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Activision Threatens To "Stop Supporting" Sony Consoles


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Bear in mind there's a degree of saber-rattling to this, but still; Activision boss Bobby Kotick has warned Sony that his company - the world's largest third-party publisher - may cease support for the PS3 and PSP.

Speaking with The Times, Kotick said "I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform. It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation".

Subtle. But wait. It gets subtler.

"They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow", he continues. "If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony...When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console - and the PSP [portable] too".

In that absolute worst-case scenario, that would mean no Call of Duty for Sony consoles. No Guitar Hero for Sony consoles. No Tony Hawk, either. It probably won't ever come to that, of course, but Kotick's words are still worth noting. After all, when was the last time you ever saw a third-party publisher so openly threaten a major platform holder?

http://kotaku.com/5296566/activision-threa...g-sony-consoles

MY PROFILE SHOP JOBS PROPERTY CLASSIFIEDS From The TimesJune 19, 2009

Sony should beware — Activision chief is not simply playing gamesDan Sabbagh Bobby Kotick and a partner bought the once-struggling Activision for $440,000 in 1991, at a time when it was losing $30 million on $10 million in revenues. Now the world's biggest independent computer games company, it has a market value of $16 billion (£10 billion) and operating profits of $179 million in the first quarter on sales of $981 million.

Activision overtook Electronic Arts last July when it was in effect taken over by Vivendi of France in a deal where Vivendi injected World of Warcraft into the company for a 56 per cent stake. With such success, Mr Kotick, who runs the business from Beverly Hills, can probably get away with saying anything, which, soon enough, he does.

The target is Sony, the once-dominant hardware maker. “I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform. It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation,” he says.

It is not a very subtle hint, although Mr Kotick says his company paid $500 million to Sony in royalties and other goods last year, which “probably still worked out at 400 per cent of the profit they made”. Actually, Sony's games division lost $597 million last year, and Mr Kotick seems to think it may have to risk more losses if the £299.99 PlayStation 3 is to develop.

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“They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony.” Ask when and he says: “When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP [portable] too.” Sounds like Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's chief executive, is going to have to call Mr Kotick pretty fast.

Activision is pretty fortunate in that it has ridden the trend away from traditional “shoot 'em up” titles to family-oriented, interactive games such as Guitar Hero, which grossed more than $1 billion last year. “It was as big as Titanic [the film] with better margins”.

DJ Hero, with its own turntable, will follow this year, although Activision will have to endure its main competitor, Viacom's Rockband, launching a Beatles-themed game.

But it is a trend that, unlike Nintendo, which practically reinvented gaming with the Wii, Sony has been slow to react to. To illustrate the point, Mr Kotick stands on a plastic skateboard that turns out to be the controller for Tony Hawk: Ride — the company's attempt to reignite the well-worn franchise. Using motion and infra-red sensors, the board detects movements in both the player's body and feet, and speed is generated by swiping a foot on the floor next to the board. It is hoped the title will be a blockbuster later this year.

“Such a physical interface could be ideal for Sony,” he says, building up the sales pitch, before he warns that he will “generate better returns on invested capital” on the Wii and the Microsoft console. If he can persuade Sony to bend to his will, then it will be a sign of how far the power in the computer games industry has changed.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6531367.ece

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Sony will lower price in the next 4 months. FACT.

This is just bluffing though. He's mad because Sony pushed him around verbally recently about leaking stuff. He leaked some of their news recently and they were mad at him.

Sony consoles generate over 40% of Activision's revenue. They will NOT do anything.

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Sony will lower price in the next 4 months. FACT.

This is just bluffing though. He's mad because Sony pushed him around verbally recently about leaking stuff. He leaked some of their news recently and they were mad at him.

Sony consoles generate over 40% of Activision's revenue. They will NOT do anything.

I am not trying to discredit you, but where are you getting those numbers from?

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Go onto Activision's website and look at it.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p...p;postcount=154

45% of their revenue came from Sony consoles in the fiscal year ending 2008.

That is not Activision's website, it comes from a discussion forum similar to this one; I have no way of knowing how accurate these numbers are. Not to mention the number only adds up to 40%

Assuming the chart is accurate, it is still based off of their total revenue, therefore if you exclude the PS3 and PSP market you introduce variable change into the data. There would be a positive natural spike in the revenue generated by all of the remaining consoles to compensate.

