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Hm, giving Guitar Hero a break rather than canning it completely would be a good shout. I don't think people are bored of the genre, the market is just oversaturated.

And, of course, people would be interested in buying new Guitar Hero games and instruments for the next-gen consoles when they come out.

It initially sounded like they were giving the series a break, but this confirms the series has been canned completely...

Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011.

http://www.vg247.com/2011/02/09/activision-q4-2010-and-full-year-financials-net-revenue-at-4-80-billion-black-ops-has-27-million-players/

New Studio - Beachhead - announced. To focus on developing new digital content for CoD.

It was announced during the call, that Activision’s new studio, Beachhead, will create new digital content for the Call of Duty series and more online content is planned for Black Ops.

http://www.vg247.com/2011/02/09/activision-q4-2010-and-full-year-financials-net-revenue-at-4-80-billion-black-ops-has-27-million-players/

Edited by The Sarge
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I don't know about the ins and outs of running a company like Acti, obv but surely BLOPS and COD in general will undoubtedly have a shelf life which will run out in what, two more games maybe? Then what will they do if they aren't making anything new? It just seems so incredibly short sighted, OK fair enough TC: HK was never going to do COD numbers but if you've already spent a certain amount on it and it's nearly finished, why not just release it? Surely some sales are better than no sales? Or release it digitally?

Just doesn't seem to make any sense, there's all your eggs in one basket and then there's CODvision.

I really hope in an incredibly childish way that the next Bungie game or the ex-IW chaps just shits all over COD. TBH, after renting BLOPS and finishing the single player game with a general sense of bemusement and ennui, I'm certainly not going to get the next one.

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I don't know about the ins and outs of running a company like Acti, obv but surely BLOPS and COD in general will undoubtedly have a shelf life which will run out in what, two more games maybe? Then what will they do if they aren't making anything new?

Well, it's all about money at the end of the day. COD makes shitloads, those other games make less. With a company the size of ActiBlizz and the revenue they have, they simply don't need "middling" titles right now. By making these teams redundant, they can presumably squeeze out any staff less than the cream of the crop and re-hire some with other staff in order to assemble new teams, to make either COD spinoffs or R&D.

It just seems so incredibly short sighted, OK fair enough TC: HK was never going to do COD numbers but if you've already spent a certain amount on it and it's nearly finished, why not just release it? Surely some sales are better than no sales? Or release it digitally?

Remember, we haven't played it and don't know what it is actually like. Activision understand better than anyone that big money in games today is all about branding. COD, Warcraft, Halo, Street Fighter, Resident Evil... Brands are king. If the upcoming (or canned) TC game is actually a bit poor, they might decide to ditch it in preference for the brand, so they can market that again in 5 years' time.

Also, bear in mind that actually making a game is only part of the cost; there's advertising and production costs that can run up an enormous bill. If they're not sure about it, they might just cut their losses right now, and perhaps try to sell it to another publisher as a "finishing house" at the cost it took them to develop it + a million dollars - instant profit from their angle.

These are all just theories of course. Really, it's all about money, and with the kind of quantities that ActiBlizz work with, sometimes things aren't going to make a great deal of sense from our perspective but they're crystal clear when discussed in their shareholder meetings.

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See: Brutal Legend. In other words, not without difficulty, I'd wager.

Outside of the internal politics that caused Activision to cancel it, The Brutal Legend issue seemed to be as much about the game beingnpicked up by EA than it simply being picked up by another publisher. Activision had dumped the project, and cut their losses. I doubt they would have cared so much if say, Namco Bandai published it, but having your closest competitor pick up a game you just canned clearly didn't sit well.

Brutal Legend supposedly had a very difficult development, with missed deadlines and such which was what caused it's "cancellation". I would think that another publisher picking the game up would be a lot simpler than Brutal Legend showed. A lot of companies successfully manage to juggle licenses and copyrights between themselves (such as some of the xbla arcade ports), so it's not beyond them if they approach it the right way.

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If DJ Hero underperformed then they must have had overly-ambitious goals for it. It was never going to be as popular as Guitar Hero was in its heyday.

