Activision CEO: Publisher Releasing Only Yearly Call of Duty Titles is “False Narrative”
Activision is indeed taking risks in its development.
Speaking to CVG, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg has stated that the company is taking risks and isn’t just about putting out yearly Call of Duty titles.
“First-person shooters have been stable for a number of generations now, and I don’t think that just because Destiny and Call of Duty are in the same genre that they are not diverse.
“I think they couldn’t be more different from one another. One is a deep, mythological sci-fi epic opera in space, the other is a gritty action movie that’s come to life. The games are very different from a pacing and design standpoint too, so I think there is diversity there, you just might not see it at face value.”
When asked if there would be more diversity in their line-up, Hirshberg stated, “But we have, you’re sitting next to a poster of Skylanders, which is a franchise that didn’t exist eighteen months ago. It’s a new IP, a new genre, a new play-pattern, untested in an area of the business that was shrinking. I feel like people breeze past that when they ask me about diversity. I don’t know anyone that’s taken a bigger bet on a less proven franchise based on their gut-instinct than we did with Skylanders.
“We’re doing it again with Destiny – on one hand it’s a first-person shooter, on another it’s a new genre, it’s a shared-world shooter, bringing elements of the MMO into shooters, which is incredibly exciting. We’ve shown a consistent willingness to take risks, and a consistent ability to take the right bets.
“Guitar Hero gets brought up a lot in these conversations, for understandable reasons, but that was another game based on an unproven model that had an incredible commercial run. Just because the entire genre run out of gas at the same time, I don’t think is reflective of the fact it was an ill-conceived choice, or something we wouldn’t do again given the same opportunity.”
Hirshberg further talked about the risks paying off. “I know, but you’re suggesting that we don’t do that already when we’re working on two new genres and new IPs at the same time. I think there is a false narrative that all Activision wants to do is put out a Call of Duty every year, when in fact we’ve shown some real innovation and appetite for risk.
“I think that publishers which have wider and ‘more diverse’ slates are far less risky than us, are far less creative. Just because you have a game in every genre does not mean you’re creative. So, what we do is certainly a strategy that’s not for everyone, and it’s not the only way to make good business, but it works for us. It’s something that pre-dates me, it’s something Activision has done for many years.”
Call of Duty: Ghosts releases on November 5th for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Wii U and PC.