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Game News

Call of Duty may use Humvees without maker’s permission, judge rules

Activision’s Call of Duty franchise may use and show Humvees without paying a license to the military vehicles’ maker, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

AM General, which developed the Humvee in 1983 and has manufactured it since, sued Activision Blizzard in 2017, saying that the Humvee’s unauthorized appearance in several Call of Duty video games since 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare lent authenticity and value to the series without due compensation or permission.

But Judge George B. Daniels of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Activision’s use of the Humvee’s likeness (“trade dress” is the legal term) was warranted, as the publisher’s motivation for doing so was to present militaries of various nations in a realistic context.

“Defendants’ uses of Humvees in Call of Duty games have artistic relevance,” Daniels wrote, in granting Activision Blizzard’s motion to throw out AM General’s complaint. “Featuring actual vehicles used by military operations around the world in video games about simulated modern warfare surely evokes a sense of realism and lifelikeness to the player.”

Daniels found that the representation of Humvees in Call of Duty satisfied a test established by legal precedent that requires such a use to have artistic relevance. “Any reasonable juror would conclude that the presence of Humvees in Call of Duty games possesses an artistic value that is at least ‘above zero,’” he wrote. Other legal tests, involving brand confusion, bad-faith use, and the businesses in which the two sides are engaged, all broke in Activision’s favor, too.

AM General brought its suit in November 2017; the preceding summer, Activision launched Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered as a stand-alone game. It is a version of the first Call of Duty game to feature Humvees, updated for current hardware. AM General’s lawsuit pointed to the Humvee’s unauthorized appearance in six console video games and other mobile and spinoff works over the preceding 10 years.

The suit also noted that, in 1998, the company had complained to Activision about the Humvee’s appearance in an unrelated game (Sin), and after exchanging correspondence, Activision had agreed not to use it. Daniels found that the 1998 letter would be inadmissible at a trial, and that he did not have to consider it. The remaining other uses of the Humvee “do not demonstrate a desire to ‘sow confusion between the two companies’ products,’” Daniels said, quoting another ruling.

Polygon reached out to a representative of Activision Blizzard to ask for additional comment.

AM General’s lawsuit resembles one brought in 2012 involving Electronic Arts and the parent company of Bell Helicopter, whose aircraft had appeared in the Battlefield franchise. In that case, however, EA filed the suit, as it and Textron (Bell’s parent) had been in unproductive negotiations over the use that the publisher felt would end in a lawsuit.

EA was seeking a judge’s ruling that such use, without seeking permission first, was fair and protected by the First Amendment. But the matter ended without any opinion after EA and Textron settled out of court.

EA had made similar arguments of First Amendment protection over its use of real-life college football players’ likenesses in the roster of its NCAA Football franchise. A judge rejected that reasoning in July 2013, setting the stage for Electronic Arts to pay $40 million to settle the class action brought by former college football players, and cancel the NCAA Football series that September.


Never Rarely Sometimes Always is unforgettable

The story at the center of Never Rarely Sometimes Always is deceptively simple, but the film Eliza Hittman builds around it is extraordinary. Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), a Pennsylvania teenager with an unwanted pregnancy, travels to New York City to obtain an abortion. Hittman doesn’t try to moralize or exaggerate her circumstances in order to make Autumn more relatable or likable, so what’s left — a statement of facts regarding the number of hoops women have to jump through in order to have autonomy — is remarkable, and remarkably affecting. By the end of the story, “never rarely sometimes always,” which seems easy to forget or mess up, is an unforgettable phrase rather than just a litany of related words.

It’s clear from the outset that the world around Autumn is stuck in the past. At her school talent show, the kids dress up in ’50s and ’60s outfits and sing oldies. Only Autumn seems dialed into the present day, as her rendition of the 1963 song “He’s Got the Power” makes it sound like modern indie pop. That antiquated sense persists as Autumn visits a women’s health clinic in her hometown. When she asks about the possibility of an abortion, the clinic workers show her a pro-life video and harp about her “beautiful baby.”

