Activision warns of Xbox 720, PlayStation 4 'uncertainties'

Activision's president and chief executive Bobby Kotick has warned investors that the upcoming launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's next-generation Xbox may not be the gift to the company others are claiming - and that the games industry may have some tough times ahead.

Speaking during his company's most recent earnings call this week, Kotick warned that he has some concerns surrounding the launch of next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony later this year. 'We continue to face the uncertainties of the console transition,' Kotick told investors. 'There are still many unknown factors, such as pricing, launch dates and quantities, the level of first-party support and, importantly, consumer purchase intent in a world where consoles are no longer just competing with each other, but also with new platforms, such as smartphones and tablets.'

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DivineAssault 3604d ago

Activision needs to just keep quiet & keep pumping out more COD

3604d ago Replies(9)
ZodTheRipper3604d ago (Edited 3604d ago )

"And our next Call of Duty game will face a more competitive environment than last year. The competitive landscape will likely require us to further increase our sales and marketing investments for our 3 largest franchises, especially in the important holiday season.'"


Instead of increasing development investments they increase SALES and MARKETING ...the only one who's losing are the gamers who'll get an overhyped game in the end just like the last couple of CoD's. It's sad to see that gaming has become pure business by this time.

kayoss3604d ago (Edited 3604d ago )

Activision is just worried that they cant use the same COD foundation with just a different skin for the next Gen. This mean that they need to upgrade the graphics, gameplay, mechanics for next gen. COD is like the new madden, same game just different skin.

bangshi3604d ago (Edited 3604d ago )

They did increase development budget. That is why Nevasoft now work on COD.

IW also had a relatively large recruitment drive and moved to larger (more expensive) offices.

So they have increased expenditure in other areas.

Using extremes to highlight my point, it matters not if you spend $1 or $1 billion on your game.

You could spend $100 million here, $10 million there. It doesn't mean it will be a better game.

But the game that spends $1 billion on marketing will more than likely (although of course never guaranteed) sell more than the game that spends $1.

When up against stiff, direct competition marketing is critical.

Naturally how the game looks and plays is key, but do not underestimate the marketing effect.

Godz Kastro3604d ago

Dont buy the game and you wont lose anything. I couldve sworn they havent shown off new engine/game yet. You must be from the future.

SuperBazza3603d ago

Remember, zod18: Kotick is the guy who has said in the past that "developers should always be told they are under a terrible economy, that nothing is certain in the business".

He uses that as a weapon to run Activision by fear and rip teams as he pleases, without any consideration for their artistic integrity, and it seems to me that he will be exploiting feelings of uncertainty to the extent he can get away with once again.

Such a snake, this man. I don't really know about his efficiency, but he's a jerk in all cases.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3603d ago
Saigon3604d ago

I am starting to get sick of Activision, I am starting to see a pattern with them. Every generation they complain about the new system that are prepped to come out and each generation they seem to dominate in sales. I think this is their pattern for good luck. They just need to keep creating games and let the games do the talking for them. Though EA is hated, I at least commend them for keeping their mouth shut when needed or always speak positive about the systems.

JsonHenry3604d ago

Bobby is talking about money. He knows money. People should listen to him when he talks about unknowns in relation to making money.

If he was talking about making games, making gamers happy, and other things gaming related at the point of being an end user I would ignore him.

Hueynewton20123603d ago

What they are trying to say is that their main franchise and money maker COD faces an uncertain future due to stiff competition from battlefield and other emerging choices the next generation will offer.

Why im not concerned is because Sony still has a bunch of 1st party devs and the new system has already been considered dev friendly. If Microsoft comes thru it will be icing on the cake for me. If Microsoft brings the pain it means all core gamers win. Gamers should be cheering for both systems to prosper due to the Wii U floundering and all this IOS, tablet and phone gaming non sense that has created mild uncertainty.

GamerzElite3603d ago (Edited 3603d ago )

What they will show at XBox Infinty reveal event? COD: Ghost playing first time on XBox 360 at XBox Infinity reveal event... LOL

Scholla3603d ago

lmboooooooooooooooo @Divine @Kratos @Igam3r

nypifisel3603d ago (Edited 3603d ago )

They're right about some things. The smartphones and tablets will compete with the consoles, but this only apply to the casual market! The casuals that flocked in to the market with Wii and Kinect. They fail to understand that these weren't actual customers to begin with, they wouldn't had bought the next GoW or CoD or whatever, they bought Kinect sports, or Wii Sports, maybe another title. That's about it.

