Activision sets sights on European market share

Activision will double its European market share in the next few years, according to its CEO Mike Griffith.

Speaking exclusively to MCV at E3, the heavyweight publisher detailed a wide-reaching strategy to grow its stake in what it calls its ‘under-developed’ European business.

The firm wants to generate 50 per cent of its revenue in the territory, via a mixture of new IP, new music games and established franchises.

In Europe we ought to have our fair share – the overall game market is, roughly speaking, evenly split between Europe and North America and that should be what our business looks like," Griffith told MCV.

We’ve been steadily growing our European business by adding more marketing and selling capability.”

According to Griffith, just a third of Activision’s business is currently generated in Europe.

New turntable music game DJ Hero and youth-oriented pop song title Band Hero are both drivers in audience expansion,” Griffith explained.

He added: We’ve been expanding with better content that is more appealing to the European population – Guitar Hero is a great example where, in the March quarter, sales doubled compared to last year. And that was because we have done a great job of providing better music content that is more appealing to local consumers. You will see that continue to be pushed in that way. The launch of Guitar Hero Metallica should be appealing to Europe and coincides with their tour. DJ Hero should be more appealing to Europe too.”

Activision’s first racing game Blur, in development at internal UK studio Bizarre Creations, will also be key to satisfying European tastes when it launches later this year, added Griffith.

DJ Hero is a significant departure into the club, hip hop and rap scene and is creating tremendous energy and interest,” he said. It should do particularly well in Europe, where that genre of music is strong. It has an opportunity to significantly expand the userbase."

He added: It’s all about getting the right capability – which we now have. Now it’s about delivering the content, which we continue to be focused on.

That’s why we are enthusiastic about the continued growth prospects in Europe because we have seen growth and we are still under-developed.”

Griffith also believes that Modern Warfare 2 will be the biggest Call of Duty title ever” – and a clear Xmas No.1 contender.

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