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Latest on Gaming: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI)’s Upgrade Plans, Zynga Inc (ZNGA) on Financial Difficulties, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)’s New CEO

Editor’s Note: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)

Activision outlines Call of Duty: Ghosts next-gen upgrade plans (GameSpot)
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) has announced full details of how to upgrade current-gen copies of Call of Duty: Ghosts to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. For a limited period, all physical PlayStation 3 copies of Call of Duty: Ghosts will include a code that, when redeemed, will allow players to purchase a digital PlayStation 4 copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts for $10/£10/€10. Digital copies purchased on the PlayStation Store will be automatically eligible for the upgrade. Copies must be purchased, and codes redeemed before March 31, 2014.

Mark PincusWhy is Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) Inc Facing Financial Difficulties? (BasicsMedia)
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has made a very good name for itself as a top developer of social game services. Its social games are played over the Internet, as well as mobile platforms and social networking sites. It enjoys a very good reputation based on the fact that five of its games are listed as among the Top 10 on Facebook, as demonstrated by looking at DAUs. Not only that, but this is a company which enjoys visits from more than 63 million DAUs all over the world. Lately, there have been numerous reports to the effect that the company is in financial problems.

EA Sports Boss Andrew Wilson Named New CEO of EA (AllThingsD)
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) has a new CEO: Andrew Wilson, the executive vice president in charge of EA Sports. A company spokesperson confirmed Wilson’s new appointment to AllThingsD. EA’s former CEO, John Riccitiello, stepped down in March of this year, replaced in the interim by Larry Probst. “Andrew’s appointment is a clear demonstration of the deep bench of management talent at EA, and reflects our fundamental belief that EA is on track to become the global leader in interactive games and services,” Probst wrote in a blog post on behalf of EA’s board. Probst will continue to serve as Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’s executive chairman indefinitely until Wilson finishes the transition into his new role.

Activision steals Disney’s thunder by flaunting Skylanders numbers (
Top-earning publisher Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) appears to have latched onto a PR opportunity following The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s disclosure that its new series Disney Infinity sold just under 300,000 units in its first two weeks on sale. In a statement, Activision Skylanders Giants, positioned as a rival to Disney Infinity, sold “more than 500,000 starter packs and portal owner Packs globally”. (Note – Disney’s sales numbers were US only). Competition between Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Disney in the toy-based games market appears to be intensifying, but it remains unclear whether the increased competition is having a positive or negative effect on both Activision and Disney.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’s been out of the basketball game for a few years, but this year, the developer is bringing back NBA Live, and now we know when. EA revealed on NBA Live 14 Twitter it will be hitting the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on Nov. 19. There hasn’t been much revealed about the revamped basketball title, but we do know there’s a lot of hope behind the first NBA game from Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) in more than four years. To this point, we’ve only really been shown the dribbling aspects of the Ignite Engine, and considering NBA Live 14 is just a shade over two months away, that’s actually pretty concerning.

Former COO at Zynga to join executive board at Audax Health (Washington Business Journal)
A former executive at Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has joined the executive board at Audax Health, the digital health startup announced Tuesday. David Ko most recently served as chief operations officer at Zynga, and held various senior roles over 10 years at Yahoo! prior to that. Audax says Ko will play a vital role in strategy, business development and mobile operations, particularly as the company increases the capabilities of its flagship platform, Zensey. Audax’s executive board includes members like John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, Inc., and Jack Rowe, former chairman and CEO of Aetna.

EA names new CEO (

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