Smartphones can give casuals an experience they've come to expect from games, it's light and fluffy. Hardcore gamers won't settle with that and won't settle with the simple minded nature of smartphone games. In that sense they're stupid to think the gamer market will shrink cause of phones, it wont. The console hardware market will however when casuals don't buy the next generation.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3603d ago
ichimaru3604d ago

well I suppose Activision is in a position to know these things I suppose

ZodTheRipper3604d ago

It should say enough that he's taking the Wii U's failure to reinforce his statements. Of course there's some truth in his words, consumers have only x-amount of cash to spend on gaming and now that almost any device can be used for games, the market share for consoles has dropped a bit. But the demand for high quality productions will probably never be in decline so it's pretty pessimistic to say something like that as a CEO of one of the biggest publishers worldwide.

Dark_Overlord3604d ago

This is the part that stuck out most for me

"the level of first-party support"

As he's talking about the PS4 and next Xbox, I believe this reference is in relation to the next Xbox (Cause Sony have a ton of 1st Party support).

I'm curious as to what he knows (Or believes he knows).

Jdoki3604d ago

That is an interesting part of the statement.

But I can see it two ways...

1. If a console doesn't get enough 1st party support it can impact hardware sales and therefore 3rd party titles don't sell as the install base it too small

2. If a console has loads of 1st party support then Activision are up against titles that are (usually) of much higher quality, so it can also hurt their sales.

In some ways, as the XBox has woeful 1st party support for the core gamer, and we know MS will throw more money at marketing rather than fresh in-house IP, Activision are perfectly poised to scoop up more sales on next gen XBox.

kayoss3604d ago (Edited 3604d ago )

But isnt thats the case for every Gen? Software support will be slow at first including first party and 3rd party, but once the ball get rolling everything will be fine. The PS2 era was probably one of the best era for gaming. But when they started to convert to next gen, it took a while and now the PS2, xbox, dreamcast, and N64 are the thing of the past.

Bleucrunch3604d ago

Activision is concerned about the fact they do not have a large library of games in their camp. I man COD craze will die down as I don't believe it is as good as it was before...Activision will actually have to sit down and think about creating new IP's and this make Kotick itch where the sun don't shine.

ALLWRONG3604d ago

"I believe this reference is in relation to the next Xbox (Cause Sony have a ton of 1st Party support)."

Sony has closed down studios and MS now has more first party devs on the next Xbox.

Skips3604d ago (Edited 3604d ago )

You may be right...

But more than half of those studios are either no names, small studios who've worked on nothing but tiny mobile/XBLA games with probably 10 or 15 employees, (or even worse) studios who are forced to work on nothing but Kinect. -_-

Only ones actually worth a damn are 343 and Turn 10...

Bigpappy3603d ago (Edited 3603d ago )

Jdoki is correct. Publishers do not like 1st party competition. M$ had to kill off their 1st and 2nd party sports series to get EA to bring their sports games to the original Xbox. If first party is too dominant (Nintendo), 3rd party tend to not have strong support for the system.

Another good point from Bobby is we don't know what the initial supply of consoles will be. Usually, they purposely or un-purposely do not stock enough to meet demand at release.

cleft53604d ago

It's surprising to see Kotick of all people speaking common sense, but it does just show that their is a reason they put this guy in charge. I am hyped for next-gen as a gamer that wants to play the latest and greatest. But I also know that development cost are going to be a lot higher.

The costs want change right away because the new titles will basically be up scaled 360/ps3 titles. After those are out and developers start taking advantage of the systems true potential cost are going to jump. Combine that with marketing cost and you have a combination that is going to see a lot of companies go under if their title isn't a mega success. Just look at the whole Tomb Raider thing.

dcbronco3604d ago

I think Bobby is just trying to get ahead of diminishing CoD sales caused by higher BF4 sales. He can make all of the excuses he wants. The reality is many are getting tired of the annual re-hash CoD has become. Treyarch continues to try to innovate, but without Infinity Ward there to re-build the engines Bobby knows he has a problem.

cleft53604d ago

Maybe so but it is still a billion seller and ultimately thats what these companies care about.

dcbronco3603d ago

Definitely still a huge seller. But over the next few years sales will fall more and more until it becomes a 5 million copy seller instead of a 25 million copy seller. Five is still great by most standards. But it will be a huge fall off.

