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Activision Worried For The Second Half Of 2013, Partially Blames Wii U’s “Disappointing Launch”


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

121 thoughts on “Activision Worried For The Second Half Of 2013, Partially Blames Wii U’s “Disappointing Launch””

    1. It might be worse than the Wii U if they price it badly. At least Sony’s got inFamous: Second Son ready and waiting for launch. Microsoft: yeah, should of held Halo 4 back until launch.

      1. Unless they are working on Halo 5. I doubt it would be ready at launch but they at least should announce Halo 5 at E3. I think this E3 is just as perilous for Microsoft as it is for Nintendo. They’ve got to come with it too.

      2. agree on halo 4. now they got nothing practically, unless they got some new ip we dont know bout

        1. Well, there’s a rumor about a mega-exclusive Microsoft’s working on that’ll be ready for launch. Hang on, I’ll see if I can find it.

            1. Oh goody. More shooters. PASS. They need something fresh and new. Something different. Or perhaps something we haven’t seen in a long time.

              They need something ‘Killer’. :)

                  1. lets stop the hype there we know microsoft will screw it by making it a fps or lego type game. :(

                    1. Well they did renew to it. IMO they did that for two reasons. One, because they actually are finally going to do it or two, because if the rumor is true that Nintendo was in negotiations with them to buy back some of the old franchises and possibly Rare as well they renewed the license to prevent this from happening………

        1. It enough to at least get people interested. Better than any launch game Playstation has had (except maybe Crash on the PS1).

    2. Obv wii u had something to do, because blizzard clearly launched diablo 3 to wii u as well….


  1. Piece of advice Activison: make a real Spyro game (not that Skylanders crap) and bring back Crash.

  2. Looks at the death of the “Hero Series” and decline of WoW subscriptions. Yep mostly the Wii U’s fault.

    1. 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.

      To be fair, he didn’t go full-blown on blaming the Wii U. However, Activision should take note that this might happen with the PS4 and Durango as well.

      1. He was kinda hinting at that a little. It’s risky business right now for developers. There isn’t any margin for error anymore otherwise your company could be toast overnight. Even though it is somewhat of a paradox, I can understand why some companies are passing on the Wii U right now.

        1. This is the problem and Activision is the pinnacle of this problem. So many developers keep sticking to the “Playing it safe” formula. They continue to use the logic, “If it aint’ broke don’t fix it” sort of terminology and have ceased to innovate. I can see why developers continue to not develop for the Wii U because its safer to release their title on more established systems. I have a feeling this will continue to be a problem even when the new consoles for Sony and Microsoft are released. They’ll cry that the user base isn’t large enough and stick to the older consoles.

          1. Which is why the PS3 and 360 will continue to be viable for at least another 3 years. As many mistakes as Nintendo has made, they still have a chance to turn this around. First things first though. The Wii U needs a killer-app to pull in the casuals, and a technical-powerhouse game to impress the core and get rid of the “underpowered” argument once and for all.

            1. Killer-App Casual: Miyamoto’s got it covered with 3D Mario and Mario Kart.
              Technical-Powerhouse Game: Leave it to Retro’s game (and maybe Bayonetta 2).

              1. I know that no ones going to agree with me, but I think Pikmin 3 is turning into a more technical-Powerhouse than we think. Not only do the games visuals look incredible, but the Pikmin franchise is looking to evolve into a RTS styled game as well.

                1. From what I’ve seen of Pikmin 3 the Wii U is gonna be a beast in terms of power. This started off as a Wii game and got ported over mid-development. The graphics of Pikmin 3 look as good as any PiXAR movie I’ve seen (even Bowser at the end of New Super Mario Bros U looks PiXAR quality)

                2. Pitfall near your door

                  Yeah i agree with you there, they had alot of time working with Pikmin 3 and delayed it cause they want to make sure it wasn’t going to be broken and make it as perfect as it goes. I think Pikmin 3 will sell really well and will make the Wii U get more install base so other companies that work on 3rd parties can had a reason to work on the Wii U. I think Nintendo are realizing the problems and we really don’t know what they have up their sleeves but i still think they will turn the Wii U around!

