Activision Focusing Less On Music Projects In 2010
The music/rhythm genre is hardly dead but perhaps the explosive fad reached a saturation point in 2009, which is why Activision's sell-through of titles in this genre fell 35% last year.
With that kind of drastic decline, you have to expect the publisher to respond. And according to Activision's post-earnings 3Q conference call, boss man Michael Griffith confirmed that they'll "focus on fewer releases that service a broader audience," and this plan includes fewer than 10 Guitar Hero SKUs. In direct comparison to 25 SKUs for 2009, that's a definite change of pace and for the first time, none of the upcoming music projects will come to the PS2, which has seen rapidly falling sales in the wake of the rising PS3. So for 2010, Activision is only focusing on two major music launches: DJ Hero 2 and an unannounced Guitar Hero title, both of which will be on store shelves later in the year. Not surprisingly, they have also decided to move away from those pricey hardware bundles and rely more on standalone software sales, but as a direct result, sales in the genre are expected to fall further. While this remains one of the most popular categories in gaming today, there can indeed be "too much of a good thing"...especially when that "good thing" costs a lot of cash to maintain.
Of course, Activision still has a new Call of Duty set for this year, so that alone ought to generate some guaranteed revenue. But for now, those plastic instruments are taking a back seat.
2/11/2010 12:32:24 PM Ben Dutka