announced that The Legend of Korra – a game based on the popular Nickelodeon TV show – will head to the Nintendo 3DS this year. The launch of the turn-based strategy game for the handheld will arrive alongside the console version this Autumn.
Activision together with Webfoot Technologies have
The console version developed by Bayonetta 2 studio Platinum Games, however, will be a third-person combat title written by Tim Hendrick, with the story taking place somewhere between The Legend of Korra’s second and third seasons. But while The Legend of Korra will be released on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3, there’s no mention of a Wii U version. Given that the aforementioned 3DS title is in the works, albeit with another studio, it’s an odd choice for Platinum Games and Activision. Hopefully we’ll hear more on the game in the coming weeks.
A Webfoot Technologies-developed turn-based strategy version of The Legend of Korra will also hit Nintendo 3DS this year. Where Platinum’s action game is all about fast-paced martial-art combat, the 3DS game will “focus on tactically maneuvering Korra and her allies on the battlefield.”
Activision chief executive Eric Hirshberg has explained during a conference call what will make this year’s Call of Duty stand out from previous iterations. Hirshberg explained that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first in the series to benefit from a three-year development cycle. This has enabled the team to do more “do more experimentation, iteration, and creative thinking.”
Hirshberg explained that the team have altered gameplay elements with the inclusion of exoskeleton armour, which will enable the player to have more strength and also use the Titanfall inspired rocket boost. He concluded by saying that the developers have put more emphasis on story and character. The inclusion of actor Kevin Spacey reinforces this and Hisberg says that his part in the franchise is “soon to be iconic.”
Activision has revealed that the company initially wanted to team up with a company for the immensely popular Skylanders series, and they wanted that specific partner to be Nintendo. The company was surprised that Nintendo didn’t want to partner with them as they thought Nintendo would have been the perfect fit for the franchise.
“We had been directed towards thinking about something that would play well with Nintendo,” says Ford. “I think there was some co-marketing money and the Wii was doing well. They had some success with peripherals.”
“They spent a long time looking and looking,” says Reiche. “They were just like ‘we have never seen anything like this before.’ I’ve always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs].” Although there was a limited co-marketing deal, Nintendo did not want to make a full commitment to Skylanders. “We have no idea why,” says Reiche. “Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world. Why it is that they didn’t rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days.”
“Reiche is still surprised that the entertainment giant which reacted most quickly was Disney, which launched Disney Infinity in 2013 and is looking to expand the franchise. “Nintendo could have kicked Disney’s ass,” says Reiche. “If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this.”
Activision has announced during its quarterly financial report that the incredibly popular Skylanders series has generated more than $2 billion worldwide across all of the platforms it has launched on as of December 31st last year. Activision also revealed that it has sold approximately 175 million Skylanders toys.
Activision has announced during its fourth quarter 2013 report that Call of Duty Ghosts was the best-selling title in terms of dollar sales and units sold across Europe and North America. The company also announced that it had better than expected results for the quarter and full year ending December 2013.
Activision’s head of publishing Eric Hirshberg says that the disappointing critical response of the recently released Call of Duty Ghosts hasn’t diminished fan appreciation. Hirshberg shrugged off the mediocre reviews of the title and basically said that if the fans enjoy it, then that’s all that matters.
“Well no, obviously not – and obviously I don’t agree with the critics there. I know that Call of Duty’s a polarising franchise with some of the critics, and it’s clear to me that not all the critics like our strategy of making a game every year, but thankfully our fans do.”
“It’s also clear to me that the critical response doesn’t always mirror the fans’ appreciation of a game. We actually do read the critics’ comments and take them into consideration during our creative process, but we just can’t measure ourselves by that yardstick alone.”
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed during the publisher’s Q3 2013 that a new Call of Duty title and Skylanders title will be coming next year. It’s unknown at this point who is developing the next instalment of the immensely popular Call of Duty franchise. Rumours have been going round that suggest Sledgehammer is working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4.
“Despite short-term uncertainties, as we look forward to 2014, we have a very strong product pipeline. We expect multiple new releases across our major franchises, including the first Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, along with the PS4 version of Diablo III and significant and exciting new content for World of Warcraft. We also expect to launch new Call of Duty and Skylanders titles and a major new potential franchise with Bungie’s Destiny.”