              2. Well, actually to be quite honest a straight up platform Mario game is more core-gamer oriented. Even Sony drones and XBots buy Nintendo systems just for the Mario iteration that generation. Mario kart is a little more casual, but against, has a far larger core-gamer appeal than you might think.

                A more suited casual killer-app would be Wii Fit U (which feels more like Wii Sports than Wii Fit) or just a full-blown Wii Sports 2. Something that anyone can pick up and play without much explanation.

    2. Exactly. It’s not the repetitive grind of WoW, the forced dailies for reputation gains, the terrible random raid finder and unbalanced PVP in Mists of Pandaria that are making people stop subscribing. That’s like saying someone is fat because McDonalds forced them to stop exercising and made them eat gallons of butter at gunpoint. “We’re failing, let’s point fingers!”

      Nintendo never really has a strong launch, but generally picks it up in the end. Look at the 3DS, for example. I wish the 3DS was more along the lines of the Vita with cross play options because I think more people would be interested with Luigi’s Mansion, the upcoming Yoshi’s Island sequel and the new Link to the Past. Hell, the Wii U gamepad is practically.. you ready for this?.. a touch screen.

  3. Activision did not said anything bad. read the full thing and stop just reading the site stupid headlines

    1. LULZ, I did read it. Don’t take my comment too seriously, as I don’t take Activison seriously.

  4. Maybe it’s got to do with your piss poor Call of Duty series.
    Or loosing 1.5 million subs in World of Warcraft.
    Or the travesty of Diablo 3.
    Or the mountains of other shitty products you’ve created.

    Stop pointing fingers.

    1. In the full statement they said that it wasnt the wiiu total foult and they are being coutious that this will happen too on the other next gen consoles.

      1. Not the point.
        WiiU’s poor sales as they put it should be expected, because, shocking news, it’s a new system! Woaaahhhh!
        It’s not an install base of 200+ million of multiple platforms.
        Noting the lack of sales the WiiU has, and the other next gen systems should be irrelevant, ActiBliz can only blame themselves for every other piss poor decision and game they’ve brought out, nothing more, nothing less.

    2. Or making a Spyro game that has nothing to do with Spyro. I really wish another dev can buy Crash from Activision. Ubisoft or Platinum Games could work.

  5. Capcom is making that money with monster hunter, because they gave nintendo quality. Also they are re-aligning their business portfolio. Wait! We all recovered from a recession thus we had to spend money in housing, schools food and social necessities. Stop blaming your bad business models on everyone else.

  6. Hello The Walking Dead : Survival Instinct. It’s not the fault of the Wii U if this game is so bad. And the same for Black Ops 2, they release the game one month after the launch of the PS360 versions…

  7. This has to be the first time i’ve seen a third party not talk like the PS4 and 720 will explode in sales right out of the gate.

      1. Hmm…maybe they can release more titles on the Wii U considering it’s cheaper to produce on there.

    1. They may be lazy but they know there shit. And if that shit they know how to make a wiiu version i will thanks them.

  8. damage control, lol. seriously. i love nintendo and all, but you’ve seriously gotta be kidding me if you disagree with what they said. the sales of their games on wii u just weren’t good. and the sales of bo2 were practically dust in the scheme of the sales of the other platforms.

    1. The sales were bad because the games they put on the Wii U were mostly half-assed ports, not actual attempts at great games.

      Had they actually TRIED to do something NEW for the system, they wouldn’t be having any issues with the system right now.

      They’ve got no one to blame but themselves for not having the balls to take a risk and MAKE SURE it pays off.

      1. BO2 was NOT and far from a half assed port and it still sold poorly, the fact is that.. who expected Activision to do something spectacular for the Wii u. they have their resources creating stuff for ps4 and xbox 720. they wanted to test the waters to see if it would be even worth their time. they’re not pointing fingers, they’re simply stating that they didn’t meet sales expectations on the wiiu.

