Tuesday 21-Sep-2010 1:00 PM Exec says Activision is no longer competing with console publishers
Activision boss Bobby Kotick has claimed that traditional console companies such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo face a "struggle" to "figure out" an online future - one which the US publisher has already cracked.
In yet more incendiary comments about rival companies, Kotick said that because of Activision's online dominance, it no longer considers itself competing with "console dependant companies".
Indeed, Kotick said that Activision's closest competitor in the online space was Facebook.
"Because we're in a lot of different businesses, we have a lot of different competitors," Kotick told the America Merrill Lynch Media, Comms and Entertainment conference.
"Our competitor online [is] Facebook in some respects. Even though they don't create content, they provide it. There are a lot of new social gaming companies that are emerging and take mindshare - not from our consumer, [because they're] a different demographic. But there's the potential that some of the social games will start appealing to our consumers so we're making a lot of investments in that area.
"But the traditional companies - the Electronic Arts, or Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo or Disney - that make console-based video games, are going to really struggle [in future] to figure out how to get into these online business we're in today."
Kotick claimed that Activision's 2007 'merger' with Vivendi - which saw the French media powerhouse effectively buy the US publisher - has put it in a more secure position than any other games company, largely thanks to Blizzard's infrastructure.
"It was why we sold control of our company to Vivendi," he added. "We recognised that developing all of the capabilities that Blizzard had ourselves would probably put us in a place where we would have... not [only] a decline in our operating margin, but no operating margin. We would invest billions of dollars in all this online capability - and likely actually not produce a great result.
"There [was] so much built-up expertise at Blizzard when we did this merger - that we're now applying to Call Of Duty, Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero - that we otherwise wouldn't have had access to. That puts us in a much better position than many of the very console-dependant companies we used to compete against."
Used to compete against. Bobby's above all that now.
Kotick used his presentation to claim that Activision is no longer simply aiming to be the "biggest interactive entertainment company" - but rather the "biggest entertainment company". As in, full stop. Wowsers.