuketown Zombies bonus map.  Nuketown Zombies will be offered to Season Pass holders in December, releasing first on Xbox 360 with other platforms to follow.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is available today worldwide on the Xbox® 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC.  The title is scheduled for release in North America on November 18, 2012, for the new Wii U™ game system from Nintendo.  Call of Duty: Black Ops II is published by Activision Publishing, Inc., and is rated "M" (Mature – Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs – content suitable for persons ages 17 and older) by the ESRB.  More information on Call of Duty: Black Ops II can be found at http://www.callofduty.com/blackops2 or on www.facebook.com/codblackops.  Fans can also follow @Treyarch on Twitter. 

Also releasing today for PlayStation Vita is Call of Duty® Black Ops: Declassified, bringing classic Call of Duty-style gameplay to gamers-on-the-go.  Developed by Nihilistic, this intense Call of Duty handheld title features frenetic 4v4 multiplayer across popular modes and hallmark features, including Care Packages, Create-A-Class, Killstreaks, Perks, Prestiging and more.  The title also delivers an original fiction taking place between Call of Duty®: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.  Utilizing both touchscreen and "Near" technology, Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified puts the adrenaline-rush combat and action of Call of Duty in the palm of your hands.  The title is also included in a limited PlayStation®Vita Call of Duty®: Black Ops Declassified Special Edition Bundle Pack for the ultimate value on the go.  Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is rated "M" (Mature – Blood, Drug Reference, Strong Language, Violence – content suitable for persons ages 17 and older).

Activision Broadcast Media Center
Members of the media can visit Activision Publishing's Broadcast Media Center to download broadcast quality video, web-ready video and high-resolution images.  Broadcast Media Center: www.activisionvideo.com.  

About Treyarch
Treyarch is an industry-leading game developer, wholly owned by Activision Publishing, Inc. whose previous game Call of Duty®: Black Ops set an entertainment launch opening record upon its release in 2010 and continues to be one of the best-selling games of all time, according to NPD and GfK Chart-Track.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activision.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the expected success of Call of Duty: Black Ops II and expected release of a version of the title for the Wii U, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS, and THE FUTURE IS BLACK are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.  All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. "PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Wii U is a trademark of Nintendo.

SOURCE Activision Publishing, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...