        1. Yeah, because they didn’t do anything NEW for it!
          They’re not putting their all in towards supporting the system then they’re blaming it for slow sales.
          That’s their fault for not giving people more reasons to buy a game they made on a new system.

          1. they’re not blaming it, where did they blame the wiiu. they didn’t need to put anything “new” up for the wiiu, did you read what i wrote? they wanted to test the waters to see how their games would sell on the platform. its not their fault using that logic, if im quite honest. you pointed the finger right at nintendo, Nintendo failed to give people a reason to buy the system.

            1. As far as I know, the only games that they’ve put out for the system are:

              007 Legends
              Call of Duty Black Ops 2
              The Amazing Spider-Man
              Skylanders: Giants
              Transformers Prime: The Game
              Out of all of those that were not ports, how many of them did they put in the full effort they’d have done to create it on any other system with an established install base?
              I think the numbers speak for themselves.

                1. There’s likely a few games I’m forgetting that they’ve announced recently as well, but I wonder how many are going to be ports rather than new games.

              1. the fact is that, you cannot make the argument that they didn’t put effort into. call of duty for the wii u had to some exclusive features only available on the system. the fact is that, there was no reason to buy the system which was nintendo’s fault. 3rd party cannot thrive on a console if there isn’t a reason to buy a console in the first place. stop being a fanboy and open up your eyes.

                1. One game does not a reason make.
                  BO2 was not enough; if Activision wants more sales for their games, they’ve got to do better by putting BETTER GAMES ON THE SYSTEM.

                  1. Or maybe you nintendrones need to quit sucking on nintendo’s dick and for once in your pathetic lifes play games that ain’t nintendo games

                2. Also, Mac has a good point; not confirming the DLC did hurt the Wii U version. That obvious reluctance was a sign that they weren’t all in on supporting the system from the get-go.
                  If they aren’t willing to take a risk by creating games that do everything they did for other versions plus more, like maybe exclusive DLC per console, then they have no right to bark about Wii U not getting good sales on their games.

                  1. How exactly did it hurt the Wii U by not having DLC? Nobody buys a game specifically for DLC. If Nintendo gave people a reason to buy the system, then the 3rd party could have a larger user base. Sadly, most people who bought the Wii U are diehard Nintendo fans.. they rarely care about games such as Call of Duty or 007. You’ve used the same argument that they should have brought “better games”, what games did you want from Activision honestly? I’ve said my side to your argument about better games many times now. No way in hell would activision bring an exclusive game to the wii u if that is what you were referring to. like i said, they were testing the waters and in their eyes, the wiiu’s launch was a disappointment in terms of their sales and sadly i can’t disagree.

                    1. It hurts the Wii U versions of the games because without that DLC, they automatically lack something that people want out of them compared to other versions.
                      You’re ignoring the fact that they didn’t do enough to put themselves out there.
                      “Testing the waters” is just a nice way of saying “half-assed effort” in this sort of situation.
                      Consoles do not sell themselves.
                      They sell based upon the merits of their GAMES.
                      If Activision wanted their games to sell on the Wii U then they should have gone the full mile by creating exclusive content for the Wii U version, instead of offering the same game other systems already have, with DLC they were reluctant to even announce.

                      Activision has no one to blame but themselves if they can’t pull gamers who normally buy the game on other systems to a port of it on the Wii U, because it’s not Nintendo that creates the content for their games.
                      It’s them, and them alone.

                    2. Also, it’s bullshit to claim that people who own a Wii U don’t care about games like 007 or CoD and are only die-hard Nintendo fans.
                      Many Wii U owners are also multiplatform gamers.

                      Yet again; if Activision wants their games to sell on the Wii U, then they should be putting in extra reasons for the games to be gotten on the platform.
                      Do enough good things for a game and it will attract attention from fans regardless of the system it’s on.
                      Activision didn’t step up in a way that made their games matter any more than they did on systems people already owned.
                      That’s their fault, and no one elses.

