In a recent conference call regarding their Q1 earnings for 2013, Activision has stated that they will be exclusively investing in large franchises from now on. They will be avoiding new franchise endeavors entirely, unless they see a way for those new franchises to render excellent profits.
“But I would say, when we look at new investments, we aren’t looking to do new investments unless they provide the kind of — same kind of scale and investment return that we have in our existing businesses.”
Furthermore, development time on these new titles will be truncated, allowing Activision to push out content at a much higher rate. It was also reiterated that the Wii U is to blame for the lack of sales in the Skylanders franchise. The Wii apparently also had “weaknesses” in regards to the franchise, despite its large installed base.
“Obviously, a growing installed base of family friendly consoles would be a benefit. And console prices and sales are one of the risks and one of the issues that we articulated for the fourth quarter. That said, we’ve done well despite weaknesses for both the Wii and the Wii U and seeing the Wii U take off would be great, but remains to be seen.”
Activision Blizzard President Bobby Kotick says that while his company had a firm start to the year, he fears there are dangers and uncertainties that plague the second half of 2013. Among other things, Kotick blames the “disappointing launch” of the Wii U console and the ambiguity regarding next-generation hardware.
“While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter. The shift in release dates of competing products, the disappointing launch of the Wii U™, uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware, and subscriber declines in our World of Warcraft business all raise concerns, as do continued challenges in the global economy. For these reasons, we remain cautious. However, our focused and disciplined approach to our business has served us well in the past, and through continued investment and careful management of our costs, we expect to continue delivering shareholder value over the long term as we have for the last 20 years.”
-Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer, Activision Blizzard
Vivendi is still courting numerous companies for a sale of its €8 billion majority stake in Activision Blizzard. CVG reports that despite recent assurances by Vivendi they are still eager for a sale of Activision Blizzard and it remains absolutely under consideration. The publication says Microsoft approached Activision Blizzard, but negations have not advanced any further at this moment in time.