Activision's recent efforts to introduce new IP into two key genres appears not to have paid off, with the publisher admitting that both Raven Software's Singularity and Bizarre Creations' Blur were unable to deliver the goods at retail.
Singularity fell short of meeting what is an exceptionally high bar within the shooter genre,” Activision COO and CFO Thomas Tippl told investors. Fortunately, Call of Duty was the title that raised that bar and the shortfall of Singularity was offset by Call of Duty's catalogue and DLC performance.
Additionally, Blur was not able to break out in what turned out to be a relatively soft racing genre despite the number of high-quality releases.”
On the plus side, Tippl believes that the impressive multiplayer tech behind Blur will be of great benefit to the publisher in the future. What he doesn't say, however, is that that there will necessarily be another instalment in the Blur franchise – something that Bizarre Creations is clearly expecting.
Importantly, the game broke new ground in creating innovative social and multiplayer features, enabling our unique online and back-end platforms to play an increasing role in driving value in the future.”
There was better news for licensed releases Transformers: War for Cybertron and Shrek Forever After.
With respect to our license properties, both Shrek and Transformers achieved the highest ever game ratings in the franchise's history,” Tippl added. Transformers particularly is selling well, taking the top 10 spot in June for NPD despite the late June release.
We have retail and consumer programs planned for the remainder of the year to drive sales of our June quarter releases well into the holiday where the majority of the consumer spending occurs.”