Not overly ambitious goals; rather they should have taken your second point on board. It was never going to be as popular as GH and latterly RB; and yet the controller may have cost more to make?

We may never know, yet this news is hardly a surprise :(

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Shame that the next bungie game - if it sells well - will rake in a fortune for ...... Activision

Oh yeah... whoops.

Fuck the lot of 'em.

I am aware that it's all about money though and my post was just a bit of a rant really. I suppose what my main bugbear is, is the fact that a company such as ActiBlizz are probably in a way better position than loads of other companies to allow the odd 'middling' game to come out as some people may have ended up liking it. Again, it's not a realistic view in regards to big business and share holders and all that jazz but in an ideal world, we'd have more 'big' companies funding smaller indie style developments, a little bit like the movie industry does.

The other point is that it's still a relatively young industry I suppose so who knows what will happen, at least not everyone is just making games like BLOPS.

On that note, I'm going to leave my grumbling and cheer myself up by playing Stacking.

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500 laid off, around 7% of workforce. No music or skateboarding games this year

Financials:

$4.45billion revenue up from 4.28

$1.43billion 4th quarter down from 1.56

$1.5billion over 12 months from digital sales, up 20% and mostly map packs and WOW content (big shock)

So Activision celebrate improved yearly revenue by sacking 500 people. What a bunch of cunts Activision are :angry:

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They now have 4 development teams dedicated to Call of bloody Duty.

The twitching corpse of Infinity Ward

Treyarch

Sledgehammer

Today they announced a new studio called Beachhead who would be dedicated to churning out DLC for the series.

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I 'spose the real question is would any of this be different if we were on the cusp of a new generation of hardware, rather than in the middle of an artificially extended one?

You get me?

It just seems like they were happy to churn out the same old same old for consoles every year because they didn't think they had to innovate because the sales were there to be had, and no one was going anywhere (to new hardware), so why bother?

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They now have 4 development teams dedicated to Call of bloody Duty.

The twitching corpse of Infinity Ward

Treyarch

Sledgehammer

Today they announced a new studio called Beachhead who would be dedicated to churning out DLC for the series.

You've also got Raven helping out with Modern Warfare 3 (apparently) and helping with DLC/Map Packs for Black Ops.

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Not overly ambitious goals; rather they should have taken your second point on board. It was never going to be as popular as GH and latterly RB; and yet the controller may have cost more to make?

We may never know, yet this news is hardly a surprise :(

Actually the DJ controller is cheaper to make than a guitar. Smaller box so it's cheaper to ship as well.

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Shame about TC: Hong Kong, was kinda cooking forward to that. CoD is dead to me though. I've been a die-hard fan ever since the first one came out and gave MoH a run for its money. But their current strategy will run this into the ground as well. There's no studio besides old-IW that knew what CoD was al about. If they released one every three years I'd been a happy little chappy. Now it's the same ol' same ol' every year. Good luck with that Activision.

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What gets me is that this happens and then you have the following statement about their Bungie game from this http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-09-no-new-bungie-game-in-2011:

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg promised that, though it wouldn't be out this year, the unannounced title would be worth the wait.

"Although the title's not expected to launch this year, Bungie's new universe represents tremendous long-term potential for Activision Publishing."

Like hell do they care about the long term. The only reason for I can see for them saying the above is because they don't own Bungie so they can't control it. Plus let's say they tried and pissed off Bungie enough, plenty of other publishers would jump at the chance to pick up the game (which if I recall correctly is a wholly Bungie owned IP).

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Acti explain why they canned TC: Hong Kong.

Open world actioner True Crime: Hong Kong was cancelled because it just wasn't up to scratch, according to publisher Activision.

Following on from the announcement earlier today that the United Front-developed title had been scrapped, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained that the publisher didn't believe it could compete in a crowded marketplace.

"Even our most optimistic internal projections show that continued investment was not going to lead to a title at, or near, the top of the competitive open world genre," he said.

"In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, to be blunt, it just wasn't going to be good enough."

