Boxed games empire boss canâ??t envisage revenue opportunities

Kotick: Social/mobile markets â??hard to integrateâ??

Activision sees little opportunity for social games in its business empire of triple-A franchises and subscription-based MMOs, the firm’s CEO has said.

Bobby Kotick’s firm is the biggest revenue earner in the third-party games publishing business – a success indebted to blockbuster games such as Call Of Duty Black Ops and World Of Warcraft.

But Kotick doesn’t see ways in which he can properly tap into the emerging smartphone games market – which delivers high profit margins yet comparatively micro revenues.

“The place where you have the opportunities for growth is within the communities of franchises we control,” Kotick said at the Reuters Global Media Summit this week.

“We don’t view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games,” he added.

The other breakthrough market – social games – is equally perplexing for Kotick and his boxed retail-focused business.

He said: “It’s a different question assessing it as a business opportunity. Right now we don’t see an opportunity for us to participate in that market.”

It is here where Activision is deviating the most from its nearest competitor – Electronic Arts.

EA has already spent as much as $400 million on social game firm Playfish, and at least another $30 million on Chillingo – and its CEO John Riccitiello regularly talks up the potential of social games.

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