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Activision Boss: We're Unfairly Pegged As A Two-Trick Pony

If you think Activision is all about two franchises - Call of Duty and World of Warcraft - think again.

At least that's what publishing boss Eric Hirshberg says. In speaking to IndustryGamers, Hirshberg addressed the question, "What if one of those two falters?" Obviously, the question is in reference to CoD and WoW. His response?

"I feel that that’s a story that gets undertold about Activision. I don’t feel like Activision gets credit for the support it gives to the big ideas we get behind. And when we get behind something, we get behind something big."

This doesn't mean Activision will stop ardently supporting the two main franchises, of course, as they remain top priorities. But he once again stated that it's an "unfair characterization" to say that Activision is all about the world's biggest FPS and biggest MMORPG. Hirshberg also spilled the beans on a new IP called Skylanders.

"But I think it is an unfair characterization to say that that’s all we’ve got. ...You’re going to see a pretty big investment in a new IP in Skylanders. You’re going to see us doubling down on Prototype with Prototype 2. You’re going to see Bungie coming in the coming months and years - that’s a huge investment in new intellectual property and a new gaming universe. These are all things that take real innovation."

He calls Skylander "an incredibly different proposition" and it was originally supposed to launch last holiday season. Plus, he reminded us that Prototype was the "biggest new intellectual property for 2009," and Activision is pressing developer Radical to make an even bigger and better game with the sequel.

...we'd still like an actual answer to the question, Eric. Where would Activision be without one of their two mega blockbusters? Because while we see other good games on the slate, we're not exactly seeing projects we couldn't live without...

Tags: activision, games industry, call of duty

6/22/2011 8:32:50 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Helghast
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 8:58:03 PM
Reply

Im scared to see what Activision does to whatever new franchise Bungie comes out with. I wasn't a big fan of Halo, but I still fear for what will happen if Bungie starts a good franchise, will Activision push it to the point where we're all sick of it and it becomes just another CoD?
Anyway I think without CoD or WoW Activison would be nothing, sure they would have made a decent about of money from Guitar Hero, but they would be no were near where they are today... and maybe not as greedy.

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DazeOfWar
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 9:55:59 PM

Luckily Bungie still owns the IP that Activision will be publishing for them. I'm pretty sure Bungie wont let Acti destroy their game.

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Darwin1967
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 9:44:19 PM
Reply

He's right...Activision is NOT a 2 trick pony, more like a one-trick pony. They dress up the same game in different clothing every year and use the dyson of money sucking, DLC, to get every last penney they can from consumers.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:02:05 PM
Reply

What a joke, answer the question. And where are these IPs that you get behind that are so great? Prototype was the biggest fail of 2009 and people aren't going to forget that when P2 comes around even if its better.

Warcraft will probably never die because those people are like actual zombies. CoD will pass away as the flavor of the decade eventually and they will need something else. Overall for multiplat devs, EA has my interest the most. They back interesting stuff and don't strangle their companies. I feel bad for Bungie, leaving MS to hang with Activision is like leaving Hitler to hang with Stalin.

You think Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is gonna be a huge hit with hardcore fans?

No, you are fairly pegged Sir. Activision is fairly pegged, and when one of those two legs becomes weak you will suffer for what you've done to our friends, neighbors and family members who can't enjoy anything other than Call of Duty!


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/22/2011 10:02:46 PM

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GuyverLT
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:24:39 PM

I kinda liked Prototype (for the gameplay) even though the story was poorly executed. Prototype 2 is the only game they're publishing that I'm looking forward to from some of the vids I've seen it looks like it be a vast improvement (Hopefully anyways).

I know it wasn't as good as infamous but I do not consider it as the biggest fail of 2009.

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kellett007
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:29:24 PM

could not agree more about prototype sucking. I played infamous and loved it and had read people comparing the two. I recently played the 1 hour trial for plus members and wow the game looks awful and was not much fun to play either. Almost finished with Infamous 2 now and like the 1st one it is way ahead of prototype

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:36:29 PM

It failed in the expectations department. A lot of people were let down and I saw a lot of 7s. The $40 I spent on it felt like too much. I felt the story was poorly told, and somehow even though the superpowers were great the gameplay got boring after an hour.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/22/2011 10:37:37 PM

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johnld
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:50:32 PM

when i played the trial it was like just create as much damage/chaos as you want. story wasnt even part of my experience.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 11:37:07 PM

Even though you have tons of super powers and can cause tons of devastation, there's always the same bothersome military plus monsters matching you step for step. You only feel powerful in the beginning, then it's like there's no point but to cause damage, then evade death, then complete the same mission objective over and over.

You could argue that inFamous has a similar mission objective situation, but that game makes you WANT to keep going for hours.

