Latest on Gaming: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI)’s Diablo III, Zynga Inc (ZNGA) & Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)’s New Franchises

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

Activision’s Diablo III Now on Consoles (Yahoo! News)
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) recently announced that its massively popular role playing game Diablo III is now available on Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s PlayStation 3 as well as on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox 360 entertainment system. Both the console versions are priced at $59.99. Diablo III released in the U.S., Canada, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Europe, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The game is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Zynga launches New Scramble with Friends on iOS (Inside Mobile Apps)
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has launched a new version of Scramble with Friends on iOS, appropriately titled “New Scramble with Friends.” The app replaces the original game on the App Store, but keeps players’ accounts and stats from their previous time with the game. New Scramble with Friends retains the round-based gameplay that asks players to create words using randomized letters (like in Boggle), but throws in daily challenges for additional gameplay. New Scramble with Friends allows users to challenge friends or strangers to a three-round game, with each timed round presenting a new randomized letter board, and asking players to create as many words as possible.

EA is working on six to eight new franchises (Polygon)
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) is branching out from its current collection of sequels by developing six to eight new franchises, EA Games chief Patrick Soderlund told MCV. Soderland referenced Mirror’s Edge 2 and Star Wars Battlefront as examples that the company is still willing to take risks on new material despite the strong focus maintaining successful franchises. “We are working on a new Mirror’s Edge game, and although that’s not a new IP, it is a revival done in a new way. We are developing Star Wars Battlefront, which to us is a new IP, even though it isn’t technically,” he said.

Activision Executive Explains Strong Wii U Support (IGN)
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to Wii U support, as evidenced by the fact that the publisher has confirmed six fall releases on Nintendo’s platform this fall. Activision Publishing chief executive Eric Hirshberg spoke out about the Call of Duty publishing giant’s confidence in the console. Hirshberg said he wants all games to succeed, as it encourages more people to play games overall, thus leading to a better games industry as a whole.

Game Over for Zynga Investors? Not Yet (The Fiscal Times)
A reporter from The Wall Street Journal wanted to drop by Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s annual meeting of shareholders Tuesday at the Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown San Francisco. But instead of being able to get some clues as to what lies ahead for the company – struggling to make the leap to mobile platforms even as online gamers gradually wean themselves from their addiction to FarmVille – he was told he wasn’t allowed to listen in as CEO Mark Pincus outlined his future strategy to registered shareholders. Whatever Pincus said seemed to work for a moment: the stock briefly bounced above its lows from Monday, when Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) announced it would cut about 520 jobs, reducing staffing levels by 18 percent.

Video gamer anticipation building for holidays (