NEWS - Thursday, February 11, 2010

Activision Outlines 2010 Release Plans

Activision has outlined its product release schedule for 2010, confirming new series entries for a number of its most popular franchises.

Speaking to investors after the company reported “better-than-expected” financial results, Activision Publishing CEO Michael Griffith said the company would launch a new Call Of Duty title later in 2010, although it’s not expected to scale the same heights as last year’s record breaking Modern Warfare 2.

“… This holiday, as alluded earlier, we plan to release a new Call Of Duty game. We expect that the global Call Of Duty user base will continue to grow driven by expected high attach rates, new sales of hardware and new downloadable map packs, which should continue to keep current players engaged while also attracting new consumers to the brand,” he said (via Seeking Alpha).

“We expect to have a more difficult competitive environment this year and therefore, we have not planned on repeating the same level of success as we enjoyed in 2009. That said, we are still bullish on this year’s title and we do see upside potential if we execute well by engaging the much larger set of consumers, who were introduced to the Call Of Duty franchise in 2009.

Activision will also release a new Tony Hawk game, despite acknowledging that the critical response to Tony Hawk Ride wasn’t as positive as it had hoped for. “Still, play testing and consumer feedback have been very encouraging,” said Griffith. “The premise of standing on the skateboard and performing tricks that only the pros can pull off is very compelling. This year, with the hardware complete, we’ll be focusing on improving the software in order to unlock the full potential of the board. We continue to believe that this innovative peripheral redefines the skateboarding experience and could potentially have different applications in the future.”

Spider-Man and James Bond games are also planned for 2010, as are Guitar Hero and DJ Hero titles, but the publisher is to scale back the number of music games it releases. “In 2010 we are anticipating further declines in the music genre overall as the casual consumer proves less robust and the business naturally continues to migrate from hardware bundles to software only sales. Our strategy is to become more focused against fewer, but bigger proposition and to right size our investment against the opportunity to improve profitability,” said Griffith.

“This year fewer SKUs will service a broader audience. In 2009, we released 25 music SKUs and in 2010 we plan to release less than 10. In 2010, we will not want any PS2 SKUs or a high priced Band Hero product. We are focusing our efforts against two major music base products. One, for Guitar Hero and the other, for DJ Hero, both of which will launch in the back half of the year. This allows us to significantly curtail our development, marketing and G&A costs, while focusing on more meaningful launch programs behind these two titles.”



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