Activision Reduces Workforce Due to Poor Guitar Hero And Skylanders Sales

Activision is one of the most profitable video game publishers in the industry and produces a wide range of successful franchises including Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. As a result, the studio can invest large sums of money into projects and usually makes an impressive return. Although, the company doesn’t really take any risks and focuses on sequels which have a long-standing history of being popular.

For example, Activision funds a yearly release cycle for Call of Duty and continues to set record sales targets. Arguably, this has resulted in some fans being disappointed with the series due to a lack of innovation. It’s also a target of mocking as people perceive the franchise as a way of printing money for Activision. Despite the financial success of Activision’s main IPs, there has been some disappointing sales of late. For example, Activision has tried to capture the casual market on mobile devices and bring it to consoles. An Activision spokesperson told Gameinformer

“As announced on our earnings call, our games for core audiences did extremely well, but the casual audience has not yet emerged on next-gen consoles,”

“So we are refocusing to better align with Activision’s long-term priorities because, as always, our strategy evolves to keep us ahead of a rapidly-changing industry. We are working with those impacted by the changes to offer outplacement services and support.”

It’s always sad to see people losing their jobs especially in the games industry where there’s so much competition. Clearly, the console audience is accustomed to an enriching narrative and complex gameplay. Casual games on smartphones work superbly because they offer downtime at any location and provide tactile controls. Barring a few exceptions, I can’t really see puzzle games being that successful on consoles unless there’s a shift in attitudes from players. They are rightfully very wary of the casual business model and distrust publishers’ use of microtransactions.

Image courtesy of Forbes

Is Activision Working on a new Guitar Hero?

This is music to my ears and no doubt bad news for the people who live next-door to me! It’s been four long years since Guitar Hero last graced our screens and at least two years since I rocked out with my Guitar Hero drum kit and guitars; is it time for me to dust off the old peripherals and warm up for a new game?

According to two sources close to the franchise, Activision is developing a new Guitar Hero game, as well as new peripherals for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

“We don’t comment on rumor or speculation, but have previously said, that as one of the most beloved entertainment franchises, we would only bring Guitar Hero back if we developed the right innovations to usher the franchise into the new generation of gaming.” Said Activision when asked for a comment on the rumour.

It’s expected the game will be at E3 and will launch later this year, no doubt in time for the Christmas season.

With news that Harmonix may be working on Rock Band 4, it looks like the two rock-star simulators will be going for a battle of the bands once more!

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Neversoft Go out in Style by Burning a Replica of Their Logo

There was nothing cooler for me when I was a kid, turning on my PlayStation 1, putting in Tony Hawks pro skater 3 and seeing the Neversoft eyeball getting impaled on a spike, ahh  the memories. Anyway…

Sadly today was the final day of the studio running independently after a 20 year run. Neversoft are best known for creating the Tony Hawk series and also Guitar Hero. The studio made a new Tony Hawk game every year from 1999 to 2007 with Tony Hawks Proving Ground being the last in the series. In 2007 they acquired the licence for Guitar Hero and developed that years Guitar Hero 3 and everyone in between until 2010 when Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock was the last title in the series.

The reason for Neversoft’s departure is that the staff are being amalgamated with Infinity Ward *shudders* to work on Call of Duty. The decision was made to amalgamate after they helped develop Call of Duty: Ghosts, the first major title they had worked on for a while. Maybe we’ll see some good games come from Infinity Ward now?

The staff didn’t just set fire to an iconic logo, oh no, each member of staff got a seriously bad ass Bowie knife! It even had the Neversoft logo engraved on the side!

Thanks to Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Eurogamer and Twitter.