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Gaming News Highlights: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI)’s Loan, Zynga Inc (ZNGA), Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) & O’Bannon case

Editor’s Note: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS)

RLPC: Activision cuts pricing on $2.75B credit (Reuters)
Activision Blizzard Inc cut pricing on its new $2.5 billion, seven-year covenant-lite term loan B, sources told Thomson Reuters LPC. The loan is part of a $5 billion financing package backing Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s plan to spin itself off from Vivendi and buy back shares. The $2.5 billion TLB is now guided at LIB+250, with a 75bp Libor floor and a 99.5 discount. Previous price talk on the TLB was LIB+275-300. The Libor floor and issue price are unchanged. The TLB will carry 101 soft call protection for six months. The loan also includes a $250 million revolver.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)

NCAA, EA allowed to seek dismissal from O’Bannon case (USA TODAY)
The NCAA and video game manufacturer Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) will be allowed to file motions seeking their dismissal from an anti-trust lawsuit pertaining to the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Tuesday evening, EA formally submitted its dismissal motion. It had filed the document prospectively July 29, when it asked for permission to seek dismissal. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) claims that it agreed to follow NCAA rules regarding use of athletes’ names and likenesses and “that is not a viable antitrust claim.”

With CityVille Invasion, a Blend of Destruction and Construction (New York Times)
When Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) announced its partnership with Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) last year, the companies had to figure out how to translate Zynga’s digital games into a physical form that Hasbro could stock on store shelves. It turns out that it made more sense to go the other direction. This year, the companies decided to incorporate Hasbro’s brick construction line Kre-O into Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s popular CityVille game. Where CityVille was all about building a town and establishing relationships, the new app, CityVille Invasion, introduces destruction and chaos to the popular series. CityVille Invasion sets loose zombies, vampires, an oversize gorilla and the evil Dr. Mayhem, who is set on world domination, starting with your tiny digital town.

Activision: Call of Duty Scenarios are Still Plausible (Cubed3)
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) have hit back at critics after the latest campaign trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts depicted space action. The solo player campaign, which aired earlier this week, had some scenes taking place in space. The new footage has had its fair share of critics, who feel the new game is becoming a little detached from reality. However Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) community manager Dam Arich said on his blog that Call of Duty “still plays in the realm of plausibility” and these new scenarios are “actually more science than science fiction”.

EA Sports: Taking UFC to the Next Generation (IGN)
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’s first UFC title is looking mighty impressive. Built from the ground-up for next-gen, it’s still early days, but the tech that the team is putting in place shows a huge amount of promise. The character models are particularly impressive, and not just because they’re so detailed. It’s the subtle touches that make the difference here. Tech like full body deformation ensures the fighters’ bodies contort as they come into contact (or when fist comes into contact with face), while exertion actually has an impact, making veins pop and faces go red.

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