I believe the title of the article is misleading, it makes no mention of the PS2, but implies that it will stop supporting Sony all together. Its just a badly written piece. Nonetheless the PS3 and the PSP still makeup 22% according to these numbers. I am sure development costs are way down for the PS2 now, and if people wanted to play the games activision makes enough they could simply buy the cheaper system.

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lower the price on games! 60 dollars is ridiculous.....

Thank frickin god....YES LOWER THEM.

Especially if your company comes out with a game that isn't a must have (MW, Madden, etc.) why not try making the money fast with discounts. Most the games I buy are ones my friends have, so we can play together.

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Also not saying this is B.S., but the timing here seems pretty off. If they plan on stop support in a year or so, thats about 2 (total guess) million more PS3's that are going to be around just in the US.

Anyways, I'm sure this is a bluff, and if it's not, then thats fine with me, my money can go elsewhere.

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That is not Activision's website, it comes from a discussion forum similar to this one; I have no way of knowing how accurate these numbers are. Not to mention the number only adds up to 40%

Assuming the chart is accurate, it is still based off of their total revenue, therefore if you exclude the PS3 and PSP market you introduce variable change into the data. There would be a positive natural spike in the revenue generated by all of the remaining consoles to compensate.

I believe the title of the article is misleading, it makes no mention of the PS2, but implies that it will stop supporting Sony all together. Its just a badly written piece. Nonetheless the PS3 and the PSP still makeup 22% according to these numbers. I am sure development costs are way down for the PS2 now, and if people wanted to play the games activision makes enough they could simply buy the cheaper system.

No. The only console that may compensate is the X360. Since the PS3 and X360 share the same games.

Also, those numbers were posted on NeoGAF from Activision website. Like I said, you can go onto their website and see those numbers for yourself. Rather than searching for and posting a long PDF file, this would be easier.

If you don't trust me based on some bias you have, you can go onto their website yourself, as I said.

The CEO said all Sony consoles. Not just PS3.

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No. The only console that may compensate is the X360. Since the PS3 and X360 share the same games.

Also, those numbers were posted on NeoGAF from Activision website. Like I said, you can go onto their website and see those numbers for yourself. Rather than searching for and posting a long PDF file, this would be easier.

If you don't trust me based on some bias you have, you can go onto their website yourself, as I said.

The CEO said all Sony consoles. Not just PS3.

Yes the 360 would compensate, but so would the Wii, DS and PS2 (assuming they are going to support that still)

I don't trust you not from bias, but simply because I believe you have bias. I have a PS3 and Xbox 360, as I said I don't really play games from Activision, so this situation is not a big deal for me, I am not trying to spin it.

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man you have been predicting that for what seems like a year now.

No, I haven't. I've been explaining some sales done by retailers as a possible sign of a price drop coming. I never said a price drop WILL happen. This time, I'm saying that a price drop IS coming.

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The PS2 price drop isn't the announcement. I do think it's a PS3 price drop.

The fiscal year ends tomorrow for them, so the timing suggests that. They want to drop price after the fiscal year ends, so they can get as much profit into that period.

I am also positive they have begun using or at the cusp of beginning to use 45-nm CELL CPU's, which would lower manufacturing costs significantly.

EDIT: They're sending out information to the press that their announcement won't involve a price cut. I don't know if they're just denying it until they can confirm it themselves, or if it's true. They have done the former before.

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All great games, that are rated highly.

Best Buy is running a deal from March 15th (Today) to March 21st, in which the offer stated in the title applies.

Again, all these deals suggest a 50-dollar PS3 price drop is coming soon. They're all around 50 dollars in value. Target has a deal in which you get a 50-dollar PlayStation Network card.

I would assume the price drop is coming in the beginning of April, since that's when the new fiscal year begins.

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If X360 wasn't cheaper than the Wii this year and much cheaper than it was last year, it TOO would be down in sales.

PS3 is the same price as it was last year.

It's called a recession. PS3 will pick up in the future as Sony continues to cut price. 90% of PS2's were sold after it went down to $200. PS3 will reach that point.

Sony will cut price early in 2009. Plus, I wouldn't call 400,000 units sold dying, even for $400. Retail sales are plummeting throughout the US for the time being.

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LOL. One of the most sensationalist and delusional comments I've read in a while. No forward-thinking involved whatsoever.

The PS3 is ahead of X360 when you compare each from launch (i.e. two years in). Sony will lower the price early next year, and sales will see a boost as a result.

Don't be so impulsive. A sound thought process does not include impulsive behavior.

Go enjoy playing your PS3 and let the smart executives at Sony handle beating the arrogant Xbox executives at Microsoft. It's an inevitable result.

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