So Autumn decides to go to New York, where, as a minor, she won’t have to get her parents’ consent to obtain an abortion. When she tells her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder) what she plans to do, Skylar wordlessly steals money from the drawer of the store where they work (where their manager, every time they drop off the cash from the registers, holds onto and kisses their hands) to pay for their bus tickets into the city.

two young women sit together Flanigan and Talia Ryder in Never Rarely Sometimes Always Photo: Focus Features

Skylar and Autumn’s relationship gives the audience a glimmer of hope to hang onto, and makes the film empathetic rather than potentially voyeuristic or totally miserable, as the steps Autumn has to take grow more and more complicated. One facility sends her to another that will only take her the next day. The procedure takes longer and is more expensive than she bargained for. She and Skylar run out of money for the subway and the bus back. The problems only pile up. But at least they have each other.

The obstacles they face aren’t limited to the difficulty of getting an abortion, though — they encounter sexual harassment and male aggression everywhere they go. Their store manager is just the beginning. Autumn’s stepfather refers to the family dog as a “slut,” and defends his language by saying the dog likes it. Skylar and Autumn face a creep on the New York subway, and a young man on the bus to New York who touches Skylar to get her attention. The fight for autonomy is on all fronts, from the right to get an abortion to the right to simply exist without feeling endangered.

Hittman gets all this across simply by portraying the unfolding events honestly. Everything that happens is relatively mundane, and the sense of dread hanging over the proceedings only reflects that the world we live in can be frightening, particularly for those with little recourse. Nothing in the movie feels exaggerated or unbelievable, making Autumn’s struggle all the more devastating. The things occurring to her occur to real women every day, and cinematographer Hélène Louvart makes the unfolding events feel truer by going handheld, shakily following the young women around the city.

a young woman sits on the floor of penn station Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Photo: Focus Features

The slow build-up — and Autumn and Skylar’s stoicism through it all — makes it all the more affecting when the reasoning behind the film’s title is revealed, as Autumn goes through a pre-abortion interview at Planned Parenthood, and is told to answer the questions asked with “never,” “rarely,” “sometimes,” or “always.” She’s put on a brave face thus far, but confronted with actual care and kindness — and the sense that she’s finally in a somewhat safe space — that tough front begins to crack. Her resilience doesn’t make her unfeeling, and the simple freedom to be vulnerable is momentous.

The clarity and care with which Hittman handles a relatively straightforward story lends Never Rarely Sometimes Always an urgency greater than it would have if she tried to moralize about making proper care more easily accessible to (and less stigmatized for) women. There are no unnecessary details (even the identity of Autumn’s baby’s father is never mentioned), boiling the focus down to just two young women. The ordeal they go through is preventable, but in the immediate moment, where it’s not, thank God they aren’t alone.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is now available on VOD and digital platforms.

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Persona 5 Royal negotiation guide: tips and tricks

Persona 5 Royal has several changes compared the original Persona 5, but many systems stay the same. One of those systems is negotiations.

While you’ll spend most of your time in Royal cutting down various demons and evil personas, not every fight has to end in bloodshed. In fact, you can finish some encounters with enemies through conversation. Do that job well enough, and you may even sway some demons to join your team.

Getting a negotiation started in Persona 5 Royal is simple, but the process itself is a bit obtuse. In this guide, we’ll explain how negotiation works in Persona 5 Royal and offer some tips and tricks to help you get better.

How to initiation a negotiation

Early on in the game, you learn about elemental weaknesses that demons have. Hitting a demon with an attack they are weak against knocks them down. If you knock all demons down at once, you’ll initiate a Hold Up. From there you can choose an All-Out Attack or, after a certain point, you can choose to Talk. Then you can ask for money, items, or request to have the demon lend you their power. That’s when the real game begins!

Persona 5 - fighting a Troublesome Housemaid Image: P-Studio/Atlus

The secret to negotiating: demon types and likes/dislikes

Each demon is a bit different, but developer Atlas actually tucked a simple guide into the game’s manual. We’ve adapted it below.

