Modern Warfare 2: Stimulus Pack

Key events

COD creators "betrayed" me - Kotick

"We didn't have any choice!"

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has defended his decision to fire Call of Duty creators Vince Zampella and Jason West, insisting: "We didn't have any choice!"

Acti: IW "will rise from the ashes"

Publisher promises to leave developer alone.

Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward will "rise from the ashes" after the high-profile exodus that followed the sacking of Vince Zampella and Jason West, publisher Activision has predicted.

5000 applied to work on COD

Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer ranks swell.

Activision has so far received 5000 applications to work at Call of Duty developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer following the sacking of Vince Zampella and Jason West.

Acti laments poor Blur, Singularity sales

Acti laments poor Blur, Singularity sales

Insists it marketed both appropriately.

Poor sales of Bizarre's racer Blur and Raven Software's shooter Singularity between April and June were offset by the continued gargantuan success of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, publisher Activision Blizzard has said.

"Singularity fell short of meeting what is an exceptionally high bar within the shooter genre," said chief financial officer Thomas Tippl during an investor call last night.

"Fortunately, Call of Duty was the title that raised that bar and shortfall of Singularity was offset by Call of Duty's catalogue and DLC performance.

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MW2 Stimulus pack sells 2.5m

MW2 Stimulus pack sells 2.5m

Plus: game now played for 200,000 years.

Modern Warfare 2's Stimulus Package has been bought over 2.5m times in just one week.

That's just on Xbox 360, remember, where the five extra maps cost 1200 Microsoft Points (10.20/14.40).

Microsoft added that 1 million people had snapped-up the Stimulus Package in 24 hours alone.

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Stimulus Package buyers get reward

Seven free days of Gold, courtesy of MS.

Microsoft is rewarding those who bought the Stimulus Package for Modern Warfare 2 with a week-long Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Modern Warfare 2: Stimulus Package

What's in a name? Infinity Ward's choice of title for Modern Warfare 2's first map pack is telling. It implies an injection of content designed to revitalise an ailing economy of players, stirring up dulling passions and reversing waning success. Despite what community manager Rob Bowling may say, Activision must be concerned by the speed at which rival Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has been closing the gap between the two games in recent weeks, both in terms of sales and online engagement. So is this a stimulus package to overwhelm the competition? Perhaps it wasn't originally planned that way, but today, the hope must be there.

Then, of course, there are the financial undertones: the implication that a Stimulus Package is somehow a gesture of generosity for the Modern Warfare faithful in lean times. But many players would contend that at 1200 Microsoft Points (10.20 / 14.40) - a quarter of the price of the full game itself - this pack of five maps (only three of which are new to the series) represents anything but value for the penny-pinched.

And what of the wider context to this add-on? Infinity Ward is now a headless goliath, its two founders and studio bosses fired by parent company and arch-villain-du-jour Activision in a messy, public manner last month. What of the staff left behind to craft and polish these environments, those men and women who no doubt feel split loyalties under their new, and probably unwelcome, management? They will be unsure of their futures, made insecure by the way their leaders were taken out back and shot, and at the same time prevented from expressing discontent in public by enough legal threats to sink a Langdell.

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