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Activision Blizzard CEO Kotick: Vivendi franchises lacked 'potential to be exploited'

Ross Miller

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Whereas Electronic Arts has been actively pursuing a more diverse portfolio of original IPs, rival publishing powerhouse Activision Blizzard is looking to take a less risky approach of focusing on a narrow field of franchises and, in CEO Bobby Kotick's words, exploit it. Hey, it's just business.

When asked about the Vivendi Games franchises that were tossed aside when Activision consumed the company (e.g. 50 Cent, Ghostbusters and Brutal Legend) during yesterday's conference call (transcript via Seeking Alpha), the Big Kahuna said, "With respect to the franchises that don't have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of over time becoming $100 million plus franchises, that's a strategy that has worked very well for us."

Kotick said that there's only been a "small single-digit number" of new, successful franchises in the last five or 10 years, and that properties they work on are those that "we know if we release today, we'll be working on 10 years from now." He cited rising development costs as a factor in this conservative business strategy.

Of course, as gamers we typically don't mind sequels as long as they show noticeable improvement over their predecessors (and sometimes that's not even necessary), but come on, Bobby, we know you've given KennyL free reign. We really do appreciate it, now do us another favor and just release Brutal Legend. You can write it off as a charitable deduction, we promise!

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