The New York Times
is running a doom and gloom piece
on the current economic state of the big four publicly traded game publishers: Activision, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, and THQ. It's nothing we haven't heard before; higher next-gen development costs coupled with a console transition which have not only historically proven to be difficult, but the current one especially so.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick "acknowledged that there were challenges, including a growing need to produce games more efficiently. He said the industry would probably also focus more narrowly on games with hit potential (selling several million copies) as opposed to a scattershot approach of creating numerous games that sell one million copies or less." This blockbuster approach runs contrary to the XBLA success story, or quirky DS hits like Pheonix Wright
. So basically, Activision doesn't subscribe to the long tail
Pretty damning evidence of this trend: following E3
in May, "Electronic Arts' shares have fallen to $42.30, from $56.80; Activision to $11.58, from $14.19; THQ to $21.49, from $25.63; and Take-Two to $13.10, from $17.05." Ouch! Well, that's my cue to go grab some TTWO and ATVI shares!