Call of Duty breaks records as publisher faces Hong Kong backlash

A mobile version of video game Call of Duty has been downloaded more than 100 million times in its first week.

However, a boycott aimed at the game’s publisher, Activision Blizzard, has been launched after Blizzard placed a 12-month ban on a Hearthstone gamer who staged an online protest over the political crisis in Hong Kong.

The hashtag #Blizzardboycott is now trending on Twitter.

Boycotters included Mark Kern, a developer who has worked for Blizzard.

“It’s done,” tweeted Mr Kern, with a screenshot suggesting he had just cancelled his subscription to World of Warcraft.

“Unless/until they completely reverse their stance on this issue (which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem likely) they will get no more money from me,” wrote one Reddit user in a long thread about the boycott.

The latest title in the hugely popular Call of Duty franchise has been well received by gamers, according to download statistics from Sensor Tower.

The company said the game, which was released on 1 October, had enjoyed the biggest mobile launch yet.

A PC and console title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, is due to be released on 25 October.

Journalist Ian Miles Cheong tweeted he had previously pre-ordered the game but, having joined the boycott, had now requested a refund.

Activision Blizzard’s share price had fallen by 2.3% by the close of trading on Tuesday.

However, the backlash was unlikely to cause serious commercial problems for Activision Blizzard, said James Batchelor, UK Editor at GamesIndustry.biz.

“It’s negative PR and that’s never great for a company but I can’t remember an instance where a consumer-led boycott has led to a significant drop in sales in the video games industry,” he told the BBC.

“These games have such a vast audience that I would almost say almost half don’t even know what’s happening… The vast majority of Call of Duty players are so casual, so mainstream.”

BBC News has contacted Activision Blizzard for comment.

Why are some gamers angry with Blizzard?

Ng Wai Chung is the name of the gamer banned for 12 months by Blizzard. He uses the pseudonym Blitzchung.

During a post-match interview on the official Hearthstone Taiwan video stream, he donned a gas mask and shouted: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age.”

Blizzard said tournament rules said players must not offend people or damage the company’s image.

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Other US technology have become embroiled in the controversy over Hong Kong.

China’s state media this week criticised Apple for listing an app in its app store designed to track the movements of police officers in Hong Kong.

The People’s Daily newspaper said the app was an endorsement for “rioters”.

The tool, HKmap.live, was not named explicitly by the newspaper.

It works by asking users to cite the locations of police and anti-government protesters. This data is then displayed on a map.

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U.S., Chinese officials to discuss trade in Thursday call: Mnuchin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese officials will hold a telephone call later on Thursday, and further in-person trade talks could be possible depending on how their discussion goes, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin, speaking in a CNBC interview from a G7 meeting in France, said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will participate in the call with their Chinese counterparts.

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China says that there is nothing more to say about call with US trade team

Comments by China’s commerce ministry

  • Both teams are working to implement the consensus reached by Trump and Xi
  • Refuses to answer question on possible trade talk meeting
  • Says that China has been consistent that its core concerns need to be met
  • Hopes that US will remove Huawei restrictions as soon as possible

ForexLive

I think that pretty much says it all. China continues to signal caution on trade talks rather than feed markets with optimism. So far, it doesn’t look like there has been much progress – if any at all – since the Trump-Xi meeting in Osaka.

You say it best…

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Turkish lira firms after Trump-Erdogan phone call

Turkish lira firms after Trump-Erdogan phone call Turkish lira firms after Trump-Erdogan phone call

ANKARA (Reuters) – firmed nearly 1% on Thursday on expectations that ties with Washington will improve after the two presidents discussed Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems during a call.

The lira was down as much as 14% this year due in part to growing friction between the NATO allies and the risk that delivery of the Russian-made surface-to-air weapon would trigger U.S. sanctions. Washington says the S-400s would compromise its F-35 fighter jets.

During Wednesday’s call, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan reiterated to U.S. President Donald Trump a proposal to set up a working group to assess the impact of the S-400s. The two also agreed to meet on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in Japan at the end of June.

The lira stood at 5.9650 at 0838 GMT, firming nearly 0.85% from Wednesday’s close of 6.0155. Earlier, it firmed as much as 5.9625, its strongest in more than two weeks.

Turkey’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds also surged, with the 2030 issue up 0.9 cents on the dollar, its most in two weeks, according to Tradeweb data. The 2045 issue climbed 0.7 cents.

The call between the leaders sparked hopes that there may be a deal regarding the missile defense system and remove the threat of sanctions on Turkey, said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.

“The default remains that Turkey will take delivery of the S-400s from Russia. So, investors will need to see some further steps over the coming weeks to feel more confident that tensions are de-escalating,” he said.

