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Activision: Exploitation has worked well for us

Activision: Exploitation has worked well for us

Activision has confessed that it is interested mainly in titles that it can exploit for decades.

We remember a few years ago when Electronic Arts was a publisher known only for endless remakes and clones and Activision was known for making creative new titles like Call of Duty. Now though, that's almost turned around on them and while EA is pursuing more new IPs, Activision is cancelling everything that can't be totally exploited.

Not our words either; those of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.

Speaking in a conference call yesterday (Transcript at Seeking Alpha) Kotick explained why certain new titles were abandoned when Activision took over Vivendi, namely Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters and 50 Cent. Quite simply, Kotick said that he didn't see those games having the potential to be as fully exploited as games like Guitar Hero or Call of Duty.

"With respect to the franchises that don't have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of over time becoming $100 million plus franchises, that's a strategy that has worked very well for us," said Kotick.

Kotick said that the company now only planned to focus on games that they would still be able to produce sequels to ten years from now, saying that rising development costs were a huge factor in that decision.

The company has already announced an intention to make many more Call of Duty and Guitar Hero games, plus there's talk of a Guitar Hero movie. Is the exploitation going too far? Let us know what you think in the forums.

18 Comments

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Mentai 7th November 2008, 10:14 Quote
Ug, no thanks.
Blademrk 7th November 2008, 10:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Kotick explained why certain new titles were abandoned when Activision took over Vivendi, namely Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters and 50 Cent.
Wait a minute, I thought they said Ghostbusters wasn't being dropped?
impar 7th November 2008, 10:25 Quote
Greetings!

So, Activision goes the clone way and EA goes the DRM way.
Nice...
DougEdey 7th November 2008, 10:27 Quote
Ghostbusters has been purchased by Atari
Kúsař 7th November 2008, 10:38 Quote
If they could create new game series like Quake, Call Of Duty or whatever - why not?

However, I hate sequels which are kind of "...strikes back...again!". It's only ruining story.
Crunch77 7th November 2008, 11:24 Quote
Fair play for being honest about it.
Sathy 7th November 2008, 11:32 Quote
Suppose "less is more" could apply here, but the question is less of what and more for who?

If it means they will focus on releasing less, but higher quality, games, including new IP, then everyone benefits - which quite frankly doesn't seem to be the case here.

If it turns out this ideology only leads to "more of the same" games of varying quality and a more sequel oriented design where their games end with "to be continued..." I have to wonder how they plan to keep their business running.

That's underestimating gamers if anything is. Or it might just be that I'm overestimating them

I for one will think twice before buying anything from them if it does turn out as it seems.
Blademrk 7th November 2008, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Ghostbusters has been purchased by Atari

Thank god for that, I thought I was losing it (my mind, not the game that is ;)).
UncertainGod 7th November 2008, 13:27 Quote
Mental note, no need to buy another Activision game ever or until that moron is gone.
naokaji 7th November 2008, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Kotick said that the company now only planned to focus on games that they would still be able to produce sequels to ten years from now, saying that rising development costs were a huge factor in that decision.

BS, if you want to make the Sequel a quality Game it will cost just as much to develop as something new and if you dont invest enough in the sequel you will just end up with a debacle, see ea and nfs for a example.
DarkLord7854 7th November 2008, 15:15 Quote
Activision has just lost it's previous reputation in my eyes. I guess I'm going to be sticking only to Valve from now on.
Bluephoenix 7th November 2008, 15:18 Quote
well, now I have yet another reason to avoid call of duty 5, not only is it a clone of COD4, it offers very little new stuff and would only support these idiots.
Vash-HT 7th November 2008, 19:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
Quote:
Kotick said that the company now only planned to focus on games that they would still be able to produce sequels to ten years from now, saying that rising development costs were a huge factor in that decision.

BS, if you want to make the Sequel a quality Game it will cost just as much to develop as something new and if you dont invest enough in the sequel you will just end up with a debacle, see ea and nfs for a example.

I think he's just saying they want to focus on fewer franchises, not that sequels will cost less to make.
Darkefire 7th November 2008, 20:32 Quote
I don't particularly mind the CoD sequels, I'd just prefer they continue to be made by Infinity Ward instead of the other crap studios Activision keeps farming them out to. If you ignore the "Call of Duty __" on the front of the box and think of them as standalone games then it's not so bad, but Activision needs to realize that there's only so far you can push a particular game; Guitar Hero has just about reached the same critical mass that Dance Dance Revolution did before it, and they're in serious danger of over-saturating the market. I love GH as much as the next guy, but I start to feel insulted when they just assume that we'll go out every year and buy the new one just for the new songs (like EA does with Madden and co.). Ironically, they'd probably make more if they just stuck to DLC for new songs; just release a bundle every month or so and let the cash flow right in.
RDST 7th November 2008, 21:42 Quote
I agree, over saturating the market with games that are all to similar is going to be a big mistake for Activision. The is especially the case with Guitar Hero as the new ones do not offer anything new (besides more songs and titles). Call of Duty hasn't yet fallen into this yet, but it sure could go that way. Especially since Activision seems to be keen on lending its star IP out to other developers. Do we really need more of the same?
Bluephoenix 9th November 2008, 06:35 Quote
Amon 9th November 2008, 08:45 Quote
So everyone's up in arms about Activision exploiting endless franchises, yet hardly anybody quipped at nVidia exploiting a fundamentally competition-free market not long ago. What, did all the gamers in the whole industry decide to self-inform this very moment?
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