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Activision: We're In "The Best Competitive Position" Ever

Activision Blizzard has been in the news a lot lately, and each time, it seems they've got some strong words for the subject at hand.

This time, it's fairly straightforward. Activision CEO and president Mike Griffith spoke to MCV and is clearly confident heading into the latter half of 2009. In fact, he says the publisher is currently in "the best competitive position we've ever had," and the competition is "a little sparser than in the past." He points out the ever-expanding Guitar Hero franchise, that will add no less than three titles to its repertoire later this year: Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero and DJ Hero. Not surprisingly, he also mentioned Modern Warfare 2 and Tony Hawk: Ride, which should by all rights secure a lucrative holiday season for Activision. As for The Beatles: Rock Band, Griffith isn't too concerned, stating that Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band "four to one in the US; in Europe that number is ten to one." Some gamers criticize Activision for this torrent of sequels (as good as they may be), but here's Griffith's take on IPs:

"New IP is risky: successes are great but most of them fail. So we take a very focused and deliberate approach to new IP. It's always part of our portfolio but it's a balanced part of it. We are very selective but we go through a checklist: is it global, is it franchisable, is it unique and compelling in this space, does it have the right developer? When we go through this process we greatly increase our chances versus other publishers who are usually just throwing spaghetti against the wall."

Well, we all have to admit that most of the best sellers every year are part of established franchises. And there's no doubt that with the games listed above, this publisher is primed to rake in some serious bucks in 2009 and into 2010. Even if you don't plan to buy 'em all, chances are, you do plan to buy at least one of 'em...

6/23/2009 Ben Dutka

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