The moment you hold up an enemy, you can see one of its four personality traits: Upbeat, Timid, Irritable, or Gloomy (you can also see this when you analyze them). Based on the personality, you must choose the right answers that correspond to an answer type: Funny, Serious, Vague, or Kind.

When you answer correctly, you’ll see a reaction from the demon and visuals to match. The same happens when you answer incorrectly. You get two chances once you start talking. Of course the answers aren’t labeled, so you have to guess which answer is what type. If you aren’t sure, try to determine which answers correspond to what the demon doesn’t like and then pick the remaining option.

Persona 5 Negotiation Guide

Personality Like Dislike
Personality Like Dislike
Upbeat Funny Serious, Vague
Timid Kind Vague, Funny
Irritable Serious Vague, Kind
Gloomy Vague Serious, Funny

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Disney pushes the release dates of all Marvel movies in the next two years

As movie dates continue to get rolled back due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2020 release schedules for major film studios are being shuffled around. Disney previously delayed the releases of Black Widow and Mulan. Though many on social media clamored for the movies to release directly on streaming, the likelihood of that happening has always been low. The possibility of seeing Black Widow drop early on Disney Plus became lower when, Disney announced on Friday afternoon that the movies now have new release dates later in 2020, with Mulan coming out on July 24 and Black Widow on Nov. 6.

With Black Widow taking the spot of The Eternals, that film — which would’ve been the second Marvel Cinematic Universe movie of 2020 — gets pushed to Feb. 12, 2021, and the whole slate of Phase 4 plays musical chairs.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, originally on the docket for February 2021, gets a new release date of May 7, 2021, which pushes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to Nov. 5, 2021. Thor: Love and Thunder, which was set for November 2021, gets bumped to Feb. 18, 2022.

Disney has removed the untitled Marvel project slated for February 2022 from its lineup entirely, but revealed the second untitled Marvel project to be Captain Marvel 2, and bumped it up from July 29, 2022, to July 8 of the same year. (That’s because the fifth Indiana Jones film is now scheduled for Captain Marvel 2’s original date.)

The last year in which only one MCU movie hit theaters was 2012, when the first Avengers movie came out.


Disney puts Mulan and Black Widow back on the release calendar for 2020

Walt Disney Studios has updated its release schedule, setting new theatrical premiere dates for Mulan and the next Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Black Widow, reports Deadline.

The company pulled both upcoming films from its schedule in mid-March due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and the measures that many countries around the world are taking to curb its spread. With theaters closed to comply with social distancing guidelines, there would have been nowhere to screen Mulan on March 27, and likely not for Black Widow on May 1.

On Friday, among other new release dates in its updated lineup, Disney slated both films for late summer releases. Mulan is now scheduled to hit theaters on July 24, displacing Jungle Cruise (as for the Dwayne Johnson feature, it has been delayed a whole year to July 30, 2021). Meanwhile, Black Widow has been shunted all the way to Nov. 6, taking over the release slot of The Eternals, the subsequent film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The rest of the MCU lineup will undergo a sort of musical chairs maneuver, as its films bump down Disney’s planned release schedule in order to maintain their chronological order.


Activision and Xbox working to fix issue with missing UDT Ghost Bundle

Activision and Xbox have confirmed that they are actively investigating an issue where users who pre-purchased Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered on Xbox One are not seeing the UDT Ghost Bundle in game in Modern Warfare and Warzone.

Activision Support has confirmed that they are looking into the issue and are working closely with Xbox in order to address the issue with many users missing the current bundle.

The bundle includes a classic Ghost skin and other Ghost-themed cosmetic items for pre-purchase of Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered.

Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered can be pre-purchased on Xbox One and PC and will be playable starting Thursday, April 30. The Remaster is available now on PS4.

We will update this post as we get more information.