                    3. As a diehard Nintendo fan i agree with you, it’s obvious that the Wii U’s launch lineup was a disappointment and Nintendo already acknowledge that they could have done better and tried to hold more 3rd party games on the system. The marketing was bad and pretty much didn’t reach anywhere and i saw some ads from Ubisoft from some upcoming games and they showed it how i want nintendo to show. Everyone makes mistakes and alot of companies did make mistakes when it comes to launch up..its never always perfect and the way to fix it is to show what they needed to show. I have faith Nintendo will do great at E3 from game launch ups i think can be system sellers and show the true capabilities of what the Wii U CAN do. I didn’t find your comment offensive as i found them really true but i still have faith that Nintendo will bring things around. :)

    2. you’re so out of touch, fanboy. dlc does nothing to improve upon the sales of an existing game. nobody goes out and buys a game 4 months after release because it doesn’t have dlc. dlc is for people who already bought and enjoyed the game and want more content. I’m not ignoring the fact that they didn’t put out enough quality games(in your opinion), I’ve actually answered to many times why. many games that were of high quality did not sell well, not only activisions. what do you have to say for that? black ops 2 didn’t sell well, wasnt a half assed port, darksiders 2? ninja gaiden? batman? need for speed most wanted u? hmm? sold bad, but by no means were bad ports. the fact is that, activision is not an “exclusive game” company, they rarely make exclusives. activision makes plenty of multiplats and licensed games. they gave us great features in a well-known and very popular franchise and the fact is that the game still sold poorly which is why they came out and said that poor wiiu game sales were an attributing factor to this situation. activision went above and beyond to ensure that the wii u port for superior to its counter parts. you cannot even try and say that they didn’t go the extra mile in activisions standards. like i said, 3rd party cannot thrive on a console if there isn’t a reason to buy a console in the first place. which the reason would have been nintendos job, but unfortunately for activision they failed. quit making excuses and face reality.

      1. I actually own Darksiders 2, and it’s lacking DLC.
        Ninja Gaiden is an exception, but it lost its exclusivity the moment it got better reviews than the original version.
        Batman had parts where the graphics were not up to par because the dev team didn’t take the time needed to optimize it for the Wii U, and NfSMW U was yet another example.
        They WERE bad ports.
        You’re in denial if you actually think that they did their all on anything except maybe Ninja Gaiden.
        They did not go the extra mile, they half-assed their attempts then expect people as blind as YOU to defend their decisions.
        You haven’t answered anything in any way that actually makes sense, so try taking your own advice about excuses and facing reality.
        I’m done with you.

          1. Edit Edit: I forgot to mention; DLC has plenty of motivation power for players.
            If you don’t believe me, take a look at Borderlands and Borderlands 2.

        1. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t the game come with DLC. If it didn’t, I could tell you why. Poor sales. And all of your arguments are nearly dead to me. If you think that DLC can help sell a game, you’re just being a fan boy and making dumb excuses at this point. DLC is an addition for people who bought the game. You never answered my question about what Activison should have brought(if anything at all). If you actually think that Batman, NFSMU was a “bad” port. You are an in-denial fanboy. Face it, poor Wii U launch was Nintendo’s fault, end of story. No worth while games except for ignorant fanboys like yourself.

  9. The Wii U’s launch was successful. Its first three months were beautiful, until a “Ubisoft executives in suits” screwed over developers and postponed Rayman legends launch. Then there was Diablo3 mess hahahahahahaha.

  10. Hey Activison, you own two of the best ips in platformers. Well….more like used to be the best. DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH THEM.

      1. Mario is good, but it’s gotten a bit stale. Klonoa is good, but you can’t compare it to the PS1 Crash and Spyro games. As well as the Ratchet and Clank & Jak and Daxter series. Also SMB3 is a game, not series.

  11. I can’t really say Wii U had a disappointing launch. Wii U had the same launch sells that Xbox 360 and PS3 had together, and they both had almost the same lack of launch games Wii U had. Also, each month Wii U sales are increasing and Wii sales are decreasing. That only can mean that costumers are getting aware of a new console, wich is awesome for Nintendo. Still, they really have to blown up Wii U’s potential by the end of the year.

