Activision CEO Calls Wii U Launch ‘Disappointing’; Uncertain About Next-Gen

May 8, 2013 by  

Activision CEO Wii U Launch Disappointing

Spoiler alert: Activision is still making a ton of money. During the publisher’s quarterly earnings call, Activision reported they raked in $1.3 billion this quarter, which is $164 million above their own predictions.

Activision enjoyed a profitable Q1 2013 thanks in large part to the launch of StarCraft 2‘s Heart of the Swarm expansion, as well as continued sales from their high profile franchises like Call of Duty and Skylanders. That being said, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is still pessimistic about the remainder of 2013.

Kotick’s apprehension takes into account several factors including the “shift in release dates of competing products, the disappointing launch of the Wii U, uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware, and subscriber declines in [their] World of Warcraft business.” To be fair, the publisher is by no means in dire straits, but the uncertainty that surrounds the video game landscape has Kotick concerned.

On the software front, Kotick’s primary concern is likely the launches of Grand Theft Auto 5 and Battlefield 4. One (BF4) is a direct competitor to Activision’s bread and butter Call of Duty franchise, while the other is a sequel poised to pull in huge sales numbers. That isn’t to say Call of Duty: Ghosts will sell poorly, just that it has stiffer competition than in past years.

As far as the Wii U is concerned, it’s no secret Nintendo’s new console has been struggling. However, a large portion of those shortcomings sale-wise can be attributed to a lack of software. Basically, it’s a double-edged sword: with developers not willing to make games because of the console’s relatively small install-base, which the Wii U has because it doesn’t have a lot of titles available.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

And then there’s the next-gen – the big question mark for the latter half of 2013. For Activision, there are likely a lot of questions about how gamers will respond to a new set of consoles. After all, it’s been almost 7 years since the launch of the PS3.

Obviously Activision still has the current-gen version of Call of Duty: Ghosts to fall back on, but moving forward these new consoles will need to takeover at some point. Can Activision assume the same type of turnout when their franchises jump to the next-gen?

So while other publishers publicize their financial struggles, Activision is still going strong. But, they’re not as sure-headed as they once were, which is interesting.

Do you agree that the Wii U launch was disappointing? Will you be picking up a next-gen console on day 1?

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Source: IGN

5 Comments

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  1. We got it already. Why continue the mantra about the Wii u’s shortcomings? How about we all assume nothings changed in opinion on the matter until someone says something that isn’t a sheep call

  2. I have a wii-U and I have no problems at all with it. Make GOOD games.

  3. Personally I never cared at all about Activision or the Call of Duty franchise at all. I felt that CoD turned a lot of gamers into complete jerks, (not a personal attack, but rather my opinion.) I have the Wii U, and though it’s true that there are currently not too many good titles for it, it still looks like to have some potential on making amazing games in the future. I would say that Activision is over-milking the whole franchise, but I’m in no position to complain. I love Nintendo’s frnchises and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed which both continue to milk their products. Over-all I feel that CoD has made a permanent mark on the gaming industry and I feel that because of the fan base that it puts other good unnoticed titles in the dust.

  4. I like how console fanboys (and fangirls ^_~) lose it when a industry professional comes out and states their opinion on a console and why they are not giving heavy development support. Whether it be PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo or even PC, fans just cannot take some constructive criticism. The person may be SOME valid points to make considering they are involved in the industry and and are looking at the issue from the industry viewpoint, not the consumer viewpoint.

    • Yep. Regardless of console preference, we should all try not to be so biased that we seem blind. I accept all the Wii U criticisms. They don’t effect the fact that I made the plunge early, and wait expectantly for Nintendo to delive all of their core franchises, at least. Perception is a big issue, and the circular cause and effect mentioned above. If they have some BIG surprises to reveal while the other two companies are unveiling hardware that will be nice. I hope to be playing new classics soon, but AI have faith that I will be eventually. There’s no ther place to play Zelda or Metroid, so I will wait as long as I have to.

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