The post Activision and Xbox working to fix issue with missing UDT Ghost Bundle appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


Modern Warfare and Warzone April 3 Update – Double XP Live Through April 6

Infinity Ward has released the latest game settings upadte for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

This new playlist update has activated Double XP, Double Weapon XP, and 2X Tier Progression on all platforms. It will end on Tuesday, April 7 at 11PM PT.

This weekend marks the final weekend of Season 2 of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone. Season 2 saw the release of new maps like Rust, the new Battle Pass featuring Ghost, and free to play BR Warzone. Season 3 begins on Tuesday, April 7.

Be sure to drop in now and finish up those Season 2 Battle Pass tiers while you can!

The post Modern Warfare and Warzone April 3 Update – Double XP Live Through April 6 appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


Play Modern Warfare MP free within Warzone now through April 6

Activision has announced that players can experience Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s multiplayer mode for free this weekend only through Call of Duty: Warzone.

Players can try Call of Duty: Modern Warfare MP free starting Friday, April 3 at 10AM PT and ending on Monday, April 6 at 10AM PT. There’s a new Stocked Up. Locked Down. playlist in Warzone that is Shoot House and Atlas Superstore 24/7 only.

Now’s your chance to get to know Modern Warfare Multiplayer combat in two concentrated, visually stunning settings. You’ll be able to experience 6v6 and 10v10 gameplay with Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone players alike. And, you’ll get a deeper knowledge of the weapons and equipment you’ve encountered in Warzone.

There’s no time to waste: Experience Modern Warfare Multiplayer starting on April 3 at 10AM PDT only live until 10AM PT on April 6. In this genre-defining take on Multiplayer, you’re sure to experience a fast-paced fight where combat is constant and there’s a skirmish at every turn. So, grab your friends, hit the lobby, and get your dukes up!

Players interested can download Warzone for FREE on PS4, Xbox One, and PC and play the free to play Battle Royale experience, and this weekend, experience the MP of Modern Warfare through the Stocked Up. Locked Down. playlist.

The post Play Modern Warfare MP free within Warzone now through April 6 appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


Season 3 for Modern Warfare and Warzone begins April 8

Activision and Infinity Ward have announced that Season 3 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone will begin on Wednesday, April 8.

The company released an image teasing the launch of the brand new season for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone.

The image above appears to confirm the return of Backlot to Modern Warfare and confirming new Operators for the game.

Season 3 will bring a new Operator, new maps, new modes, and a brand new Battle Pass for the game, allowing players to experience brand new content within the Modern Warfare and Warzone.

The post Season 3 for Modern Warfare and Warzone begins April 8 appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


Animal Crossing’s tarantula island has been ruined by giant water bugs

On April 1, Animal Crossing: New Horizons got a refreshed island: There are now cherry blossoms! Eggs! Zipper! These are all good things, depending on who you ask. But the April update has also done something terrible. It’s broken the self-made tarantula island, which lets player collect lots and lots of spiders — one of the more pricey bugs in the game. (8,000 Bells! And 1.5 times that if you’re selling to Flick.)

Before the update, you could create your own tarantula island by essentially razing most Mystery Island Tour islands. You’d clear off flowers, dig up trees, and break open stones; the idea is to remove most spawn items for Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ bugs, forcing tarantulas to populate the space. The problem with the April update is that it added a bug that you can’t force off the island: the giant water bug.

Tarantula island is ruined by water bugs Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Giant water bugs spawn — you guessed it — in water. They’re more annoying to clear away than the wharf roaches that live on an island’s rocks, because they’re hard to catch. You can just stomp on the roaches and they’ll scatter. Water bugs won’t flinch even if you sprint by ’em. Tarantulas may still spawn, but it’s a lot less likely.

To test it out, I cleared an island and was able to fill my inventory with water bugs without spotting a single tarantula. Others on Twitter have reported the same thing. It’s not a total loss, though. Water bugs don’t sell for nearly as much as — 2,000 Bells — but with the amount I caught, I could rack up a pretty penny.

The good news is that there’s still a chance you can land on the tarantula island, which doesn’t require destroying the place: Tarantulas will just spawn there. Until you land there, there’s a lot of water bugs in your future.

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