Gaming Updates: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) & Zynga Inc (ZNGA)’s Lawsuits, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)’s Parnerships

Editor’s Note: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Activision Shareholder Sues Vivendi to Halt Insider Sale (Bloomberg)
A shareholder of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) sued the company’s co-chairman, chief executive officer and majority stockholder, Vivendi SA (VIV), to halt a stock sale that would give officers control of the biggest U.S. video-game maker. Shareholder Douglas M. Hayes wants a court in Delaware to halt the proposed private stock sale and to force the company to give non-Vivendi shareholders a chance to vote on the proposed deal. The sale would give control of the company to CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, according to the lawsuit. The sale would “unjustly enrich Kelly, Kotick and the other participants,” Hayes claimed in the lawsuit filed today in Delaware’s Chancery Court.

Mark Pincus

Zynga settles with employee over alleged theft of game secrets (PCWorld)
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) said it had settled a lawsuit alleging theft of trade secrets by a former employee, with the employee also issuing an apology. The games company filed a complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco, in October last year, alleging that Alan Patmore, formerly general manager for its CityVille game, misappropriated trade secrets from Zynga before joining competitor Kixeye. Before his departure from Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Patmore is said to have copied over 760 Zynga files into a folder on his computer that he later transferred to a folder on his personal Dropbox cloud storage account, according to Zynga’s complaint.

Sony not fussed by EA’s Xbox One partnership (PlayStation Universe)
Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) has insisted it doesn’t need to respond to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s FIFA 14 giveaway deal with Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), reiterating that relationships between the PlayStation console maker and the publishing giant remain strong. Speaking to MCV, Jim Ryan, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), said that the level of pre-orders achieved by PS4 ensurs such a move isn’t necessary. “No, no. We have over 1m pre-orders, so why would we need to do that?” said Ryan, in response to whether Sony would react to Microsoft and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’s partnership.

World of Warcraft Revenues Down 54 Percent (The Escapist)
World of Warcraft is still the big dog, but it’s not the beast it once was. Subscription numbers are in a slow but steady decline, and now “digital goods measurement” firm Superdata has released a report claiming that revenues – the part that counts – have tailed off 54 percent over the past seven months. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) is in no danger of going under anytime soon, but if the figures are correct it’s still an awfully big pile of money that’s dried up and blown away. “We believe WoW made $93 million in April in total revenues – not a bad sum – but a far cry from the $204 million it made just seven months earlier,” the report states.

Zynga Launches Casino Slots Game for Facebook (Online Casino Archives)
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), the well-known game developer, has continued its move into the world of online and mobile casino games with the launch of a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) casino slots game, Hit it Rich: Casino Slots. The new game represents another change of direction for Zynga which is struggling to find support for its more traditional Facebook games. The free to play game is already live on Facebook and mobile versions for Android and iPhone are expected to follow soon.

Electronic Arts Partners With Milestone Interactive for Distributing Xbox 360 Games (GamingBolt)
Milestone Interactive has recently announced that it’s been appointed by Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) as the official and exclusive distribution partner for the publisher’s Xbox 360 games in India. This means that Milestone will be responsible for distributing games such as FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, Need for Speed: Rivals and Titanfall as they release in the coming months. Chairman & CEO of Milestone Interactive Group Jayont R. Sharma stated that, “We are proud to acknowledge that our business relationship of the past seven years has been further enhanced by the addition of the Xbox 360 lineup. We are confident that this consolidation of business under our fold will take Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’s brands to new heights in India.”

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