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GuyverLT
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 11:42:16 PM

LOL wow world you actually bought it when it came out??? I rented 1st and while I did enjoy it more than others, I new it wasn't worth $60 so I waited until it hit the bargain bin then went and picked it up the platinum hits version.

Renting FTW.

Whether or not you want to keep going for hours is a personal preference there are lot of people who like myself DID like the game and DID keep playing for hours on end.

Last edited by GuyverLT on 6/22/2011 11:44:31 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 12:14:40 AM

I can't begrudge you that friend, your preferences are no better or worse than mine. I simply say it was a let down of magnanimous proportions.

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PSN French
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 2:41:14 AM

"biggest new intellectual property of 2009" though? inFamous was far more entertaining than prototype.

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FM23
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 2:51:58 AM

Prototype wasn't a fail by any means, it was a bloodier version of Spider Web of Shadows or any of those openworld Spidey games. Very bad stories, but fun gameplay. And Prototype definietly featured more in your face gameplay than Infamous, but the lack of good story telling destroyed the meaning of most battles...so from that pointview, Infamous destroyed it.

But I agree with you Gyuyver, not a full price game, but definitely worth picking up when its cheap. Great sidebar game.

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GuyverLT
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 9:28:37 AM

I was thinking more of a Bloodier Hulk: Ultimate Destruction game, I mean it was made by the same people and everything, but there are vasts similarities between Spider-Man and Prototype games though.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 12:48:11 PM

I think Prototype would've done much better if it hadn't released about the same time as inFamous had.

I picked up Prototype right after it came out for around $17, so I was more than happy with it.
Not quite as addictive as inFamous was, but IMO it was a still good game, nevertheless.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:04:55 PM
Reply

Bobby K., "YEAH! We also had Guitar Hero!!!!! So.... THERE! And.... uh.... THAT OTHER THING! You tell 'em Eric! Tell those meanies to go away!"

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/22/2011 10:07:16 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:14:26 PM

"Yeah Guitar Hero man. It's not like we just burn through a franchise and dump it when it isn't a huge seller or anything"

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mastiffchild
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 8:02:11 PM

Or say we're behind a new IP and then fail to support it because we either want to stick the devs on a game they've no history(in it'sgenre)like we did when not supporting Bizarre over Blur(then giving them Bloodstone and failing to understand why a Bond game with zero hype and zero experience at the devs who make DRIVING games in the main, fails to take over the World)and then shutting them down when their next,rushed, game which they had no history with fails or we want them to make map packs for COD so we ignore their imaginative shooter when it comes out after promising to support it all the length of it's dev cycle(Singularity and devs).

I just don't trust a word they say when history shows, as with TH and GH, that they will just milk, milk and milk until the devs can lactate no more (and we gamers are left saying "Eewww! That tastes like shit and is possibly the most gross thing I've seen since BK offered us his tiny penis as a DLC bonus with a Blops Map pack)and the next game, rather than beng all milky, is a dry suckle on the death of a franchise's teet. Both TH and GH were chased mercilessly beyond any hope of remaining healthy while decent, deserving stablemates got ignored by Activision because they only care about the big hitters of the NOW.

Doesn't anyone else just fail to belive they will properly market or support anynopn mainstream titles?They let Singularity, a game a lot of press had a .lot of pre release tme for, die a solo,marketing free death while cack like Ride wasted millions. What this attitude did to BVizarre is EVEN worseewith themfoisting Blood Stone on the studio(when the Bond franchise is busted at best anyway and they had no experience with it at all)-if Treyarch failed with an engine they knew really well why would a dev specialising in car games do better and do it without any marketing push from Activision to boot? They hung them out to dry and closed them even though Blur was a good, if not great , game. It, and they, would be OK had Acti supported them as they're promising to support future IP here-I hope they learned a lesson and mean it but as we heard the same song when Singularity was in development I'm not willing to hold my breath.

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GuyverLT
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:28:02 PM
Reply

"You’re going to see a pretty big investment in a new IP in Skylanders. You’re going to see us doubling down on Prototype with Prototype 2. You’re going to see Bungie coming in the coming months and years - that’s a huge investment in new intellectual property and a new gaming universe. These are all things that take real innovation."



REALLY??? Then why the hell did they do this with the True Crime: Hong Kong a game which could have possibly been a huge hit. Why couldn't they give it the same support.

As you can see I'm still pissed they cancelled it, it looked like a big improvement over the 1st two.

Last edited by GuyverLT on 6/22/2011 10:30:14 PM

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FM23
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 2:53:33 AM

Right...I only played the first True Crime game and I thought it was cool, but Hong Kong looked great...then bam, they cancel it. Rather play that instead of Prototype 2.

