NAVGTR announces nominees for 2012 game awards

The National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers (NAVGTR, pronounced “navigator”) announced its list of nominees for their 2012 NAVGTR video game awards. Voice actors Tom Sizemore and Tara Platt were on hand to present the nominations.
The organization plans to have a panel of game journalists and other industry folks debate the list and predict the winners during the PAX East festival this April. It will announce the winners shortly afterwards.
And the nominees are…

Activision’s Eric Hirshberg: Turning games into brands and other non-douche moves (exclusive interview)

Eric Hirshberg was an experiment when Activision Blizzard’s chief executive hired Hirshberg as CEO of the Activision Publishing division about 18 months ago. Hirshberg was an art-school graduate who rose through the ranks of the creative side of advertising and eventually became CEO of billion-dollar ad agency Deutsch LA. Most video game CEOs rise through the ranks of finance or game development. But Hirshberg was a lot more comfortable with a paint brush in his hands than a spreadsheet. But under Hirshberg, Activision Publishing has launched some of its most successful games in history, including Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. At the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Hirshberg talked about the experiment of an advertising creative person rising to the top of one of the world’s biggest video game companies.

Call of Duty Elite: It’s not a douche move — Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg

Eric Hirshberg, chief executive of Activision Publishing, talked about the role that creative people should play in  making decisions about running a video game business. Too often, he said, creative people leave it to the business experts. But creative people shouldn’t sell themselves short, as Hirshberg learned in the last 18 months running the division that includes Call of Duty franchise.

Activision Blizzard earnings: World of Warcraft resists the assault from EA’s Star Wars

Activision Blizzard has beaten earnings expectations for its third fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 31, and its major cash cow is still holding up. World of Warcraft didn’t suffer after Electronic Arts launched its massively multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic. World of Warcraft ended the year with 10.2 million paying subscribers, down only slightly from 10.3 million in the previous quarter.

Arrest fallout: Kim Dotcom drops to No. 2 rank in Modern Warfare 3

Getting arrested for the illegal downloading of copyrighted material hasn’t done wonders for Kim Dotcom, also known as MEGARACER, who is now the former No. 1 player in the world for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. In the past day, MEGARACER slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 when he was overtaken by a player named Arazos. Mr. Dotcom undoubtedly has more pressing things on his mind.

Left 4 Dead short film rivals Hollywood production values (video)

As the gaming culture matures, a handful of impressive fan films paying homage to popular titles have continued to emerge. First, the “Escape from City 17″ Half-Life shorts from two years ago set a new standard with their Hollywood-lite production values, then earlier this year Modern Warfare and Portal received similar treatments. Now another Valve-published game, Left 4 Dead, has been reimagined in this live-action eight-minute film.

The DeanBeat: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception tops our list of the 10 best games of 2011

This year, with our ramped up our GamesBeat review team, we’ve taken our Game of the Year choices much more seriously than we have in the past. We asked our reviewers to select the semifinalists and then picked the final winners ourselves. But our vote on the best game of 2011 ended in a tie, so we had to hold a tie-breaker round to pick our winner.

No bonanza: November video game sales grow a scant 0.4 percent

U.S. retail video game sales were only slightly up from a year ago, growing 0.4 percent to $3 billion this year, according to market researcher NPD Group. Even though growth wasn’t huge, software sales were up 15 percent and the industry will probably greet the report with some relief because sales didn’t shrink during one of the most critical sales months of the year.

Update: Activision is slowly nursing Call of Duty Elite online network back to health

Activision Blizzard is slowly bringing the gamer social network Call of Duty Elite back to life. The service was supposed to launch last week with the debut of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. But the company was overwhelmed by a huge number of registrations and other issues that brought down the service, forcing Activision into an embarrassing apology to gamers. Now it’s slowly adding more users.

Review: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer is a sweet addiction

Dear reader. I died many times to bring you this review. I endured endless humiliation as my fellow gamers shot me and trampled over my dead body to collect my dog tags. I have suffered the indignity of being the last player shot in a game, which means that everybody gets to see my character die in slow motion. I must be a zombie though, pulled back into the same mindless entertainment, because I keep rising from the dead to play again.