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Activision's Kotick knows when to get on the boat


Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick discussed the current state of the game industry and Activision's position within it. Regarding Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move motion controllers, Kotick believes they will "excite" consumers, though he doesn't expect them to "rush out and buy millions of Xboxes just for Natal." Still, the novelty of the hardware combined with the impending marketing barrage will "generate new excitement for a whole new set of video games" according to Kotick.

Concerning other sectors of the industry, Kotick didn't seem afraid of social and mobile games eating into Activision's business. "I honestly don't think FarmVille or Tap Tap Revenge is having any impact on Guitar Hero," When confronted with the fact that Guitar Hero sales have seen a massive decline in the last year, however, Kotick admitted that Activision "misjudged opportunities" and noted that the company is "doing a better job now of accessing what's important to the audience in terms of features of the games, music and design of the instruments."

Kotick also brushed off the possibility that gamers may start shying away from physical retail titles in favor of cheap (or free) downloadable games. "We could go either way on Call of Duty but we can't download guitars for Guitar Hero anytime soon," said Kotick, adding that he is "not worried in the near term" about cheap iPhone games competing with retail.

The CEO isn't worried about Activision "missing the boat" on any impending downloadable transition. "In 20 years, we haven't missed the boat," said Kotick, "In fact what's made us so successful is that we know when to get on the boat." So take that, boats.

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