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Kangasfwa
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:38:27 PM
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For those that don't know, Skylanders is based on toys. Little dragon toys priced at $10 each IIRC. That's going to get mighty expensive for parents who buy their kids the game. I cannot imagine many parents going beyond the starter pack for the game, that's just going to be too expensive.

And I seriously doubt this game can/will go anywhere without a movie or cartoon show to back it up. Video games in general are said to be mainstream now, but when you really look around only a few games are truly mainstream.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:46:26 PM
Reply

Funny, I don't see anti-vision as a 2-trick pony,

I see them as the "broken down old mare" that the Elmer's Glue factory needs to get it's hands on.

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johnld
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 10:48:09 PM
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two trick pony? HA, by my count is only fourth trick pony. we've been playing the same damn game since MW1 and lets face it, world of warcraft is blizzards's baby and activision just wanted their damn name on that thing.

well i did like transformers war for cybertron but i give credit to high moon studios, activision just had their name on the box.

Last edited by johnld on 6/22/2011 10:53:29 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 11:38:18 PM

High Moon Studios, if not for Activision I feel like I might have Darkwatch 2 in my hands right now (I have The Badge on my favorite jacket) "Death fears those who wear the badge"

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GuyverLT
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 11:46:30 PM

Darkwatch what game was that???

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 12:18:12 AM

A Vampire Western on PS2, as Jericho Cross you play an outlaw who robbed the wrong train. Bitten by a vampire you go mad with blood thirst and attack a horse. That horse resurrects and becomes your demon steed to help you ride to the only place you can go: The Darkwatch. As their only vampire member you receive the badge and take on the vampire horde in the old West, seeking the foul devil that corrupted your blood.

It is an unconventional FPS with some horse driven TPS elements and an early mastering of the karma system that lets you become a fighter for good or a bloody savage.

Recommended by yours truly.

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FM23
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 2:56:25 AM

A Vampire Western?...lmao

Well thank you Activision for giving me War of Cybertron, forgot they paid to get that out...that's one of those rare games true fans can really enjoy.

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GuyverLT
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 10:35:05 AM

Oh ok sounds interesting.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 12:52:56 PM

Oh man, I loved Darkwatch!
Yeah, let's get cracking on making a DW2!!!!

I highly recommend it & should be able to find it real cheap on Ebay, 1/2 price, or Amazon, etc, etc.

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BIGRED15
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 @ 11:42:22 PM
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They are so full of crap. Jesus. Just because they back a popular title doesn't mean they're the brains of the operation. Warcraft? yea that is ALL BLIZZARD. MW? Made popular by IW. They cant take credit for these games IMO especially if they insist on the rehash method. GH died because they choose to suck the franchise dry without making it into anything different or fresh. If their track record is any indication as to what is to come. COD is next, and eventually they will let a ton of people down. Activision is... ugh... I have a very strong dislike for this publisher.

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___________
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 4:41:59 AM
Reply

ok, so wheres the other trick ponies?
GH?
that got milked to hell and driven to the ground!
prototype?
that sucked!
wolfenstein?
that was ok, not exactly a trick pony though.
singularity?
same as wolfenstein.
spiderman?
sorry, there has not been a half decent spiderman game since spiderman 2!
spyro?
oh, dont even go there!
crash?
you want to see a old man cry?
only games worth mentioning that antivision have released this gen would be everything from blizzard, and COD.
thats it!
so,yes you are a two trick pony.......
FACT!

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Axe99
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 7:12:51 AM
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I'd agree that Activision aren't a two-trick Pony. They're atrociously managed, but they also published the excellent and niche chopper game "Apache Air Assault", as well as the pretty good Transformers:War for Cybertron (first good Transformers game since Melbourne House's PS2 effort). While I think their management hurts the games they make, I think Activision does publish some quality material.

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Zen_Zarab
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 12:45:21 PM
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Still doesn't excuse you for killing great companies like Pandemic and Bizzare Creations. You're still nothing but the cancer of gaming Activison. >:(

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Zorigo
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 1:25:12 PM
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No. Youre pegged as c*nts.

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Mr Wright
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 7:15:26 PM
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I remember they used to make some pretty cool wrestling games back in the day... Does anybody know what happened to the company Acclaim, do they still make games or did they get bought out long ago?

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SirLoin of Beef
Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 1:05:42 PM
Reply

I'd say Activition is a three-trick pony because they also have their claws sunk into Starcraft.

Last edited by SirLoin of Beef on 6/24/2011 1:06:07 PM

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Mounce
Sunday, June 26, 2011 @ 6:22:14 PM
Reply

0.5 trick pony maybe.

It doesn't even take 1.0 to do this

Game + Sells good? = Milk the fu** out of it.

Rinse and repeat with every Hit or Miss game that is made or published or taken from a bought-out studio.

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