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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

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Comments (25 posts)

tridon
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 12:50:14 PM
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Maybe the music genre drastically fell last year because Activision drastically flooded the market with it last year. What was there; four or five 'Hero' titles? That's utterly ridiculous! If Activision would've stuck with the traditional one 'Guitar Hero' title last year, they would've seen their usual sales... plus they wouldn't have sickened everyone to the point where they wouldn't be able to launch a new game the following year. Great business plan, Activision! Keep up the great work! Oh, and while you're at it, keep giving us mediocre superhero games! Much obliged!

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Jawknee
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 12:53:19 PM

Yup! just like they're doing with a new COD each year.

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tridon
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 3:34:01 PM

At least only one CoD comes out each year. That I can deal with as long as there's new features.

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ed_winchester
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 12:54:45 PM
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Yup thats Activision, milking every last drop of a franchise before moving on

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 12:58:55 PM
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They desperately need new IP.

They're stagnating at the moment.

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tridon
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 3:35:13 PM

I completely agree. Besides CoD, Tony Hawk, all the Hero games and the occasional super-hero movie tie-in game, Activision really makes nothing. A little initiative needs to be shown in that company.

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___________
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 12:00:12 AM

thats where singularity comes in.

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fluffer nutter
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:02:24 PM
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Not that I want any of these but you'd think they would go for the every other year formula. Sure, they won't be making money every year but stop flooding us with these craptastic games with even crappier songs.

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fuk u
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:03:24 PM
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dj hero is fun... ill be looking forward to that.

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tridon
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 3:32:34 PM

Dude, you get a thumbs-up just for your avatar. I love that piece of artwork. I'm definitely looking forward to the inevitable Deadpool video game (which will most likely be made by Activision, funny enough).

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jaybiv
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:05:17 PM
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It's symptomatic of American business these days. Flood the market today and worry about tomorrow when it comes. What happened to giving the consumer just enough to keep them excited and interested?

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Oyashiro
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 4:14:59 PM

Back like in the days of the Atari. That all turned out alright... Oh Wait...

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Highlander
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:29:17 AM

@Oyashiro

Don't forget who the largest third party publisher was for the Atari before the game market crashed back then - that's right, it was Activision...oh dear. ;)

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SympoziumPawa
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:15:10 PM
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Have they realised that people are into different types of music? I'll hate to buy a music game with anything like Green Day or Slipknot involved. So a all Metal/instrumental rock guitar is the only path I would venture to..

Last edited by SympoziumPawa on 2/11/2010 1:16:12 PM

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NeoHumpty
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:15:53 PM
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I agree. If they would have concentrated on making one great game instead of 5 mediocre ones, their sale through obviously would have been much higher. Not that Rockband did any better.

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CH1N00K
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:20:49 PM
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I read the title for this article and thought about friggin' time!

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Nlayer
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:32:48 PM
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I liked the first Guitar Hero, and then bought the 2nd as well. However, so many of them started to come out that I didn't know which one to get. I agree with "Too much of a good thing can be bad".

I am glad they are making fewer games, but I think it's time that this "Fad" in gaming is just about to go away. This is where DLC would be the best way to go. Make one good game as a base and then just sell DLC songs instead of releasing a brand new game. This way the players can choose what they play. But that's just my two cents...

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tridon
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 3:37:32 PM

I LOVED the original two Guitar Hero games, but after Neversoft took over, they went to the shitter. Never been a big fan of that developer, actually., besides the first three Tony Hawk games and the first Spider-Man game on the PS One.

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Fane1024
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 3:00:39 PM

The game you described is called Rock Band 2.

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Alienange
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 1:45:38 PM
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Did nobody ever explain to Kotick the law of supply and demand?

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Highlander
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 3:06:49 PM

Kotick believed what the brokers and bankers believed before the big crash - the only way is up. I don't think he ever considered that there could be too much supply and not enough demand. In his view, the level of demand would always increase.

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LittleBigMidget
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 3:26:58 PM
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Does that mean more COD? If so, I wonder if it'll have monthly fees. I'll laugh if so..http://ps3.ign.com/articles/106/1068433p1.html

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Banky A
Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 11:54:06 PM
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Wow, when did they figure this out?

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___________
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 12:04:08 AM
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ill believe it when i see it.
i really like the guitar hero games 1,2,3 were really good games and had a fantastic track list.
but 4,5,VH,Aerosmith not so much.
i really enjoyed GH metalica too but i cant believe they left out some of their most famous tracks.
only GH game i would buy is a remake of the first game that had the best track list by far!
iron man, bark at the moon, cowboys from hell.
what more could you ask for?

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Qubex
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 11:49:53 AM
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It's all gone a little out of tune for Activision!

Q!

"i am home"

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