Buried within Activision-Blizzard’s latest public financial document is the news that True Crime: Hong Kong has been subject to a fatal hit and that the Guitar Hero series is also dead.
Under the heading ‘Company Outlook,’ the document states “… due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011.”
It continues, “The company also will stop development on True Crime: Hong Kong.” Given the in which True Crime: Hong Kong’s development was reportedly treated by the company, this isn’t too surprising.
The statement goes on: “These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.”
Can you guess what Activision considers to be the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences? That’s right, it’s more Call of Duty. Investment will very much continue in “forthcoming Call of Duty titles” as well as “the development of a best-in-class digital community surrounding the Call of Duty franchise.”
Also safe are “Blizzard Entertainment’s games currently in development” (naturally) and “a new property from Bungie” (which makes sense, as the former Halo developers were on a ten year deal.)
Of course, Guitar Hero used to be a more profitable series too, until marketing saturation and a lack of innovation killed it off.
Unless Activision alters the narrow, short-sighted business plan it currently seems to be pursuing, it’s quite possible that the Call of Duty series will ultimately suffer the same fate a few years down the line.