Shock and awe as mega publisher Activision Blizzard stays true to its word of "exploiting" its key franchises. Bizarre Creations, however, does bring a new original title to the table.
At an in-game advertising conference in downtown Manhattan, hosted by the Microsoft-owned Massive Inc, publisher Activision Blizzard announced its 2009 line-up of sequels with new entries slated for its Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Tony Hawk franchises.
This falls in-line with what Activision CEO Bobby Kotick told investors in early November. When explaining as to why the company was dropping high-profile titles such as Chronicles of Riddick and Ghostbusters at the time, Kotick said "[These games] don't have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential [or] have the potential to become $100 million dollar franchises." It appears as though we can now say for certain as to which franchises he was referring to.
Activision didn't have much to show of the freshly announced Guitar Hero 5 (which is most likely a working title), though since the conference was focused on advertising, it did show off a scene from the game, complete with a Burger King ad in the background. In the case of Call of Duty, gamers can look forward to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a sequel to last year's hoo-rah inducing Middle-East shooter. While nothing has been confirmed, the absence of series numbering leads us to believe that Activision is planning to split the franchise in two, with one series focused on a modern setting while another stays in its original World War 2 format.
Veteran skater Tony Hawk is coming back from a vacation next October, having taken the year off due to an intense new rival in EA's Skate. Activision is looking to mix things up for the tenth entry in the series, promising that players won't be using a controller in their hands to play it, hinting towards a possible foot or motion based controller. Regardless, the title is once again being developed by the series creator, Neversoft.
Finally, if you're tired of sequels, Activision-owned Bizarre Creations is working on an original racing title that they describe as "Mario Kart meets Forza Motorsports." But you're not tired of sequels, are you? Just in case, Bizarre will also be hard at work on the next James Bond game, though it is set to be an original adventure and not tied to any movie storyline whatsoever.