The New York Times is running a doom and gloom piece on the current economic state of the big four publicly traded game publishers: Activision, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, and THQ. It's nothing we haven't heard before; higher next-gen development costs coupled with a console transition which have not only historically proven to be difficult, but the current one especially so.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick "acknowledged that there were challenges, including a growing need to produce games more efficiently. He said the industry would probably also focus more narrowly on games with hit potential (selling several million copies) as opposed to a scattershot approach of creating numerous games that sell one million copies or less." This blockbuster approach runs contrary to the XBLA success story, or quirky DS hits like Pheonix Wright. So basically, Activision doesn't subscribe to the long tail.
Pretty damning evidence of this trend: following E3 in May, "Electronic Arts' shares have fallen to $42.30, from $56.80; Activision to $11.58, from $14.19; THQ to $21.49, from $25.63; and Take-Two to $13.10, from $17.05." Ouch! Well, that's my cue to go grab some TTWO and ATVI shares!