    1. You’re correct. By the end of this year im confident the Wii U will be the top console, both in sales and most importantly games. When the other consoles come out they will be around 350-500$. I can imagine Nintendo cutting the price from 300-350 down too 250-300. Nintendo will be the cheapest and will have the most 3rd party support.

        1. Most third party is likely a stretch, yeah.
          The third-party support from here on out, though, will likely get much better, now that the Wii U is due to get games that boost sales enough to convince the lazy ones to put in more effort.

  12. Maybe if Activision had their launch games on the eShop, they would have seen more sales. I have a feeling that digital is outselling retail on the Wii U. If Activision doesn’t adapt, they’re gonna flatline.

  13. New CoD and new Skylanders? Even if I’m not a big fan of these franchises, I can’t disagree with the fact that they sell amazingly well among kids.

    Activision has no need to be worried.

  14. Put games on it so it get more sales… it is that easy…its funny cuz developers are like waa no install base then NIntendo releases their IPs and sales goes boom!! then 3rd parties start making games and get low sales and cry that people only buy NIntendos’s IPs…

    PS. Dont wait until Nintendo brings their IPs… Rayman its going to sell less now cuz players money going to be on Wind Waker HD, 101 and hopefully Bayonetta2

  15. Quit with the black ops crap and make more MW and older style COD GAMES because BLACK OP GAME SUCK!!!!!

  16. Hey Bobby. Part of the issue with Nintendo is you don’t support it. See, that makes us not want to support anything your company owns. For years you throw us a bone so you can keep an open door with Nintendo. Then you don’t offer us the say game as the other console. We Nintendo players don’t get to reserve COD like everyone else. Hell, we can’t even get “confermation” if its available on our console until you’ve made sure everyone on other consoles have thier copies reserved and when the preorders seem to trickle in then you say ALSO ON NINTENDO. If I wasn’t a little more fucking stupid I would think Microsoft has you choking the sales on Nintendo just to push them out of the market. If you would only offer us the 100% package you could expirence loyalty that only Nintendo gamers offer. I’ve only said this because I love Nintendo #1 and COD #2. I hope you understand how close you are to being boycotted.

  17. Uuugh im a bit confused here how is it the wiiu’s fault? Only blizzard game i love is starcraft and even that was repetative with heart of the swarm.far as i can tell blizzards game all look the same just reskined.that might be where there having troubles its nothing to doo with the wiiu the wiiu is awsome it just needs a chance.

    1. Also if they ported starcraft to wiiu that would be epic with the game pad.they had starcraft on N64 so hopefully they will…. but i doubt it.

  18. I agree that Wii U launch was KIND of disappointing (well, blame it for Rayman and a few other games delays, but, meh, what the heck), but don’t let your eyes see the bad on Nintendo. I sure you can help Nintendo to get the Wii U’s sales up, don’t you activision?

  19. ActiVision, you seem to forget that releasing shit like Survival Instinct and 007 Legends, all just Call of Duty with a different coat of paint but with even shittier gameplay do not equate to rolling in money.

  20. Maybe Wii U is to blame that WoW lost over 1 million subs?
    Or why is Activision Blizzard opening up?

    Lets remember Activiosions decision not to bring DLC to Wii U.
    Not saying I would have bought it, but it might have made a difference.

  21. I read the origional article and it didn’t seem like a big deal. He was simply listing off a couple things that were bothersome to the company and may cause Activision to lose money for the second half of the year. Naturally the Wii U would be one of them. It is not a secret that it had a bad launch. 💋

  22. Fuck you, Activison! At least Capcom, Tecmo Koei, Namco Bandai, Ubisoft, and Platinum Games are willing to support the Wii U well. Besides, the days you killed Crash and Spyro led me to stop buying your products period.

  23. im glad cod didnt sell. its starting the begining of an end to cod. bad sales or helping the video game market not buying a game that steals your money and is destroying anything thats not dull in video games. how everything has to be rehashes and like cod to think it will sell or to sell

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