The lira also firmed earlier this week after Defence Minister Hulusi Akar’s comments that the system may not make in time for the scheduled delivery in June sparked optimism among investors, despite his saying that they will be delivered in coming months.

Separately, the central bank’s net reserves stood at $ 26.52 billion as of May 24, data showed on Thursday, rising from $ 24.88 billion a week earlier.

Turkey’s main share index BIST100 rose 2.02%, while the main banking index was up 3.1%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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China’s Politburo reiterates call for prudent monetary policy

The Politburo of China’s Communist Party reviewed the economy and made arrangements on economic work earlier today

China
  • China is facing economic downward pressure
  • Sees improvement in market confidence
  • Says China is to stick to structural leverage cut
  • Laments that downward economic pressure is structural in nature

The meeting was chaired by China president Xi Jinping and is usually seen as a sounding board for his ideas and views on how to go about with recent policies. It seems like the message here is more of the same that we’ve heard from China over the past few weeks i.e. continuing with efforts to bolster the economy as headwinds continue to stay the course.

ForexLive

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Call Of Duty hoax caller Tyler Barriss jailed

A California-based man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for making hoax calls, including one that led to an innocent man being killed.

Tyler Barriss made a so-called “swatting” call to police, claiming he was holding his family hostage.

When police visited the address he had given, they shot innocent father-of-two Andrew Finch.

Barriss admitted making the call after getting involved in a row over a Call of Duty game between two other men.

Both 18-year-old Casey Viner from Ohio and 20-year-old Shane Gaskill from Wichita are awaiting trial for their involvement.

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A “swatting” call is a hoax phone call designed to make special weapons and tactics (Swat) police raid a target’s house.

On 28 December, Barriss told police he had shot his father and was holding the rest of his family hostage.

He gave police a Kansas address but was actually in Los Angeles, about 1,400 miles away.

Armed police went to the property and shot 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was innocent and had no involvement in the video game dispute.

Police say the responding officer shot Mr Finch, after he moved his hands towards his waist.

Barriss also pleaded guilty to making other hoax calls, including a bomb threat to the FBI headquarters.

“I hope that this prosecution and lengthy sentence sends a strong message that will put an end to the juvenile and reckless practice of ‘swatting’ within the gaming community, as well as in any other context,” Kansas Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a statement.

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Mobile networks call for 5G security inspector

The mobile network industry has called for a new European security testing scheme to check the safety of 5G equipment before it is deployed.

Several countries have stopped individual companies supplying equipment for their next-generation networks, citing security concerns.

Chinese giants Huawei and ZTE have both faced intense scrutiny.

The GSMA, which represents 800 network operators, said a testing scheme would reduce the need to ban suppliers.

Australia, New Zealand, and the United States have already barred Huawei from supplying equipment for their future 5G networks.

Meanwhile, Canada is carrying out a security review of Huawei’s products and UK service provider BT is removing Huawei kit from the core of its 5G network.

Many countries fear that the Chinese government is using Huawei as a proxy so it can spy on rival nations and scoop up useful information.

Huawei has said it is independent and gives nothing to the country’s government, apart from relevant taxes. But critics question how free any major Chinese business can be from Beijing’s influence.

The GSMA is concerned that banning suppliers will cause delays to 5G rollout and increase costs.

“Such significant consequences, intended or not, are entirely avoidable,” it said in a statement.

It intends to put together a task force of European mobile networks to identify ways that equipment testing could be enhanced.

The UK’s communications agency GCHQ already has a task force dedicated to inspecting Huawei equipment.

The last report GCHQ produced said it found “shortcomings” in products that meant it could only give “limited assurance” that the firm posed no threat.

The GSMA said governments should work with mobile operators to agree on a standardised testing scheme across Europe to “ensure confidence in network security”.

Huawei said it was “committed to working globally with everyone involved in network security”.

Deutsche Telekom said it welcomed the move. Spain’s Telefonica, which owns the UK network O2, said it agreed with the GSMA’s stance.

Huawei is itself an associate member of the GSMA and is typically one of the biggest exhibitors at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

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Boeing cancels airline call on 737 MAX systems: sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: KNKT officials examine a turbine engine from the Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: KNKT officials examine a turbine engine from the Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Boeing Co (N:) has canceled a conference call it had scheduled for Tuesday morning with airlines to discuss systems on the 737 MAX model that crashed in Indonesia last month, two sources familiar with the matter said.

It was not immediately clear whether the call would be rescheduled.

A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crashed in the Java Sea on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board, in the first major accident involving the latest version of its popular narrow-body plane.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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