"The day I arrived at the company I said that I believed the best way to achieve commercial success was to provide gamers with highest possible creative quality," he added. "The decision to stop production on True Crime is based solely on that belief."

"These are tough decisions but we believe they are the right decision being made for the right reasons and they reflect our ongoing commitment to delivering the games that gamers want to play."

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-09-true-crime-was-not-good-enough

There is some good news, Acti have confirmed they will be publishing another Beenox developed Spiderman title (:D ).

They also announced two TV show tie ins (Family Guy and Wipeout) as well as two movie tie ins (Transformers 3 and X-Men First Class) and of course there's the next Transformers title from the guys behind War for Cybertron. (2012)

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-10-new-spider-man-family-guy-due-2011

:)

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Fixed that for you.

I know they'll take Beenox off developer duties if the next game tanks, it's pretty much inevitable. Same will happen with Prototype 2.

Hopefully Beenox will use this opportunity and make a Spiderman Zombie verse title. (they'll probably play it safe though. :( )

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I'm surprised Activision never ran with my idea for a Guitar Hero and Call of Duty spinoff. It would have been an FPS where you shot fascist coloured blocks in time to music (Which, of course would have been the US national anthem). If you shoot enough coloured blocks in a row, you can activate Overdrive where you equip night vision goggles and throw nukes at the blocks. Multiplayer would include a 14 year old kid screaming 'CUNT!' down your ear while you attempt to shoot the opposing teams coloured blocks. DLC could include the UK national anthem and 'America - Fuck Yeah!' from Team America. Each would be priced at 1600MSP.

I would have called it 'Call of Hero: Shooty Coloured Block Edition'

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I 'spose the real question is would any of this be different if we were on the cusp of a new generation of hardware, rather than in the middle of an artificially extended one?

You get me?

It just seems like they were happy to churn out the same old same old for consoles every year because they didn't think they had to innovate because the sales were there to be had, and no one was going anywhere (to new hardware), so why bother?

No, innovation is down to how much money or risk is on the line. New tech-advanced hardware would be exponentially more expensive and cause publishers to be more conservative than ever. Last gen Capcom could spend 10 million on 5 risky propositions by Clover, this gen that would pay for a single game - maybe.

This generation really killed innovation off more than any previous generation, really.

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Actually the DJ controller is cheaper to make than a guitar. Smaller box so it's cheaper to ship as well.

...when it first came out how much did they try to retail it for, wasnt it like £90? Can anyone remember...

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Acti explain why they canned TC: Hong Kong.

Open world actioner True Crime: Hong Kong was cancelled because it just wasn't up to scratch, according to publisher Activision.

Following on from the announcement earlier today that the United Front-developed title had been scrapped, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained that the publisher didn't believe it could compete in a crowded marketplace.

"Even our most optimistic internal projections show that continued investment was not going to lead to a title at, or near, the top of the competitive open world genre," he said.

"In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, to be blunt, it just wasn't going to be good enough."

"The day I arrived at the company I said that I believed the best way to achieve commercial success was to provide gamers with highest possible creative quality," he added. "The decision to stop production on True Crime is based solely on that belief."

"These are tough decisions but we believe they are the right decision being made for the right reasons and they reflect our ongoing commitment to delivering the games that gamers want to play."

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-09-true-crime-was-not-good-enough

There is some good news, Acti have confirmed they will be publishing another Beenox developed Spiderman title (:D ).

They also announced two TV show tie ins (Family Guy and Wipeout) as well as two movie tie ins (Transformers 3 and X-Men First Class) and of course there's the next Transformers title from the guys behind War for Cybertron. (2012)

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-10-new-spider-man-family-guy-due-2011

:)

Creative eh?

Naturally they're full of crap with that - however did anyone actually play the first 2 True Crimes? The first one was half passable; the second one was one of the most horrible, nasty games you'll ever have the misfortune to want to play. The gamecube version was a buggy, crashy, ugly disgrace.

When True Crime 2 was that bad, and perhaps with an air to seeing that TC3 had kept up the quality/ethos/etc, is it a surprise it got canned?

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