DOMination-3603d ago

That won't happen unless another game comes along and reinvents and redefines the genre. Good game though it may be, BF4 or KZ aren't going to cut it. Maybe Respawns game will? Though i imagine even that will be more evolution rather than revolution.

This isn't just an fps problem either. I don't think I've seen a next gen game that's interested me yet. They are all following the same formula just with better graphics.

The best I've seen so far is The Witness which tells you the state of gaming right now.

dcbronco3603d ago

I don't think another game has to do it. Once the Internet turns against something it usually snowballs. And the Internet has been going against CoD lately. Whether or not something is good or there is a better option has never mattered before. The only thing needed is for the bad comments to keep coming.

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Jek_Porkins3604d ago

Well he isn't entirely wrong, we don't know pricing, release dates or all of the games that will be available right away. No matter how you slice it, the install base on these new consoles isn't going to be as appealing as the current ones for the foreseeable future.

We all assume the Wii U is doing poorly for one reason or another, but it could very well be a trend in the industry, I mean who doesn't see the Xbox 360 and PS3 outselling the Xbox Infinity and PS4 for at least a year?

I think if people have the choice between a $99 Xbox 360 or $199 PS3, those are going to look very appealing to parents and a lot of people in comparison to possible $400-$500 new consoles.

It'll be interesting to see how it all works out, I love gaming and hope everything rebounds, but we've never launched a console generation with so much competition from things like tablets and phones.

Gr813604d ago

Too Mention consoles that may be looking at a $4-500 price tag in an economy in the shitter still. This guys warning might look prophetic in the near future.

Bleucrunch3604d ago

Yes but its Activision doing the warning...with their history they haven't earned that right with the way they do things. Kotick needs to focus on the incoming new hardware...OR create your own console and see if your loyal COD fan base will purchase a console from you just to play ONE kind of game ALL THE TIME!

raWfodog3603d ago (Edited 3603d ago )

Yes but the only ones who will be buying $99 360's and $199 PS3's are people who don't already own them. The current owners of those systems are more than likely going to be looking to buy the next generations (price willing).

In the article, the author stated:
"It's hard to fault Kotick's analysis: the Wii U has been a poor seller for Nintendo, and has seen a whopping £100 knocked off its £299 recommended retail price since its launch last year. A lack of triple-A games from third party developers - something that may not change any time soon, with numerous publishers stating outright that their franchises won't be making the move to the Wii U - combined with the misconception among the company's casual gaming customers that the Wii U is a mere upgraded version of the Wii they already own are thought to be to blame, with Nintendo working hard to correct both issues."

The author tries to use the WiiU as an example of the 'doomed' console industry but does anyone think the PS4 or Nexbox (Fusion?) will have a lack of developers making games for the systems? And everyone knows that these systems (at least the PS4 so far) is not simply an 'upgraded' version of the current system. The WiiU's problem is that it is not innovating.

Jek_Porkins3603d ago

I think the next Xbox and PlayStation could see some developers not develop for the consoles right away, and the same reason as to why some aren't developing for the Wii U right now, the install base just isn't large enough for every developer to jump in.

Even developers like Deep Silver said they will "eventually" develop for the next Xbox and PlayStation, but not right away.

I'd expect in a year or so most will jump on board, where as the Wii U hasn't been out but six months, I'm sure more will get on board with it when the install base is there.

I think there still might be core gamer's who went with either Sony or Microsoft as a solo console owner, those people might very well jump in and play the back catalog if prices do drop.

My younger brother is a good example, Xbox fan all the way, but is interested in a PS3 if it drops to $199, just to play older games that he missed out on. I suspect there might be gamer's thinking the same thing. Also, parents love to buy their kids the "hot" item, but short supplies and cheaper price could push quite a few older consoles.

It's all speculation on my part anyway.