NEWS - Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Activision Insists Tony Hawk Still Relevant

We don’t mean to dwell on the bad news of others, but there really is an almost clinical fascination to it: Tony Hawk Shred sold only 3,000 units in the U.S. in its debut month of October. Yes, 3,000. It was a shockingly small number for what was once one of Activision’s premier franchises, but according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, it hasn’t scared them away from the brand -- or from Tony Hawk himself.
"The one question that I can answer, and remarkably so, is that Tony Hawk does really still have relevance and tremendous appeal for people," Hirshberg said to IndustryGamers. "He is a lasting icon. He has that Michael Jordan-ish or Jordan-esque staying power, seemingly. And that doesn’t mean that other great skaters haven’t come up who are younger and more current, but he really is that kind of Mount Rushmore-level guy in that category, so that’s not the issue."

So what is the issue? Hirshberg says Activision simply needs to continue to innovate. "I think we have to ask all the smart questions and make some smart moves in terms of innovation to see if we can recapture people’s imaginations," he said.

And as for Shred, Hirshberg reiterated his past insistance that the ultimate success of the title remains to be seen. "I think it’s early to close the book on Tony Hawk Shred, because we are marketing it to kids, and it is a great gift, and the gift-giving season has already begun," Hirshberg said. "We’re going to keep the pedal to the metal on that and continue to market through the holiday and hopefully we’ll deliver some proponents."

There’s only about two-and-a-half weeks of holidays hopping left, though, so for Activision’s sake, shoppers better start warming up to Shred soon.

...3,000 units.



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