Michael Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard, said in the Activision earnings call yesterday that he sees console prices dropping and new user interfaces as catalysts for growth.
In the same conference call in which Mike Morhaime, the head honcho at Blizzard, mentioned that WoW subscriptions have plateaued, he pointed out that the high prices of consoles might be inhibiting growth. He anticipates that as the current generation gets older, the price point should drop to ensure that customers still line up to purchase the expensive machines in this economic climate. Morhaime also said that he thinks the addition of Microsoft’s Natal and Sony’s Motion Control system could be great catalysts for growth in the industry.
“If you look at consoles, I think you are going to need to see hardware price declines given the economic uncertainties that we have,” he told a panel of investors and analysts.
“I think you are going to need to see product innovations,” he said. “And as you look at some of the new user interfaces that are coming out, I think those are certainly going to deliver some interesting product innovation.”
Beyond that, Morhaime stated that Activision-Blizzard has some interesting products and games coming down the pipe which will drive their growth.
There is the natural growth that will come from expanding demographics, whether it’s through [a] new user interface or the increased addition of social capabilities and gaming. I think if you look at all the categories that we operate in today, in the aggregate, you’re likely over the next few years to see some fairly significant growth.
Blizzard’s focus on the social aspect of gaming on their recently previewed new Battle.net seems to be in line with what Morhaime thinks will drive new users to the their games.
On the other hand, this sounds like a lot of business-speak to appease the stockholders and corporate overlords. With the revelation that WoW has ceased growing though, where Blizzard takes StarCraft 2 and its other products becomes increasingly more important.