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Activision clarifies social games no-show

Ben Parfitt
Activision clarifies social games no-show

Amongst other things, publisher Activision is notable amongst its competitors right now for its decision not to rush into the social gaming market.

In December last year CEO Bobby Kotick said that he didn't view the App Store "as a really big opportunity for dedicated gamers" and that at that time he didn't see "an opportunity for us to participate in that market".

Now speaking to Industry Gamers, Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg has said his company should be commended for not making any hasty moves.

"I think when Bobby said that he was speaking about that moment in time, which is a while ago now," he stated.

"And I think that we’ve seen some maturation in both of those areas of gaming and I would argue that a lot of the elements of Call of Duty: Elite are using a lot of the elements of both social and mobile. We’ve got dedicated iPod and iPad apps, Android, etc.

"I think what Activision has done, very smartly, is we don’t want to rush into anything until we figure out what our unique contribution and what our unique competitive advantage can be. What we’re choosing to do is use social and mobile and the fact that people are playing games in different parts of the day on different devices than they have before as a way to strengthen our core business."

Hirshberg also pointed out that upcoming transmedia title Skylanders will link back to these new emerging markets.

"Skylanders is going to have a dedicated iPhone app," he added. "It’s going to have a web world. It’s going to have a lot of connectivity. So I think that we want to make the games that we think we can make better than anyone else. We want to make the games where we think that we have real innovation and a competitive advantage.

"What we don’t want to do is just rashly spread all our chips around every square on the table and just compete in a new category just because a new category exists.

"We want to find our unique contribution to it. And I think the things you say no to are as important as the things you say yes to in this business."

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Tags: Activision , games , casual , social , hirshberg , skylanders , strategy

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